A lot has been said, written and studied about motivation. But it’s still something that is hard to maintain and definitely not easy to manage.
I know for myself, I go a month here and a month there where I’m highly motivated and it’s times like that the time just flies by. Eventually, the roller coaster comes back down to earth for a while and you maintain and chug along with the rest of the planet, as just another cog in the machine. As Seth once put it:
The end result is that it’s essentially impossible to become successful or well off doing a job that is described and measured by someone else.
Later in the same article he says:
People who make up new rules continue to be in very short supply.
How does this relate to my subject, Motivation? I’m getting to that.
Now, unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months, we all know what’s going on in the world right now, the economy is tanking and it’s taking casualties down with it. Either in terms of layoffs or entire companies, the outlook is grim.
Grim of course, if you don’t see some of the opportunities, or Grim of course if you’re not capable to taking advantage of those opportunities.
I’ve been reading a lot more Seth lately, it’s enlightening. He has plenty of great insight, and he just does such a good job getting a good message across; common sense or not, they land on open ears. Now is a good time for this.
Again, how does this relate to Motivation?
Let’s consider the Criticism post out of his great book, “Small is the new Big”. It specifically mentions:
So, why haven’t you and your team launched as many Purple Cows as you’d like?
Not just the fear of failure. Fear of failure is actually overrated as an excuse. Why? Because if you work for someone, then more often than not, the actual cost of the failure is absorbed by the organization, not you. If your product launch fails, they’re not going to fire you. The company will make a bit less money and will move on.
What people are afraid of isn’t failure. It’s blame. Criticism.
We don’t choose to be remarkable because we’re worried about criticism. We hesitate to create innovative movies, launch new human resource initiatives, design a menu that makes diners take notice or give an audacious sermon because we’re worried, deep down, that someone will hate it and call us on it.
I’ve never been one to fear like mentioned above. Sometimes one gets comfortable, other times it’s just frustration. Ultimately, it’s taking the easy way out. Working as a cog in the system.
One thing I am known for is my candor at home and at work. I’ve always been one to speak my mind, sometimes it comes across pessimistic, other times it’s constructive criticism, and others it’s being sure to recognize good work. It’s the times where I am waving my hands in the air that get me motivated. Waving with an idea, a goal I want to achieve or quite simply a concern we’re about to do the wrong thing.
This is where motivation comes in.
If you are in a good organization, that encourages and welcomes your ideas and input, that’s motivating. If you’re given enough floor time for an elevator pitch, that’s motivating. If you’re given the opportunity to take that pitch somewhere, that’s motivating.
What’s even more motivating is when some of those ideas show signs of growing legs.