Lightening bolt

What is something that you enjoy doing so much, that you get so much pleasure and enjoyment from doing it, that you can’t wait to do it again?

It’s what you would put on your novelty license plate that says, “I’d rather be ________.”

Stop now, and name that for yourself.

Now, think about what you named.

Does anyone have to make you do it?

Is this something that you earn money from doing? (Probably not.)

In fact, isn’t this something that you often spend money to do?

Isn’t this something that you are often so excited about that you want to share it with others?

Then, you are motivated by whatever it is that turns you on.

In a previous post (Trust the Force), I wrote that motivation is a natural force or energy that manifests under certain conditions. In this post, I want to say a little more about motivation and its opposite, coercion.

Motivation, as I describe it, moves one toward a desired outcome. The direction of motivation is important. When we move toward a desired outcome, the anticipation of a positive result causes us to feel upbeat and happy. Our brain processes this experience and tells the body to release chemicals that induce this happy feeling. These same chemicals contribute to our well being and healing.

The next question is, “How badly do you want it?”

The level of motivation, is determined by the intensity of your desire for the outcome. The more you want it, the more likely you’ll follow through. I use a, “how bad do I want it?” scale:

  1. Sounds interesting. Think I’ll go for it.
  2. If I don’t have to work too hard for it.
  3. Unless something better, or more interesting, comes along.
  4. I’ll make some sacrifices to get it.
  5. Obsessed!

Coercion, on the other hand, moves one away from an outcome to avoid negative or punitive consequences. Think of it as running away, as fast as we can, from something we believe will hurt us.

Coercion is fear induced. It’s also the energy of negative reinforcement, which is always a threat, i.e., “Do as I say, or else!”

Coercion is stressful. And when we are stressed, our brain tells our body to release chemicals do deal with escaping from the perceived source of pain.

Yeah, we get moving, but not because we’re turned on. We’re scared out of our wits! The problem is, these chemicals, if they run too long, wreck the immune system and kill brain cells. Yikes!

I also have a coercion scale:

  1. Mildly threatening
  2. This could hurt.
  3. Take immediate evasive action.
  4. Stark raving fear.
  5. Imminent death.

Coercion effectively causes people to run the other way psychologically, if not physically. Those who use coercion to make people acquiesce, are not leading—they are pushing and intimidating others to buckle to power, fear or false incentives.

Motivation is an INPowering energy that moves us toward a goal. Motivation taps our hopes, imagination, competence, sense of worth and aspirations to engage us in personally meaningful endeavors. In so doing, we build our confidence and self-worth. We learn new skills. We discover latent talent that might have otherwise remained un-stimulated. We become even more hopeful and eager to enlarge our expectations of living. We become more valuable to ourselves, to our families, to our friends and to our organizations and communities.

So, unlock the creative energy of an INPowering life by doing the things that turn you on. And encourage others to do likewise.

You can live the live you want when you are
Garland McWatters, leadership development, leadership training, Dallas, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Oklahoma

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