Ask yourself this one question!
It was the summer of 199something, and it was the last phase of father-son bonding that I had prior to starting my teenage battle. Twice a week we would play tennis, both self-learners, me with less skill and experience, my father with less stamina and the old racket, me losing and my father of course always winning!
At the end of every set and just before losing I would gear up and hit a few of the most amazing aces and backhands and score some points just close enough to make me taste the victory, driving back home one of the conversations keeps echoing in my mind, its one of those things you don’t understand at 12 but make perfect sense at 31.
Father: why do you think you always hit the best shots just before you lose?
Me: because that’s when I try my best to catch up with you in the score, and when I do I think I relax, the shots I take during those moments I tell myself this is shot must score, there is no margin for error here.
Father: but son, every shot you take, in tennis or in life, make it is your best! If you have the option of choosing your best or not your best, regardless if your starting a game, ending a game, winning the game or losing the game! otherwise whats the point of doing it, if your knowingly not doing your best at it!
If I was to name this practice as motivation, which refers to aspects that activate, direct, and maintain goal-directed behavior. Motives are the why behind our behavior – the needs or wants that direct and help us understand what we do. We don’t actually observe a motive; rather, we infer that one exists based on the behavior we observe. The interesting question then becomes what is behind those motives? what are the key components of motivation and how can we sustain it?
Instincts: which is defined as a largely inheritable and unalterable tendency of an organism to make a complex and specific response to environmental stimuli without involving reason or the behavior that is mediated by reactions below the conscious level. while I don’t claim to be an expert on the topic and since the majority of research I have read on it indicates that it is beyond our conscious levels. ill leave it for the experts to explain how we can address it.
Drives and Needs: In psychology, a drive theory or drive doctrine is a theory that attempts to define, analyze, or classify the psychological drives. … When a need is satisfied, the drive is reduced and the organism returns to a state of homeostasis and relaxation.
Looking back at the tennis game, it’s funny to see that my drive to win was higher when I was losing, than when I was winning, while in a winning state I assumed I needed fewer efforts to sustain the win, and this is where majority of key business decisions are misinterpreted, where the best burger joint starts to save on the bread because it can’t keep up with the demand and wants to increase the profit margin, this is when your next door startup stops evolving just because every second news channel is talking about them, getting to the top is one thing, sustaining your position is a completely different ball game, and I believe our aim for greatness should be at every step of every action that we do! my father was a believer that you don’t need the motive to seek perfection, while this instilled in me stronger instinctual beliefs to accomplish and achieve at my best during every action, I do believe that the better we understand our drives and needs, the better we will be able to keep them at an all time high!
my purpose is not to address the secret to what motivates people, there is a vast amount of research and articles in this field, what my aim is this Friday afternoon is to get you to remember, there is a fuel that sustains the motivation of your actions, and to ensure that you never run out of that fuel ask yourself! what motivates me? why don’t I give more or shoot better at this stage of the game? and you will be surprised by how much a simple change of mindset can achieve in results! understanding you is the most power full tool you can gift yourself!