July 19, 2012

What Motivates You?

My definition for motivation is very simple, it is the internal or external factors that control your behavior.
Motivation is a very engaging topic with significant insight into a person's success or failure.  Psychologist, sociologist and economist agree on the science of motivation and how it relates to a person's productivity.  Research tells us that productivity extends beyond rewards to increase positive behavior, and punishment to lessen negative behavior.  Research also tells us that financial incentive does not always lead to a person's top performance.  Top performance, producing products that meet universal needs, answers to world problems are a result of a person's desire to obtain autonomy, mastery, and creativity.  This explains why volunteers are often more productive than experts.  It is because they are not motivated by money, they are motivated by passion.

It is true that different people are motivated by different things, however internal motivators are either positive or negative.  I want to narrow the discussion and ask you to consider whether you are motivated by fear or passion.

In my office people frequently request prayer because their lives are ruled by fear.  Fear guides their decision-making, controls their interaction with others, and sets the parameters for what they will allow themselves to experience.  Fearful people tell me that they feel lonely and unloved.  They are often full of anxiety and physical dis-ease.
It is interesting that fear makes people feel unloved because scripture tells us that God's love is the answer to fear (1 John 4:18).  Fear and love cannot co-exist.  When I talk about this scripture to fear-driven people they cannot relate to the concept of perfect love so they proceed to tell me about the people in their lives that they love.

It is important to understand that perfect love is associated with maturity. To reach the maturation stage in any area we must grow and develop.  Most people understand that unresolved fear grows and becomes stronger and stronger often reaching a paralyzing state.  Many people who once were mildly afraid of something are presently living with phobias.   All phobias are rooted in unrealistic fears.  Although the progression of fear is more familiar to many than the growth of divine love it is important to choose to embrace God's perfect love to replace our fears.  When fear is replaced by perfect love passion becomes the motivation that leads us to accomplish great things.

"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love".   1 John 4:18