The thought today is about MOTIVATION….and how we motivate others/are motivated by others.
There have been times in my life that I have been motivated by someone making me so angry that I was gonna prove them wrong or die trying! And maybe that was their intent–a little reverse psychology.
While this can work, and sometimes this sort of ‘rough love’ is needful, sometimes it can be more harmful than productive. There have been some ‘interventions’ in my life by others that really spoke to what they feared most to be true about themselves–so by confronting it in me, they were in a way, doing so in their own lives.
The problem with this sort of messy intervention, is sometimes it works, but mostly, it alienates. Years later, you might realize what the person’s actions motivated you to do, but at what cost to the relationship with them? At what benefit?
There have ALSO been times when someone has BELIEVED in me, steadfastly supported me, not just saying meaningless stuff, but speaking to the things that were true about the situation and about me.
That is an incredible motivator—but sometimes it is a slow-acting one.
When you speak belief into another person’s life, it can act as a healing balm that soothes many dry places in the soul.
And sometimes (I know it is true with me) sometimes, you have to get used to being believed in! Depending on your journey, a person might be so used to degradation, cynicism, picky fault-finding and perfectionistic expectations that when confronted by something different, someone speaking faith in their lives, it kind of blows them away! What is going on here?
In this season of my life, I tend to surround myself with people of the second variety, speakers of positivity and truth, rather than doomsayers and ‘kicking you in the seat for your own good’ type of people. Either behavior can be taken too far. We can ‘positive’ others into a place of where the Emperor truly has no clothes but thinks they are splendidly arrayed. Or we can ‘negative’ people into a place of depressive despondency where they feel weighed down and feel no need to try.
How will you motivate others today? I think there is a time and a place for everything. A time to motivate by love and steadfast support, and yes, even a time to motivate by kicking butt. Which will you do today? There is a lot to be gained by having some insight into our hearts when we proceed in acting towards others. Is this really for them, or is it for us? Is this action to fulfill a deep inner need we are not aware of, or deny, or are we truly being altruistic?
Some of the most dominant, and yes, bullying people are often also the most frightened people. By attacking the qualities they most hate about themselves in others, they deny this shadow side further. Good can come, but sometimes at great cost to both the person and the people they attempt to change.
Today, I will try to motivate others for good, as I try to self-motivate to make my own life more effective. But I will also try to ask myself what really is going on in the situation. What is BACKING my desire to act in a certain way. Why am I doing what I am doing? Is for others, or is it really for me?
One of my favorite counseling analogies about lying to oneself is that of putting a lace doily on pile of excrement. We may have made it look good, but underneath, it still STINKS. What are our motivations?
This is a question I seek to answer for myself as I go out in the world today. Here’s hoping you do too–and that your motivating, speaks healing balm to the souls of others.