The Leading Edge: Lasting Motivation

By: Shenan Toote


As a physician, I’m constantly learning new things and applying new concepts that affect my level of understanding in healthcare and also the care that I provide to others. Although I love medicine, it involved an arduous and tortuous path for me that left me wondering at times…


“Why am I still doing this despite the difficulties I’m facing?”

“Why do I care so much about people who do not understand or appreciate the sacrifice it’s taken to get me here?”

When I begin asking myself these questions, that’s usually the time that I head to YouTube to listen to excerpts from a motivational video.

After finding someone who really speaks to me, who resonates with me, I do some research to find out more about that speaker. If you are anything like me, having someone bring words that emanate positivity into your life can help you make the internal focus shift needed to move you from where you are and head closer to where you need to be. I’m a huge fan!

The Bible states, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21), and I know that my words come from my thoughts. Instead of waiting for my words to become weighted with doubt and negativity, I take action when I realize that my thinking has started to become infected.

I think of it like preventative medicine. Instead of waiting to contract polio, a disease that could cripple or kill me, I prefer to get the vaccine ahead of time and allow my body to build defenses against the virus that causes that illness. Motivational talks are like vaccines for my mind.

Choosing who to listen to and whose words to incorporate into my mind is paramount. As a faith-based individual, I was ecstatic to come across John C. Maxwell. Here was an individual who could speak positivity into my life, simultaneously providing me with food for thought for spiritual, personal, and professional growth. I was hooked! (That’s a good thing, by the way….)

Over time, I’ve become more familiar with John Maxwell’s content and grown significantly because of it. A key reason for this, I believe, is related the Law of Process–a foundational law of leadership. Many times, I’ve been to a conference, a revival, a meeting, a seminar, a workshop, etc., and felt that it was fantastic. In the moment, I felt exhilarated, powerful, focused, and confident that now I was going to change.

However, until I began to study with John Maxwell, I failed to internalize a lot of what I learned. That had nothing to do with my capacity or desire to learn. Actually, the problem lay in my placing too much emphasis on the event. By studying the law of process, I’ve come to realize that change occurs over time with consistent effort.

My approach to motivational speakers is different now. I still make a note of key points and what I need to learn, but I also realize that I need to revisit those notes and internalize those positive thoughts through practice, repeat the exercises that bring clarity to my purpose, and commit to daily actions that will move me closer to where I’d like to be. This small change in how I process the external motivation has proven to increase my own ability to motivate myself on a day-to-day basis.

Shenan is originally from the Bahamas and has a history of teaching others in elementary, high school, and college. She studied medicine in the Dominican Republic and speaks Spanish fluently. Now Shenan’s focus is on helping individuals meet their goals and facilitate their unique success as a certified coach.

As a John Maxwell Certified Coach, Teacher, Trainer, and Speaker, Shenan offers workshops, seminars, keynote speaking, and coaching to aid your personal and professional growth through study and practical application of John’s proven leadership methods. Working together with Shenan will move you and/or your team or organization in the desired direction to reach your goals. Learn more about Shenan at