Motivation: the why behind the why
What motivates you and pulls you forward? Naturally. Without pushing and prodding and forcing yourself?
Are you jazzed and enthusiastic about where you’re headed? Or feeling stuck trying to push it forward?
For many of us, that can change from day to day.
The difference may have to do with how well you know and connect with what motivates you and pulls you forward. Naturally. Without pushing and prodding and forcing yourself to do the things that you know you “should be doing,” but that you just, well, aren’t.
The difference may have nothing to do with what you’re working on or where you’re headed. It may be how you’re thinking about it. And understanding why it matters to you.
What is it that you are truly passionate about having or being in your life?
And I’m not talking about the six-figure salary or the new car or that promotion you’re setting yourself up for.
Maybe it’s a feeling of deep personal freedom. Maybe it’s proving that you are making your own way in the world. Maybe it’s mastery or recognition in your area of expertise. Maybe it’s raising your family in the way that you always imagined doing.
It’s easier to be motivated and in action when we’re centered in the why of what we’re doing.
So, what is it that you’re truly after? Is it…
Time. Many of us are time-challenged, or at least we believe ourselves to be. It’s almost a badge of honor in some circles to have a schedule that’s so full you’re exhausted just thinking about it. Imagine letting that go for a minute and imagining that you have the time you crave for your family, your partner, for that hobby you’ve set aside in favor of working all the time. For fun and self care. Is that what really motivates you?
Money. More people than not say they want more money. But do you, really? Money isn’t much more than an energy you’re exchanging for something else. Its real value is the value we assign to it. What is it that more money will buy you: a new home, a lifestyle change, the security of having savings in the bank?
Space. Sometimes life feels physically crowded. Maybe a lighter schedule or fewer commitments are called for. Perhaps your body needs more rest or you crave more connection to your spirit or spirituality. Space comes in tangible and intangible forms, and when we desire to feel more spacious in our lives, that can be a strong driver of our decisions.
Contribution. Giving back to our families, communities and professions can be a powerful motivator, and it comes in many forms. Maybe you are motivated by a desire to create a legacy. How does this impact what you’re creating in your life and work right now?
Confidence and Competence. Being on a learning curve—in life or in work—can drive what we’re doing or not doing. Are you intent on learning something important from a personal situation or achieving mastery in your work? Growth, in all its forms, can pull us forward if we’re committed to it.
When you connect to what’s driving you, your perspective can shift to what’s important.
Decisions become easier. Life is less complicated. Things start to happen. Energy increases.
Try this: Spend a few minutes doing whatever it is that centers you—journaling, taking a walk, sitting in meditation, having 5 minutes to yourself. And ask:
What is it that I’m really after? How does this connect to my values? What about this truly motivates me?
Report back, if you like. I’d love to hear more about the “whys” that truly motivate you.