The following is a copy of my guest post as it appeared at InspireMeToday.com
“This week’s Brilliance comes to us from Scott Milford. Scott writes as @scottquitter on Twitter and Scott Quitter on acoupleofquitters.com.”
“I grew up often confused by the behaviors and actions of other people. Too often, people would say one thing then do another. Naturally, I assumed this was how things were done. After many years using this method, I started to question this way of doing things, but only after I suffered much heartache and pain from my decisions and actions. But wisdom grows out of our mistakes.
Maybe you wish you would have made better choices in life, thus far. Perhaps you wish you would have been kinder, more generous or a better friend. If you could do it over again, maybe you would do things differently. But none of that matters because each moment gives you another chance to make a different choice—right now. In each moment, you can start again.
No one knows how you are feeling or anything about you except what they observe. What you show other people through your demonstration will tell them everything they need to know about who you are today. Your actions and words are your most powerful tools for self-expression; they reflect neither your past nor your future, but represent only this very moment. And who you are in this very moment is exactly who you choose to be. Your present behavior has a way of erasing unfavorable past actions or behavior and shapes more positive future conditions.
Motivation series conclusion. Click introduction to start at the beginning.
Over the past few months, I’ve been writing a series of posts on motivation. There isn’t really a way to cover such a deep and sometimes perplexing subject in only several posts. However, I tried to frame some of what I view as the most essential pieces of the motivation puzzle in such a way that you can read any single post and benefit from it, or you could read the entire collection and, perhaps, experience a paradigm shift. That was my intention and I hope I succeeded.
Looking back on this series, I wanted to revisit each post and give an excerpt as well as add a few additional thoughts. Clicking on the title of each post will take you directly to the full version.
Change Occurs from the Inside Out
“It’s simple, really. What you think affects how you act. Everything you do consciously begins, first, with the thought of doing it. Certain thoughts of a specific quality, when habitually repeated, result in certain habits of behavior. Where you are today in life is a result of your habitual thoughts followed by habitual actions. You cannot consistently feed your mind negative thoughts and expect positive results.”
This is about the nature of how we change and evolve as a result of our habits of thought. This relates to motivation at its deepest level because motivation is so closely tied to how we process everything that happens to us—every experience we have or observe other people having—and how we think about ourselves. In order for any meaningful change to occur in our lives, we’re usually going to need to start at the core level of who we are and what we think about ourselves—our capabilities, our self-worth, our skills, how smart we think we are, how well-liked we perceive ourselves to be. If you wonder why you aren’t very motivated, look in these corners of your beliefs, first.
Motivation Series, Part 7. Check out part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, & 6.
While conviction may be the heart and soul of motivation, accountability is like the magic pill. All goals need conviction—the power and drive that comes from firmly choosing to take action while not leaving room for anything but your expressed outcome. But the truth is, not all of the goals we set are goals in which we, ourselves, are personally interested. Sometimes we have to set goals that we are required or obligated to pursue by way of our job or personal associations. Then there are goals that we set in which the outcome is truly desired but we haven’t yet developed the conviction required to assure that we will achieve it. This is where accountability plays an important role. Let’s look at a few examples that most people have experienced where accountability has helped to motivate us—sometimes kicking and screaming—to reach a desired outcome.
School Assignments: You may have put them off until the last minute, but ultimately, you were (or still are) being held accountable by your teacher. Knowing that you were being graded or that you risked failing the class (which then led to much bigger problems) was just the right kind of accountability that motivated you to complete your assignments most of the time.
On the Job: If you’ve ever had a job, whether pet-sitting for a neighbor, or working for a Fortune 500 company, you were being held accountable for your work output and overall effectiveness every single work day. Your continued employment depended on completing tasks on time. Your raises were likely based on how effectively you did your job. If you missed a deadline or a required task, you were held accountable for that too. You were even being held accountable for getting out of bed and just showing up at work. Continue reading