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Surprisingly enough, once again I found myself in a discussion on how to motivate people. Once again, I had to listen to those motivation factors I fought against for such a long time.
Just to clarify my point, I don’t want to be motivated by anyone! And it is highly ineffective that people try to motivate other people.
Motivation is not energy. If you meet a person who suddenly tells you “Hey you know what – next week I will spend my vacation climbing Mt. Everest”what would you think? He is not able to climb a hill not even with his bike… and he says: “I will do it!”. He is energetic, but would you say he is really motivated?
This brings us to an important point: motivation leads to energy. To be energetic doesn’t necessarily mean you are motivated. The person I mentioned might really stop his climbing and start crying just after the first small problem he meets if he was only energetic and not really motivated.
So, what is motivation? Let’s take one step at a time. Motivation is made up of two factors: personal structure – meaning values and principles learned in family, things learned studying or making experiences – and consciousness – meaning the capacity of recognising and dealing with problems.
The higher the level of these two factors, the higher and more stable the level of energy motivation produces. This kind of energy has an interesting characteristic. It doesn’t extinguish like a flame. It lasts. It lasts as long as the above mentioned factors are high and steady.
Our personal work should then be to assess these factors in our personal condition and work on them to produce such good energy.
Now, suppose someone comes to my office and start promising "whatever" to make me do something. Is he really creating motivation or is he just creating a feeble and illusory energy that will disappear at the very first problem I encounter?
Let’s consider the two factors again. Is he increasing my personal structure or improving my consciousness? Not at all.
Those factors are so inner and remotely accessible to everybody that only the individual can recognise them and gently try to improve them.
Stop trying to motivate people – start motivating yourself!