Wednesday, October 26, 2011

On Cars, Motivation and Eternal Life

Why is it that the things we want the absolute most out of our lives, our greatest aspirations and objectives are never the things that seem to motivate us to action? We question ourselves on how much we really want financial freedom, to be a stay-at-home parent, to start that charity or organization, to write or paint or go out for the Olympics. Whatever it is that we ache over most. We must not want it that badly if it doesn't compel us to take direct action. Right?

 The thing that burns in our heart of hearts is often not the thing that lights a fire under our butts. We feel pangs of guilt over our inability to take a leap, even a small one, towards what we have always truly wanted. Yet at the same time maybe we are willing to endure great sacrifice or hardship to get that new car, earn that new title for recognition or respect, to wear that size-too-small dress. Sometimes our motivators and our priorities can get tangled up and seem like they are in line because they are closely related like a Blogger whose passion is to write but whose motivation lies more in the feedback of reader comments. Or the out of shape person who really does wants lasting health but will only spring into workout mode to be able to rock a certain outfit for a certain event. Other times there is a great dissonance between the things we know are most important to us and those things we find ourselves willing to chase down. The man who loves his wife with all his heart wants nothing more than to see her so financially set in life that she will never again have to work a job if she doesn't want to. The same one who just cant seem to tap into that desire for action fuel.... but the newest Dodge Challenger model has his feet out there running the roads before the rest of his body has even caught on that he is in motion. Or maybe the woman who wants to start up a charitable organization in her home town and can't seem to do it for it's own sake but will break her back baking and meticulously decorating way too many batches of cupcakes to bring along to the next holiday party just to hear the incessant "Wow, you really made these all by yourself?" responses from fellow partygoers.

I used the Dodge Challengerer example because this past weekend I heard a really compelling story from the founder of our leadership development community who is set to (along with his business partners in the policy council) launch an industry changing new business in oh about 6 days. His story included a Challenger that I , now, cannot get out of my head (seriously, *perfect* car). His wife was able to surprise him with this awesome gift of a car that he found extremely motivating, even though his main dreams in life are far less material, and it just goes to prove that even the most purpose-driven, visionary, selfless people have material desires that they will chase after.

The thing is that Orrin Woodward, the man from the example above, knows a little something about motivation and how it works that is not necessarily intuitively known by most people. That thing being the positive impact we can make on ourselves, and in turn the lives of others by using those seemingly pesky desires that don't line up with our main purpose to apply leverage on ourselves and create the changes necessary to get to the bigger, better and far more important things.

Recently while having a really wonderful, deep conversation with my husband a light went on for me. I had known all of the above, and must have somewhere known what I'm about to share next because it happened to fall out of my mouth without my even realizing it. Our material and recognition based desires are not merely stepping stones in our path that we can choose to use to incite change in ourselves in pursuit of our real, heart-level dreams for our lives... they are also intentional reminders, lessons if you will. The discrepancy, whether seemingly small or very large, between our purpose and our motivators is there for a reason. And that reason is to direct us to our creator. If we were all as motivated into action by the things we want most as we are by the things we want now, then a) we would have them already and b) we wouldn't have to turn to God for anything.

Yet another reminder that our temporary lives will never be in harmony until we begin to focus instead on our eternal one. The greatest gift of all.

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