Understanding Your Motivations

Nothing gets done until you Act.

Actions without goals yield unplanned progress or accidental failure.

Goals without understanding your motivations results in misdirected and uncompleted tasks.

Life is filled with opportunities to get better at some part of work or life.

Planned change or improvement works best when you understand a little more about motivation.

In particular, where your motivation comes from.

Opportunities bounce around in your life every day.

>Some people choose to float in a pool.

>Others paddle through the rapids.

>Some people are happy in an entry-level position.

>Others set their sights on the Executive Office.

The difference often is Motivation.

Dictionary definition = the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.

Motivation originates in two places:

>Inside yourself – a natural desire to do, to learn new things, to help significant others.

>Outside influences – someone or something that pushes you to take action.

It’s not an either-or event.

Both are working at the same time, sometimes in opposition to each other.

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Habits and Attitudes that began when you were a small child;

Feelings that you had as you faced expectations, success, and failure;

Memories of encouragement and support as you faced life’s changes;

Patterns of successes that you have achieved;

An Inner Voice that you hear and feel inside you when you have a job to do or a goal to reach.

Outside Forces Examples

Parental behaviors and expectations;

School – teachers, routines, and classmates;

Church and Spiritual influences;

Supervisor approaches to work assignments.

Inside and Outside influences work in combination and either push us to achieve more, or hold us back from excellent results.

Reflect & Make a List

Spend some time discovering your motivations.

-Recall achievements you have made in your life. What pushed you to achieve?

-Recall a workplace event in which you were asked to take on a new responsibility. How did you react? Describe your success (or lack of) in the responsibility.

-Who is your role model? Why?

Recall a difficult chore or task from your growing-up years that you either did or did not complete. Evaluate the task, the motivator, your response, your effort to comply. How were you rewarded for a job well done?

If you did not complete it, what prevented you?

Parents, work through this about your child(ren).

What motivates them? What are they naturally inclined to do?

Children often mirror their parents’ motivations and behaviors.

Reflect about your home chores: why and how you do the work.

Focus on this while you are doing the chore.

Then take the time to write your discoveries.

Involve your children in household chores. Assign age-appropriate tasks to be done on a schedule.

Start early with your children if you can. Even as you are carrying your infant. Yes! That early!

Children should always help with home chores.

Begin by having them assist you.

Talk about the importance of the task. How it is important to the family.

How it will be appreciated that it was done and done well.

Then make sure the family notices and expresses appreciation for a job well-done.

For older children and adults, it is often good to have a tangible reward for a job well done – when it is done with no complaining or delay.

Everybody has both internal and external motivators.

Exercise of your known motivators will strengthen them.

Your internal motivations can propel you into leadership positions.

If you don’t know why you do something or why you feel a certain way about tasks and life events, you are not in control of you.

Generally, out-of-control is not a nice feeling.

You can change that.

Comments

Your comments and suggestions are appreciated.

Let me know how you have used the information in this article.

How to Respond to Change

Listen to this post:

[stextbox id="ValidID"]Download a PDF of this post:
How to Respond to Change[/stextbox]

Let’s assume that you read my blog last week on Tuesday and that you followed my example as suggested in the post. You made a list of all of the new experiences in your life over the past few years.

    • A list of changes that came into your life without your invitation.
      >A list including new things that happened to you.
      >Including changes in your health or the health of a family member.
      >Changes at work that required that you take on new roles or tasks or responsibilities.
      >Changes in your spouse’s life – because those impact you, too.
      >Changes in your children’s lives: sports, school or church clubs, music lessons, health.
      >Pets that have been added or subtracted.
      >Close friends that have experienced drama or trauma and you became a supporter.
      >Changes at church or work or school.

You get the idea.

I don’t want you to be overwhelmed by creating the list.

This exercise helps you to realize some underlying factors that may be manifested in relationship struggles, health deficits, patience changes with close friends and family, or lack of motivation that once enabled you to accomplish more.

If you did not create a list, stop reading and take the time to make a list now. I’ll wait.

Here’s the link to last week’s post.

What are the possible responses to a changes list?
I see two options:

  1. Learn from the changes and challenges
  2. Ignore the effects and try to shield yourself from events that trigger responses

Homeostasis is the wonderful word that means “things stay the way they have always been for me.”
But, since homeostasis is impossible, even for a rock, the idea of staying the same is an illusion.
Change is a fact of life. You can’t avoid it. Sometimes you can modify it. But you can’t stop it. Why not be a caterpillar?

You will Respond to Change one way or another. Let’s look at two options.

Option 1:  Learn. Change.

  • Accept change and enjoy the journey to see how the difference will work out, which results in peace and calmness.

Actually, the first step in learning from the life changes in your list is already done: you’ve acknowledged that life has changed around you.

How does one go about learning from life’s changes?

Focus on what you can do rather than what you can’t do. Change always shuts some options, but inevitably opens others. Search for the open doors. The opportunities.

When cancer came into my life, change was not an option. Things would change, I chose radical surgery. I had to give up my wedding photography business – at least temporarily. Probably permanently. A year after surgery I still cannot hold my big camera steady, but I’m working to re-gain my strength and stability.

How do you respond when life changes stop you from doing something that you have chosen to include? An important career or skill or hobby or life-style?

Replace it with another option. Review your sometimes hobby interests. Make one a direct choice. Cultivate the interest and skills that are needed to become – an artist, a writer, a gardener, a student. Gain skills and knowledge. Video on-demand courses are plentiful and inexpensive.

Create your own on-demand videos or webinars. The equipment to make that possible is not expensive nor difficult to master.

Attracting an audience or following of thousands – even hundreds of thousands – is not out of the question. But, even without a huge following, choosing and doing what you can will add meaning and satisfaction to your daily routines.

Option 2:  Ignore. Resist.

  • Fight against change and see difference as unwelcome, worry that the way others see you might diminish, which will cause your self-image to also suffer, and you to be nervous and fretful.

I will again use my cancer experience as illustration.

Once my diagnosis became known, I had many people who felt they should share their advice with me. Uncles, brothers, and acquaintances were paraded before me as proof that I should follow their examples.

With no surgery, my uncle has lived for 20 years after his cancer diagnosis.”
Just ignore it. Pray. God’s will be done.”
Take this herb or supplement or aroma therapy to get it cured naturally.”

Ignoring a life-threatening diagnosis is never a good idea. I chose to trust my doctors. Chemotherapy followed by surgery were scheduled. My life would never be the same. Different, but still good.

Resist

We’ve seen a big Resist Movement in the USA lately. I can speak from the point of human psychology regarding the effects on the resisters: their choices and efforts bring only frustration and anger into every part of their lives.

I strongly believe in resisting.

  • Resist the urge to Give Up.
  • Resist the urge to feel sorry for yourself.
  • Resist the feeling of helplessness that will come over you as you lie in bed, too weak to get up.
  • Resist the thoughts of rejection because God allowed this to happen to you.
  • Resist being an invalid.
  • Resist, I Can’t.
  • Resist Self Pity.

As Henry Ford said, Whether you think you can or think you can’t, youre right.”

There is wisdom in the prayer of serenity written by the American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr
(1892–1971)

God, give me grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.

Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.
Amen.

*https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serenity_Prayer

You can do as much as you think you can. But no more. Dream Big! Fly!

Use this as a stepping stone to add to your life, to add to your repertoire of skills and accomplishments.

Turn your “Give up!” into a “Give Out!”

  • Find others who need encouragement and be their champion.
  • Volunteer at a school (I know, that’s becoming harder and harder to do.)
  • Volunteer at a hospital or managed care facility.
  • Organize a group from your church or club to meet a need in the church or community.

 

Find a way to get it done, not a reason why you can’t!”

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Thank you for reading.

What Does EldonUp Mean?

Perhaps I should explain the Tag <EldonUp> on my blog: .

I have worked hard since I was about 8 years old. First on the farm in Maine, where I was expected to work every day at the tasks that had to be completed:

  • Hilling the corn, and chopping down the weeds at the same time,
  • Calling the cows in for milking, and making sure they were in the correct stalls,
  • Cleaning the gutter behind the cows after the milking, and cleaning their stalls.
  • Picking (selectively) cucumbers to be sold to the pickle factory. (Certain sizes of cukes are more valuable to the picklers. Our goal was to make as much money as we could.)
  • Haying chores: my Uncle Ben got a hay baler the summer of my eighth year. But some fields were still done the old-fashioned way – open-bed truck where one man stood to stack the hay efficiently, and a couple guys on the ground following the truck along the wind-rows, pitching the hay onto the truck.

We were pretty much self-sufficient on the farm. We grew most of what we ate. I was part of the team that cultivated and harvested. At age 8.

I learned a lot about work and family – and myself – on the farm.

To me, then, EldonUp means, Do your work. Period.

Then, of course, there’s the lawn mowing experiences. You will find a number of posts focused on those. To read one Click Here

To EldonUp means, Tough it out.

I attended a boarding high school in Mississippi. My parents couldn’t afford the tuition. I worked two and three jobs on campus, at the same time, making $0.67 per hour, to keep my bill paid. When I left there to go to college, the school owed me a couple hundred dollars.

To EldonUp means, Find a way to get the job done.

I entered teaching after college. I was not trained to do the grade levels that faced me each morning. I made mistakes, admitted them, learned from them, and didn’t repeat them. To read about this Click Here

To EldonUp means, Learn from experience, and get better at the work.

I worked in construction, as a CNA, in sales, in marketing. Success in each of these adventures was due to fast learning and hard work.

To EldonUp means, Push yourself to do more than you think you can.

There are always reasons why a certain task or goal cannot be achieved. Don’t look at those reasons; don’t focus on the reasons why you can’t.

To EldonUp means, to keep your eyes on your goals. And don’t neglect to recognize new opportunities. Look for new challenges.

Most importantly, I believe in God and the Bible.

Since I was a child I have trusted that God is in control and leads my life. The Bible encourages us to “look Up, for your redemption draws near.” I look for the evidences of the God who is Up, entering and guiding my life.

EldonUp means there is an Up in my life.

EldonUp means all of these things to me. My life experiences, what I have learned from them, and observations about them, are the focus of my blog posts.

This is not meant as a Brag, but as background about what has shaped me and my ideas.

I encourage you to join me on this journey.

Follow my blog by clicking here: Join Eldon’s Blog

Comment or email me eldon @ eldonroberts.com

Thank you for reading.