Saturday, June 05, 2010

Do You Know What Motivates You?


My marketing adviser shared an insight about human nature the other day that made complete sense to me. He explained that we tend to be primarily motivated to act by either desperation or inspiration.

He was actually reflecting back to me an insight I had some years ago when I realized I needed to stop creating crises as motivation to deepen my relationship with the Divine. I was really good at creating heart-wrenching dramas and intense physical pain as means for catalyzing my spiritual growth.

I used my fear of failure to learn how to love more deeply, surrender, accept, honor others and myself, discover my intuition and my healing gifts, and trust in Divine guidance as much or more than I trusted my logic and my need to control. It worked. Motivation by desperation actually did catapult me into a more profound connection to the Divine, but it made life extremely challenging to enjoy.

This is a prayer I wrote committing to freedom from the fear of what I wanted: http://newdreamfoundation.com/forums/index.php/board,38.0.html

At some point, I got it. I clearly understood that I could continue to create dramas of desperation or replace them with a motivator that was a bit nobler and a lot more fun. I decided to replace crisis with inspiration.

Now this was a challenging feat because I was used to crisis. Inspiration seemed like a world I wasn’t so familiar with. I actually had to reflect on times in my life when I could honestly say I was more motivated by inspiration than desperation.

For example, the first time I auditioned for a role in a musical production, I was honestly inspired. When I applied for my first teaching jobs I was at least as inspired to teach children as I was desperate to find employment. When I left my successful consulting practice to embrace a spiritual journey I did not yet understand, I did so with a heart full of inspiration.

Acting out of inspiration does not mean there is no longer any fear. When I left to embark on a spiritual journey of travel to sacred sites and ceremonies, I certainly felt some apprehension about stepping into the unknown. However, it was not the clinging fear of desperation. It was a healthy fear that comes with stepping forward, knowing I was following my Divine guidance into a world of wonders yet to be discovered.

When I traveled and lived out of the back of my little pick-up, it never occurred to me that I was homeless. I never became desperate about how I was going to survive. I was on an adventure of Spirit and each moment was an opportunity to be inspired by life. As I abandoned desperation and opened to inspiration, my world opened with it.

Now, I’ve learned to hear when my voice is sounding desperate or my body is tensing up with the anxiety of desperation. I know it is my old pattern creeping in. I shake my head and grin at myself thinking, “There I go again.” Then I ask myself, “How can I change this feeling to one of inspiration?”

Within moments, hours or days of being with this question, the answer comes. What once was the cause of my fear becomes a reason to live an even more inspired life.

If this concept is new to you, do be patient with yourself in the journey. It took me many years to learn how to flip the switch from desperation to inspiration. And you could ask my husband or my marketing adviser about how I still get caught in little moments of desperate fear. They just pass more quickly now.

Let me invite you to consider how much more enjoyable your life would be if you flipped the switch from acting in desperation to living an inspired life.