When I consider that question - when I ask myself what is my Motivation? - I can't help but chuckle. It calls to mind the drama-club scene of a crappy actor on stage demanding the answer from his director.
First, WHAT is my MOTIVATION?!
Over-acting aside, it's a good question! Because your Motivation compels your action. It gets you going and keeps you working long after the original excitement of your idea is overcome by the necessary hard work.
Motivation is a near-limitless energy source that sits at the core of every individual, attached to your deepest desires. It is a feeling. Or, more accurately, the desire for a feeling.
The Core Desired Feelings concept comes from Danielle LaPorte who says that our goals, our objectives, our every conscious desire come not from our wanting the tangible goods of an achievement. But actually derive from a deeper part of our brain, below our logical, conscious, verbal mind. Our goals come from our wanting to feel how we expect to feel once the thing is achieved. We are motivated by our desire to feel a certain way.
She developed her theory through experience and experiment. Through observation of her own actions and her business-leading clients'.
Neurobiology backs her up.
Our primordial feelings - the perceptions of our bodily sensations and thoughts - are signals that let us know if we are in danger or if we are in an optimal state that will preserve our wellbeing. We are driven by our desire to feel safe and warm, for example. As our brains developed, they became more complex and adaptive. Our definitions of wellbeing expanded to include far more than well-fed and free-from-disease, but our bodily signaling system remained the same.
We are literally motivated by our desire to feel the way we want to feel, to keep moving in the direction of our definition wellbeing. These feelings - their presence or absence - inform our decision-making, our goal-setting, and the way we show up in the world whether we realize it or not.
This is why Motivation is the second pillar of your unique Genius.
It is ever-present within you. Hard coded into how your brain works. What could possibly influence your Genius more than that?
And the best part is: You are not a passive observer on this ride! Once you uncover your Motivation - your Core Desired Feelings - you can enlist them to work for you.
You will have the information you need to decide if the goals you've set are yours or externally imposed by a culture that doesn't know you. You will have a tool to help design, prioritize, delegate, and balance your work. You will know how to build back up after de-energizing (but mandatory) activities. You will have the words to articulate exactly why something doesn't feel right. And a methodology to decide what to do instead.
It is worth the work to uncover your Motivation.
And I believe so strongly in Danielle LaPorte's process that I licensed her material to use at Tailored Output. To uncover your own Motivation, you can buy her book (and workbook) here. Or skip right to the workbook itself. You can meditate on the question. Or reach out to your best friends - or a coach - for help. You can contact me, any time (this is literally my job). Or you can create you own way to find the answer. Whatever works for you...
And remember: It won't be easy - it never is. So if it feels hard, keep going! You're doing it right! This is just not how we have been trained to talk about our work, our goals, and other serious things.
It's a shame. And an opportunity.
How much competitive advantage will you create by engaging the full measure of your Genius?
How much acceleration will you generate by harnessing all of your power - even the part that can sometimes be hard to put into words? Even the information that will never show up on your Excel assets sheet?
How much value will you create by knowing the answer to that dramatic question?
What is your Motivation?
Want to keep the conversation going? Sign up to receive my weekly Rise & Shine! Monday morning email. Over the next two weeks, we'll work to turn this piece of The Activated Genius Method into practical, actionable steps to access and engage your Genius so that you can improve your life, your work, and our world.
The Desire Map: A Guide to Creating Goals With Soul (affiliate link) by Danielle LaPorte
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink
Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain by Antonio Damasio