WHAT IS DRIVING YOU? Top 3 tips for motivation and satisfaction in life

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We all face choices in life. Whether to remain in our comfort zones or to actually confront ourselves, face our fears, and exceed our own expectations. The single thing that makes the difference between those that stay small and those that accomplish, who go beyond perceived boundaries and create their own success, is drive.

Individuals and teams who push the limits of human endurance are extremely motivating to the rest of society too. They inspire us to take more daring action and do better than we did yesterday. Sporting accomplishments are particularly remarkable, hence the accolades of round the world lone sailors, paraplegic marathon runners and those racing to the South Pole …not to mention the particular cause that I am supporting, the Dallaglio Cycle Slam!

They prove that it can be done. Remember, Robert Bannister who in 1954 was the first man to run a mile in under 4 minutes? People had said that it was impossible. Yet, within weeks of his amazing accomplishment, many other athletes also achieved this elusive goal.

New research championed by Daniel H Pink in Drive (2010) has revealed surprising keys behind human motivation and overall satisfaction in life, both at work and at home. Human’s have a deep need for Purpose – to connect with something larger than ourselves and to make a contribution, to make a difference. In addition, we have the urge to control our own lives (autonomy) and to excel at something that matters to us.

Whilst the world of business gets back on board with these principles (monetary rewards are so out of fashion now: customer satisfaction, employee development and corporate social responsibility are definitely ‘in’) this will not be new to you. Being part of a team and helping others less fortunate than ourselves is ingrained in our psyche.

This can be linked to how our brain works too. Our brain interacts with social needs using the same networks as it uses for basic survival. Being hungry and being ostracised count for similar threat and pain responses in the brain! Therefore, connecting with others* and perhaps being part of something bigger than ourselves is essential for good health. This is why many people who experience redundancy or loss of a relationship suffer a decrease in motivation, health and drive.

So if you need a boost in your motivation, think about how you can apply this to your life:

What can you get involved in at work? What or who, can you make a difference with? Who can you make contact with who you have not seen in a while?
What can you get passionate about – to help give your life Purpose?
What boundaries do you need to push through to gain success in your chosen endeavour? Which area of your life do you want to have more choice and control?