For quite some time now, I have held the belief that:
There is no such thing as “motivation” there is only what you do and what you want to do but don’t.
To get things straight, lets start with some definitions (thank you Dictionary.com):
Motivate: to provide with a motive or motives; incite; impel.
Inspire: to fill with an animating, quickening, or exalting influence OR to fill or affect with a specified feeling, thought, etc. OR to influence or impel.
Program: to cause to absorb or incorporate automatic responses, attitudes, or the like; condition.
When people tend to use the word motivation they are referring to finding something (usually within themselves) to impel them into action toward a particular goal. “this book really motivated me to…” or “I need to find the motivation to work”.
Sometimes this sort of thing is there. Sometimes we can find the “motivation” to do what we need to do, whether it was in us or an outside source.
But rarely can we find something that “motivates” us all the time.
I call myself an inspirational speaker, NOT a motivational speaker for one simple reason: what I say may very well inspire (fill people with an emotional influence) but there is no guarantee that I will incite action from them.
The reason for this is simple: Only they can act and decide WHEN then feel like acting.
Let me give you an example:
I like to write, and often when I see a really good movie or read a really good book, I come away FILLED WITH AN EMOTIONAL FEELING do write something just as dynamic, but only rarely do I ever actually DO it. I am inspired but not truly motivated.
This is why I say that there is what we do and what we want to do but don’t.
There are lots of times we say to ourselves “I really want to do that” or “I really need to do that” but we don’t. There are lots of things that we know might be good for us to do, that we don’t do. Instead we continue to do things that may or may be good for us because that is what we have programmed ourselves to do.
So here is where we get to the good stuff. Programming, mental conditioning, self-suggestion, etc.
In the negative it might be referred to as brain washing or social programming or indoctrination. These refer to when an OUTSIDE force is the one doing the programming.
BUT when it is you who is programming yourself, instilling new behaviours and getting rid of bad habits, this can be very beneficial.
And honestly, this is the only real way to “get things done” over the long term. Programming yourself to do it.
Motivation may or may not be there and definitely won’t last long term. Inspiration may give you a bit of an emotional boost but can’t make you really do anything, it is only by programming yourself for action that you will get done what you want to get done and be the most productive.
As the definition implies, programing is about “absorbing” (ie making a habit) of a specific “response or attitude” (ie behaviour) so that you never have to think about doing it, you just do it.
We all know how to walk, because as a toddler we learned the right movements and ingrained them into our synapses, making it a habit, something we don’t think about. Walking is a programmed behaviour at the most basic level.
Have you ever been driving along and realize suddenly that you were lost in thought for the last three minutes and don’t really have any recollection of driving! You didn’t get into an accident and you’re still on course – why? because driving is programmed into us, especially routes we take A LOT. This is probably why most accidents happen close to home – we are so used to driving in that area and are driving on “auto” and something unexpected happens and BANG!
I’m running a little high on my word count at the moment so I’ll continue this in my next post. I really want to get to HOW to program yourself so you can start being aware of your own programs and breaking them or making new ones as you need to.
Until then, keep laughing – maybe we can program some of that too!