Motivation seminar leaves one wondering, lighter in the wallet

I’m planning to write one of those self-help, motivational books one of these days. That is, if I can get up for it. I almost got around to it yesterday, but I got invited to a chili feed at the last moment.

  • Friday, July 18, 2008 5:21pm
  • Opinion

I’m planning to write one of those self-help, motivational books one of these days. That is, if I can get up for it. I almost got around to it yesterday, but I got invited to a chili feed at the last moment.

If you are ever motivated enough to spend 50 cents on the local daily newspaper, you can see a huge ad in there for an all-day seminar coming in late August called “Get Motivated!”

I did a rough count and found that the sprawling full-page ad contains more than 18 exclamation points. By contrast, one of the biggest motivational books of them all – the King James version of the Bible – contains none. I’m not sure what that means, but thought I’d mention it.

The “Get Motivated!” seminar offers “Inspiration! “Career Skills!” and “Wealth-Building!” But before you can learn how to build wealth, you have to part with some of it first. The seminar will set you back about $225. For that $225, you’ll get to listen to experts explain why they are rich and successful and you are not.

The event is a who’s-who of motivational speakers and money gurus. First of all, there’s a guy named Zig Ziglar. Ziglar is billed as “America’s number one motivator,” which will come as a blow to Oprah. But like Smucker’s, with a name like Zig, he’s got to be good. By the way, he should not be confused with Cig Ciglar, a lesser-known speaker who motivates people to quit smoking.

Among Zig’s topics is “How to Get Everything You Want.” There is no explanation of what exactly “everything” is, but it obviously would be different depending on the person. For some, it might be financial wealth; for others, achieving a higher life purpose. For my friend, Chuck, it’s landing a date with Heidi Klug. If Zig can swing that, Chuck definitely will be signing up.

Also on the docket is Terry Bradshaw, the Hall of Fame quarterback. Without benefit of a hairpiece, Bradshaw will offer “How to Sharpen Your Competitive Edge.” He will explain why, from his experience, it’s a good idea to wear a helmet and a cup when going to work each day. Incidentally, one of Bradshaw’s sub-topics is “How to Score Big and Score Often.” This, too, caught my friend Chuck’s eye.

Another scheduled speaker is former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani. He had planned to be busy accepting a presidential nomination at the Republican convention this summer, but his schedule opened up and he’s coming to the seminar, instead.

A self-made billionaire, Bill Bartman, will be offering the “Secrets of Billionaire Success.” Ironically, the seminar is being held at KeyArena, the same building that a self-made billionaire from Oklahoma City has pretty much turned into a white elephant. Those self-made billionaires love their secrets.

The unfailingly perky Suze Orman will be at the seminar, too, dispensing money advice.

She’ll also explain how she gets her teeth their whitest white.

Perhaps the biggest luminary on hand will be Colin Powell, the former secretary of state in the Bush administration. He will presumably explain why, in hindsight, maybe it’s better to work for yourself than for someone else.

Past seminars featured Anthony Robbins, that guy with the gigantic head full of teeth. He appears to part human, part T-Rex. His speech was called “How to Achieve the Results You Demand Now!” Notice it was not titled “How to Achieve the Results You Demand After This Seminar is Over.” It promised “Now!” – a pretty good deal, indeed. Imagine achieving the results you demand while sitting on your rear end all day at KeyArena.

I don’t doubt that such motivational seminars can get people fired up. On the other hand, if they worked really well, pretty soon everybody, everywhere would be rich – except for the people in the motivational seminar business, who’d suddenly be unnecessary and broke.

So you can figure that self-help seminars will continue to be a great way to build wealth for the people who put on self-help seminars. Meanwhile, maybe you or I will finally get around to getting our own motivational book written and on the shelves. Some working titles to consider:

• “The Power of Positive Negativity”

• “Think and Grow Rich; Eat and Just Grow”

• “The Seven Habits of People Who Used to Have Eight of Them”

• “Who Moved My Cheetoes?”

• “How to Win Friends and People Under the Influence”

• “A Passion for Ecksellance”

• “Women Are From Nordstrom; Men Are From Schuck’s Auto Supply”

Perhaps the greatest motivator I ever met never wrote a book, never gave a speech. He was my old man. When I was a kid, all he had to do was give me a look. Within an hour, the lawn was mowed.

Pat Cashman is a writer, actor and public speaker. He can be reached at pat@patcashman.com


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@auburn-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.auburn-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Opinion

Jayendrina Singha Ray is a PhD (ABD) in English, with a research focus on the works of the South African Nobel Laureate John Maxwell Coetzee. She teaches English Composition and Research Writing at Highline College, WA, and has previously taught English at colleges in India.
The search for selfhood

What really matters is the desire to find.

Cartoon by Frank Shiers
Editorial: Stopping COVID is now up to each of us

With a resurgence threatening, we need to take greater responsibility to keep the virus in check.

Doreen Davis, left in mask, waves at parade participants on May 2. Olivia Sullivan/staff photo
Wear your face-hugging, ever-loving mask | Editorial

“Don’t make me come down there.” — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo,… Continue reading

Jayendrina Singha Ray is a PhD (ABD) in English, with a research focus on the works of the South African Nobel Laureate John Maxwell Coetzee. She teaches English Composition and Research Writing at Highline College, WA, and has previously taught English at colleges in India.
The search for selfhood

What really matters is the desire to find.

Valley police chiefs of King County release unified message in response to death of George Floyd

Police chiefs of Des Moines, Tukwila, Renton, Federal Way, Kent, Auburn, Algona, Pacific, Black Diamond and the Port of Seattle pledge to stand with communities.

Pandemic illustrates the need for government action

Despite spending most of my life in government and politics and working… Continue reading

Back to the wild — a whole new outdoor recreation world | Guest editorial

When enjoying the great outdoors, continue to socially distance and be aware of how else COVID-19 has changed our world.

KCLS is stepping up its commitment to patrons

KCLS has expanding its online resources so patrons can continue to learn, build skills, stay entertained and remain mentally and physically active amid the pandemic.

How using a face mask to cover my Asian face could put me in danger

Since the COVID-19 outbreak began, Asians and Asian Americans have been targeted.

Opinion: Public deserves honest information on sex education

The Washington comprehensive sex education bill passed in the Senate on March 7.

Grocery store staff are working hard to keep the shelves stocked during the COVID-19 pandemic. File photo
Thank you grocery store clerks

Recognizing the sacrifices of our unsung essential workforce.

Helping community organizations as we respond to the coronavirus

Now, more than ever, nonprofits need gifts of time and money