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internal source
human spirit
game of life
different reasons
exertion
term strategy
do the right thing
punishments
burdens
Why Are You Doing That?
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Why Are You Doing That?

A master of martial arts trains his students using the 90% influence/10% authority rule. The principle behind this is that influencing students' behavior is much more effective than changing behavior through the exertion of authority. The master knows that whatever is done for the sake of authority, the students will not do once the authority is not present. But if the students are operating under influence, they will do the "right thing" whether authority is present or not. When one has been influenced, one is in agreement with the reason the action should be performed.

Some people rebel against authority. Why is that? Authority requires submission. To require submission without agreement is never an effective long-term strategy. The human spirit cannot be ruled, at least not for long. Eventually everyone, one way or another, will find a way to do what they want.

The concepts of structure and discipline evoke many different reactions. Individuals who have attained a certain level of maturity and wisdom realize that these are not burdens that suck the joy out of life, but rather tools to help us achieve what brings us the greatest joy. However, there is a vast difference between structure and discipline that is enforced through authority (external source) versus utilized willingly in order to achieve a desired goal under the influence of an idea with which we agree (internal source).

We have different reasons for doing everything we do. We can be motivated by authority or inspired through influence. We can be pushed or pulled. Let's compare the concepts of motivation and inspiration.

A coach who motivates may win games. He may provide rewards for teammates who perform well or punishments for teammates who do not perform well. A coach who inspires wins hearts. Through his positive influence, he envisions teammates fulfilling their greatest potential and then removes any obstacles that might prevent them from achieving their very best. He creates champions in the game of life.

You may be motivated to mow your lawn so the neighbors don't talk about you, or you may be inspired to mow your lawn because you love the therapeutic, zen-like experience of doing yard work. What some do out of motivation, others do out of inspiration. A waitress can be motivated to pay her bills so she shows up to work. Or she could be inspired to create an enjoyable experience for her customers because it feels great to be of service to others. The difference is in the "why" and the perspective. Are we merely avoiding the unwanted, or are we loving what we do because we find real meaning in it? The "why" makes all the difference.

Our goal is to do less out of a sense of motivation or obligation, and move toward doing more for the pure joy and love of doing whatever in life we do. When inspired, we experience ease, happiness, enthusiasm, and bursts of creativity and ingenuity. Einstein, Edison, Newton, and the founding fathers - the achievements of these great people were possible because they were inspired. They believed with a passion.

It's been said that if you do what you love, you'll never work another day in your life (because it won't feel like work). If you focus on doing what you love with pure joy being your only goal, the money will follow. It might take some time to get the finances in a place that you feel secure, but to be able to wake up each day smiling and eager to face the day is totally worth the monetary sacrifice and wait. Be patient and enjoy the journey.

When you go about your daily activities, do it with awareness. Ask yourself, "Why am I doing this?" Discovering the why behind your actions and then resolving to take responsibility for creating more joy and happiness for yourself will improve health, improve relationships, and sow the seeds for financial success. Sometimes all it takes is a subtle shift in perspective to move from a feeling of motivation to inspiration- and that has the power to change lives.

Allow inspiration to lead your way.


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