Selective motivation will keep you moving in right direction
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life” — Unknown
If there is one thing that my journey has shown me time and again, it’s that if you are not advancing, you are receding because nothing in life is static.
As someone who researches and creates content on a daily basis it can sometimes be hard to find the time to fit in any activities purely for the purpose of personal growth but, when I find inspiring subject matter I make the time. This week I am flipping through an e-book that I downloaded on to my tablet, which discusses the qualities of extraordinary coaches who make the distinction between mindless “busyness”, and the intentional decision to focus time and energy on accomplishing things that matter.
I have a feeling that a lot of entrepreneurially minded people will be able to relate to this sentiment because when you work for yourself there is a temptation not just to devote all your time and energy to things that make you money, but to actually judge your own self-worth (or personal success) simply on the basis of whether or not a thing has made you money.
Here’s the ironic problem with this money-driven self-judgment regardless of whether you are self-employed or working for someone else: doing something simply for money is only motivating up to the point that the immediate needs of food and shelter are met. Once you are producing enough money to cover your basic daily needs, money itself quietly becomes less and less motivating.
In fact, doing things just for money can actually destroy the drive and creativity that inspired you to embark on the enterprise in the first place, leaving you feeling empty and unfulfilled no matter how much money is in your bank account.
So if money isn’t the answer what can an entrepreneur focus on instead to motivate themselves to keep working and building and growing without ever running out of gas?
Perhaps the solution lies in simply considering your own motivation regarding how you spend your time, and making a conscious decision to increasingly focus your energy and attention on doing things that actually matter to you and, ideally, to the advancement of humanity.
Sounds simple enough right? But if the things that are truly motivating are unique to each individual, then how do you figure out what is motivating to you?
Ask yourself this. If you put aside the childish idea that the purpose of life is to get more stuff, what would make you excited to get out of bed in the morning?
What is it that your heart is secretly yearning to do, or to do more often?
What sort of activities never feel like work to you regardless of how challenging they are or how often you do them?
When do you feel a sense of real accomplishment whether anyone else notices or not?
And, most importantly, what unfulfilling things can you edit out of your daily schedule to free up the time and opportunity to do things that are truly motivating more often?
• Robin Trimingham is an author and thought leader in the field of retirement who specialises in helping corporate groups and individuals understand and prepare for a new life beyond work. Contact her at olderhoodgroup.com, 538-8937 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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