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Keeping Your Motivation Engine Running

A good friend was running late for an appointment last week as he jumped into his car and turned the key. The nice smooth sound of ignition he was so used to hearing was replaced by the horrible grinding sound of an engine not willing to turn over. He kept turning the key hoping that by some miracle the grinding noise would stop and the engine would start. Instead, it drained what was left in the battery and silence followed. He was dead in the water.

How many times have you found yourself ready to go but unable to move? You lack the spark and or energy to move forward. Where did it go? You might have started out on your goal, journey, or project with plenty of good intentions but for whatever reason it dissipated or just stopped. As a student of human behavior and a Business Coach, I am brutally aware of the difficulty of keeping ourselves motivated to get to where we want to go. The traditional motivation methods most of us have experienced are motivation by fear or by incentive. The boss tries to scare you into action by threats such as firing or demotion. The next day, in a change of heart, the boss offers you the promise of bonuses, promotion or equity if you achieve the goal. Clearly both can have an impact, and often do, but the results are usually short term at best. Threats lose their veracity if they are never acted on. Alternatively, incentives are effective if you believe the goal is achievable but lose their long term impact once achieved. Neither approach has a long-lasting motivational impact.

So what is one to do if you want to change your behaviors or achieve a difficult goal but can’t seem to stay motivated to do what is necessary to get to your destination? I believe part of the answer is in finding what sparks us or excites you. If you can discover what you are passionate about and harness that passion, you can access an unlimited battery of "inspiration energy" to keep you motivated and moving forward. Discovering your passion can be difficult since most of us have followed the career scripts provided to us by well-meaning parents, friends, and educators and by society. But there are ways to alter your path. A simple way to start is to list all the activities you do in your present job that you enjoy doing and are good at. The next step is to ask your peers, friends, clients, and family what they think your greatest strengths are. From this you should get some clarity regarding what you are passionate about and what truly motivates you. In addition, a good book that gives some insight to the power of connecting your passion to business is "Crush It!" by Gary Vaynerchuk. Check it out.

Aligning your passion with the behaviors necessary to convert that passion into results assures you a consistent spark that will keep your motor running!