Dare yourself to be motivated and help others at the same time


Our governments are telling us the tough times are behind us. The recession has bottomed out and we’re finally heading toward recovery. Motivation, at this point in time, is vital to achieving any success. Of course, being motivated regardless of a recession is key to succeeding, but we all need a little leg up after the storm that’s hit all of us.

Motivation can come from different sources, and not everyone gets motivated in the same way. I thought I’d share something that motivated me and kept my mind on track through these heated financial times. Who knows? It might work for you too.

I came across an interesting non-profit organization headed by one of Canada’s most acclaimed diplomats, Stephen Lewis. The Stephen Lewis Foundation raises money and resources for AIDS-affected families in Africa. What’s different about it is that there is no middle man. All funds and resources go straight into the hands of those who need it.

The man is a legend in his own right and his story was enough to get me motivated for his cause. Stephen Lewis was a former ambassador for Canada to the UN, and for a number of years he was also deputy director of Unicef. He became the UN’s special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa before starting his own foundation.

The organization is running an initiative that just screams motivation: A Dare to Remember hopes to get “ordinary people doing extraordinary things” for Africa. The premise is simple. You or someone you know is dared to perform an extraordinary task. It can be something healthy, funny, or quirky – the possibilities are endless. You then ask others to sponsor you. When you reach your pledge mark, you perform the dare.

So I passed this around to everyone in my office and we immediately started coming up with dares we could all do. Something that could motivate us to do something good for ourselves and for those in Africa that already do phenomenal things to make ends meet.

I always make fun of the avid cyclists in my office, so they dared me to ride 10K and raise $1000. We dared our boss to shave her head. Some people are losing weight. Canadian musician k-os is going back to an old McJob he had. You could dare yourself or your friends to do something worthwhile.

Raise money and dare yourself to volunteer more. Dare yourself to network with x-number of people in a week. If you’re a writer, dare yourself to write something new every day. Remember that while you’re helping yourself be better at something, you’re helping people in Africa who are affected by AIDS.