Motivation: One Size Fits All?

Motivation.  Who doesn’t want to be motivated?  Humans love to be motivated?


Because we get more done, and what we get done, usually gets done better.

Who doesn’t want that?

But motivation is like a child’s toy, one size does not fit everyone.

This is why there are thousands of toy manufacturers, stores, prices, etc.

There are thousands of ways to get motivated.  Thousands to stay motivated.

But have you ever noticed a very young child playing with the box that a nice toy came in, neglecting the actual toy?

Motivation is really pretty simple.  But no rules for success will work unless you do.

My eight-year old son understands this.  Yet sometimes adults forget.

Get motivated.   Stay motivated.  Motivate others.  It’s our duty as leaders.

Carpe diem, jungle jeff 🙂

Paying Attention Pays

Yogi Berra, the baseball player who is also famous for saying, “Ninety percent of it is half mental”, and, “When you come to the fork in the road, take it”, also coined one of my all-time favorite sayings:

“You can observe a lot by watching”.

Walt Disney has taught me to watch and listen for what is done, and for what is not done.  And try to learn why.

And now I’m teaching our son.  Most of life’s secrets are pretty simple.

What’s challenging for most of us, myself included, is that we are easily distracted.  Easily swayed by peer pressure and society’s norms.

Walt Disney was a man who challenged the status quo, in virtually everything he did professionally.

Look where that got him.  One of the most creative minds in modern times.


Because he watched what wasn’t being done, and then did it.  Soon after, everyone else tried to catch him.

In a very humble sort of way, I can totally relate to Walt Disney.

Our son, at eight years old understands this, while many adults do not. Crazy. But true.  Carpe diem, jungle jeff 🙂

You Did That On Purpose, Didn’t You?

“No! Do what”?, I ask, stunned.

“You did that on purpose, didn’t you”, is the cry we’ve heard growing up, as our friend fumes about something we actually didn’t do on purpose.

In a much softer example, people often wonder why I use lower case letters in my name?

“Are you just not careful enough”?

Nope.  I’m not only careful, but also purposeful.

I’m teaching our son the value of doing things “on purpose”.

If you don’t do important things on purpose, you are faced with two probable outcomes:

  1. What you decide to do happens by default
  2. What you do isn’t as good as you are capable of

Humility is a very important value for my family.  Being human automatically predisposes us to not be humble.

To combat the human tendency to get sucked into society’s norms and “keep up with the Jones’s”, I purposefully use lower case, in a simple act of habit.

It grounds me, so to speak, in a critical success factor.

Walt Disney taught me this  – being purposeful.  The Disney Organization doesn’t want to risk two things happening.  The same two things I worry about for my son.

Carpe diem, jungle jeff 🙂

jungle jeff in Finland?

jungle jeff in Finland?

Yes.  Was a zombie yesterday.  Severe jet lag.  Woke at 5AM here, with eight hours of fresh sleep.  I’m very consciously ignoring the fact that it’s 10PM Disney World time.  🙂

Ever notice how I always, without exception, use lower case letters in my name?

Initially, most think it’s simply a typo – that I’m not actually paying attention to the little details, which Disney is famous for.

When a person consistently does something, well or not well, it’s called a habit.

The Disney organization works desperately hard to have their employees do things consistently well.

Because, very simply, if they don’t do things consistently well, the odds are staggering that they’ll trend to the opposite.

So our son has heard me preach about using his manners, for years.  I never give up. Never get frustrated. I just keep focused. He’s “only” eight, but he fully understands this:

Stand two 8-year olds together.  Assume one consistently uses manners.  The other boy doesn’t.

Which boy will adults trust more?

Same with business.  Two businesses offer customers the same product, same price point.  One is service-focused.  One is not.

My work here today is done.   Carpe diem, jungle jeff 🙂

jungle jeff in Paris?

jungle jeff is in Paris?  Yes.  🙂


Heading to the Master’s Track & Field World Championships, representing the USA in the 400 meters, 50-54 age group – 5,300 athletes from 80 countries.

Started a healthier lifestyle ten years ago, doing one push up per day. It was a bad health report that triggered my commitment, or re-commitment you might say.

My son (8), has watched me start something important, and stay with it.  So has my wife.

Same at Disney, and probably the same at your organization.

Focus and discipline.

My son sees how it works in my personal life, and he sees me apply it as a Professional Speaker.

You know what he also understands?  And remember, he’s only a child.  It’s common sense put into common practice.

I’m teaching him there are no shortcuts.  This will save him, but certainly not spare him, from many disappointments – personally and professionally.

What does this mean to you?  I don’t know.  But I hope you do.

Carpe diem, jungle jeff 🙂