Motivation seems illusive for so many people. Motivation isn’t simply being positive. Don’t falsely perky waitresses drive you crazy because it’s really all about being trained to sell an upgrade; there is nothing real about it. I contend that motivation has to be real in some way.

Passion can be difficult for people to locate within themselves. Those who have passion use it to leapfrog over their anxiety & fear. Within passion lurks one key to motivation; something needs to matter.

I think a lot of people cop-out of caring about something because they want to play it safe. So another part of motivation is being able to have enough courage take a risk. It also means accepting failure is a part of growing & learning, instead of trying to avoid it.

I’m using the you-tube jelly bean video above because it’s clear there is less time than you imagine. I think that’s pretty motivating all by itself. You don’t have to wait until you are in your 60’s or a good friend dies of cancer to recognize what you do with your time matters.

How do we motivate ourselves to do things we don’t want to do? You have to decide you want to be independent, responsible & a grown up. Growing up is honestly facing painful situations. One example: it’s important to figure out how to live within our means whether we want to or not.

Emotions can manipulate you into “precious” belief systems that interfere with being a grown up. Feelings are not the true north of an internal compass; it’s what you do with your feelings that matters. Feeling entitled to spend money however you want is not ok.

People-pleasers are not motivated to tell the truth in relationships. Their motivation is to be liked by others & hide anything dark or disagreeable. How to wrestle with this emotional motivation that ultimately destroys intimacy in relationships? You have to decide you can face being a disappointment to someone else because that is a part of all honest relationships.

Let’s take another example of a troublesome emotion that can interfere with motivation: Anger. The motivation of anger in general is self-protection because of hurt. So ask yourself what is the opposite of anger? Acceptance.

Accept that hurt is usually a part of the equation in relationships. Hanging on too long to anger can lead to bitterness, a dangerous path. I would be very motivated not to end up bitter.

It is up to you to decide what is worth it? I would find purpose in wanting to manage my $ better or to give up people-pleasing to be more authentic. I would want to end my days with being able to manage my emotions to be the best person I am capable of being.

I was inspired to write this article by a NY Times article titled “The Problem with Positive Thinking” The author explains how to set a goal & improve motivation by balancing your picture of success with an honest assessment of obstacles.

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About the Rhoda Mills Sommer

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