Motivational Monday: Finding Your Purpose
I must share with you that I was so excited and honored when I was asked to be the weekly columnist for Motivational Monday. In my high school years, as the assistant editor for the school newspaper, I had a column called “Stayin’ Alive” (yes, the Bee Gees were popular when I was in high school!) and I gave advice to students on how to survive high school. My role as your Monday Motivator is to give you advice and guidance as well, and fortunately I have accumulated quite a bit more wisdom since my Bee Gees days. Although I am many years out of high school, I remain a lifelong student. I look forward to sharing my lessons and insight with you through this column.
This cartoon has stuck in my head ever since I first read Jeffrey Gitomer’s Little Book of Selling in 2005. He uses this cartoon to illustrate one of his key principles which is to “Kick your own Ass.” It’s not only funny, it is true and poses the critical question as to HOW do I do that? How do I motivate myself? As the author of this column, not only is it my goal to motivate you, but to teach you how to motivate yourself. As I tell all of my clients, “Help ME, help YOU!” which is from my favorite scene in Jerry Maguire.
To fully understand what it takes to get motivated, you first must get clear on what you really want. What is your “why?” People in our society rarely slow down long enough to really ponder this. We get so caught up in doing what we think we “have” to do we never stop to even consider why we are doing it. Have you ever been around a young child who continues to ask “Why….?” You come up with some answer and then again you hear, “Yeah, but why?” Rather than giving this child a quick answer, pause for a moment and notice this beautiful curiosity. That same child can also probably tell you exactly what he/she wants.
Simon Sinek wrote a brilliant book called Start With Why. (He also has a fabulous TedTalk on this subject.) He states that “Very few people or organizations know why they do what they do.” He goes further to explain that it’s not just about the “why” of making a profit, but rather the why of “what is your purpose?” I truly believe that if you know your “why” then motivation will never be a challenge for you. You might be thinking, “Well that all sounds great but I have to go to work every day and make money.” Yes, I get that. What if you were to ask yourself a different question? Why am I doing the job I am doing? Do I love what I am doing? If you answer no to that question I would ask you, then WHY are you doing that job? You might say, “because it is the only job I can get.” And I would say “WHY do you think that? WHY are you limiting yourself?”
I want to make two key points here. One, is that we all need to take time to get clear on what our “why” is in our life. And two, we limit ourselves by our thinking when we reply with dead-end answers. We need to ask different questions and consider different replies!
I would say if you think you have a motivation problem, what you really have is a lack of purpose problem.
Here is a challenge for you this week:
- Every time you hear the question “why,” take some time to consider your answer before you reply.
- Ask yourself some of these questions, and then listen to your own reply.
Have an awesome week!