I have two cocker spaniels that become unglued when I bring home French fries, or go by a drive-through fast food establishment. My smaller dog will try to leap over the seat to eat through the bag before we get home. Both of my two dogs are highly motivated when they see the drive-through, hear the word “fries” or smell the tantalizing aroma (to them) of the fries. They will do anything to get their mouths on those hot, greasy items.
So what makes someone go absolutely bonkers for something? How can we motivate ourselves to create the same mentality my dogs have from smelling fries?
Real motivation, the kind that makes us smile when no one is looking and bound out of bed eager to start the day, is obviously about more than just a pay check or bonus and doesn’t have to be regulated to special times. It should be an ongoing cognitive default switch that enables us to feel more energized and downright happy at the end of the day and specifically guides our actions when there are challenges and hurdles to maneuver.
I’ve written often about the importance of creating our own mental videos and the significance these play in building our days according to what we want to experience and create. If we don’t understand what drives us emotionally and how to recreate that feeling within our day to day activities, we often end the day exhausted, uncreative and unproductive.
Psychologists have many theories on why people behave the way they do and what motivates them to behave differently. Many, like Carl Rogers, believe that regardless of all the theories that abound each individual sees his own subjective reality and responds to stimuli based on his perceptions. Therefore this would seem to mean if we want to create a different outcome all we need to do is pay more attention to where we’re putting our attention and keep focusing back to what matters.
We all want to feel good and we all have different paths to get there. Experts abound who teach us the wisdom of fostering this attitude. CEO of Zappos Tony Hsieh talks about it constantly in his book Delivering Happiness, and Daniel Goleman has been talking about it since his first book, Emotional Intelligence was published in 1995.
If, by paying attention to what genuinely motivates us we can then bring that sense of happiness and appreciation with us wherever we go, we have an incredible opportunity to change any environment and start a ripple effect that will touch everyone we meet.
Simply ask yourself, “what matters to you, what makes you get up in the morning, and how you can leverage that throughout your day?” For some, like my cocker spaniels, the answer is simple.
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