Motivating Factors

I find it fascinating that as human beings we possess the unique ability to examine what motivates us towards a decision yet we hardly ever take the time to do just that. Often people will make a pro’s and con’s list to help them identify the positive and negative outcomes for an action. I believe this is a wise exercise and probably one of the most basic things we can do as human towards making a good decision. Understanding what motivates us and creating a basic routine for decision making can have a dramatic impact on our day-to-day lives. As I see it, there are three areas of motivation when it comes to making a decision as a believer. These include internal motivators, external motivators, and Godly motivators.

Internal Motivators

If we are honest with ourselves, most of us will admit that our decisions are largely based on what I refer to as internal motivators. Internal motivators include our personal needs, wants, and desires. These are the things which appeal to us personally in one way or another. When looking at career motivations, one example of this could be a childhood dream to practice medicine. Another could be the appeal to be a designer due to the desire to create. Sometimes career choices come based on the desired lifestyle which accompanies a particular career. Freelancers and remote workers might cite autonomy as one of their major motivating factors in choosing their current position. These are but a few examples of the possible internal motivators which drive an individual to choose a career.

External Motivators

External motivators come in many shapes and sizes of which might include circumstances, friends or family members. Sticking to the theme of career motivations, an example of an external motivator might include the level of pay a particular career provides. Another might be upholding the expectations from parents, friends or other family members. People often want to impress or be seen favorably by their parents, friends or potential spouse. The prestige associated with a particular career can be an intoxicating desire which can be hard to pass up. Sometimes external motivators come in the form of difficult circumstances. Being fired or let go from a job creates an intense sense of urgency when looking for work. Often the weight of the situation will drive people to accept jobs which they might not accept otherwise. Here I have listed just a few examples, but I believe they give enough clarity to the concept of external motivators.

God’s Will aka “Godly Motivators”

This includes the Will of God. Another way of thinking about this category might be to think about the plans God has for his children. This category often takes a back seat to internal or external motivators. We are often so overwhelmed by the first two categories that God’s Will gets overlooked in the process. As we mature as believers, God’s Will should begin to take priority in our decisions. This can begin by simply asking the question, “God, what do you want in this situation?” Merely asking the question causes a shift of focus from our internal and external motivators to what is really important, God’s Will.

I hope that simply thinking through this topic will stir within you. the desire to come up with your own decision making plan. Simple or complex it does not matter. The result is what matters. I have not accomplished. this, I merely started thinking it through. This is on my list to do this year. I hope you will make it a priority because I believe the results of having an effective decision-making routine can change your life.

The Value of Predictability

Learning is all about being willing to look at things in a different light in hopes of gaining some new insight. So here I am looking at the topic of predictability and hoping to grow from it. If you skipped over the picture and have not looked at the image for this post, take a minute and go look. Go on…I’ll wait here…no really GO. This is how I felt for the longest time about predictability. This picture of this dog say it all, YAWN! I really cannot believe I am writing an article on predictability. In my early teen years growing up all the way into my early thirties I despised predictability!

Whenever I had to sit through a class with an instructor who was boringly predictable, I would dread the class entirely. Choosing a restaurant I would value choices which offered new menu options on a frequent basis. Going to church back in the 1980’s, I would find myself falling asleep if the preacher was predictable in preaching. Working a job where my day-to-day was slow, monotonous and predictable drove me to horrible places. So for the longest time I detested predictability in so many ways.

LEARNING

As much as I hate to admit it, some of the things I love dearly today all stem from my fear or severe dislike of predictability. I highly value learning and education. I run to audiobooks and podcasts like you would not believe. I love the variety and excitement that comes from listening to a good book. The thrill of listening to my favorite podcast would make some people laugh. Sitting in a class with an instructor which is both engaging and exciting is an experience like nothing else.

CREATE

I love to create. There is something uniquely rewarding when it comes to creating something from nothing. Sitting down to code and getting up with an application now on my mobile device. Grabbing a good sketchbook to draw randomly placed items in front of you. Opening your laptop and typing away at the keyboard only to look up to a new article on my blog.

IMPROVEMENT

Nothing is good enough. Sometimes I wonder if others think such things when they hear I am working on improving the way our team performs a certain process. There is something gratifying about sitting down to improve upon the way something is done. Looking at a scenario and asking questions. Analyzing the goal and comparing the outcome to the original intent of something. All in search of making something which is at best mediocre into something which is excellent.

Each of these things I love so much. Learning, creating, improvement are all things I deeply value. Even though I love these things primarily because they go the opposite direction of predictability, I believe there is tremendous value in certain things being undeniably predictable. From going to the dentist, to your mail carrier delivering your mail, to your car’s performance, there is value in predictability. I believe we often demonize predictability much like I did growing up, but I wanted to stop and take a moment to recognize the value of predictability.

Understanding the value of predictability and the role that it plays in so many areas of our lives can improve processes, will aid in creating new products and help us to appreciate the differences between variety and predictability.

If Only, I Could...

If Only, I Could...

Thinking back to childhood I can remember several times I wanted to be something I was not. I recall seeing friends or classmates who excelled at something, wishing I could only do what comes so natural to them. I remember a friend who was extremely athletic and he could crush it at any sport he chose to participate in. I remember seeing friends who could make friends with anyone or talk to any girl they wish.