What is your motivation? Regain your motivation by understanding the big "why" behind what you do. Simply keeping the bills paid is never enough. To be fully engaged in our lives, we must have bigger and bolder goals. Why do you do what you do? Do you really know? Do the people around you know?
While in Austin, Texas for South by Southwest a few years ago, I had the privilege of meeting Tony Deifell, renowned for asking that very question: "Why Do You Do What You Do?"
While we had breakfast, he grilled me about my motivation and actually dismissed my first few answers. Over pancakes and coffee, we kept digging deeper. Finally I said I do what I do "because I am joyful when I feel a sense of completion. " My motivation for the coaching I do is to help clients achieve more.
When I first engage with a client, the only thing I'm focused on is whether we will we be able to work together in a way that will get them to a new place. I share techniques that allow them finish what's important to them. I want to show them how they can get more done, more easily. I help them achieve completion.
The easiest way to discover purpose is to keep using two simple words: "So that...". For example, for me this might look something like: "I am a coach so that I can help people achieve more so that their company or organization can attract more customers so that the difference they make is more significant. "
Be prepared to discover something new about yourself when you go through this exercise. If possible, write down three to seven "so that..." statements for each area on which you want to determine your motivation -- your "big why" -- in order to get re-energized.
This exercise will help you clarify your priorities and gain direction and enthusiasm to work on the things most important to you. It will also give you a reason to say "no" to distractions that come along and allow you to establish a baseline against which you can review your progress.
This exercise is not designed to impose restrictions on yourself. Your "so that…" statement should not discourage or bring you down in any way. Rather, consider this an exercise in positive focus -- as opposed to positive thinking. I had one client who shared with me, "Jason, I don't need to feel bad about what I am doing. I can [just] focus on it, know why I'm doing it, and continually get a little bit better at it. This helps me think that I don't have to be everything, to everyone, all the time." An important revelation, don't you think?
"So that..." statements help you gain the freedom to choose, act and excel. When you spell out why you are doing what you do, when you understand the results you anticipate, making those results a reality becomes much easier.
Do you want to regain your motivation? Complete the sentence, "I do what I do, so that…" and really listen to your answer. Do you want more? Dig deeper. Discover why you do what you do, and make your best even better.