Self-Motivation: Do It Anyway, Just For The Good Of It

When you ask some people why they do certain things, they’ll say, “I did it just for the h_ _ l of it.”  What a lousy reason. 

I would contend that the best people, the most successful people don’t waste their time doing things “just for the h _ _ l of it.”  They do things FOR THE GOOD OF IT.  In other words, whatever they do is for their good or the good of others. 

Oh, you may not always get rewarded or recognized when you do things simply because they are “good” things or even the “right” things to do.   But you can’t help feeling better about yourself when do things for the “good” of it, and you just might help a few other people in the process.

So the next time … or every time … you’re about to do something, take a second to think about your motivation.  Why are you doing it?  If you’ve got a “good” reason or if your action is going to do some “good,”  go ahead and do it.

That’s what Mother Teresa taught, and teachers don’t come any better than her.   She had these verses written on the wall of her home for children in Calcutta, India, and some even say she had these verses in her own room.  They went as follows:

 People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.  Forgive them anyway.

 If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.  Be kind anyway.

 If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.  Succeed anyway.

 If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.  Be honest and sincere anyway.

 What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.  Create anyway.

  If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.  Be happy anyway.

  The good you do today, will often be forgotten.  Do good anyway.

  Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.  Give your best anyway.

  In the final analysis, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway.

The verses seem to be based on a composition originally written by Dr. Kent M. Keith, but Mother Teresa put more a spiritual spin on them.  Despite that, her international fame helped the verses spread to millions around the world.

But just in case you’d like the original version, here is the way Dr. Keith put it.  He called them “The Paradoxical Commandments.”

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.  Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.    Do good anyway.   

If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.   Succeed anyway.   

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.   Do good anyway.   

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.    Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.     Think big anyway. 

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.   Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.  Build anyway.  

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.  Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.  Give the world the best you have anyway.

In my experience, if you follow these “commandments,” you can seldom go wrong.  And you’ll be doing good … most of the time … anyway.