While I have nothing against motivational quotes, I find that they usually motivate me only for a brief moment. It seems like so many people sign up for daily motivational quotes to be sent to their inbox, or they fill their Pinterest boards with such. It reminds me of what I used to do (and still do, sometimes), namely – writing down quotes I like. The problem with that is that I write them down on a sticky and then toss them into one of my non-crucial, but important piles of paper. It does not take a genius to figure out that the pile grows larger every week, and usually remains untouched for a prolonged period of time. When I do get to organizing it, I find a number of scribbles that I thought were going to make a difference, but at that moment, I realize that they did not. Nine times out of ten, I end up throwing out the piece of paper with the golden quote. Only to be replaced by another shortly after.
Does that ever happen to you? Do you write things down only to never look at them again and then, when enough time has passed, you toss it out?
As I sat down to write this post, I entered “What motivates you?” in the Google search bar. What I expected was a bunch of quotes and spiritual stuff. Instead, I got more tangible answers. I found out that the motivation question often comes up during work interviews and the most sought out answers include: learning new skills, meeting deadlines and overcoming challenges. While those things definitely motivate me, I know that not all of you are driven by those things.
Upon further research, I found out that the two biggest motivators are: pain and gain. That totally makes sense to me. When I talk with people about work and they give me an esoteric answer, it makes me wonder. I work because I need a paycheck. Because I do not want to be homeless (pain avoidance), and because I like the things money buys (gain).
Does pain motivate you?
What is a greater motivator to you – pain or gain?
This also nicely explains why we cannot save some people no matter how much we try. Have you ever encountered a person, who had an unusually rough time living? Did you want to help them? Did you tell them what to do/ what not to do, but they would not listen? There is a chance that they did not follow your advice because the pain you thought they were in was not really painful enough for them. They did not hit rock bottom, yet. Or maybe, they just saw no gain in sight. There was nothing for them to strive towards.
This is also the reason why you might have already forgotten your New Year’s resolutions. We often come up with arbitrary changes, but what we do not always realize it at that time is that we lack motivation. Have you ever heard a weight loss success story? Often times they decide to lose weight and do so successfully after a health scare, or an instance of humiliation.
It appears to me that today’s society is pain-aversive.
As humans, we want things to go smoothly for us.
We want good things to happen to us.
We do not want to suffer.
However, if that was the case, we would have grown complacent. We would have no motivation to strive for more.
There is time and place for everything. Even though it is rude and even socially unacceptable to just blurt out whatever you are thinking in certain situations, we should not censor ourselves 100%. Sometimes we need to cause others pain to have them realize that they can do better.
So much better.
I wonder if Google just told me what I wanted to hear…
What do you think your purpose in life is?
Are you working towards it?
What motivates you?
How do you feel about motivational quotes?
Do you seek out motivational quotes to push yourself?
Why do you think these quotes are so powerful?
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