How are you enjoying the first “official” week of summer? I gotta say, it doesn’t feel much like summer yet to me but I’ll take it!
This week, your ingredient is: Motivation
What motivates you? For me, I suppose it probably depends on what we’re talking about. Work, chores, etc. Do you find that you are more motivated by outside influences like deadlines and the expectations of others, or are you like me and prefer to find your motivation from what you are creating and getting into the flow?
Years ago, I was learning some sales techniques. This is always a funny thing for me to talk about because the truth is that most of what they tried to teach me is completely counter-intuitive for me and goes against my natural selling style. Funny because when I stopped trying to do what I was supposed to do I found that I was actually very good at sales when I approach it from my strengths – helping people find a solution to a problem they have. As long as I was trying to follow the direction I’d been given, I couldn’t sell ice in a heat wave. LOL But I did learn some interesting things along the way.
One of the things they taught was that people are motivated by one of 2 reasons. Either they want to move toward pleasure or they want to move away from pain. Motivation. Moving toward something nice or away from something uncomfortable. There is some truth in that. Lasting change often happens when we can no longer tolerate something. Weight loss due to health issues, leaving a job because the environment is toxic, moving to a new place because there’s simply nothing left for you where you are. And sometimes these things are necessary to move us toward what we truly desire but the fact is that they’re uncomfortable changes because they usually signify an ending of some kind.
Much more fun is when we make changes because something is beginning though, right? A new relationship, new baby, new career, new life… Mmmm, that’s much nicer. The trick is in letting go of the old in favour of the new and that can be difficult.
The place I always seem to get stuck in these things is when it involves people who are important to me. The friend who is unsupportive, the family member who has a negative opinion… These are the places I get stuck. And the only thing that makes it easier? A lovely message that seems to be floating through my world all over the place in recent months. “When you start to see your own value, it becomes impossible to be around people who don’t.” Absolute truth. So if you’re struggling with how people fit into your life, maybe start by asking yourself whether they are actually a contribution to you. When you’re around them, do you feel like more or less of you? And last and possibly most important, do they see who you are and love you anyway? Very important questions.
So whether you are motivated better by moving toward something you desire or away from something you don’t, there is still a choice. Some people choose to live in the same dung heap their entire lives and bless them if that’s what they choose. What if it were possible to choose moment by moment? What if the concreteness of “decision” is not required? Would you truly be willing to create your life outside of the rules?
What do you choose?