There was a time when many believed in business and in sport that motivation came from a place outside of us – or from another. We now see that in the most effective people in life and business, that motivation burns strongly within them. Thinking of motivation, some may have the image of a sports coach speaking with passion to a team or perhaps one of those classic drill sergeant speeches.
However these examples might be better described as triggers. Triggers have their function but are often fear based, for example: You look in the mirror and think “I don’t want to look like this any more” (moving away from pain). However when you don’t look “so bad” will you lose motivation and slip back to the old pattern?
True motivation comes from our values – of what is important to us. So if you don’t like your shape in the mirror – redefine what is important to you. Perhaps: “I want a healthy body full of vitality”. As this is a value and something pleasurable that you are moving towards it will remain active even when you have that body. When it is a high value, your own motivation will be there to support you all the way.
It surprised me recently as I watched coverage of a rugby test series (The British and Irish Lions v Australia if you’re interested). These guys play one of the most brutal and aggressive games on the planet and yet there is no fear in how they are lead. To see them interact with kids and show their love for the game, you begin to see that these guys are not driven by their coach but deeply motivated to succeed from the inside. (Check out link)
What we value motivates – The rugby Lions
Driving people is “motivating” by fear – a contradiction in terms. Using fear as a management tool may get you some very short term results. However, understanding how to create an aligned vision with values, such that you and your team are motivated, is infinitely more sustainable, powerful and effective to reach your highest goals and desires.