What kind of shunning am I talking about?
Okay, I’ll stop the bad puns. But what am I talking about?
Motivation is the reason we want to do something. We want the benefits that come with completing a task or project and quite often, we are willing to tolerate some unpleasantness to achieve those benefits. In fact, it’s the only reason we are willing to tolerate the unpleasantness. Many assume that motivation alone is sufficient to take action, but this is a false assumption. We may be strongly motivated, with an intense desire for something, but that motivation may not lead us to do what is necessary to achieve the desired results.
Inspiration is often used interchangeably with motivation, but I see a subtle difference. I believe inspiration is what many people really mean when they talk about motivation. Inspiration comes from an outside source. Something we see or hear sparks a unique combination of motivation and energy. We are eager to get started. We spend a lot of time seeking inspiration, and unfortunately, it usually evaporates quickly–long before we have the opportunity to act on it.
Activation is what happens when we actually perform the actions. Activation is the crux of the problem for many.
Perspiration, either literal or figurative, may be necessary to complete the job. We may need to exert effort or endure discomfort (including boredom) to complete the actions.
Determination also helps us keep going, when obstacles threaten our progress.
All of these factors are important, and it’s worthwhile to consider them when trying to figure out how to get things done. But there is something else that is so subtle and so integral, that it’s often overlooked.
Awareness is the critical factor.
We need to be AWARE of our:
- goals–what is it that we really want, and how is that different than what we have?
- values–what matters to us?
- intentions–what is it that we intend to do, and how do they link to our values and goals?
- opportunity–when are we at that moment when we have the opportunity to carry out our intentions?
- selves–what are we actually doing?
- neurology–what is our processing style, and how does it support or impede us?
- energy–do we have the fuel to do the work?
- time–how much time do we need to do the work?
- feelings–are we trying to avoid or soothe uncomfortable feelings?
- perspective–what are our beliefs and biases about our situation, and are they accurate?
- motivation–how do our intentions link to our motivation?
- obstacles–what makes it more difficult to carry out our intentions?
- supports–what would make it easier to carry out our intentions?
- resources–where can we look to find support?
The list could go on and on but my point is that none of the rest matters, if we aren’t aware of what we are doing. Building awareness is where it begins.
So, how to begin? You’re doing it right now. Thinking about all of this helps. Each time you turn your attention to your awareness, it grows. Next post, I’ll share some of my ideas for building awareness, but don’t wait for me. If you have something you’d like to share, please tell us now!