What Motivates You
Author: Catherine Pulsifer, © 2017
The question, what motivates you, is one used in many interviews. But it is a question you should answer for yourself – what is your motivation? To use the inspirational quote of John F. Kennedy, “The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.”
What Motivates You To Change?
What motivates you to change or to take action? Does taking action only happen when everything is going well in your life or do you only take action when you are facing difficulties, challenges or issues?
Do You Wait To Take Action?
Those who wait to take action until they find themselves in a challenging situation face more difficulties than they need to. The question is why do people wait? Part of the answer lies in the human nature of some types of people. For these people, to take action means that they must first see the need. If there is no immediate need to take action, there is no motivation to do so.
As well, it is a lot easier to keep doing what you’ve always done because within this personal philosophy is the lack of desire to embrace change. To recognize change means that one has to move out of one’s comfort zone. This comfort zone has as its’ base the human desire for a safe haven away from the vicisstudes of the world. It means that a person feels safe within a routine that is understandable, that has already been mastered and one that gives a sense that all will remain as it is and therefore predictable.
Motivation Through Challenges
If it is correct to conclude that people would rather not think about moving out of their comfort zone, then it would also be correct to assume that people would be uncomfortable as soon as they had to face a circumstance, challenge, problem or obstacle that fell outside of their personal comfort zone.
As soon as a person has to face any kind of change and especially a change that compromises their established comfort zone then one could also suggest that a person would experience a sense of stress. The level or amount of stress that one experiences is based in part of how the unpredicted event or issue affects the person. At the same time, it must be realized that each person experiences different levels of stress even if faced with the same stress causing event.
Reducing Stress By Preparation
Let’s look at one example to demonstrate how an individual can reduce stress when a situation is recognized that will require that person to move out of their comfort zone. One of the most common in today’s world is the example of a situation when one expects that their employment will come to an end. One such example is that experienced by an employed person who has had many opportunities to take courses to improve his/her skills but has not done so.
In this case, the employee will be forced to experience various levels of stress when he/she finds that their job will be eliminated. So, the question then becomes, what can a person do to reduce their stress levels when forced to face unemployment and forced unwillingly out of their comfort zone?
The answer lies in the on-going motivation to be prepared; to be prepared as if one was going to lose their job in the very near future. Preparation, in this case, may mean motivating oneself to take advanced courses in their are of employment, or courses that would prepare them to fill a new and different job in the situation where their current job would become obsolete. And, one may also take courses that would prepare them selves for an entirely different kind of occupation that has nothing at to do with their current employment.
In regards to being actively involved in continuing education, it is not out of fear of losing a job but more out of understanding that one’s current comfort zone is not insulated from on-going changes in the world. A simple example is knowing that the use of a personal computer would soon eliminate the need for many managers to have a secretary. In this sense, the manager needed to recognize that he/she should learn how to use a computer understanding that a change in the working relationship between manager and secretary was sure to change.
Get Motivated By Setting Your Goals
The act of motivation can be set in motion by writing down a set of goals. The preparation of goal setting in and of itself means that there are designated steps that must be taken to reach the result or goal. Those who set their goals use its’ structure to motivate themselves to work towards what they need or want to achieve. The reaching of an end goal may have been to upgrade one’s skill sets or to finish courses in an unrelated job category so that the potential of losing a current job need not pose as great a stress. Those who are motivated in this regard don’t sit back and wait for others to create the future they want. They create the future by what they are doing today.
Keep improving your skills, and educational qualifications and you will greatly improve your odds of success either in your current work environment or in a new endeavor.
Successful People Demonstrate Motivation
If you want to read about those who demonstrated great levels of motivation, just read the biographies of successful people. You will find they looked at life as a continuous learning experience. Part of this learning experience meant that many successful people understood the value of failure. I know that may be counter intuitive but it makes sense when you realize that failures are one of life’s best teachers. The successful, motivated person realizes that obstacles, failures, roadblocks and issues teach more about success than does achieving instant success.
Successful people are not simply motivated on a one time experience level so that they can reach some pinnacle recognized as success but develop an on-going thirst for continued improvement.
Not only would they be self-motivators and be self directed learners but they would also understand the value of asking for guidance or direction from other people who had faced related or the same challenges.
The bottom line is this: motivation isn’t sitting back and waiting for others to do it for you. To be motivated means taking the initiative and doing it yourself. To be motivated means that you do not allow your comfort zone to blind you so that you are unaware or unprepared to embrace never ending change.
Luck Is Not The Reason
Some people think success is because others are lucky. To use the wisdom of Thomas Jefferson who once said, “I’m a great believer in luck and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.” Luck does not happen for any reason. The majority of times you will find hard work and action behind those that you think are lucky. Do not let yourself believe that luck is a remedy for laziness or for putting your head in the sand thinking that all will be well in the world and your life.
One Step At A Time
Take action now, only if only baby steps. As the famous proverb says, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” Take that one step, then another. Don’t wait for challenging times. The development of a motivated course in your life whether personal or professional is actually more about common sense than it is about fear of what will happen in the future.
Remember that with each step taken is another step closer. And, also remember that as one initiates an on-going zest for learning the easier adapting to change will become.
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