What do I need motivation for?

I love Dan Pink’s book Drive  … his basic premise is that for great motivation we need a sense of autonomy, mastery and purpose.

I began to consider this question: what are the main things we need to be motivated for? In other words, these are things that we need someone outside ourselves listening, encouraging, supporting and holding us accountable. They must, by nature, not be things that are coming easily to us, but they must also be things that we’ll want bad enough that the outside perspective isn’t using cattle prods to get us there. Nobody can make us do it without some level of internal motivation, but on the other hand, if our internal motivation is sufficient, those items don’t really go on this list. They’re changes we’re making easily enough on our own.

Here’s my incomplete list, and I invite you to comment and add your own thoughts to the discussion. What would you add or subtract?

  1. Things we want to do with excellence
  2. Things that will take a level of endurance
  3. Unpalatable tasks we must grind though
  4. Things that will involve taking a certain degree of risk
  5. Things that will require us to practice values to which we have previously only aspired to live, but now want to live out
  6. Things that we want to be intentional about living through our work and family life, in our margins, hedgerows or sabbath time
  7. Transitional elements which are naturally exhausting

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The author lives in Goshen, Indiana with his wife and four children. He is self-employed as a leadership coach working with business executives, writers and other artists, and spiritual leaders. His clients enjoy business growth, increased vision and purpose, work/family lifestyle balance, and freedom from writer’s block.

2 thoughts on “What do I need motivation for?”

  1. very interesting blog
    Your # 6 —-“Things that we want to be intentional about living through our work and family life, in our margins, hedgerows or sabbath time.”
    I’m not sure what you mean. I can guess “thusly” (to quote Jim Rice): “margins” the places / situations / relationships (PSR) that are not primary or that impact us infrequently.
    “hedgerows”: — PSR that are common and make up the bulk of our lives
    “Sabbath” how we “rest” on the 7th day — taking us out of the hedgerows and maybe into the margins?
    Comments please.


    1. Margins time: down time you have every day — time you kill reading my blog, surfing facebook, picking your teeth, not really working.
      Sabbath time: rest on the 7th day (or alternate, but your day off)
      Hedgerow time: more intentional times of creativity, work in the semi-wild spaces in life, that is, a hedgerow being a place where foxes have their dens and blackberries and mushrooms grow, this is time set aside where we are working, in the sense of walking along a hedgerow to see what may happen, but being okay with it if nothing happens, any productivity is welcome, but peripheral in a sense. So even though a hedgerow is in itself a sort of margin, this is a bit longer walk along the margins, intentionally poking about creatively to see what we may find. It’s time spent intentionally and creatively with the expectation that any productivity is simply a tasty bonus. I wonder if this is helping, “pops”? Thanks for the dialog, I need to refine the concept before we publish The Art of Motivational Listening.


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