Create a Better Life Day 18: Content Creation: More on Motivation

Posted: April 30, 2015 in coaching, conferences, Speaking ministry
Tags: , , , , , , ,

createbetterI have a nephew who is burning up the track these days. He just set a freshman record at his school. He’s running the same events I ran in high school but with much more success. His freshman times are already eclipsing what I ran as a senior. As I hear of his exploits though I have to look back to my own “glory” days. Then I look at myself in the mirror and think, “What happened?” I’m almost twice the man I used to be (I’m getting better), and I’m talking size not maturity (though hopefully I’ve grown in that way, too).

As far as I can see, what happened was motivation, or at least a switch in motivation. You see when I was competing, I had something to live up to. I had a crowd I didn’t want to look bad in front of, especially when my dad came. I wanted my name announced in the morning as one of the people who placed in the meet. I wanted to hear the people shouting my name. I wanted to please my coach and then of course there were the girls, but that’s a different story for a different day. Look at all of that. It was all about competition, I wanted to win. When there was nothing left to win, for me there was no reason to run. I was almost exclusively extrinsically motivated, motivated by the opinions and reactions of others. When the races and the crowds went away so did my motivation to run. Extrinsic motivation of this type goes away.

What we need is intrinsic motivation—motivation from within. I’m not talking about self centered ness. Look at all the things I wanted from track again. They may have been all about what others thought but they were about what others thought about me and, as such extremely, self-centered. I’m talking about doing things because they are the right thing to do. Trying to make the world a better place. These things are motivated in my life by faith and an internal compass toward the greater good.

I don’t run very often anymore. It’s a little tough on the joints but about ten years ago, I had a wake up call. Overeating, no exercise and pushing myself past exhaustion, mainly to please other people (extrinsic), left me in the hospital. I saw something needed to change and I began to walk, every day. I still do that and it has done me a world of good. I don’t do it for the roar of the crowds or for someone else’s approval. I do it for me. It’s my quiet time. It helps me to focus, to get my day in order, to see things more clearly. Most importantly, it helps to strengthen me so I can do some good in this world. The motivation is different and it’s really good. So long as my feet will hold me, I will do this for life.

What motivates you is important. If you’re motivated by external circumstances, your motivation will wain when circumstances change.

Why do you want to create a better life?

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