The Cycle of Motivation

20170617_084040[1]What drives us, is it fear, desire, greed or is there a built-in human trait of just wanting to achieve more? Whatever it is we are all part of the cycle of motivation.

I run because I want my body to keep up with my children but also to be a positive role model

I work to make a living but also because I am passionate about what I do as a teacher.

I skype my grandmother every week because I care about her being on her own and I know she wants to see her great grandchildren.

Can motivation be seen a vacuum, where a single focus either the spark or the goal is the only thing that moves us forward? I believe motivation is a combination of past, present and future, all three influence what you do next. Previous experience or learnt values have gotten you to where you are today; your current beliefs about what and where you want to be will put you on the road to achieving your vision in the future.

We are all motivated and we all motivate. Something drives us to get up and just do it! We encourage or inspire others by role modelling our behaviours, but we are not just motivated we are also motivators. Our achievements and the way we handle our journey are soul food for those trying to get or keep themselves on track.

Does it come from inside? You know you want to live a healthier life, or have more quality time with your family or maybe retrain for a different job, what-ever the reason do you have the tenacity and perseverance to go out and get what you want? Or is it that we are ruled by external factors? A need to pay the rent or live up to peer and social expectations, or cultural values and beliefs. We are all a complex mix of emotions, needs and desires so what motivates you may not necessarily drive me. At some time, we may all lose our mojo -that feeling that we are on a roll and making progress in our lives. Once you have discovered your purpose, your goal and then surrounded yourself with supporters that will help you to refocus when things get tough or when you just lose track of your goal your mission is then to seek advice, get encouragement and stay motivated.

I had never been sporty or into fitness, but after an accident caused me to rethink my career options I sought guidance counselling. These sessions gave me light bulb moments, an epiphany if you like, I felt like I had a been in an exorcism that left me enlightened, ready to change my life and get on with studying – unbelievably as it turned out, to be a personal trainer. I was motivated, I needed to make a living and I needed to new beginning. I shared my mission with everyone and over the long months that followed I self-doubted, I struggled with study and the financial cost of retraining, I wondered if I wasn’t wasting my time but by using those around me and being persistent I achieved my goal of being a fitness instructor and then as a personal trainer.

Think about anybody in sales or counselling maybe your personal trainer or real estate agent and how they reach in and find the pain, the thing that really motivates you and helps you to see where you should be going. They help you to make decisions, and find the motivation to move forward. We might not always like it, but sometimes we need someone to shine a light on what we really should be doing.

Maybe you are one of those who like to prove others wrong, when you’re told you can’t achieve something or for whatever reason people don’t believe in you or don’t know your inner strength. Bloody mindedness, stubbornness can be great traits in the truly motivated.  When I was working and fell out of a tree the surgeons told me I wouldn’t walk normally for a long time and to avoid the high impact labouring work I was doing, I was devastated and lost my business. After the shock wore off I got motivated and when the screws were removed from my ankle I rehabbed myself until six months later I ran my first marathon. Don’t tell me can’t!!

Self-doubt can cause you to step off the track to your own success. When something goes wrong or you see a hurdle you need to use that part of motivation where you reach inside and overcome the fears and uncertainties that stop you jumping out of bed, trying new things or pushing forward with the things you believe in.

Everyone is different, it might be the accumulation of things or wealth or the desire to be a specific type of person; well-travelled, educated or highly regarded in your field, whatever it is it comes from inside. Your past experiences have moulded your desires and your need to gain whatever it is you strive for.

Motivation can be linked to enthusiasm, as in “nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm”. Share your goal, your dream, your enthusiasm. Search out the things that motivate you and nurture your own fan base, you don’t have to do all the work alone to be the person you want to be.

I encourage you to get up and share your enthusiasm and through your motivation inspire others to find their passion and push themselves to achieve and continue the cycle of motivation.

 

Challenge the challengers – Take a deep breath and have a happy Queens Birthday

 

Back to the beginning, every child is an individual and goes through multiple stages and phases of emotional and behavioural growth. So, what makes a child tantrum or act in ways that are not appropriate? Any answer is going to change as quickly as a 4 year olds mood; everything and anything from not enough sleep to their emerging understandings of relationships, and power with peers and with you the parent.

Sure, it could be chemical related from a testosterone surge, and a lot of behaviour may be short lived and grown out of, but likely as not small children are subconsciously testing boundaries, learning their rights and exploring what and how to cope with the expectations of others. Children cannot be spoiled with too much hugs and attention, they do need to learn how to cope when we don’t have the time to do all that they request and they do need to learn appropriate timing; such as not interrupting when others are talking or repeatedly trying to sit on a parent’s knee during meal times.

Raising children requires setting boundaries and expectations and helping them to practice getting them right. They will forget, they will test your resolution to follow through, they will try to see who is the boss and they may get angry or frustrated when they don’t get their own way. Sometimes this is how we all learn to self-regulate and create our own working social theories – Remember that children like a lot of adults haven’t learnt what battles to pick and will without self-regulation ability fight on regardless of how futile. Be patient and wait for them to calm and make sure you are clear in what you expect if possible get them to tell you what the positive behaviour would look like.

The way children behave is largely how they have forged their own ideas from watching and being around the important people in lives, they are constantly learning; social expectations, boundaries and what is acceptable in your family and culture – these are not inbuilt and will be learnt over time with every child picking up different concepts at different times.

My strong belief is in the adage that “you get more from bouquets than brick bats”, focus on positives e.g. “you really helped so well this morning getting your bag ready for school or brushing your teeth when I asked” or “I loved the way you said please and thankyou at the café today” (not mentioning or briefly mentioning the current situation). Paint a picture of what the child can do right, get them to see themselves as champions of the behaviours you want to achieve. Proximal praise can be a helpful strategy, where you lavish praise upon another child close by for their positive ways of doing, once again helping the challenger to see what is preferred with the bonus that they will want to be the one on the end of a teacher or parents glowing praise next time.

Sticker charts and rewards may induce change and could be a good part of a short term strategy if a child is really resisting. My understanding is that role modelling positive behaviours, checking there is nothing physically wrong, – you may have heard of the baby that wouldn’t stop crying? It turned out there was a strand of hair wrapped around her little toe – agony! Hair gone = happy baby. Does your challenger have a splinter, wiggly tooth or ear ache? Sometimes you need to ask what’s bothering them, building social relationships with peers or even siblings can be a minefield for young players. Changes in surroundings, misunderstandings or low confidence with peers might manifest in angry outburst at unrelated times such as a tantrum over meal choice or what clothes to wear, so try to find out what else their minds are trying to contend with not just the outburst of the moment.

Be consistent, be confident with what you want the child to learn and be patient. You can be firm and caring. You may never get thanked for laying down the law and it may hurt you more than it hurts them, but being clear on what you want your 3, 4 or 5 year old+ to understand will support positive change.

Being timely with dealing with negative behaviour, getting down to the child’s level and keeping your voice as calm as any stressed parent can, are all important techniques for diffusing the bubbling “DOH What are you doing!!” moments, and help give you time as the adult to see that there are reasons why everything occurs.

Take a deep breath, wait for the pint-sized challenger to calm enough to listen, a few minutes at most so they won’t lose the reason you are talking with them, then work on the why’s and where too’s.

The smallest of our society face the biggest challenge of learning to be just like us. Make their challenge your challenge and guide them