Motivation or Inspiration?
Career transition, executive coaching, leadership coaching, inspirational leadership, management coaching
What’s making you do what you do? Or, what’s the difference between push and pull?
This might be a funny way to think about personal performance and leadership, so let me explain.
All of us are in a current situation. Whatever it is, there we are. If we’re not happy with this situation, we may want to change things up. This is what I call “push” motivation. Something in your current situation is making you unhappy and you push yourself away from it. As long as you get far enough away from it, you’ve accomplished your mission. You’ll move yourself a distance away from the unhappiness that is far enough for it not to reach you anymore. The particular direction of your move doesn’t matter – just get me away from here! Once you’ve put enough space between you and “it”, you stop moving. There’s no need to move any further, is there? The problem is : now what? Slowly, the old situation will start drawing you back in. Your stamina for change might weaken. You might rationalize the change and tell yourself “it wasn’t really that bad, was it?” The whole process can repeat itself many times.
Let’s switch over to “pull” motivation (inspiration might be a better word for it). There is something out there … in the distance … you can sense it -- it’s powerfully drawing you closer. It’s a great future; it’s what you’ve been longing for. Regardless of where you are today, this is what’s pulling you forward. It’s shaping your decisions and your actions. The pull of the future is giving you priorities and you are making this future happen. Fantastic! The source of this power is the inspiration inside of you to achieve the future you are imagining.
Why is this important?
We can substitute movement away for movement foward very easily. Moving forward is hard – we need a sense of direction, a destination, a timetable and stamina. No small task! Moving away from something is easy. I just need to quit doing something. Not much thought required and my vision of the future is defined by what I don’t want to be around anymore.
As you shape your future, understand the difference between “push” and “pull”. Do you have a vision of your future that is pulling you closer? Do the hard work of defining your vision and let it become the magnet that pulls you forward!