If this is the first post you're reading on Mining For Passion, to more fully understand this post, please read my previous post Motivation - That Elusive Ideal. At minimum, please watch the video at the end - Dan Pink The Puzzle of Motivation.
While Dan Pink focused mostly on the application of his principles on business, I doubt we'll have a hard time applying the ideas discussed into our lives and daily decisions. I chose the picture at the beginning of this article because I love the imagery of diverging paths when compared to making decisions in our lives. Decisions are being made in almost any way we can think of, thousands of times a day. Conscious or subconscious, impulsive or deliberate, life altering or inconsequential, every single one of us are traveling down a path and are continuously having to choose where we are led throughout that day. Its a crude, oversimplified illustration, but as we make better decisions, we are led to places we want to end up. I understand this isn't the case 100% of the time hence the lament, "Why do bad things always happen to good people?" but more often than not, its true. Even when thinking of motivation as a starting boost, a catalyst to forming habits, it can still be difficult to make the decisions that will lead us to success. Dan, however, gave us another way to strengthen our resolve to do what's best for us.
What I'd like to extract are Dan Pink's points of comparing extrinsic motivators (money, promotions, favors, external rewards) vs intrinsic motivators (making a difference, gaining knowledge, serving others, doing what you enjoy, internal rewards). As we heard in the video, intrinsic motivators blow extrinsic ones out of the water in most cases. Now think of the goals you have for yourself and ask yourself, why. Why do you want your goal? It requires complete honesty, and if you are, you may find the root as to why you aren't accomplishing goals. Let's take a common goal - exercise. Many attempt motivate themselves with:
Being able to eat whatever we want
For some these work, but I would bet many times these goals aren't achieved over a long period of time. Imagine now replacing those reasons for establishing such a goal with intrinsic motivators:
Being around to see your family grow older
Can you see how the first set of goals are like lighter fluid? (Again, if you didn't read my last post, you may get confused here). You may get that boost from the idea of achieving one, but they aren't strong enough to conquer the warmness of your bed, the appeal of doing just about anything else, and avoiding the pain we put ourselves through in those torture chambers we call 'Gym'.
Instead, I'd like to get a little bit deeper into that second group of motivators, but broaden them out as things that I've found in my life to be extremely motivating. These things have given me the ability to keep my fire burning bright.
When examining my life, I have found that my motivations or habits that are driven by the intent to do good for others, they're generally good habits. Those bad habits I've developed are generally because I'm only thinking of myself. Please don't misunderstand me to say you should never do things for yourself. Many times you need to do things for yourself simply to maintain your sanity, which is definitely a benefit for the relationships around you. There is a fountain of intrinsic motivation within the relationships in our lives.
2) My Heavenly Father
And this is life eternal, that they may know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent
Again, a topic that may have just driven a group of people away from the rest of this article. But it would be irresponsible of me to keep something that I believe has had the greatest impact on my life. The experiences in my life have fueled this belief and I am dedicated to living a life that would make my Heavenly Father happy. Now, it is not my intention to belittle any beliefs or ideas, but I believe there is a part of us, whether we like it or not, that accepts moral principles and senses truth. It is that portion of us, a conscious, an inner voice, whatever you'd like to call it, that holds unlimited power and potential, if we can learn to understand and give heed to it. Its the portion that allows us to act in this life, and not be controlled by circumstance.
I love both of these quotes, but won't say too much concerning them, because whatever I have to add would probably detract from their pure meaning. Ponder on them and feel free to share with me what you think of as you read them. My point is, if you're looking for a way to live a motivated life, find within yourself your voice. You are the only one that can do it. Others may say things that stir your soul, but ultimately it is your personal decisions that will allow you to use such a power form of motivation in your life.
3) The Desire to Be Great
This is the phrase Sigmund Freud used to describe one of the motivations of everything we do. However, great is a highly subjective term. It is upon each of us to discover some of our natural aptitudes, talents, and interests, and combine that with work and effort in order to make a mark on this world. Greatness to me isn't fame, an endless bank account, or lifelong comfort. Greatness is building, it's creating, it's using my abilities and talents to make the world a better place. Many believe it to be a cliche notion, and those people will most likely end up short of greatness.
The path to greatness lies through finding passion. Finding passion enlivens you in a way that you have greater energy, greater capacity, greater creativity, greater innovation, and you begin to even surprise yourself as to what you are able to accomplish. That's why this quest is so important to me, and why I hope to get this message out to others. Finding your passion is painted often as a waste of time, that following the path of education or secure careers, but I firmly believe that almost everything in life can be put on hold in order to find what your passion is. Doing this will allow everything else to fall into place.
My name is Brian and I have a voice and something valuable to say. I'm on a quest to discover myself and the world around me. Join me and together we can do good in the world.