Why Bother With Motivation?
I like good surprises, the ones that make me smile, the ones that are easy to receive and to be grateful for. Recently, I experienced a wonder such as that. A friend called to inquire about my level of motivation—where did it come from? “You are the most motivated person I know,” she said. I was flattered, but at the same time curious and cautious. I love my friend. She is creative, energetic, and educated, but most always too busy for any kind of in depth personal conversation. But, here it was, an open door for the kind of relational exchange I like the most—heart-to-heart. I was not one-hundred percent sure if I could give her the answer she was looking for, but I gave her the go ahead and she began.
As a business woman, my friend explained the various theories surrounding what motivates people. Performance levels, outcomes, expectancy, and values were some of the words she rattled on about. Without a background in business, I listened carefully. I wanted to understand the language she used as well as what she needed from me. Then she revealed what I thought was the truth of the matter. She’d made a New Year’s resolution and wanted to know, from my experience, how to stick to it. Ah, there it was, I thought, the crux of the issue. She longs to commit to something she believes is good for her. She values its outcome—that it will make her a better business woman and expand her potential for more business. She also knows she has the knowledge to take on this resolution. But, she lacks the follow through.
I asked her if she had carved out a time slot to practice this specific discipline she wanted to adopt into her life. Unlike the early quiet hours of a morning, which are the best time for me, the last hours of the day were best for her. Finding a consistent time and place to practice her resolution will help her stay the course I assured her.
Since my friend and I are cut from the same cloth—I understand her strong desire to succeed with what we start. But she confided in me that she’d started this practice before and it fell by the wayside. “What pulls you away from finishing what you begin?” Distractions are her nemesis. Because she is creative, and talented, she has a wide variety of skills. She can imagine doing so many other things while at the same time attempting to be content with what she’s chosen to do. We do have a lot of choices, but when we pick one discipline to pursue, sticking with it can open up more options than we’d imagined at the start.
Finally, she wanted to know who inspires me. I told her I’ve had a few good role models along with some good teachers. There have been people in my life who have a knack of pulling out of me, my very best. They see something that is hidden from my view and then they gently and persistently bring it to the surface so I can see it too. I could sense she was willing to let me help her see the success that awaits her.
Why bother with motivation? It is worth it to understand what moves us forward or pulls off the path that we know is good for us. Coming to terms with these things may show us a gentle helper who reveals our possibilities.