If I were to ask you a simple question: “What could I possibly do, which would drag you down?” what would your answer be?
The question is pretty straight-forward. But you would probably spend an hour telling me about everything in your life that demotivates you. And sucks the energy out of you. Be it the boss who doesn’t understand your efforts, or the child who refuses to eat the food you lovingly cook. These are few of the many triggers of demotivation. Don’t you agree?
But what if I were to ask you about the motivating factors? Or should it be singular?
Nothing motivates students more than getting good grades in a subject they really can’t understand. Clinching a well-deserved medal can give a sportsperson a boost better than any other sports drink. A good review can make a writer pick up that pen and jot another masterpiece. Getting a thank you from someone dashing to work will probably bring a smile to a driver’s face.
Did you notice something common among all these examples?
The motivating factor was external. No doubt, there was an internal factor present when the student studied, the player practiced, the writer wrote and the driver drove. But the final push, to keep going even after a moment of victory, came from the external environment.
In a way, the biggest motivating factor for you should be you, yourself. I don’t expect you to start acting like a cheerleader and bring out the pom-poms every time someone criticizes you. But deep down, you must know that you have it: The spark to the flame of a new revolution. The ability to meet goals beyond your imagination. So even in the darkness of failure and sorrow, you need to believe that you can find a way back to your Ali Baba’s cave.
Don’t depend on someone’s pat on the back. But if you do get some praise and reward, accept it graciously, and keep climbing higher on your ladder to success.
For me, the external motivational factors include:
- My family liking a post I’ve written (“This surely makes her emotional and teary all the time”)
- Getting a comment from my readers (“Specially a good one which flatters her ego”)
- A reader remembering a post I had written ages ago (“That’s happened just one or two times I guess”)
- Completing my daily study goals (“She somehow ends up completing more than what’s on her to-do list most of the times”)
But the main motivating factor for me to keep writing is to be the reason someone has a better day or a bigger smile on their face. I can’t say that I had started blogging with this same intention, though. This goal evolved gradually, all because of a few positive comments from friends and strangers who appreciated my written work.
The song “Drag Me Down” by One Direction certainly has something to say about people who motivate others to keep going.
All my life
You stood by me
When no one else was ever behind me
All these lights
They can’t blind me
With your love, nobody can drag me down
Believing in someone, specially when they themselves do not do so, is more motivating than any other award or reward. Do you remember the many occasions on which you failed, but someone was always there, helping you to get back into the game? Didn’t you feel motivated with this gesture?
I have asked too many questions in this post, and would like to end with another question: If you were given a chance to motivate or be motivated, which one would you select and why?
The prompt I have selected for today’s #FridayReflections is: What is the biggest motivating factor for you?
This post marks the beginning of a new series at my blog: The Song Series. I will be writing posts on popular songs, and the powerful messages that these songs give us. I will not be doing this series at one stretch, the posts would be spaced out over the weeks, months and years! 🙂