Matt Lundquist, Campus Ambassadors
What’s my Motivation?
I shouldn’t be surprised when the behavior of others puzzles or frustrates me. I’m not even clear about the reasons for my own behavior!
I chose this picture from a Mexico trip with 2 things in mind:
- Why would anyone risk getting burned by jumping over a huge bonfire!? (I’ve done it myself, but I couldn’t find the photo)
- Some of us need to have a fire lit under us to get motivated.
This points up two different types of motivation, internal & external. But the lines are blurred when we realize that one of our internal drives is to please other people and avoid negative consequences. This is the main reason we respond to external motivation.
Not caring enough about what others think can lead to certain problems, but caring too much often leads to neglecting or denying our own wants & needs. As I have been trying to think clearly about what I choose as goals and how I spend my time, I have identified certain values that guide these choices.
These values range from the ridiculous to the sublime:
– I value a leisurely breakfast and I enjoy delicious food!
– I like to read and I appreciate ideas that make me think.
– I value relationships and communicating on a deep level.
– I like getting things done, using my skills, being productive, helping others.
– I value praise and fear that my accomplishments will not be noticed or appreciated!
This last one gets me into some trouble. It’s natural to seek praise but there are some potential pitfalls. As a Christian my priority is to seek the praise that comes from God. Our final, ultimate goal is to hear the words “Well done, good & faithful servant.” But God has revealed that it pleases Him when we serve others and submit to those in authority over us. Certain authors are helping me on the “Journey of Self Awareness.” This means knowing how to read and interpret all of the emotions I am feeling. This starts with understanding what I’m really trying to do.
– I’m not just trying to make a living, I’m trying to make a life.
– I’m not just concerned with how I act, I want to become a godly person.
– It’s not enough to control the things I say, I want to cultivate right thinking.
– It isn’t enough to see things from my own point of view, I need to develop God’s perspective.
– I can’t be satisfied just feeding my own appetites, I need to use my gifts to change the world!
“Most of us arrive at a sense of self only through a long journey through alien lands. . . akin to the ancient tradition of pilgrimage — ‘a transformative journey to a sacred center’ full of hardship, darkness and peril.” – Parker Palmer
This helps me understand why God allows pain and suffering in my life. As long as I am “fat & happy” I am really not very self-aware!