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Finding Motivation

We are all motivated by different things and different people. Why? It’s the why, that’s why. It goes back to the Taiichi Ohono principle I discussed in Why is Asking Why So Important. Continuing to ask yourself “why” requires that you dig deeper to find the true meaning behind your motivation. It’s like peeling back the layers of an onion, the inner layers are different than the surface layer. Your motivation comes from deep within you, it keeps you going because it's not what you are doing it's why. Do you want to know why so many New Year’s Resolutions fail? It’s because the resolution isn’t a core need or passion, it’s not part of what makes you, you. In short, you really don't want it that bad. I wrote Find Your Selfie because I want others to experience that “Aha” moment like I did. The principles outlined in Find Your Selfie allowed me to peel back my layers, get to know who I really was, what really motivated me, allowed me to accept me for me, and ultimately find my success.

Each of us finds motivation from different things and different people. Why? It’s because the motivation speaks to your personality, what makes you, you. Below are a few individuals who found their success through an understanding of themselves, their passions, what they wanted, and the why behind what they wanted to achieve.

Boston Marathon Runner

The Boston Marathon is known as, “the world’s most prestigious marathon course.” The prestige comes from being the oldest marathon in the US starting in 1897, the fact that it’s a difficult course, and there are strict qualifying times you must meet to participate in this elite race. Keri Viehe, a seven-time marathoner, has always enjoyed the endorphin rush running provides. The time out on the pavement is meditative and thoughtful but it requires strength and determination to push yourself to those great lengths. Running is, hands down, hard work. Keri wanted to run Boston because she admires people who work hard and, in her opinion, runners are known to be hard workers. Her why? She wanted to prove she was a runner and be seen as a hard worker.


While on deployment in 2007, Retired Army Staff Sgt., Daniel Powers was stabbed in the head by an Iraqi teenager with a nine-inch knife. Daniel endured multiple surgeries and many, many hours of physical therapy. After he recovered, he flew in an Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft to make his 44th jump, this time from the plane’s tailgate and into the waters of Fleming Key in Key West. Daniel Powers is an inspiration to all and the why behind his motivation? He said, “It’s my job. And the war is not won.” To read his incredible story of being a walking miracle you can find it here.

Going Back To School

Betsy Stoll, a parent and student, went back to school for Psychology. Betsy’s why? She struggled with addiction and wants to help the next generation. One year down, no easy feat during this crazy pandemic, but she said, “I fought too long and too hard for where I am now, to be unhappy with my life.” Betsy’s only regret, “I just wish I would’ve started sooner.”

AI Technology

While training law enforcement officers in the tactics of active shooter response, Paul Eckert saw holes in the applications that were currently on the market. The most crucial? Thinking for individuals in real-time, under stressful conditions. The human brain will not make accurate lifesaving decisions under stress, especially children. Paul Eckert took matters into his own hands and launched Safepro Technologies and the Soteria System. Paul has developed an emergency evacuation system for dangerous events such as active shooters, shifting the power dynamic away from the shooter, getting the victims away through safe separation. Paul is a retired law enforcement officer and his why? To save lives. Watch a powerful video of the Soteria System in action here.

Business Owner

Mara Perugini, Owner of Accent on Dance in Mukwonago, always tells her students, “first figure out what you LOVE to do, then figure out how to get paid for it.” At the age of nine, she knew she wanted to dance forever and she was very fortunate to have parents that supported her dream to dance. After attending college for dance and working in the industry as a performer and teacher for ten years, she felt it was time to bring my passion for dance back to her hometown. In 2010, Accent on Dance Mukwonago was born. Her studio is now in its 11th season and she said, “I’m reminded each day how fortunate I am to get paid to do what I LOVE.” You can read more about Mara’s dance studio here.

Stock Trader, Soldier, Doctor

While living at one of our many duty stations, I met an individual who was serving as an Army medic in an extremely elite unit. Prior to the Army he worked on the trading floor of the Chicago Stock Exchange. He, like so many others, felt called to duty after 911 so he enlisted in the Army. After serving years in the Army he went to medical school, did his 3-year residency and just recently become a doctor.


Bill Moomey is a man of many talents. He is a hall of fame athlete (also named an “Athlete of the Century”), rodeo champion, WWII Navy pilot, award-winning designer, big-game hunter, artist sculptor, and singer. In high school, Bill Moomey won first place in a competition and his work was exhibited in the Library of Congress. Despite having innumerable talents, Bill knew art was his passion and it would become his vocation of choice. To learn more about Bill Moomey visit here, to view his art work visit here.


In seeking out an amazing kid for this newsletter I came across this article in Good Housekeeping. The 40 kids highlighted in this piece have achieved incredible accomplishments at young ages. I encourage you to read through all of them and see if any of them speak to you.

Each and every person above motivate me. Why? Because I am an advocate for others to achieve their maximum potential. I am inspired by those who reach for the stars and pursue their dreams and passions. The key for you to find your motivation and ultimate success is to know what you want and why you want it. It doesn’t matter what the goal is, it just has to matter to you. Motivation is a feeling that causes an action, if you don’t feel it deep down, your actions will wane, and success will not follow. Find Your Selfie and you’ll find your passion, your motivation, and your success. It’s all about you, so Be You.

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