(7) Questions to find out what motivates you.

By Kathleen E.R. Murphy

I have always been fascinated by understanding what motivates other people, and the insight I gain from my conversations with them when we discuss this topic. Similar to a persons palm and the lines on it, no two people have exactly the same thing which motivates them. This is a good thing, because if we were all motivated by the same things, our world would not be as interesting and diverse as it is. When was the last time you paused to think about what motivates you, or have you figured out what actually motivates you?

One of the things which motivates me is traveling and meeting new people. I am always honored to become acquainted with total strangers upon first meeting, and after speaking with them for either ten minutes or hours, have a completely new and different understanding of the person I first met, and where they came from (e.g., from a country perspective). As  have shared with you before, I am not a huge fan of watching the news, as it only gives you the perspective from the people who are editing the information you end up seeing. I would much rather and prefer to conduct my own interviews and do my own analysis on what is going on in the world by actually having conversations with people who live in different parts of the world. In my opinion, there is no better way to educate yourself about the world and the people in it than by traveling, so this is one of the things which motivates me.

Motivation can come from many different places, and it can come from oneself, or via others who motivate you. Not everyone is self-motivated, so fortuneately there are other people who can help to motivate you, and this is perfectly fine. For example, if you wish to get in shape an d want to go the gym but have no idea how to use the equipment at the gym to become fit, then hiring a personal trainer to help you with this process makes perfect sense and in the process can help to motivate you to become a fit person. Or, if you want to become better at something professionally, you can either seek out a mentor or someone who has mastered the work you are trying to become better at. The person who has mastered what you are trying to learn can serve as the motivation, while simultaneously teaching you how to become better at what you are seeking to learn how to do on a new level of competency.

Many people are motivated by sports stars or business icons, or potentially by their local sports coach who has dedicated themselves to helping kids learn how to play a sport and be able to learn the valuable lessons associated with competitive level sports. Inspiration can also come from admiring what other people have achieved from a professional perspective whether they are in a traditional role such as a surgeon or perhaps a professional opera singer. Inspiration can also come from nature, and admiring the work accomplished by landscape designers such as Frederick Locke Olmsted who designed both the Boston Public Garden as well as (parts of?) the New York Central Park.

So what if you are now at this point of the article and you are thinking I am not sure what motivates me?  Well, you are in luck, because I have (7) questions you can ask yourself to help sort this out.

  • Is there something I think about or enjoy doing which causes me to want to do more of it, and which I can make a living from?
  • What are 2-3 things I regularly think about wanting to be doing when I am not doing the work I get paid to do?
  • Has there been something in your life which you have never lost interest in and continue to do even at this point in your life (e.g., you love animals, so you continue to volunteer your time at. your local animal shelter)?
  • You do something which you never tire of doing, and which also brings you joy when you do it (e.g., you play golf, you paint pictures, you play an instrument or sing, you coach a team or volunteer your time to help tutor others at something you are good at).
  • What do. you daydream about doing when you are at work, and wish you were doing instead, and which is either something which is productive, or which contributes to society in a positive way?
  • What is something you would do which you would gladly sacrifice sleep or money to do?
  • Think about the things you enjoy doing which increase your energy versus depleting it.

If you can answer the questions above and then study your responses, you will either see a pattern or things you like to do, and activities which can serve as motivators to inspire you to do more of the things you want to be focused on spending more of your time doing either professionally, or personally or both. Motivation can come from within or from others or things around you. Your job is to figure out which one or a combination of these are what motivates you to have a better career and life.

Kathleen E. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Strategist and CMO of Market Me Too. Market Me Too has expertise in bridging marketing and sales teams and providing organizations techniques to accelerate their market growth, regardless of the industry they are in, or the business stage they are presently at. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com.

Thank you to all of my readers around the globe.

I want to acknowledge and thank all of you who have been supportive followers of my articles this year. A special shout out is warranted for my friends at Black Duck Software, Barracuda Networks, Constant Contact and Ipswitch for their continuous support of my journey and new adventures.

Happy New Year to all of you, and be on the look out for my first book coming out in early 2018. No title yet, but I will let you know when the book is available.


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