Monday, February 1, 2010

What motivates you?

Everyone has observed that different people are motivated by different things. For some, the primary motivating factor is some kind of material benefit, while for others it may be fulfilling a longing or a purpose deep down inside. Authors Chris Brady and Orrin Woodward outline three levels of motivation in their book Launching a Leadership Revolution. The first is "Material Success," which comprises primarily financial reward. Financial success gives us the opportunity to live in the home we desire, drive the car of our dreams, send our kids to schools of their choice, and the like. It also allows us to give to causes we care about, or create new opportunities for others. The second level of motivation, according to the authors, is "Recognition and Respect." We all have felt the desire to be acknowledged or appreciated - even if by just a word now and then - for the effort and good work we have done. Gaining the respect of a peer or mentor is a little deeper level. It drives us to perform our best - for nothing less would be worthy. Finally, the third level of motivation they call "Purpose, Destiny, and Legacy." At this level, we are motivated by a deep, inner compass that tells us we were made for a specific reason - that we have a task on this Earth to do that only we can do. We feel convicted to move toward accomplishing this objective, and that gives meaning to our lives, even in the midst of hardship or struggle. The last part of that is legacy, which of course says that our life was significant, that it meant something, that the world is, in fact, better because we were here. So my question for you is this: What is it that motivates you? Have you detected your purpose in life? Do you feel like you are fulfilling it? What would it take to get you moving in that direction? I am eager to hear your thoughts.

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