Josh Hinds: Hi Jason, can you give everyone a bit about your background as well as how you got started with your web site Motivation123.com
Jason Gracia: Hi, Josh. Let me begin by thanking for you the opportunity to share with you and your visitors. I, along with many others in the field, greatly value and appreciate all you have done and all you are doing to help others live happy and successful lives.
I grew up in a small town just outside of Milwaukee, WI. A blue-collar town with a strong work ethic, it had a very close-knit feeling to it that I really enjoyed as a child. Although I lived in six different places within the span of ten years, each neighborhood within our town welcomed us with open arms. This had a huge impact on me, as my childhood and teenage years were spent in a safe, comfortable, and accepting environment.
As far as my background in human behavior and motivation, I believe my freshman or sophomore year in high school marked the beginning of the path. I was intrigued with people - their thoughts, actions, and reactions - and had an inborn desire to learn as much as I could about the subject.
I can specifically remember a time when I was 15 years old, sitting on my bedroom floor on a warm summer day, reading Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. My friends thought I was crazy, but I couldn't shake the desire. I knew then as I know now, that I would find a way to work in this field for the rest of my life.
Fast forward four years and entered the University of Madison - Wisconsin with marketing as my major. Marketing was the perfect outlet for a young man eager to enter into the world of business and motivation. Without motivating the customer to purchase and repurchase, a business cannot exist. And so I found a great match for my needs in the world of marketing. It was, however, short-lived.
Three months out of college and working as a marketing manager for a health club, I wanted more than marketing could offer. I had a set of beliefs that helped me live life exactly the way I wanted it. It wasn't a positive attitude or anything like that; it was a deeper belief about life and what we are meant to do with the time we are given.
I knew that my beliefs helped to guide me toward the things I wanted most, and I also knew that others could benefit by them. Like I said, three months came and I was ready for something more - Motivation123.com.
I started the Web site in 2001 with a few articles and a vague idea of what I wanted to share with my visitors. Today we are ranked #1 for motivation in every top search engine on the Internet and have helped nearly a million visitors change and achieve.
Our mission and message is now as clear as ever. From a vague idea of wanting to help others improve their lives, we have come a long way. Motivation123 is dedicated to sharing the true meaning and method of motivation to those wishing to change something about their lives or achieve their lifelong goals and dreams.
The entire process is built upon The Motivated Mind - our foundational program.
Josh Hinds: Can you talk about some setbacks you've experienced in your life? As well as how you overcame them.
Jason Gracia: From the outset I have always welcomed setbacks because I believe there is great power in pain and short-term failure. Touching a hot pan will ensure that you never do it again, just as making a bad decision will help to guide future choices toward the outcomes you desire.
Aside from the typical setbacks of day to day living, I can honestly say that the principles of The Motivated Mind have helped to create a clear path for me.
Josh Hinds: Jason, what do you believe to be your three most successful habits?
Jason Gracia: Excellent question, Josh. The most important habit I follow is honesty with myself and others. Motivation has a great deal to do with honesty as I soon found out in my quest for information about human behavior. I am always willing to admit my true thoughts and feelings which ensures that I deal with the facts of the situations I face instead of dealing with excuses and rationalizations.
The second trait that has helped me to achieve success is dedication. In the beginning of Motivation123.com I spent most of my nights working throughout the entire night finally calling it quits at 2 or 3 AM. I worked like this for two years and without a single product to sell. I did it because I knew where I was heading, I knew the final destination.
This same trait has aided my life in many other areas especially our latest book, The Motivated Mind. This was a project that I worked on at least four hours a day for two years. While many men and women out there work equally hard and long hours on their work, I use this example merely to show how dedication has played a major role in my life.
Finally, I have always been very detail-oriented. In running a business or running a life, details are key. In most instances, have a general idea of what you want to do and following through with general actions is not enough to create better results. You have to know what you want down to the smallest part and then follow through with specific intention.
Josh Hinds: What do you do to keep yourself motivated?
Jason Gracia: Josh, this is another great question because it brings to light the most misunderstood principle of motivation. While my new book covers this myth in detail, I will touch upon it briefly. Motivation is a constant force in our lives, from our birth to our death. It is an energy that cannot be created or destroyed. But it can be directed - and that is they key to everything.
The way I view life has enabled me to keep my motivation directed toward the things I desire most.
Life is a story and you are the director of that story. It has a beginning, middle, and an end which will develop exactly as you wish. While most people in the world feel their lives are directed by others, the truth is that we each create our own path. The story of your life can be a tragedy or an inspiration for others to follow. Either way, you cast the roles, make the decisions, and experience the drama.
I decided long ago that I wanted my story to be one of success, fulfillment, excitement, contribution, and peace. I know that letting the story unfold entirely on its own, without taking control of the direction, would never take me to the places I wanted to go. I have a dream and I have a job of making sure I reach it. This belief has driven me forward past my fears and into success.
The second factor is the mission of my message. Just as a doctor who discovers a cure to a life-threatening illness is driven to share his discovery with the world, I am passionate about sharing The Motivated Mind with as many people as possible. Without understanding the true meaning and method of motivation, it is nearly impossible to create the kind of life you really want. But when you know the secrets, it is impossible to fail.
Josh Hinds: How do you view the world differently NOW as opposed to 5 years ago?
Jason Gracia: In a word, Josh, opportunity. I had goals five years ago, and believed in my ability to make them happen, but they can't quite compare to the vision I currently have. The world is full of opportunities. Each day presents us with another chance at creating and experiencing friendship, joy, excitement, passion, caring, peace, and every other human emotion. You need only pick and choose your most enjoyable experiences and life will present you with as many opportunities to experience them as you wish.
Josh Hinds: What are the most important steps you have taken to improve your business?
Jason Gracia: I think two factors have really helped my business to take shape. They are part of a two-step process with one guiding the other.
The first step was networking. The great game of business wasn't meant to be played alone; it is the team victory that makes all of the time and effort worth while. When I began to make contact with others heading in the same direction, I found that I not only had hundreds of ideas in my own head, but now I had thousands of ideas floating in the minds of my friends. Synergy is the key.
What this new information helped me to do was overcome my fears. In essence, we all know what we need to do but fear holds us back. The fear of rejection, failure, humiliation, pain, etc. are unbelievable strong forces that can take complete control of a life if left to its own devices. Accepting the risk and driving ahead is critical to reaching your potential.
Josh Hinds: What personal characteristics do you think are important to success, and have been most important to you?
Jason Gracia: I think that my view of success has been most helpful to me. I believe that success is a balance between the various pillars of life. While money is important in that it allows us to do the things we want to do, it cannot completely fill our hearts and minds. We need more for a truly successful life.
We need to feel in control of our present and future. We need change and variety to keep us from stagnation. We need to connect with others while at the same time maintaining a sense of our own importance. We need to contribute to others as well as to ourselves. Satisfy these needs and you will have lived a successful life.
Josh Hinds: What top 5 authors, speakers, etc. have had the biggest impact on you, and which would you recommend to others. And can you touch briefly on them.
Jason Gracia: The tried and true winners are part of my personal library, but a few stand out as personal favorites.
1. Benjamin Franklin An avid reader of everything Benjamin Franklin, I greatly admire his unfinished autobiography. In it he lays out his views of life and the way to success. While he has been criticized for his focus on monetary gain, his critics miss the essence of Franklin. He was the most curious and inspired human being of his time, and helped not only to guide others toward a fulfilled life but also an entire country to freedom and security.
2. Dale Carnegie: Dale Carnegie's books, How to Win Friends and Influence People, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, and The Leader in You are fantastic works not only because of their message but also because of his style.
Carnegie wrote for all of us; not just the elite who wouldn't stand for the simple stories and simple pleasures he extolled.
3. Leo Buscaglia: No one can tell a story with as much power or passion as Leo did. His live performances are worth watching if only to fall entranced by his tales. But more than his stories, I connected with his message of becoming fully human and connecting with others to experience life at it fullest.
We have all felt alone in our lives, scared and uncertain. Leo helps us to realize that we need not be alone in a world of billions. If we will only reach out to others they will surely reach for us.
4. Wayne Dyer: Much more of a spiritual focus, Dyer covers the important aspects of peace, tranquility, and connection that are vital to a balanced and well-lived life. His books and tapes are right on the mark for anyone looking for direction and satisfaction in life.
5. Tony Robbins: Robbins didn't have as much as an emotional impact on me as the others, but he did open my eyes early on to the aspects of human behavior and motivation that so many others pass over. His attention to the scientific approach to success helped to mold my own program. He serves as a model for those wishing to share a powerful message with the masses.
Josh Hinds: Jason, thanks for taking the time to share with our audience. If there's anything you'd like to share that we didn't touch on please feel free to do so. Also, could you let everyone know how they can reach you?
Jason Gracia: The pleasure is all mine, Josh. Before I go, I would like to invite all of your readers to experience and power and passion of life's most important skill: motivation.
Motivation is life. Without it, doctors wouldn't care for their patients, parents wouldn't raise their children, and you wouldn't work to create the best life possible. Nothing happens until someone is motivated to make it happen.
While this life-sustaining force is a mystery to the masses, you no longer have to be confused. You no longer have to wait for the feeling to come to you - you can go to it. The Motivated Mind was written as a complete guide to understanding, controlling, and benefiting from the greatest skill in life. If you are eager to experience personal change or success, The Motivated Mind will show you the way.
Thank you again, Josh. I wish you and your readers the best.
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