Summary: The 8 Pillars of Motivation

A useful reset for those needing direction


The 8 Pillars of Motivation offers a clear introduction for those who want to do something larger with their lives. You will be familiar with many of the ideas but this is a useful overview for getting your thoughts and actions organised and aligned.

From the back cover

Tired of looking for motivation outside of yourself? Disappointed when you don’t ‘feel’ motivated to build your dream life?

This book shows you another way to go about it. The source of real motivation comes from inside you and you can draw from this source to get everything you want in life. The author shows you how to do that in practical actionable steps with the 8 pillars.

Chapter summaries

  1. Pillar #1 – Define your purpose and direction. Instead of setting individual goals, ask yourself what is your purpose in life. What project would be worthy of your potential? What do you feel is your calling? What do you believe would be a worthwhile use of your skills? Ask the bigger questions of yourself.
  2. Pillar #2 – Do what you love. Doing what you love does not mean doing it 24/7. You don’t have to dedicate your life to it at the cost of everything else. You don’t have to turn it into a money-making business. You can dedicate an hour a day or 60 hours a week. The point is, find something that gives you meaning and which you enjoy. And if what you love changes over time, that’s OK too.
  3. Pillar #3 – Crush fears of failure and success. Every great success story is also a story of huge failures. It’s the people who fail who achieve great things in life because failure is a sign that someone tried to do something. The only people who don’t fail are those who aren’t doing much at all.
    Success can also bring fear in the form of increased expectation, people relying on you, increased scrutiny, increased obligations. Step into success. Instead of seeing success as a pressure cooker, see it as an opportunity to discover new strengths, new skills and new alternatives for your life.
  4. Pillar #4 – Cultivate smart habits
    • What daily habits can you cultivate to get you closer to your purpose?
    • What poor habits do you need to eliminate in order to put you in the right direction?
    • How can you improve your time management?
    • What small changes can you make to reap large benefits?
    • What relationships do you need to cultivate?
    • What relationships are hindering you?
    • Get up early. Take care of your nutrition. Meditate. Exercise. Write. Read.
  5. Pillar #5 – Perpetuate the right attitude. How do you develop the right attitude? By eradicating the wrong ones:
    • Learn to manage your anger
    • Drop your attachment to end results. Not being worried about the outcome gives you incredible freedom. You can start to try new things, take risks, experiment and learn. Keep an eye on the outcome but don’t be married to it. Go at it for the sake of the process and journey, not the result.
    • Don’t be cynical. Wholeheartedly believe in the sincerity and innate goodness of the people around you. All others are exceptions.
    • Overcome doubt. If you’re good at what you do and your intentions are noble, you’re winning.
    • Be respectful. Choose to disagree, disassociate and even break off a relationship but always keep your respect intact.
    • Have no time for jealousy. Are you insecure enough to believe so little in your own capabilities and thus sabotage all your true chances of success? Keep your intentions pure, focus on yourself and remember that success is not a zero sum game. There is more than enough for everyone. Be inspired by others, “Wow, look what they’ve achieved. Perhaps I can achieve something too…”
    • Be an optimist. Negative emotions produce negative actions which produce negative outcomes. Having an optimistic attitude will attract the right people and the best opportunities into your life..
    • Be grateful and humble. Embrace an attitude of extreme gratitude. In the words of Mark Twain, “The world does not owe you a living, it was here first.”
  6. Pillar #6 – Build a powerful support system. Identify the people and communities that will unconditionally support you. Similarly, distance yourself from those who drain you.
  7. Pillar #7 – Believe in all possibilities. The great motivational speaker Les Brown often asks his audience to think about their dreams, their greatest desires in life and then to just say one thing, “It’s possible.” A single mother on welfare can write a story about a boy wizard, become a publishing phenomenon and make a billion dollars. In comparison, is your dream more outlandish than that? Whatever it is you dream, simply believe that it is entirely possible. When you believe it’s possible, you fuel your inner motivation. Why not you? What would your life look like in 10 years if you did not pursue your dream? And so what if it all crumbles and fails? Would you rather not know that you tried and gave it your all? You can recover and recoup losses.
  8. Pillar #8 – Celebrate achievements along the way. Don’t put your life on hold as you pursue your dream. Remember to identify what is worth celebrating along the way. Do it often. Live your life fully and with gratitude.

About the author

Farnoosh Brock was born and raised in Tehran, Iran. After leaving Iran at 11 and living in Turkey for 3 years, she moved to the United States. She studied electrical engineering and French at university and then entered the corporate world. In 2011, she left a 12-year successful career at a Fortune 100 company to start her own company, Prolific Living Inc.

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