The fallacy behind ‘self-motivation’Written by Tom Richard | | firstname.lastname@example.org
I change. You change. People change. Observing how, when and why change occurs can be interesting.
While driving slowly to work during the recent snowstorm, I felt protected inside my little car. However, the delays from the snow were going to ruin my entire day, so I sat worrying, planning and thinking about how I was going to fulfill my responsibilities.
My thoughts stopped and my priorities changed when I saw a group of men struggling to push a snowbound vehicle out of the snow on the side of the road. Without a second thought, I pulled my car over and joined the strangers in the knee-deep snow trying to push the vehicle free. A minute later another gentleman joined us, then another.
Within five minutes, we had five guys pushing. When the tires finally grabbed the road and the car broke free under its own power, we looked at each other with smiles of a job well-done. We gave each other the man-nod, made some casual jokes about the snow and with snow-soaked trousers all, we went our separate ways.
For five minutes, nobody was thinking about work; there was no worry — no stress. For five minutes, a group of strangers, united only by a common mission, were completely and totally in the moment, helping a person with real needs.
People change, but not for the reasons you think. People may be motivated to change because they want something bad enough, but these motivations of self are never enough to produce sustainable results. In fact, the entire concept of self-motivation is oxymoronic. Motivation for yourself, alone, is simply not possible; it is not a real motivation.
To grow, we must figure out what our real motivations are. No matter what we want to do, real change only comes when other people are involved; this is just simple human nature.
Good things happen when we tune in to the real needs of other people. Good things happen because we’re being true — we’re not fighting what comes naturally.
Thinking, worrying and planning, alone, will not help us grow stronger businesses, weave closer families and build healthier communities. Creating this positive change requires the ability to stop our mind chatter long enough to recognize the people with real needs all around us — needs we can help fulfill.
Now, the last thing people need is another person preaching about the joy of giving. That’s not what we’re talking about here.
We’re talking about the fact that when we perceive something as just a want, we judge, we criticize and we complain. However, when we see a person with a real need like a person stuck on the side of the road, we change — instantly.
What would happen if, instead of judging wants as good or bad, we stopped looking at wants and started looking for real needs? What would change if we stopped thinking about all of the inconveniences in our life, and we started looking for ways we can help?
Can you imagine the difference in your next sales call if you stopped worrying about whether or not you were going to make the sale? What would happen if you could park those thoughts and treat your customer like a stranger on the side of the road who just needs a helping hand to get back on the road?
Good things start to happen to you when you stop wishing for good things to happen to you. Sometimes you have to let go of the thoughts in your head, forget your schedule and just pull the car over and get yourself soaked with the spirit of helping out where you can.
Empty your head of all your worries and simply ask, “How can I help you?”
For three examples of how to create a helping state-of-mind in your business go to www.boltfromtheblue.com and enter the keyword SNOWBOUND in the blueprint box.
Tom Richard is a Toledo-based sales trainer, gives seminars, runs sales meetings and provides coaching for salespeople. For more information, visit www.boltfromtheblue.com, call (419) 441-1005 or e-mail him at email@example.com.