Motivation is SPIRITUAL ENERGY, Purpose & Direction: Here’s How to Find It…
Here’s an excerpt from the book I’m currently reading, “The Power of Full Engagement: How Managing ENERGY, Not Time, is the Key to High Performance & Personal Renewal,” co-authored by Jim Loehr and Tony Scwartz. It’s the start of chapter 7:
———— He Who Has a Why to Live ————
“The quantity of energy we have to spend at any given moment is a reflection of our physical capacity, but OUR MOTIVATION to spend that energy is mostly a spiritual issue.
Spiritual energy is a unique force for action in all dimensions of our lives – it’s the most powerful source of motivation, perseverance and direction…we don’t define “spiritual” in the typical religious sense, but rather in simple and elemental terms: the connection to a deeply held set of values and to a purpose beyond our self-interest…
Spiritual energy is sustained by balancing a commitment to others with adequate self-care. The capacity to live by our deepest values depends on regularly renewing our spirit – seeking ways to rest and rejuvenate and to reconnect with the values we find most inspiring and meaningful.
———— One of These Systematic Ways ————
…is reflection on tragedy, guilt or remorse. Often times, we find our “Powerful Why,” our deepest values and our method of contribution by reflecting on (and processing through the emotions of) sorrow and regret.
The authors give the example of “Gary A”: a bond trader suffering with apathy and detachment from his work…someone who was hungry to do something more with his life then increase his net worth.
When Gary consulted with the authors, he realized that his lack of passion was related to his regrets about being being a poor father.
“Gary and his wife divorced ten years earlier, and while they shared custody of their two daughters, his travel schedule and long hours limited his time with them.
Both daughters were now in their twenties, living in different cities, and his regrets ran deep, especially about the lost opportunities to connect with them through their shared love of sports…
This realization almost immediately led him to come to the idea of coaching kids. It may of been too late for him with his own children, but the possibility of coaching came to him as a way to make a contribution and feel fulfilled.
So he took up a coaching position at a local orphanage (where many of the kids could use a Father figure of course) AND, after succeeding with that, he also took up a mentoring position for the younger traders in his company…something with A LOT of parallels to coaching he never realized before…
“For the first time in two years, he started to look forward to coming to work, and to feel a sense of mission. The rewards that he derived from his mentoring – both at work and with his basketball team – gave him back far more energy then he expended…”
I think the jewel here is that the entire idea sprung out of his regret about his relationship with his own children. I blogged about a book called “The Secret of the Shadow: The Power of Owning Your Whole Story” that goes in-depth on this.
So in a sense, tragedy, grief, remorse and guilt can actually be hidden keys to a higher level of motivation and purpose, but we need to courage to embrace those “shadows” if we’re ever going to discover that…
ps: How much is fear of failure holding you back??? If fear of making mistakes, fear of criticism and embarrassment, fear of loss, or fear of risk keep you from doing, saying or going after WHAT YOU WANT, this may be the most important message you read before this year is over. Click here for more…