Saturday, June 29, 2013

Motivation

motivationdemotivator I am sitting here and wondering what success is really all about.  I've spent 20+ years poking at it, climbing the so called corporate ladder and still I don't find myself where I thought I would be by now. So, what went wrong? My motivation was what was wrong. 

Negative vs. positive motivation.  When we talk about motivation and success we usually talk about positive motivation.  We read positive mental attitude books.  We dive into the “atta boys”, learn how to give them to people and expect others to give them to us.  This is true in the work place as well as any other facet of life.  Whether we are trying to lose 30 pounds, gain the next promotion or “make a success” out of ourselves.  We compare ourselves to those we surround ourselves with.  We look at them and say to ourselves “I’m not doing so bad”.  Well, is this a true statement or is it a statement to justify where we are at knowing full well it is not where we expected to be?

When we talk about negative motivation we think it is people yelling at us, pointing out what we did wrong, getting in our head to enforce their point of view.  Having gone through Marine Corps Boot Camp, I too had this idea.  And since so many of us have this idea we behave as if this was a true statement.  I want to take a little deeper look in the average life to see if there is something more.

motivation-motivation-demotivational-poster-1276385776If you read my previous post you will start to get a very small look into my thinking.  I am in the midst of tweaking my thinking so I can enjoy life to the fullest.  It is a hard road for me as I bought into the same line as all of you:  Get a good education, get a good job and you will be successful!  Now I will ask; compared to what?  Compared to my coworkers, some who are behind a payment or two?  Compared to my next door neighbors who are either busy raising kids or trying to survive their golden years?  Am I really correct in thinking I am doing great compared to them?  Or am I just comparing my average life to those around me who have settled for the same average life.  Does that make me the best of the worst, the worst of the best, or the cream of the crap?

So, I ask myself, if I don’t like the 40-40 grind; you know, 40 hours a week for 40+ years of my life, sitting in rush hour, building a company that will pay me the least it can to keep me; what do I like?  What do I want?  How do I want to live life?  So I am taking a look at my motivation as an employee.  And this is what I am finding.  Why do I go to work?  I tell everyone I love my job.  The truth of it though is I go to work for the paycheck.  What does the paycheck provide?  It provides a certain level of living.  It pays my mortgage, my car payment, my utilities, food to eat and the very occasional vacation.  *IF* I have anything left over it goes towards a retirement fund.  So far that is looking bleak!

Ok, fine, what does this have to do with motivation?  Let’s take a test case.  My wife wants me to stay home for the next 3 (work) days.  She would love to rekindle our romance.  I am all for that so I call my boss and he says NO, I need you at work.  So now I have a decision to make.  Do I stay home anyways knowing I will probably lose my job or do I say no to my wife?  If you are like me I say no to my wife.  Why you might ask?  It is easy. If I lose my job then I can’t pay the bills.  If I can’t pay the bills then I stand to lose my house, car and possibly my wife.  Lack of finances is the leading cause of divorce you know.  So, is the motivation for my job positive or negative?  If we are ABSOLUTELY honest with ourselves it is that negative motivation that gets us out of bed in the morning, plops our butts in the cars and drives it to work.  And that is a downward spiral when you’ve done it long enough.

Stay tuned as I am not done yet.