How To Ignite Motivation: A Lesson From Beethoven

I am not sure how many of you are aware of the truly motivating and vastly inspiring story of Beethoven’s Ode To Joy. If you’d permit me, I’d like to share it with you.

Most of Beethoven’s masterpieces were composed while he was deaf. Many of us, me included, might be horrified should we ever become deaf. However, Beethoven would not allow deafness to stand in his way. He had found a way to get over that obstacle.

His love for music strengthened his self-motivation to compose one masterpiece after the other without giving in to the challenge he had. He had music in him, and nothing, not even his deafness, would take charge of him.

And, as we all know, he triumphed over his deafness.

Beethoven set the music to the last movement of the Ninth Symphony to a poem entitled “Ode To Joy”. He strongly believed this poem celebrated the brotherhood of man.

On May 07th, 1824, Beethoven conducted the Ninth Symphony. When the “Ode To Joy” movement was over, the audience erupted in applause. Beethoven, however, did not turn around to accept the round of applause, as he could not hear it. Noticing this, one of the chorus members took it upon himself to step out of line and take hold of Beethoven’s arm to turn him around to face the audience.

But by then the applause had subsided.

As Beethoven quietly looked out into the audience, they all arose, one by one, in standing ovation, their applause thunderous. It is said that a single tear of joy skated down the composer’s cheek. It is also said that a small tear had rolled down the chorus member’s cheek who stood next to him.

This story made me think. I asked myself a few questions, which I will address to you. What do you have that is inside of you, that’s so strong, that it can triumph over your shyness, your fear, your lack of self-confidence or lack of self-motivation?

What will bring your tear of joy? Who will take you by the arm and turn you around when you are down and out, or facing the wrong direction, or on the wrong road, so you may not only see but also hear your standing ovation? The applause, the loud cheers, the simultaneous stamping of feet?

As you think of your chorus member, feel him or her standing next to you, shoulder to shoulder. See yourself achieving, see the new highly enthusiastic and motivated you. See the elated you. Hold your chorus member’s hand tightly and double your elation and motivation.

Hear the applause and the cheers of hundreds of people. Hear them cheering you on, calling your name, loving you and you loving them back. Feel it. Immerse yourself in it. Feel it throughout your whole body. That applause and cheer is for you and you only. Get excited. Accept the applause. Hold on to the cheers. Feel the emotion.

Lift your arms in the air and declare: “I am feeling strong, capable and full of life today.” Repeat this declaration three times as loud and as emotionally as you can. Feel an amazing, lively energy flow through your body.

Feel so motivated that you can do anything, absolutely anything, to achieve your goals and dreams in life. Obstacles can be and will be nothing but sprinkles of dust that you can blow away with a single breath.

I believe in much the same way that success breeds success, motivation must breed more motivation. And the more motivation you have the motivated you will become. It’s like stacking one layer of motivation over another.

You trigger more and more motivation. Here are a couple of ways to breed, stack and trigger more motivation:

1.    Celebrate your motivation attitude. Take time out to remind yourself what you have accomplished and how far you’ve come. Celebrate the fact that you had the motivation to start and finish your task, objective or goal.

Celebrate there and then, immediately upon completion of the task or realization of the goal. And celebrate big!

Rejoice the small and large successes and accomplishments. Honor each one, individually. Allow each success to bring with it its own sense of fulfillment. This fulfillment will give you the added surge of motivation to bring in more successes.

Make it a point to be motivated to achieve as many successes as you can. Size doesn’t matter! A small success is still a success. That’s how the mind sees it.

Motivation is like a snowball – it keeps gaining momentum. Imagine what will happen when you stack one motivation over the other. The snowball will get bigger, sooner.

2.    Reward your motivation attitude. We all love rewards, don’t we? Make it a habit to reward yourself for being and remaining motivated. Have a long bubble bath, go to the movies or a restaurant, buy a pair of shoes, a handbag, a watch. It is important to reward yourself, and as you do, you will look forward to the next reward.

By consistently celebrating and rewarding your motivation attitude you will stimulate and encourage additional motivation. It will be within you waiting to be automatically summoned.

Commemorate your motivation to get you where you want to be. Have a party, have fun and watch your successes escalate.

Hani Al-Qasem is a published author and personal growth specialist. He co-authored Self-Confidence Building in 7 Steps and Establish Powerful Self-Enhancing Beliefs.

Download the free e-book Establish Powerful Self-Enhancing Beliefs and eliminate the limiting beliefs that keep you from enjoying happiness and success. Get motivated and Stay Motivated to achieve more.

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Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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