Motivation and Inspiration

by Goldie on October 18, 2009

in Society and Culture

I’ve heard it said that “will power is highly overrated”.   It is a fun phrase to quip, but more than amusing it is accurate.  It is easy to come up with good goals and aim to meet them, after all the goal is its own reward.  However, the execution over time can be wearing and move quickly to a matter of will power and pushing your way through.  In the ideal short term goals in conjunction with long term goals should address this.  Short term goals can be like small rewards on the way to the long term.  It seems like a good idea in principle, but how short term a goal is short enough – and yet valuable enough to provide a reward and keep things in motion.  Sometimes more than goals are needed and actual rewards need to be part of the plan.

I was reminded of this today when I was struggling to come up with what to post about.  Some days there are lots of thoughts that lend themselves to writing, but other days I’m just mulling over many ideas, but nothing has settled.  I was ponder, maybe I could just let it slip one day.   I decided against that, and as I did I remembered when I was doing my “Me Today” videos for a month.

I managed to some how do a video every single day that month.  I videoed early on Friday, late on Saturday and sometime all the other days.  Now admittedly some of the videos were pretty minimalist, but I always found a way to squeeze a few minutes to video, upload & post it.

How was I able to have such persistence at the task?  Was my life just better ordered?  Was it my love of being on camera? That could have been part of it, but I think the real draw, as much as I’d like to think I was above such material things, was that each video was an entry in a chance to win an iPhone.   I never did win the iPhone (although I got a t-shirt) but I did connect with people and get much more comfortable with video.   The significant thing was that some how the potential of a material reward, just a chance at it, was enough to motivate me to do something every day.

How many goals have I set aside, or attempted half heartedly because I thought the goal should have been its own reward. Perhaps this needs a bit of rethinking.

The challenge, of course, becomes what would be a reward that would entice and motivate, when I am the one setting the reward and could simply decide to buy it/get it today.

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