What motivates you? As we’re all facing a very different reality with changes in the world around us and our place in it I’ve noticed that some of you have really thrived in this environment but others are languishing. Having recently sat through hours of an on-line workshop, one of the biggest takeaways from that is finding your “why.” What is your “why”?
People are all motivated by different factors. For some it’s family, others it may be religion. Nowadays with things changing some people are motivated by the avoidance of starvation or living out of the back of their cars. Unfortunately this sad reality is closer than we may think for some of the people in our lives.
I don’t much talk about my upbringing but one of the things that has always motivated me is something that my dad said one time when we were driving around. While I did well in school some of the things came very easily to me and others didn’t. That’s not unusual, we all have our favorite subjects in school. Sometimes even the most difficult subject might also be a favorite. Isn’t being a human an odd thing?
My dad grew up in WWII Germany. While we can all universally hate the political climate of those times and that regime, the common, everyday person also endured a lot of suffering because of the bad decisions made by people in power. There are plenty of people around the world who live in this very state of being right now so we can be grateful that we don’t.
As he was growing up the jobs for his parents were few and far between and he saw those struggles so he realized, even at that young age, that the one investment that you make that can serve you the rest of your life is an investment in your own mind. Reinforcing your ability to reason and think and communicate is never ever a bad investment and it will serve you for all of your days. It certainly did him.
But we also need a motivational force. For him it was the fact that houses were getting blown up all around him and he had to flee the bombings by the country he would eventually call home on more than one occasion.
For me there are a number of motivators. One is poverty. I don’t like it and I’ve spent a lifetime avoiding it. For these Monday Morning Marketing blog posts it’s the incredible feedback I get from the emails I send out when a new column is posted. It’s become a real pleasure to write these articles and know that they reach some of you and that they provide value to some of you. Of course there are also those who disagree with some of these things I’ve written and I really do appreciate hearing from you as well.
As we continue in this odd pandemic journey that is our present “now” I’ve seen some incredibly motivated people. They have found their “why” and it’s motivated them to do some great things. I know of a few people who have started new businesses, one of which has been providing some incredible baked goods right to my front door. I’ve seen others, who already have a business, make that business flourish. While there are certainly economic challenges and hardships in these odd times, I’ve been told by some of the people on the mailing list for these columns that business is setting new records.
They found their “why” and are truly making it happen for themselves and their teams.
But I think there are a lot of people for whom the current situation is a real downer. They do not know where their “why” is. The task of waking up and taking on new challenges in the day is somehow very overwhelming.
There’s a lot of talk about this being both an economic and a mental health crisis and I don’t doubt that. Finding your motivation when it seems there’s nothing to provide that motivation can be a huge challenge.
So, perhaps, with more time on your hands now might be a good time to look for that motivation. I realize it’s super tough when you’re feeling lost or alone. In fact that’s when motivation can seem the most distant.
Maybe it’s time to look in places you hadn’t thought of. What kind of things gets you excited? What kind of thing drives your motivation? What’s your “why?”
Perhaps being motivated to do what you did before this pandemic isn’t going to motivate you at all. If you worked in a field that was not deemed “essential” by whomever governs your place this can be a huge bummer of epic proportion.
But your “why” is still out there. Somewhere.
What are your hobbies? What kind of things drive you to smile? For example, if you love woodworking or restoring old cars or baking or sewing or counting birds perhaps there’s opportunity in what you love. It’s been said over and over that if you find a job you love you won’t work a day in your life.
And transformation is something these times are all about. Consider all the people who started things late in life. Colonel Sanders. Hugo Boss. William Boeing. Here’s a blog post all about people started late in life and succeeded admirably.
So you can be like the people I wrote about who started their bakery, or the lady who transformed herself into the best jam maker I’ve come across. These people have turned their “why” into their “now.” It’s going to take some looking and some motivation, but what’s your “why” and how do you turn that into your “now”?