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Monday Morning Motivation – Self-Validating

Sharing Resources to Help You Grow Personally, Professionally & Financially

Sometimes it helps to get a little dose of encouragement — along with a good cup of coffee! — to start the day.

Hopefully the message below will help you get off to a good start for the week.  Please feel free to forward the newsletter on to others that you think would benefit from the content.


For the next couple of months, I am going to draw motivation for my Monday Morning Motivation from Steven Pressfield’s The War of ArtYou can find a summary of this awesome book here. This book is one of my all-time favorites as it takes on the topic of “resistance,” which you might think of as that strange force that makes it difficult to accomplish things in life. Pressfield does an awesome job of describing what resistance is, discussing how to overcome it, and framing it in the context of a larger power.

Most people have heard the term “validate” but are not totally familiar with it. This morning, I’m going to ask you to watch a short (1 minute 41 seconds) video that has been viewed just short of 17 MILLION TIMES:

Now at the risk of being stereotypical, I’m going to guess most of the men viewing are thinking “What was the point of that?” and most of the women are thinking “Why are most men so dense?”

The reality is that validation is critical in building and strengthening relationships. It requires that we take the time to really listen and connect with others in our lives. That we “listen to understand” versus “listen to respond.”

Today’s topic is SELF-validation. Pressfield makes the point that professionals are self-validating. This is a key trait to develop if you are to become a leader in your field. While you absolutely, positively need to surround yourself with others and build strong relationships, there are going to be points in time where you need to “listen to understand” yourself. These are the moments when you are struggling to get over a hump or hurdle. This is not a “normal” skill, and that explains why there are so few true professionals. The good news is that, like any skill, it can be enhanced and developed through practice.

This week I’m going to “cheat” and ask you two questions versus the normal one:

  • How would your relationship with others improve if you developed the ability to validate?
  • How would your relationship with your profession change if you developed the ability to self-validate?

Finally, I hope no one was offended by the nail in the head video. I’ve shared it countless times, and the normal reaction is a smirk and a shake of the head as it hits a bit too close to home—especially for the guys.

Have a great week!



(Note: Each week I publish “Monday Morning Motivation” in the hopes that one person will find a bit of inspiration and that inspiration will have a positive impact on their life.  My motivation comes from experiences, reading, sermons, and discussions.) Photo credit: Rawpixel on

Blog post from this past week:

Monday Morning Motivation – Adversity


At F5 Financial Planning, we focus on helping individuals and families find balance between faith, friends and family, fitness and finance.  We make sure that they have the financial freedom to enjoy those things in life that are important to them.  And while we believe the left-brain facts and data are critical; we work with our clients to get them in the right state of mind to focus on the goals they want to achieve.

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Curt Stowers

Curt Stowers

Curtis Stowers helps individuals and families across the United States grow their financial assets, particularly in the Naperville, IL region. He is a Certified Financial Planner, holds a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Illinois, and is the founder of F5 Financial.