Meditation, in the form of reflection and examination, helps me to create and maintain my motivation. For newness and clarity of perception, ideals and aims, we need to relax our grip on old habits, on old ways of thinking and seeing and thus create a space for something new and inspirational.
Motivation is an inner positive energy, a combination of enthusiasm and clear perception that enables us to accomplish a task. Motivation keeps us determined and on course, otherwise it is so easy to be distracted by problems, novelties and laziness. What does motivation do? It moves us from one reality to another, from where I am to where I wish to be. Motivation is sustained when a sense of purpose, identity and contribution is being fulfilled.
When we want to reactivate our motivation, we need to examine the following:
- What do I want?
- What do I wish for?
- What do I value?
- What do I need?
- What do I enjoy?
- What do I understand?
- What do I love?
Then newness, creativity and quality are generated.
Successful motivation depends on having a clear aim. How much do I believe in my aim? Faith in my aim determines the quality of effort and willingness to meet challenges. There will be successful renewal of motivation when I realize that there is always the opportunity to exercise the power of choice.
Another question that helps us in sustaining motivation is: "What is really most important to me: product or process?" Process entails growth, development and learning -- cultivation of the awareness and resources of the self and others. To be product-orientated tends to over-focus on result with not enough care or attention to the underlying processes needed to arrive at that result. The quick-fix method, the "success in seven days" formula, does not really work, at least not permanently. If we look at nature, we see that her beauty and her strength are the combined result of time and process. For example, a huge oak tree, the roses in the garden, the changing of the seasons do not happen instantly. There is always space and time given for particular processes to function.
For a process to happen effectively, I need to prioritize, that is, to make the best use of my time, energy and resources.
To prioritize, I also need to recognize and refuse clever excuses (for example, "there is no time") and create a timetable that is realistic and functional. As I prioritize my values, then the type of motivation I have becomes clearer. Is my motivation materialistic or spiritual? The results of one and the other are very different.
Materialistic motivation is based on ambition, competition and a desire for position. Often, we believe we cannot succeed without these and so think and act on the basis of these values. Often the results include conflict, fear, attachment, jealousy, possessiveness and over-identification of the self with a role, a position that makes us feel threatened by anyone who is more talented or more praised. For example, when motivation is materialistic, there is always the fear of loss that, in turn, creates uneasiness, stress and worry.
Spiritual motivation is based on enthusiasm for a task, rather than blind ambition, and cooperation with the uniqueness of others, rather than being in competition with those differences. Finally, the feeling to serve through whatever talent, position, or role I have -- to serve a need rather than exploit a need is quality service.
The results of spiritual motivation are respect, harmony individual and collective well-being, a sense of purpose and the feeling of a deep fulfilment in one's being.
Spiritual motives such as cooperation, sharing, caring integrity and respect create quality in the aim, the task and the methodology used. Meditation, in the form of reflection, always helps me to reexamine and redefine my aims, my processes and the reasons why I am doing what I am doing.
For more by Anthony Strano, click here.
For more on meditation, click here.