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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.

Inside Forces Examples

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.


Your comments and suggestions are appreciated.

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


Writer, Poet, Father, Papa, Educator, Learner

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