We are all motivated by feelings. The Sales Person who sells shipping boxes feels just as much of a high when he makes a big sale as the one who sells Ferrari's. The high of the sale is the motivator. iTunes and CDBaby would not exist if Musicians simply sat in their spare rooms or studios expressing to themselves their joy of making music, but having no desire to share their compositions. The Musician puts her work out into the world, because of the feeling she gets when someone likes her music and/or buys it.
Landscape Architects, Accountants, Artists, CEO's and School Teachers are no different. Whatever the motivation for each person to stay in his chosen career, whether for the pride in the magazine article showcasing the outdoor beauty the Landscape Architect enhanced, or the fulfillment of knowing the School Teacher positively influenced the next generation , the feeling is the motivator.
For many of us, those strong positive feelings dull with time, repetition and added responsibility. We acquire spouses, children, pets, boats, houses and debt, and the work that gave us powerful motivating feelings actually becomes work. That fulfillment of teaching children now becomes a desire for the security of full pay and benefits when she turns 60.
Anyone nodding their head?
So, do we simply deal with the drudgery for the sake of security? If so, what life will we look back upon when we face death? What will we regret?
Ten years ago I was in the drudgery. I had a job I enjoyed, but I was starting to only enjoy each sale for the money it brought home for the house, cars and groceries, and to be honest I was enjoying the status that came with my upper middle class income.
Then several things happened in September, 2001 that made me "Take a Left" turn on my path in life. I know what you're thinking, but read on.
- I got laid off due to a merger
- I got another higher paying job in the booming dot com industry
- I got pregnant with my second child
- I lost my dot com job (surprising in 2001, right?!)
- I got another great part time job even though I was 7 months pregnant
- I fell and broke both my legs when I was 8 months pregnant
- I delivered the baby with casts on both legs up to the knee, and cared for the newborn, toddler, husband and home hopping around using a walker
- My amazing, wonderful Mother-in-law whom I had known for 30 years then died of Breast Cancer
All of my difficulties led to my feeling very confident that if I could survive all this with my sense of humor in tact, I could do ANYTHING!
I started a business, MommyLoves, and grew it to success myself - I feel proud and empowered.
I wrote a book, Say Bump and Take a Left. How I Birthed a Baby and a Business after a Huge Bump in the Road - I feel humbled, accomplished and proud that I Self Published.
I started a Self Publishing company to help all the people who approached me about their own stories, and their desires to show them to the world through Self Publishing, HelpMeSelfPublish - I feel satisfaction and contentment that I am nurturing others to fulfill their dreams.
When you give a gift to someone - not simply a store bought card and candy for Valentine's day - a real gift that surprises and overjoys them, you feel great. You nailed it! You gave that one in a million gift that you knew they would love, yet were not expecting. There is no better feeling.
Today, I helped a friend embark upon the road to a dream she never even knew she had, down a road she is uniquely qualified to navigate. Fulfilling this dream will give her the flexibility she needs to be home with her children, and the security she desires to be self sufficient. I didn't do anything specific, I just planted a seed, showed her a way, opened up new possibilities. The sparkle in her eyes, and the glow of possibilities radiating from her face made me feel damn good that I contributed to that sparkle and glow!
Pretty selfish of me, right?!
I can only imagine how Mother Theresa felt when she saw that glimmer of hope in every person's eyes that she had the pleasure of helping. Again, the feelings I get from my little insignificant contribution to my friend and the people I help Self Publish are not even comparable to the joy Mother Theresa must have felt when she knew The Society of Missionaries helped thousands of the poorest of the poor in countries around the globe, and those thousands of people would not have that glimmer of hope were it not for Mother Theresa.
Thank God Mother Theresa was so wonderfully selfish.
How selfish are you?