“I don’t know how to motivate anybody. I just know that when a person has a genuine burning passion to do something, they’ll give it all they have.” Al Walker
Are you motivated? Is everyone motivated? Yes or No? The truth is, you and everyone around you IS motivated in one way or another. Even someone frozen in place, not doing one single solitary thing, is motivated to do just that – absolutely nothing.
Exactly what is motivation? Where does it come from? What causes one person to be what we all call “motivated” and another person to seemingly just plod through life, doing just what needs to be done to keep their job, to stay in school, to maintain a marriage, etc? What does it mean to be self motivated (beyond the obvious) and how do we do that? Why is it that no matter what we say or do to motivate people, some folks just never seem to have the “get up and go” we would like for them to have.
I don’t know of many other words that have been as misunderstood or misused as much as the word motivation. When most people say they motivated someone, they mean they said or did something that cause that person to move forward at a little faster pace than they had been. The truth is people aren’t really motivated by what we do or say. They are motivated by what they think about what we said or did. They (we) always have a choice. They decide in usually a matter of seconds that it would be in their best interest to do or not do whatever it is you want them to do.
In other words, what you said or did was simply the stimulus for them to make a decision. AND…I promise you, everyone usually makes the decision they feel is in their own best interest. So, we can say, people do whatever it is they do for their reasons not ours.
We have a person in our community I’ve known since we were children. His father died when he was in his early 20’s and he was an only child. He received a small annuity from an insurance policy his dad had bought for him. It was just enough to exist on…not really live, just exit.
He lived with his mother until her death when he was in his late 50’s and he continues to live in there today. He has only had two jobs in his several decades on the planet. They both lasted just a few months. He married young and his wife left him after about a year. That was when he had his first job, which he quit going to after a couple of months, yet he would get up every morning, get dressed, tell his wife he was going to work, and drive off. He would then go to a local diner and sit there until enough time had
passed that he knew it would be safe for him to go back home. Once she discovered his charade (and it didn’t take very long), she ran him off and said that’s was just the final straw that broke the camels back of their marriage. That’s when he moved back home.
His mother was a hard worker and head buyer of cosmetics in a large department store. She got him the only other job he ever had selling men’s cologne. It came with a salary, a company car and other benefits. Three months into the job, his manager walked up behind him at a college baseball game on a weekday afternoon and told him he had been following him around the past few days and was very unhappy about the lack of effort, energy and results our friend had been getting. He then told him, either go get in your car and go make some sales calls or give me the keys. Our friend, very nonchalantly pulled the keys out of his pocket, gave them to the manager and said, “I quit.” He’s never worked a day in his life since then.
The manager thought he’d motivate our friend to do what he wanted to do, but our friend surprised him and did instead, what he wanted to do – just get by and he has done just that, barely gotten by for a long, long time.