Do you ever wake up and wish you were motivated to do the laundry, run a 5k or finish a deadline? The definition of motivation is a reason one has for acting or behaving in a certain way. Maybe your motivation is to get healthy or look fantastic on that Greek vacation. When my son was little, getting him to potty train seemed like an impossible task. We sat for hours, reading books, talking about being a big boy. And nothing. Each week I convinced myself this would be the last box of pull-ups I’d ever buy, and yet week after week I found myself in the baby aisle. Oh, the frustration. In speaking with other mothers who successfully trained their toddlers before preschool, the secret, they motivated them with Legos or M&M’s. I figured my kid should want to potty train on his own. He didn’t need props, but guess what, seeing that lego or a small piece of candy lured him right into potty training. Boom. And we’ve never looked back.
So when my ten-year-old began tennis lessons, his coach noticed he was not moving his feet. You can’t chase a ball if you’re never moving your feet. I encouraged the kid to run more, move his feet, but nothing. It was too hot, too hard, too something. He didn’t have the want to, to move. Was he lazy, not coordinated? I had no idea. The tennis coach suggested I find something to motivate him. After a short conversation during lunch, I discovered working for money was his motivation. So, I told him if he moved his feet during the tennis match, I’d give him $5. This would be his job. It was never about the outcome, winning or losing, but trying. We praised the effort, never the result. He got so excited about the $5, he began moving his feet. He began hitting the ball. He was dancing on the court, as those feet juked and jived from side to side. He began winning games and moved up the ranks. We never paid him after that, but it sure motivated him to see his potential. We still laugh about how $5 changed the way he played tennis. The example of that day encouraged him to Rise Up.
They don’t receive candy to go to the bathroom anymore, or money to move their feet, because now we know their full potential. It’s like adding fuel to the fire. They needed a little spark to see the possibilities. It was untapped potential that needed to be developed. Now they do it because they can. They’ve discovered that they can do the hard things. They can persevere through the tough times and succeed. The spark became the motivation that uncovered their greatness. Now that they’ve learned to fly, they take risks and sometimes fail, but always learn from their mistakes. Find what motivates you to write the book, to finish your Masters, to start a business, to re-enter the workforce. You can do the hard things. Figure out what motivates you and run the race. You have greatness within. It’s time to Rise Up.