You can find positive motivation from the most unlikely places. Reading I Almost Forgot About You by Terry McMillan*, there was a profound statement made by one of the characters "...we must always have old memories and young hopes. ..." How does this relate to a career and success in any form?
Sometimes there is a tendency to beat yourself up for the opportunities you missed. Maybe a meeting you didn't speak up in, a comment you made to a client that should have been worded differently, or a position opening you heard about but didn't move on; regardless of what it "was" it's a memory that at times rises up and makes you beat yourself up from the past. You can't change what happened, but you can make something new happen.
Young hopes (young is a relative term) are what should take those memories of the past and make them goals of the future. No event is repeated exactly the same way it happened before, but new opportunities arise everyday to take what has happened and change what is happening into an end result that is a win for you. Having hope for your future should be the cornerstone in your everyday goal planning.
When you lose hope for your career future, it blinds you from seeing anything that comes your way leading to success. Being hopeful attracts the elements to build your success. It could be people, a position, in a meeting, or maybe reading something you think has nothing to do with your plans that can be just the next step needed to move you closer to where it is you want to be.
The next time old memories creep in with grey clouds and sad sounds, shine some light of hope on them and change your outlook into one that pushes you to success.