How To Find Meaning and Motivation in Life
by Craig Lock
Firstly, ask yourself the following questions:
What do you want out of life?
What do you value most? What does your life say to you? Which
means to say: What has been the purpose of it so far? Ever
thought about it? Funny question for all of us when one day just
seems to drift into another. What ideals do you aspire to? What
is your core value (or values). In other words, ask yourself
this: what is the single most important value I stand for in my
life, my core reason for being?
Write your answers down on a blank sheet of paper. Then ask the
person nearest and dearest to you to do the same. Make a quiet
time when you won't be disturbed. Spend this uninterrupted time
while you talk about your lives together: your values, goals and
dreams - for yourself and for the family This is a great
opportunity for you to spend quality time sharing your innermost
fears, goals and dreams with someone you love. If you are single,
just love yourself (my motto is: 'fall in love with yourself and
be sure of a life-long romance'). You can also find out what
those nearest and dearest to you really want out of life and from
you. What are their expectations of you? Usually very different
from what you think they are! Ask yourself: Are you living
out your values? Do you have a dream? If so, do you value your
dream? Is it that important to you? How important? What steps do
you need to take in order to achieve it? You may have to ask for
help from others; because not all goals can be achieved by you
The Bible said that man must have a vision ("Without a vision the
people perish"). The famous painter Jean Monet said that there
are two kinds of people:
Do you want to be one of them or not?
Nothing wrong with that at all, if that's what you truly want out
of life. Just to be an inconspicuous ordinary person. Those
people are generally far happier than the achievers, who are
continually striving towards success with great hopes and dreams.
Great! Except don't repeat the word 'great', dumbo. I teach that
in my creative writing course. Rather say 'wonderful'.
I think that I am a very motivated person, who throws himself
into situations with enthusiasm. Just live and let live. Not the
James Bond movie.
Our motivation varies from day to day. No-one can expect to be
greatly motivated all of the time. There are often times when I
need motivation and emotional nourishment. Some days when I'm
"not in the mood", writing is such a "drag" and I have to force
myself to do it, like any other job. This is probably the area in
which you can develop and improve yourself the most. I believe
the potential to motivate yourself is unlimited and it is a key
element in making the most of yourself. I also think that your
level of motivation will probably be the most important single
factor that determines where you'll finish up in life. A good
"spur on". So that makes it easy to work on!
Let us now look at some of the theory behind human motivation.
Now lets go into a bit more depth down the mine... I
believe success, even small amounts of it, is the best motivator
of all, to keep one going, whatever the quest.
When motivation comes from within, it is self-fulfilling. What
motivates people to do what they do? Is it to gain approval,
recognition or reward from someone else? This, I believe, is
often the case and is known as a reinforcement or reward theory
of motivation - a fancy term used by the psychologists, when you
do things for personal gain. Or it could be the 'pain' theory of
motivation, where you take action out of a fear of punishment (or
pain). These two approaches are sometimes known as the "carrot"
and the "stick" approach.
Spend some quiet time to reflect on motivation and what it means
to you personally: What do you want your tombstone to say? What
drives you? Ford, Nissan, Holden, VW Beetle or Chevrolet (for
American readers)? What motivates you, "presses your hot buttons"...
and makes your "heart sing"?
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