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