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Motives Matter

by David DeFord

After the turmoil of the Second World War, Dieter Uchtdorf’s family ended up in Russian-occupied East Germany. When he attended fourth grade he had to learn Russian as his first foreign language in school. He found this quite difficult because of the Cyrillic alphabet, but as time went on he seemed to do all right.

When he turned eleven his family had to sneak out of East Germany overnight because of the political orientation of his father. Then he attended school in West Germany, which was American-occupied at that time. There in school all children were required to learn English and not Russian. To learn Russian had been difficult, but English was impossible for him. He thought his mouth was not made for speaking English. His teachers struggled. His parents suffered. And he knew English was definitely not his language.

But then something changed in his young life. Almost daily he rode his bicycle to the airport and watched airplanes take off and land. He read, studied, and learned everything he could find about aviation. It was his greatest desire to become a pilot. He could picture himself in the cockpit of an airliner or in a military fighter plane. He felt deep in his heart this was his thing!

Then he learned that to become a pilot he needed to speak English. Overnight, to the total surprise of everybody, it appeared as if his mouth had changed. He was able to learn English. It still took a lot of work, persistence, and patience, but he was able to learn English!

Dieter went on to become a senior vice president for flight operations of Lufthansa Airlines.

Why? Because of a strong motive!

Our motives and thoughts ultimately influence our actions.

What had changed in this young boy’s life? He still had the same mouth. He didn’t suddenly gain additional brain cells. Yet his ability to speak English improved dramatically.

He had gained a compelling reason to learn English. His need to learn had shifted from a difficult school requirement to a step toward his life’s dream.

As you set your goals search deep within yourself. Discover the true, compelling motivation for achieving your goals. Invest the time to identify and write down why you want to achieve them. This practice will lift you past difficult obstacles as you keep your eye on the prize.

Through motivation, Dieter Uchtdorf transformed himself from a struggling English student into one with a higher calling.

You can too.

Related Quotes

You are the fruit of the thoughts you have planted and nourished. If you want a better harvest, you must plant better thoughts. Robert Allen

When your heart speaks, take good notes. Michael Angier

Our motives and thoughts ultimately influence our actions. Dieter Uchtdorf

Let us not be content to wait and see what will happen, but give us the determination to make the right things happen. Peter Marshall

Champions aren't made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them--a desire, a dream, a vision. Muhammad Ali

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To comment on this page, please email ddeford@ordinarypeoplecanwin.com

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