It is widely accepted that motivation is necessary for success. Indeed, some people (motivation speakers) have become very successful simply by attempting to motivate others to succeed.
In order to succeed, though, we need a clear understanding of what motivates us.
Ask any passing person in the mall what motivates them and you will probably get an answer that varies from, “I don’t know. I haven’t really thought about it,” to, “I’m just trying to make ends meet to pay the bills and survive.” Occasionally you will come across someone who says, “I’m working toward becoming financially successful,” and someone who says, “I don’t care about material wealth. I just love helping others.”
What would your answer be if you were the one stopped in the mall? Would you know what to answer?
Regardless of your answer and all the answers from everybody, I have come to understand what motivates just about every person. It is a desire to advance, increase or improve their current situation in some way or another – a desire for more or better. This is what has contributed to the wonderful developments and inventions that have made life easier for human beings through the centuries.
Because we have a deep desire to continually advance from where we are in life we, as a human race, have collectively come up with ways to do things better, smarter and more effectively. That is what has caused people never to be satisfied with things as they are. And that’s a wonderful quality!
This is what explains why people (a South African being one of them) are right now trying to find a way to make space travel more accessible and affordable to the general public and not something reserved for highly trained and physically fit astronauts.
Of course, more and better are different things to different people. To many, more and better is viewed in terms of money (only). Such people then chase financial success in the mistaken belief that, once they have arrived there, they will be happy. The tragedy is that too many people have travelled that road for years only to discover when they reached their destination that there was neither happiness nor fulfilment waiting for them. There was just lots of money. And money can’t buy love, happiness, fulfilment or meaning. It buys, convenience, physical comfort, physical (and not necessarily emotional) security and such things.
I must make it very clear that money is a very important factor in life, but don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s the ONLY important factor.
What is “more” and “better” to you? Sure, money may be close to the top of your list, but could I encourage you to include a lot more on that list? What about more or better relationships? If you have no-one to share and/or enjoy your money with, you will be a lonely, miserable millionaire. Work, therefore at building more and better relationships with your partner, your children, your family and your friends.
What about more or better regarding your health? If you have R100 million to your name but can’t get out of bed, what use is your money to you? Focus on taking care of your health so that you are physically and emotionally well enough to enjoy more and better in other areas of your life.
What about more or better regarding your spirituality? That goes far wider than just your religious beliefs, if you have any. It speaks to your purpose on the planet. It speaks to the meaning of YOUR life. Find out what the more or better are in this key area of your life and you will find inner peace, meaning, purpose and fulfilment.
Yes, we all want more and better, but we need to be clear about what that more and better are. Discover what your more and better are and then live in a way that brings those to fulfilment!
Alan Hosking is the publisher of HR Future magazine, www.hrfuture.net, @HRFuturemag, and a professional speaker. He assists executives to prevent, reverse and delay ageing, and achieve self-mastery so that they can live and lead with greatness.