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Some of you might remember the name Aron Lee Ralston. Ralston was a rock climber who was trapped in a canyon when a dislodged rock pined his arm against the canyon wall. He was unable to free himself.

He used a dull pocketknife to cut off his hand to free himself after being trapped for 127 hours. He hadn’t told anyone he was going rock climbing or where so no one was searching for him.

After making his way through Blue John Canyon he also had to rappel down a 65-foot sheer cliff face to reach safety.

What Was His Incentive?

Two words — to live. That was his incentive. Had he not cut off his arm he would have probably died in that canyon and perhaps never been found.

Few of us will ever have to face that kind of incentive but there are challenges we all experience daily that must be faced.

People lose their homes, their investments, their families, loved ones, and fortunes. In the blink of an eye your whole life can change.

What’s Your Incentive?

When Ralston walked out his front door that morning he never anticipated that he would be trapped in a canyon for the next five days. More than likely his greatest fear was falling or perhaps breaking a bone due to some equipment failure.

We rarely anticipate the negative events that might befall us during our daily lives. Sometimes we deliberately place ourselves in harms way. We might skydive, race cars or boats, or try some other dangerous sport.

We might put our lives on the line just crossing the street. But most of us have some kind of incentive to make it through each day.

We have an incentive to work to provide for our families. We have an incentive to help others through our churches and charity work.

We have an incentive to raise children into responsible productive adults. We have incentives to care for our bodies and minds through exercise and proper nutrition.

The stronger the incentive the more passion we bring to it. Athletes and musicians put in countless hours of practice to be the best they can possibly be.

Doctors and lawyers put in many years of schooling and study.

Some Final Thoughts

We all have some kind of incentive that guides us to realize the life we’d like to have. We set goals and directions for ourselves. We work at self-improvement to be better people.

We don’t always get to pick our incentives. Getting a college degree is a selected goal. However having to work your way through school requires a strong incentive.

Getting a promotion at work requires extra effort. That extra effort requires some kind of incentive to make that happen.

What’s your incentive? Where will you be in five years if nothing changes? Is that where you want to be or is there an incentive to be better?

Comments below.

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