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.
If we are honest with ourselves, most of us will admit that our decisions are largely based on what I will 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 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.