Have you ever had trouble motivating other people? If so, it’s not surprising as you’re not alone. Let’s explore why this is so challenging.

Here's something to consider that may help us change tactics when motivating others so that we may experience greater success. The first thing we need to understand and accept is that we can't motivate someone else, people have to motivate themselves. All we can really do is provide for the right environment and to stimulate their thoughts.

There is one thing that can motivate someone else, and that is an idea. Ideas have power to stimulate and change the world around us. A book doesn't motivate, but the ideas contained within it certainly can. Many think money can motivate but in the long run it doesn't motivate either. It's the idea of what we can do with the money that provides a motivating force. A single person cannot change our nation or the world, but a person's ideas of a better, shared future can change our nation or the world.

So, if we want to motivate other people to do certain things, we need to present them with the ideas that will stimulate them to action. And, we need to do this as vividly as possible. We need to paint a clear picture for them of the benefits they will receive from doing what we need them to do. We need to show them the personal value or the "what’s in it for them" factor.

As an example, effective teachers or instructors help their students understand why they need what they are teaching. If they accomplish this understanding they won't be able to drag their students away from their studies. In fact, many of our teachers were self-motivated by such an environment. It certainly wasn’t as a result of financial gain!

Maybe it is a good feeling that others will receive from the end result. We need to describe that feeling and tell them why they will love feeling it. Maybe it is a specific accomplishment. We need to describe how accomplishing it will make their life better, richer (not necessarily in financial gain), and more fulfilled. And remember, what seems like a good idea to us may not ring someone else's bell.

Bottom line, find out what matters to others, and build it into your idea. Top sales people know this and use it constantly. They don't sell products or services, they sell ideas — that is where the power lies. Remember this the next time you need to motivate others.