When it comes to Motivation I use the analogy of ‘building action bridges between ideas and achievements’. Action Bridges make the route from ideas to action and onto achievement a smoother ride; Serene Motivation.
Why Serene Motivation
Motivation is often clichéd by overly excited or threatening people and messages. These approaches have their merits; at the time.
Excitement creates an air of optimism, sometimes strong enough to give endorphin release; the feel good chemical our bodies secrete. Great orators have been drawing crowds since the earliest days of civilisation. Today these may be broadcast by any number of means in digital or print formats. With modern technology we can feel like we are stood next to the soap box.
At these events you feel the positivity in the air. With the atmosphere so alive you may wish you could bottle it, and if you could you could get a second boost later.
Threats create equally strong feelings, minus the positive element. Rather than being uplifting and creating an air of optimism the opposite is true; beware a group that faces strong threats. Stood amongst this kind of group you may notice chilling feelings, perhaps the sun will appear less bright.
Although opposite in their approaches both of these styles fall victim to the same after effect to a greater or lesser extent. Once away from the great orator or presentation the effects begin to wear off. The excitement can deflate and the buoyed up ‘yeah let’s do it’ attitude settles to ‘I’ll get around to it’. Damn, where is the technology to bottle the positive atmosphere?
The threats of what will happen if you don’t take action start to seem less real. The ‘oh no I can’t have that’ is replaced by ‘it won’t be so bad, I’ll manage’.
Serene Motivation is about subtly engaging your conscious and subconscious towards action.
calm, peaceful, and untroubled; tranquil
(an online dictionary)
With correctly tailored motivation the need for constant pep talks or threats is removed; the shouting motivator can go back to the 1980’s. I use hypnotherapy to form and embed these motivators.
When have you felt Motivated
Recognising when you have previously been motivated provides clues for future strategies. Recall a time when you have been motivated and consider the following.
- What was the task
- Was anything at stake
- Did you stand to gain
- Who set the task/goal
- Were you working alone
- Was there any monitoring along the way
Bear in mind that gains, monitoring and stakes can be intangible.
Recognise your Motivators
What have you previously responded well to, the carrot or the stick?
Contemporary thinking leans very much more toward the carrot; reward based motivation. There are of course still those out there ready wield a stick, and a bigger one if the first doesn’t work.
Your response to these two different approaches in different situations can provide a shocking insight. This turned up an unexpected revelation for me. Consider this are you a Towards or Away kind of person?
A Towards person can be defined as striving towards a goal. Working to move towards a desirable outcome. An Away person being almost the opposite, working to keep away from an undesirable outcome.
Typically towards people find staying focused on goals easier, progressing towards what they want. Away people recognise problems more easily and know what they want to avoid. Being clear about what they don’t want can cause problems in planning good outcomes.
Take some time to think about this and remember that we do not process negatives well. We have a habit of editing out the negative, calling down the street as your child run ahead, ‘don’t run in the road’ is not useful. Better go with, ‘stop at the road’.
Consider these two statements
‘I am looking forward to paying the mortgage and owning my home’
‘If I don’t pay the mortgage my home will be taken away’
In the towards or way context it is clear the first is Towards and the second Away. Could we make the second more positive whilst remaining true to the ‘Away’ personality? How about this?
‘I need to pay the mortgage to keep my home’
You can dismiss this as semantic play, however these styles of phrasing have reaching effects. Stating goals in the positive is well endorsed, take a look at my post Goals drive Attention for more on this.
Poor Motivation Downsides
Lacking in motivation not only results in not getting what you want, keep in mind the Toward and Away construct; you could also get what you don’t want.
The knock on effects of poor motivation can be far reaching, examples being:
- Last minute rush
- Resorting to an Expensive Solution
- Missed Opportunities
In the longer term self worth can be effected leading to more complex issues.
Being positively motivated requires some ‘buy in’ either to the end game, the next stage or an ethos or movement. Consider how the following affect your motivation.
Having agency in our lives is one of the most important human and emotional needs. Agency is the freedom to shape our own lives to a greater or lesser extent.
Do you see value in the task at hand? It is hard to keep motivated punching numbers into a computer with no idea of the value.
Is the task at hand progressing you to another task? Perhaps there is an associated benefit; typically being paid allowing progression in another way.
Linked to agency, is this part of a plan that you are responsible for, can you take ownership and feel rewards.
Who is keeping you true, yourself or another party? Some people respond well to close management, well motivated people should not need this and usually prefer less management.
Third Party Benefit
Will your commitment to a task or goal benefit others you care about. From a motivation point of view this is not a selfless act, you do reap a personal reward.
Hypnotherapy and Motivation
Hypnotherapy aids motivation at many levels, here are some examples.
- Forming Goals
- Identifying your Motivators
- Resource Building
- Identifying the needs
- Building Action Bridges
- Improving Self Image
When all of these combine progress is Serene; Serene Motivation.
We respond differently to various styles of motivation. We are best motivated when we understand the value in the task and have the resources to progress. Using hype can be a good starter but the effects diminish and require constant maintenance.