What Motivates Me?
When the kids were teenagers, it was sometimes a challenge to find ways to motivate them to do things they didn’t exactly want to do. The reward system worked up to a point, then we had to fall back to the risk system. When one type of motivation worked with one, it didn’t work with the other. Ah, being the parent of a teen… something I’m glad is past (at least until the grandkids get there anyway). Parenting is great at helping us understand our limits for sure.
It’s not always easy to know what motivates us. It could be nearly anything: love, competition, pride, money, responsibility, and even fear. Fear is one of the strongest motivators there is. We fear failure, so we work harder. We fear loneliness, so we spend time with others. We fear losing the love of our kids, so we overcompensate by giving them too much at times. The truth is, fear is at every corner of our lives motivating us.
For me, fear played a role in what motivated me too. Fear of rejection motivated me to be a people pleaser, and still does. Fear of failure motivated me at work to go the extra mile. Fear of not pleasing God even helped motivate me to go all-in to be a preacher when I was younger.
Finding what motivates us is more important than many people realize. There are many things in our life that we may want to do but, because of fear, we don’t. Or, because we haven’t found enough positive motivation, we don’t. Knowing what it is that drives us to do what we do is key to knowing how to get where we want to go, and, key to understanding what may be keeping us from getting there.
Determining what it is that we want to do in life and weighing that against what we need to do, is a great first step at understanding what motivates us. If we have responsibilities, then it’s easy to see what a motivator will be (paying the bills, having food on the table, providing for our loved ones, and having a car to drive).
I’ve seen so many people go from one job to the next because they didn’t have a set idea of what it is that motivates them. Sure, making money is the obvious part, but they aren’t happy and that affects their work. In the end, they try something else.
Understanding our personality and nature is key to knowing how we can be successful in attaining our goals, and, it’s key to knowing if those goals are really what’s right for us. Trial and error are something many young people go through. When you get older, the risk of trial and error becomes less of an option, however.
I’m not suggesting going through a big personality profile. I am suggesting that healthy introspection and taking an objective look at why we choose to do what we do every day, can be a good thing. If we have a problem with overeating, for example. Knowing what motivates us to grab that next cookie (not just because they are Oreos, although that is a big motivator), or to down that second or third glass of wine, can be key to helping us overcome things in our life that we feel trapped in.
In the end, none of us want to be held powerless by an addiction that causes us shame or held by the feeling of being a failure because we could never overcome the fears that keep us from achieving our goals.
Tonight’s blog is directed squarely at myself. After 53 years on this Earth, I’m still learning what it is that motivates me, and why. Working on the good and overcoming the bad is a daily effort to grow into the loving person He wants me to be. Wisdom will help me do that. I know that the only place I can find that kind of wisdom is from Him. That is why I’m praying that He give me wisdom every day.
I’ll leave you tonight with one of the most popular prayers about wisdom that I know. It’s a good lesson for me today and, I hope, it may help you too.
Love always friend,
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