Defying the laws of gravity, they rise up to reach beyond everything they have ever known. Over and over they fall. They rise up again. Eventually they conquer a brave new world.
They set no goals. They require no discipline, adhere to no schedule. Fear of failure, regret, guilt for not practicing enough-these strategies play no part in their game plan or ultimate success.
They are babies. Using the strongest motivation known to human kind, they master the art of walking. How? Why? With what motivation? The answer to all 3 questions is the same. Desire-because they want to.
You want a master class in motivation? Watch babies. Every day they achieve something that was impossible the day before.
Yet all day every day intelligent, well educated people use everything but their natural desire to lead them to what they want. They use misery motivators instead. They withhold happiness from themselves, promising they will never feel good until they get that car or that job, or that first million dollars. They use guilt, regret, shame, anger, punishment, worry, fear and self-loathing to bash, beat and prod themselves and other people through life. Why? In order to achieve goals they hope will make them happy.
Misery motivators achieve miserable results. If that’s not self-defeating, please tell me what is?
Desire is an important element in my books “Emotional Options” and “Travelling Free: How to Recover From the Past by Changing Your Beliefs.”
Here is an excerpt about motivation from “Emotional Options: A Handbook for Happiness.” Use this to motivate yourself like a big baby.
We can divide the ways to motivate yourself and others into two basic categories:
Desire and Happiness
Need and Un-happiness
Desire and happiness moves things about so quickly that you may not notice it happening.
When we use desire for our motivation, the difference between wanting and attachment becomes clear.
Wanting is moving toward and can include happiness.
Attachment is often static and requires the feelings of need and sometimes fear, for our very survival.
To believe that you need something requires, by definition, that you also believe that you cannot be okay without that something. It may be an experience that you believe you need to have or a material object or goal to achieve.
In this need filled view of reality, if you do not get what you want or reach your goal, that very not getting threatens your well-being, your hopes for happiness, and your ability to be okay.
When you use “Need and Un-happiness” in order to help yourself to get what you want, you live in need and un-happiness. The very thing you do to help yourself cripples you. It chokes your life force and creativity.
In contrast, the experience of “Happiness and Desire” is life enhancing. It allows happiness now. It fosters a sense of being okay and feeling good. It simply acknowledges that something more or something different would be welcome.
Years ago, I visited a garden with a statue of a particularly jolly Buddha. Inscribed beneath it were the words, “Misunderstood desire is the cause of all suffering.” Misunderstood desire. At last it made sense!
We have all heard the familiar quote, “Desire is the cause of all suffering.” I had often wondered how someone as wise as Buddha could have thought that. How could desire ever cause suffering? Attachment and “misunderstood desire” cause suffering.
Wanting something, coupled with the belief that you cannot have it, or that you are foolish to want it, can cause some powerful suffering. But not desire alone. Desire, imagination, creation, anticipation-that stuff is all fun.
Desire functions as an inner sense of direction. It may be all we will ever need to know to guide us through life-to learn all that we need to know, to show up where we need to be. At least I cannot think of a more reliable guide. What else is there-someone else’s desire? Somebody else’s idea about what you should do? Your desire, your awareness of what you welcome offers the best compass for finding your way through the mystery of life that I have found so far. This system of navigation pretty much eliminates regret and guilt. It also banishes the temptation to try to make anyone else suffer.
When you follow your conscious desire as an inner sense of direction, correcting your course as you go, all you have to do when you want a change is ask yourself, “What do I welcome now? Where shall I go from here?”
You can skip that part about feeling bad, worrying that you will never change, blaming someone else for your predicament. You can bypass the frantic search for a new game plan before you even know what game you want to play.”
From “Emotional Options” by Mandy Evans
As my friend success coach, Michael Neill says in his happily helpful book, “You Can Have What You Want” **Happiness Leads to Success more often that success leads to happiness.**
Wishing you mighty motivation, love, happiness and many blessings.