Whatever you choose to do in your life requires an internal spark, the interest and drive to take action to accomplish something. In the literature on coaching and human performance, this is a common theme. In the short-term, we can all be encouraged or scared into some course of action. Over the course of a life, though, it comes down to identifying and pursuing our goals, those things that we are hardwired to explore and accomplish.
I once worked for an individual who said (repeatedly), “There are only two things that motivate people: fear and money.” Wrong. Those were the two tools that he chose to use to manage (I would not is the word “lead” for what he did), but he couldn’t be more wrong.
While working with hundreds of people over the last four years in the career development business, and with thousands through a career, I am convinced that motivation lies much deeper than the Skinner-like approach of cash and intimidation, pellet or shock. The most effective and inspiring people have always been those who have a vision for themselves, some drive – call it pride, a need to achieve – that gave them a sparkle in their eyes and almost limitless energy to make something happen.
Each of us has something that inspires us. Running a faster mile, caring better for a patient, creating a new web site; there is something. What motivates you? What step can you take now – right now – to move closer to your goal? Find it and do it.