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Philosophy & motivation

From “dish washer to multimillionaire” is a good description for the life of Munich entrepreneur Erich Lejeune. The subject of “motivation” has been the central theme throughout his fascinating life. On founding the Lejeune Academy in 2002, he and his team began to utilise his entrepreneurial experience and methodically share his knowledge with the corporate world.



Delving into philosophy, he found an innovative way to explore the concept of motivation. Erich Lejeune’s wealth of life experience was the decisive impulse for studying the links between motivation and philosophy scientifically: “Philosophy makes motivation a science – motivation brings philosophy to the people”, as Erich Lejeune puts it convincingly. On creating the „Erich Lejeune Faculty of Philosophy and Motivation“ in 2012 with Professor Godehard Brüntrup SJ as Chair, he reiterated his vision of empowering people and interesting them in philosophy and motivation. He is a lecturer in motivation and personal development at the School of Philosophy.



A successful life is a dynamic and goal-oriented process. At every point in life there are opportunities to discover and realise one’s own potential. Motivation is the driving force behind this self-development. The basic motives of the human being do not lie in the “I”, but in the “self”.


So, what makes us act and achieve success?

  • The ability to motivate oneself is the key to a successful life
  • Motivation is the fuel
  • Philosophy is the GPS that guides us and leads the way


There are three basic motives which are universal:

  • Autonomy: using one’s own strength to shape one’s life
  • Competence: developing one’s own skills
  • Reference: integrating oneself in community and spirit


They form the foundation of human activity. It is on this foundation that the home of our consciously chosen goals and judgements is built. More than just lighthouses for safe navigation, our ideals also have their own motivating power: they motivate us to act.


Together, these basic motives and goals mean:

Passion and perseverance in harmony elicit authentic motivation from within.


One’s own potential can only be realised if one’s abilities are realistically evaluated. It is only by genuinely looking at one’s own true possibilities that practicable ideals can be created. The philosophical principle of „Know Yourself!“ is therefore an integrative part of the creative process of self-realisation.



Opening of the world’s only faculty for philosophy and motivation

Opening speech of the founder, Erich Lejeune




Opening speech of Prime Minister (and Federal President at the time) Horst Seehofer



Philosophy meets Motivation

The Chair, Professor Godehard Brüntrup SJ, talks with Professor Erich Lejeune



Erich Lejeune at the “Children philosophise” academy

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