Have you ever run out of gas? I have. I did it on purpose.
I was in my early 20s and home from college for the summer in Vermont. It seemed like knowing how far your car could go on empty was a valuable life lesson. Did E Really Mean E? Or was the needle on the fuel gauge of my 1982 Ford Escort just the little needle who cried E? Inquiring minds want to know.
On a warm June morning, I planned my knowledge-seeking pilgrimage. I called a friend and told him that I expected to run out of gas somewhere along my route that morning. I gave him a specific time to come look for me. And to bring some fuel.
Then I left my parents’ house and drove down a quiet country road in Vermont. And if you have ever been to Vermont you know that a quiet country road in Vermont is a redundant statement. Or maybe a redundant redundant statement.
About 5-miles into my trip, I ran out of gas and rolled to a stop on the side of the road. Minutes later my friend arrived with some spare gas. I gave the car 1 gallon of petro from the classically red gas can. I fired the car back up, and drove it to the nearest gas station a mile or so down the road and filled the tank with 12 gallons of gas.
How Low Can You Go?
As I climbed back into my car, not only was my tank full of gas, my brain was full of new knowledge. I now knew how far my car could go on empty. I knew what my car did after it drank its last drops. I knew that a good backup plan minimized the impact of running out of gas. And I knew how far I could safely push things in the future. Or as Salt N’ Peppa said, I now knew I could push it real good.
I have applied this same limit-seeking approach to other areas of my life. Because I want to find my real limits. Not for limit’s sake. But so that I know what the possibilities are. I want to know how far I can really push myself before I can’t go any farther. Most people never do this. But we all should.
Explore your outer bounds. You should know where the real limitations are. Know when your car will really run out of gas. But also know your real limits are for strength, work, endurance, and pain. Find the edge. It is the only way to know how much you are truly capable of. It’s more than you think.
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Do you ever think about your motivational fuel source? It’s valuable to understand what encourages, inspires and pushes you. Because once you know what fuels your personal fire, you can stockpile kegs of it. Then ignite it whenever you need another boost.
I have been a heavy consumer of motivation fuel my entire life. When I was young I guzzled it to help me perform my best in school and athletics. After college I started using motivational fuel to enhance my career, personal fitness and financial success.
My Current Focus
In 2016 I made a strategic decision to push both my career and financial success to the next level. As a result I launched my own advertising and idea agency called The Weaponry. When I was in the planning stages of my entrepreneurial adventure I started this blog to document what I learned along the way. One of my key learnings is that you need to keep a steady stream of motivational fuel flowing into your system at all times.
Finding Your Fuel
Take some time to analyze what motivation fuel sources power your inner drive. Then acquire as much of it as you can. I find that I am inspired by many things. Which means that I have a lot of options when it comes to motivation propellents.
My 15 Sources Of Motivation Fuel
1. My Vision.
This is a major source, if not my primary source of motivation. I have a clear vision of the fully-formed Me. Unfortunately, it’s a lot better than the current Me. But I am already better than I used to be. Closing the Me vs Ideal Me gap is an always available fuel source.
2. Impressive And Successful People.
I love to see others have great success. When I see my friends crushing it, I want to crush it too. This is true in my career and in my personal life. I fancy myself successful, so I want to keep up with others I think are like me. It’s the most positive way to keep up with the Jones. Keep pace with their successes, not their expenditures.
Reading supplies me with steady, slow-burning motivation. I like to read biographies about successful people. I read How-To and Self-Helpy type stuff all the time. Book fuel is really a cocktail of numbers 1, 2, 3, 10, and 12.
Examples: See images above.
6. Motivational Speakers
If motivational speakers don’t fuel you up nothing will. Seek them out in person, or online. YouTube and Social Media platforms are thick with them.
Examples: Tony Robbins, Gary Vee, Zig Ziglar, my college coach Ed Nuttycombe’s spaghetti speech.
When I see others in poverty it propels me forward like the other side of a magnet.
Examples: Driving through a depressed part of town. India.
8. Unhealthy People
People who are obviously unhealthy are a constant reminder that I need to keep moving and eating right. I am thankful for them. And they are everywhere. Except the gym.
9. My family
Taking care of my wife, daughter and 2 sons is a major motivating factor. They are a constant source of motivation. But so are my parents, my 3 sisters and their families. Even broader, I am very proud to be a member of the Albrecht Family and The Sprau Family. (My Mom’s maiden name is Sprau. It’s fun to think of your Mom as a maiden.) I am always trying to be an asset to the family and enhance our brand reputation.
10. Financial Freedom
I am driven to acquire enough money to be able to choose how I spend my time. I want to be in control of my life. This is the way to maintain as much control as possible.
Examples: Hundred dollar bills. Fifty dollar bills. Twenty dollar bills
My goals provide constant motivation. They have big gaudy numbers on them. And they provide a constant measure of what I have left to accomplish in order to live up to my own standards. I really like raw, quantifiable number goals.
Examples of how I measure progress towards my goals: On my bathroom scale, In Quickbooks, Through my WordPress Blog Stats, the amount of weight I lift.
I think pride is the ultimate motivator. I look for it in employees. Because someone who values pride won’t let you down because they don’t want to let themselves down.
Examples: People who work at The Weaponry.
I never want to let others down. When I competed in athletics I never wanted to let my teammates down. As a business owner I am motivated to take care of my team and their families.
I like to compete. So when I see others do well, I want to do well. Your competitors are one of the best motivators you have. Use them.
Life and work can be hard. Motivation isn’t automatic. You need to seek it out. Stockpile it. Refine it. And consume it when you need a boost. Like the variety of foods in a well balanced diet, it’s best to keep a wide variety of fuel sources handy so you can quickly tap into the kind of motivation you need at any given moment. By understanding your motivational fuel sources you can ensure you will always have an abundant supply. And if you have an endless supply of motivational fuel your possibilities are endless too.
*If you know someone who could benefit from this post, please share it with them.