Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Motivation - What & Why?

Katya demonstrating some really powerful internal motivation. Not to mention a really fast kick!
Motivation is the subject of so much of what we do with ourselves, our families, and at work. I would like to share two questions that have radically changed the way I think about motivation.

1. What is it you would like you or someone else to do?

2. Why would you like you or someone else to do it?

Hopefully question one is a simpler one for most of us. It is question two that maybe a little be more difficult. I know I have answered this question in the past with: "Because I said so" or "Because it is the right thing to do". These responses answer the question of what you tell someone is the reason they must do what we are asking them to do. However do they answer why would you like them to do it.

For me the answer would be because they see how it is helpful to them or how it would contribute to someone else and they love being able to contribute to others. Or they deeply trust that you are correct in your assessment that doing something is going to be helpful to them or others.

In a nut shell, "What would make life more wonderful for everyone?"

This is the difference between internal and external motivation. Are our actions coming from a place of meeting our needs, especially our need to contribute to others? I see this as internal motivation. Or are our actions coming from a place of doing something out of some external pressure that is triggering feelings of guilt, fear, shame, and etc. This is external motivation.

I hope to give everyone a chance to see this distinction and to begin to consider how to get to a place of internal motivation. For me this is seen in how young children are able to play with total abandonment and joy. When you fall in love and just are dieing to take care of the other person with no thought of reward or what you will get in return. When you see your new born child for the first time and you want to care for and protect your child with your very life.

I hope to share with you some strategies over the coming months to promote internal motivation. At the same time if we really want internal motivation by definition we can not create it in someone else. We can only foster it with the right conditions and support. We can feel frustrated thinking about this or we can see this as an opportunity to bring out our true self. For me as a Christian this is about learning to fulfill the image of God in ourselves and others that leads to true peace and happiness.

I am so thankful for the opportunity to share what has worked for me and my family to make our lives more wonderful. Thank you. I'm deeply interested in what is your feedback on these questions and my thoughts?

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