And what is it anyway? What is motivation?
What does this mean?
Where does this come from and how do you find it? Better yet, what do you do if you find it? How do you keep it?
I have seen people on their first day of employment. I have seen them show up an hour early. They created a route for themselves. They narrowed down the best possible commute. They woke up extra early, set their pace, then like a shot from a starter’s pistol they were off.
“This is me,” they say and off they go.
I’ve seen new colleagues show up an hour early and people commented on their earliness. “This is just me,” they tell everyone. “I like to get in early and start my day on my feet so I can hit the ground running.”
This is great. But is this real?
If it’s not real, how sustainable is their schedule?
Is the early bird claim true or is this merely someone pretending on their passion and looking to make a great impression?
Helpful hint: Don’t be that person.
Here’s the difficulty. If our passion is only pretend then soon enough, our truth will come to light. The new colleague who bursts from the starting gate was in the office an hour early. They did this every morning until the pace was too much to keep. And then what happens?
The hour dwindles to 45 minutes, then to 30, 20, 10, 5 minutes and then the next phase of this evolution is just on time. Next, they’re often late.
Their assignment of importance and value was misallocated to a fund that never existed. There was no passion here. There was only pretending.
But wait, wasn’t this them?
Didn’t this person say, “This is just me.” Didn’t this person explain how they like to get in early? Didn’t they say they like to start the day on their feet so they can hit the ground running?
When I was young, someone told me, “Fake it until you make it.”
Maybe there’s something to this.
Maybe this suggestion is only another version of “Act as if.”
But to me, I had been an actor for way too long. I didn’t want to pretend anymore. I faked away too much time and came up wanting. I didn’t want to be the person who dwindled away at an unrealistic pace. I didn’t want to pretend to be successful. I wanted to feel successful.
If we look around at the people in our life who appear successful, what makes them so different from anyone else? I think of the person who invented the cocktail umbrella. I think about the very first person who might have seen this little invention and asked, “What the hell is this?”
“It’s a cocktail umbrella.”
“Here, let me show you.”
This was started by a person with a dream and maybe someone laughed at the dream, but here I am, writing about someone I never met because of a dream that is known all over the world.
I was midway through one of my first credentialing programs. I was learning about transformational changes, motivational interviewing and ways to help people come to a better conclusion with themselves. As I studied the course to become a coach, I learned about vision.
I learned one of the best motivational tools . . .
How can you want something if you can’t see it?
How can you have a dream if you don’t know what it looks like?
One of my assignments was to give a client’s vision statement. This is a statement that paints a clear picture and where we give our goals depth. We have to see it if we want to have it.
We have to know the direction we want to head in. We have to know what we want to create this view. We want to build a vision that is so powerful and encouraging that the vision itself becomes a dream that is so strong that the idea is enough to whet the appetite. This vision we create becomes the heartbeat of our dreams and gets the blood beating.
We cannot pretend to have passion. We cannot fake purpose. We have to see it, feel it, breathe it and know it. Otherwise, what’s the value? How much can our purpose be worth if we do not know what it is?
This is why I stopped pretending . . .
Once found, our purpose and our passion are living breathing things. Much like a child, our purpose and passion need to be nurtured and fed.
And the same as a child, we have to protect these things. We have to teach them how to look both ways before they cross the street. Once we find our passion, we have to name it. We have to dress it up. We have to clothe it and give it a voice. Most of all, like a child, we have to teach this to be careful who they speak to.
We have to be mindful of the dream-killers. We have to be mindful of the critics and the people whose only drive is to squash the hopes of someone else. Trust me, these people are real. We have to be mindful of this because they’re out there.
There are people who look to consume the energy of others because they struggle to find this within themselves. And that’s fine. That’s them. When handling our purpose, our hopes and dreams, we have to be mindful to keep our eye on the prize and focus on ourselves.
But sure, there are the crabs in the bucket theory. There are the people who pull down so no one around them can ever rise up. There are people who point fingers, accuse, shame, blame and look to trip the path of someone else so no one goes ahead.
I stay away from these people.
Know what else I do?
I don’t share my dreams with them. I don’t tell them my hopes or aspirations. If I do, then this becomes about my ego. This is me trying to sell my dreams to them and prove myself. But why?
Why bother? If I entertain this, then I am using energy that would better serve me elsewhere.
I had to find my motivation in the stages of the following:
What, where, why and when?
What does this look like?
Where do I begin?
Why do I want this?
And of course . . .
When do I get started?
One of the most motivating questions is when is it your turn to have the life you want to have?
When is it your turn to be happy?
The follow-up question is equally as simple.
When are you going to give yourself permission to make this happen?
One of the biggest distractions can be looking at the success or the life of other people. This only serves to feed emotional thinking. Not plans or strategy.
I do not say that other people are not motivating or encouraging. It’s good to see success.
It’s good to know it’s out there.
This lets us know that it’s real. But rather than engulfing our thoughts with the luck and fortune of others, what would it look like if we took a mindful search of ourselves? What would it be like if we found the gumption to support our own success instead of focusing on the wealth of someone else?
It doesn’t matter what Gates did. It doesn’t matter how Buffett made his billions. It doesn’t matter about the person who walked in the room and for whatever reason people were automatically drawn to them. None of this matters.
I can say that there was a time when I saw myself as neither good looking or bad, but simply in-between and unnoticeable. There were people who I knew that could walk in the room and all eyes would turn. But me, I never saw myself this way. I never saw my value. I never saw my gleam and somehow, I always believed I was outshone by the brightness and the brilliance of other people.
I can say the day I found my passion was the day that I found a seed, which to me; this was like a glimmer of golden light in the palm of my hand. I viewed this as my genesis. I saw this as my true value because in the simplest way, this was how my real life was ready to begin.
I saw it and once I saw this, I swear it was too big, too beautiful and too inspiring to ever let it go. Once I felt the warmth of this, it was as if I would never be cold again.
Most of all, I had to feed the source. I had to dress it and give it a name.
(I call this my dream.)
Once I found my passion, I gave it a face. To me, I decided to allow the birth of this child to save my life. In return, I promised to give it all the room to grow,