Week Ending May 25th, 2018
Content Covered: Thoughts on Motivation
I seek wisdom in life that combines contemplation and action.*
Many books have been written on this topic; I wouldn’t dare to say I can cover all the points that have been made in the next few paragraphs, but I do believe that I can give you something new to think about.
Fundamentally, it is proposed that motivation is the bridge between contemplation and action. And that without motivation, plans remain plans without any action. Furthermore, motivation can be dissected into intrinsic motivation, arising from within, and extrinsic motivation, stimulation from outside.
The granularity is important to mention because I’m going to propose that there is a cyclic relationship between thought and behavior.
Simon Sinek is a brilliant author and speaker, and in one of his books, Leaders Eat Last, he talks about the concept of motivation.
When we take a dive into neuroscience – “behavior” is understood through a new perspective. Fundamentally, neurochemicals like endorphins, dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin work together to create “chemical incentives” that drive the repetition of certain behaviors that make us feel good or avoid stress / pain.
So, if our biology drives the choices that we make in reality, motivation then becomes a process of engaging awareness to understand what we enjoy doing, and noticing how that drives our choices.
In the past, motivation has taken the form of: just do it, keep trying, don’t give up, etc. While these philosophies are not completely wrong, if you are looking for a truly sustainable method of motivation, I believe it would be most beneficial to understand where you find the most enjoyment in what you are doing.
Leveraging this information will then allow you to create components of that feeling, in different ways, in all aspects of your life, thus allowing the “right chemicals” to be released for the “right reasons.”
To me this is the true power of leveraging awareness to create motivation; when we take the time to understand what we like, and see how we can sew parts of what makes us feel good into as many parts of our life, we are working in harmony with our biology to create the life we desire.
This creates sustainability.
*Quote from Oriah