The irony of the situation is that it’s taken me two and half weeks to write this ‘weekly’ blog post on motivation. And as I’m sitting here trying to finish my application to be an instructor on Lynda.com, I keep glancing at my phone, to check if anyone has gotten back to me about another instructor application for which I applied.
Around this time of year, when projects slow down, and nothing’s really started up yet, I get it. It’s hard to be motivated to make things happen. On the contrary, if there is one thing that everyone is motivated to do, it’s to hurry up and get to that Christmas break.
Motivation and Momentum are Partners
A few years ago, I was helping my husband build his insurance practice. We had to really work to make it rain. We were the only factors to make magic happen. We immersed ourselves in motivational speeches. We formed friendly competitive alliances with other sales-folk. We did anything and everything to push us into action. You see, we did this because we understood but one thing about motivation: It goes hand in hand with. They feed off each other. We knew that when we put in a bunch of action and get that first result – that first momentum, it drives us just a little bit more to get another result. Then the more we do, the more we get.
The Paradox of Time and Productivity
In that grueling 18 months, I learned something important about myself. I learnt that my optimal point of productivity is not in freeing up my calendar so that I can focus on the ‘One Thing’ as I discussed in my post “Building an Empire with the One Thing.” I learnt that my optimal point of productivity is when I’m actually busy doing something already. In fact, I discovered that when I have a lot of time to myself, I actually tend to waste more of it. This is very strange to me. You would think that if you had more time, you can get more done. I’m sure that this has crossed your mind at some point:
“If only I had more time.”
“If only I wasn’t so busy.”
But the irony is that the more time you have, the less you really feel the urgency, the less you are motivated to do it.
How Do You Fill Your Time?
Here’s the rub. The universe abhors vacuums, and so do we. We are compelled to fill space with something. Anything. What we choose to fill depends on us. It depends on the motivation that we have to achieve our goals.
All of the stuff we do to keep ourselves accountable, all the goals we set, the why’s, the grand plans serve only one purpose. It all make stuff seem more doable, so that we can more easily wrap our mind around what we need to do. But none of those things actually accomplish anything for us. The only engine that accomplishes the task, and ultimately the goal is when we execute the task.
How Do We Get Motivated?
The other day, Perry’s friend approached him with a question. “How can I get motivated to do stuff in my life?” It was a pretty generic question. She felt that her ultimate purpose was to be a role model for her kids.
I know you know what I’m talking about. At some point in time, we have all sat on the couch at 7.30 at night, after a hard day’s work, and asked There’s gotta be more to life than this. But what can I do? I don’t know what to do. There are times when I’m not motivated to do anymore of anything, let alone work. The person whose got a ten projects on the go at point in time. Or the opposite is true, you can have so much on your plate, that you’re not motivated to do any of it. You don’t know what to do first.
It all boils down to this. If you know what your life’s purpose is. If you know what drives you, if you know what your passions are, what stirs your soul, you will inevitably get off your arse and do all these amazing things because it fulfills you to do so.
What’s the Big Deal About Life Purpose?
In the last few years, I have been following John Asaraff’s Exceptional Life Blueprint. As I wrote last year in How to make your 2017 Fierce with Purpose, I discussed how even before you get to your identifying what your goals are. Each one of us is placed on this earth for a purpose. What is yours? It might not even be one purpose. I get it. It’s a hard question to ask. It’s like asking what you want to be when you grow up. The fact is I wanted to be plenty of things when I grew up. Be that as it may, they all revolved around some overarching themes. For me, I found purpose in education and training. Not that I wanted to work with kids (my own as an exception…even then it’s a challenge.)
What’s Your Life’s Purpose
Chances are that when you are asked this question…if you have ever been asked this question, your first response is to shrug, and say ‘I have no idea what my life’s purpose is.’ If you have kids, you might say that your life’s purpose is to be a great father, or fabulous mother. Perhaps if you have a spouse, or significant other, it might be to be a great partner. It could be all of those things.
I’m inclined to think that that your purpose while it might not change dramatically over time, will likely evolve. You might go into a journey of self-discovery. … that you’re discovering more and more about yourself. As you discover more about yourself, I invite you to think of not only you. I invite you to think of how you can contribute to the world. How can you make it a better place, as cliché as it sounds.
Chances are, that if you’re reading this post, you likely live in the first world. And if you’re in the first world, you are way past the point where you need to worry about the roof over your head, or where your next dinner might be. You’re probably on Facebook, posting pictures of all of your world adventures. As I write this, I can easily recall all of the folks who post vivid pictures of their vacations, and business trips. You’ll see pictures of families smiling gleefully, without a care in the world on a beach in the Mayan Riviera. You’ll see pictures of all the amazing foods and elaborate Michelin star rated restaurant that you have been so fortunate to have been able to partake. I have some friends who solely take culinary tours around the world to experience exquisite cuisine. I’m supremely happy for you, and the ability that you have to live in the lap of luxury.
Think Beyond Yourself
Ok. Enough about you. I invite you to think beyond yourself now. How can you contribute to the community? Don’t get me wrong. Contributing to the community doesn’t mean that you have to volunteer at a soup kitchen. It doesn’t mean that you have to make a bunch of sandwiches and deliver them to the homeless on Christmas eve. It doesn’t have to even involve any non-profit organization or charity. In fact, take it from Ryan Daniel Moran of capitalism.com that the most efficient way to contribute to community is, in fact, to take the opportunity to build a profit oriented organization that creates value.
Really whether or not you make money, or aim to break even is really besides the point. The point is that each one of us has it within us to create value and serve others. Humans are social beings. We are hard wired to thrive in communities. If you take but one thing away from this post, it’s that you have it within you to be of service to others. That is what John and I mean by your life’s purpose.
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