One Kilogram of Motivation, Please!
Read time: 7 minutes
Hey 👋 - Alina here.
Happy Thursday to 315 thriving professionals!
Welcome to 8 new curious minds!
Grateful you chose to grow with our community!
Alina, how can you remain motivated all the time?
This is a question I have received pretty constantly in the last two years both from my clients and from my coach fellows.
As a manager you learn it is your responsibility to motivate your team. And this often puts you in that mindset where you look for receiving first motivation from your own manager, to have something to give the other people, after.
As a formal or informal leader, you have felt how everyone around looks up to you to fill up their cup with your wisdom, knowledge, inspiration, or your contagious energy.
Holding this piramidal perspective of how motivation gets distributed is totally flawed. Because it means that “up there” there is a big father or mother figure with a huge reservoir of motivation, filling our cups. And we are granted this refill.
When is the last time you’ve met this guy?
What is also strange about motivation is the following: when we would MOST benefit from having it to put us in motion and do something, we feel LEAST motivated to do it. And this paradox blocks us, as if we are in front of a closed door without a key.
This is true in all sectors of your life, both professional and personal.
In working with my clients, I learned the quest for motivation is in fact the quest for something else. In this newsletter I would like to give you a different way to look at motivation, and support you to find your own key for that door.
Motivation as CLARITY
Have you ever seen a small kid who finally understands, and suddenly, while in discussion with you, has a stroke of “clarity”? This kid jumps as an arrow to do that thing even if half an hour ago was confused about what needs to be done next (and often unaware he or she jumped too easily to a conclusion).
The following self-check might be of help you understand if your lack of motivation is in fact a lack of clarity.
- If I had this motivation …
… what would I do? Do I have a clear picture of what I want to obtain?
… what would be in my power to determine for me or around me?
… what results would I obtain? By when? With what process?
… what would success look like for me?
- If I can make this picture 10% even more clearer, what else would I need to see or include?
- Is there something that stands in my way?
- Is there something I already know but pretend not to see?
These questions work whether you need more motivation in a relationship with a team member, your manager, your spouse, or even with yourself, or in tackling any complex situation.
Once you have responses to these questions, you have a pretty complete picture of the situation at hand and can see what you need to tackle. You will also see where your points of intervention can be, what is in your control, what can be in your immediate action, and what you need to approach differently to be sure you move things in the desired direction.
Every time you create clarity for yourself, you tap into a powerful inner power: your curiosity.
- Can you be curious and bored at the same time?
- Can you feel miserable and curious at the same time?
I bet your answer is NO (and science supports this answer). Knowing this, why would you chose anything else than curiosity? This will be your best activator into action.
A curious mind not only creates clarity, but also produces the right hormones that will ignite and maintain the pleasure for enabling further search.
Motivation as MEANING
Remember the last time when you were connected with something very meaningful to you! How was your action? Who could stop you at that time?
Very often, managers, as all highly ambitious professionals, find themselves on journeys for achieving or reaching goals.
Organisations are places where one can easily lose connection with what is meaningful to them.
Because organisations, as all tribes, have cultures. You need to be aware that the primary role of any culture is the long term survival of the tribe within the existent cultural construct. This means any culture will work through “traditions”. Translated, it means social pressure.
The more your values differ from those of the tribes you call home (nation, employer, community of trade, core family, extended family, friend circle, etc) the more you will feel their pressure, and the more will find yourself in resistance to the environments they offer.
You will actually find yourself in a huge conflict of interest:
- Shall I comply and lose myself till cancelling my own essence?
- Shall I leave and endanger my safety?
With a bit of obvious twist in rephrasing the questions above, this little exercise is applicable to any situation you find yourself needing motivation for (losing weight, changing a job, finding a job, quitting smoking, toning down ego, changing professional identity, bringing a relationship on a different level or to an end, giving feedback to your report, managing up your manager, etc).
These questions can help you connect with your meaning or true purpose:
- What makes it important for you now to [do or obtain THAT] ?
- What makes it important for you now to [follow exactly the process you envisage in doing or obtaining THAT]?
- What makes it important for you to be known [the way you want to be known] in doing [THAT]?
- What would your 90-year-old elder-and-wiser-self tell you about this event or situation? (picture you meeting your elder wiser self)
Motivation as INSPIRATION
Many times we refer to seeking motivation for a lack of better words. Still, it is not the motivation we seek. It is the inspiration. We just need to see in front of us THAT IDEA to know it is written our name on it.
But not knowing whether we are going to find that idea anywhere, when or where to find it are the biggest obstacles in starting any research.
What I learned from my clients is a compounded unrealistic expectation of the following nature:
- I need to find fast THAT IDEA
- My search for THAT IDEA is linear and will lead straight to THAT IDEA if I do it correctly
- Finding THAT IDEA will return all my motivation back and I will feel immediately refreshed and renewed.
- Do you happen to hold any of these expectations?
If so, you would be better off clarifying first what is meaningful to you and then restart the inspiration loop. When you adjust these expectations, you will reduce a lot the pressure you created
Motivation as ENERGY
Very often, people in search of motivation need just a different personal system of replenishing their own energy. They are fully depleted and cannot even see the end of their next hour.
However, the habits they already have and the way they choose to cope with events and relationships in their life, do not sustain them well in replenishing their energy reservoir.
Most of my clients know that once they go out of that red zone of energy depletion, they immediately retrieve their zest for life, they have access to new ideas, they can see the bigger picture and take courageous decisions.
- Do you also feel you would benefit from a plug-in period?
Start with some vitamins and listen to what your doctor has to say. You really would not like to get to the point where the doctor’s news to a regular check-up would shock you.
- Find an accountability circle for upgrading your habits. And start working on yourself.
- Establish with clarity what makes it important to you NOW to have this energy.
- If you would have this energy, what would you invest it in and why?
- What small shifts can you introduce in your life that would ensure your energy reservoir gets filled-up ?
Be aware that living without clarity, in resistance (even dedicated to the most admirable personal objectives), disconnected from sources of inspiration or from your meaning and purpose, would just eat up the energy you still have.
Can you now see new useful angles to rephrase your old “I need motivation” statement?
Any time you see this thought coming, do yourself a favour and check first which of these 4 elements you need:
- Is it clarity?
- Is it a strong meaning?
- Is it inspiration?
- Is it energy replenishing?
And act accordingly. Waiting for “a motivation stroke” is one of the main roadblock I have seen in very talented and knowledgeable people.
If this topic brought you some clarity, made you reflect on your own purpose and meaning, inspired you in any way or energised you, write me back and tell me about your own experience in relation to creating or retrieving your own motivation.
What is specifically you were searching for when you looked for motivation? Is there another angle or perspective you would add to the above list?
Hope you found this newsletter interesting.
💥🎉 That’s pretty much all for today 💥🎉
- We often conclude we lack motivation
- There are several ways we can rephrase our need that will helps us better moving forward
- Motivation as need for clarity
- Motivation as need for a stronger meaning
- Motivation as need for inspiration
- Motivation as need to replenish our energy
- Check you own list. What else would you add to it? Write me!
- Do not forget there is a surprise for you in Newsletter#7 if you respond by 07.07.2022.
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