I know it has been a while since most of us have been able to go on holidays, but perhaps you can still remember your morning routine last time you woke up away from home in your hotel, bed and breakfast, chalet or resort!
Most likely, you woke up looking forward to all the exciting things you were going to do that day. The choices were there right in front of you. A vivid, compelling image of your imminent swimming adventures, epic walks, boat trips and plentiful meals with family and friends took hold of your excited mind. ‘What shall I do first’? Choices, choices….
Compare and contrast this with a typical working day. Perhaps you started the day by hitting the snooze button; ‘Let me sleep just a little more’ you mumbled to yourself. At first, faint images of missing your breakfast and rushing to get dressed crossed your mind. But your bed was too warm and cozy, and you ignored them. Then, at the next snooze, a panic started to get hold of your brain:
‘I will be late in my client appointment’
‘I need to submit this paperwork in the morning’
‘My boss will kill me’
Images of a well pissed-off client, mountains of paperwork pilling up and a vengeful boss, finally motivated you to take action and get out of your bed.
Now I appreciate that most of us are probably somewhere in-between these two rather extreme scenario’s, but they illustrate well the two main motivation ‘programs’ most of us consistently use in our lives: motivated toward vs motivated away.
People who are motivated toward, seek pleasure, comfort and relaxation. They typically start the day asking themselves questions such as: ‘What can I accomplish today? What opportunities do I have to get closer to the things I want and desire in my life?’
This style is greatly valued in our Western society. People who are motivated toward, tend to be goal oriented and ‘big picture’. As a consequence of this, they often don’t consider what problems or difficulties they might run into, as they are not good at doing detail. The ‘young entrepreneur mindset’ is a classic example of this motivation style. While it often yields results, it does so by the “school of hard knocks”.
As a solopreneur who is motivated toward, it would help you to hire someone doing the detail work in your business, such as admin work, marketing campaigns etc. You are in your element when you are in charge of these activities like an orchestra conductor or film director, but trust on those around you who are skilled in implementing the detail.
People who are motivated away, typically move away from pain, discomfort and stress. The further they find themselves from that source of discomfort, the less motivated and therefore less willing to act they are. When the source of the problem comes closer, they get motivated again. This often leads to cyclical levels of motivation, depending on the distance to the source of their discomfort and pain. E.g. if you want to lose weight as a motivated away person, you are only likely to be motivated when the discomfort of that weight becomes apparent, such as when you get breathless running to catch the bus, when your back pain worsens due to excess weight or when you experience difficulties performing simple tasks, such as putting your socks on in the morning.
Motivated away people often think about problems rather than where they want to be. Their attention is focused on what they don’t want, rather than what they do want. They often experience high anxiety and stress until they are motivated to act. It is therefore important to manage your stress levels as a motivated away solopreneur. However, you have one great advantage on your ‘motivated toward’ peers: because of your focus on obstacles and problems, you are an excellent problem solver. You can foresee and analyse difficulties and find solutions before experiencing them.
It is important to keep in mind that while most of us are capable of using both motivation styles, we typically only consistently use one of these in most areas of our lives. Figuring out what drives and motivates you, is key to understanding the areas where you get stuck and don’t make as much progress as you would like. Making little tweaks in these areas, can help you get unstuck and achieve the results you want.
Wishing you a week full of motivation and positive action!
PS are you often frustrated about all the important things you never get round to, because you are somehow not motivated to do the work despite realizing their importance? Are you seriously fed up of missing the train to your big dreams and aspirations because of the procrastination that holds you back? I have an idea that can help you solve this problem for good. Grab a slot here and let’s talk!