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What Motivates You?

“Everything you want is on the other side of your comfort zone”

You may think that every day is pretty much the same as the last. But in reality, the unexpected is happening around us all the time. Life is as unpredictable as London weather, we can never predict what’s coming up next!

But, you sure do need the right eyes – and the right mindset – to be able to handle the uncertainties!  It is easy to put on blinders every day and simply get through your workday on autopilot. But this is getting stagnant… We need to have a growth mindset, not a stagnant one. This kinda mindset will serve the purpose of being a barricade in our lives and will stop us from missing the exciting connections and face the opportunities that are waiting to be made each day!

Do you ever find yourself being a glass-half-empty type of person? It can happen to the best of us. In fact, having biases and preconceptions goes hand-in-hand with human nature, but that doesn’t mean that it’s helpful in life. Having strict, unbending preconceptions can be a big hindrance.

What motivates you on a day-to-day basis to get up from bed? Is it money? Or are you searching for something more meaningful? Maslow’s hierarchy suggests that people are first motivated by basic things like food & shelter. Once that is covered, people are then motivated by sex & relationships, and only later on, when all the lower needs are met, are they concerned with loftier things like existential fulfilment. It sounds logical, but this is an idea that is now being challenged.

To stay alert and motivated, remain focused on a meaningful north star. There’s a good reason for people wanting to be purpose-driven rather than money-driven; it feels a lot better and is more rewarding in the long run. The better way is to be authentic, stay true to yourself, and find a way to mix purpose with a paycheck.

Your north star should not be a goal, which you end up reaching before you turn 40, but it should be some ongoing purpose, interest or curiosity that can continue to inspire you indefinitely. With your north star in place, you’ll always have a direction on how to act. So when the unexpected arises, you’ll be well prepared on how to take advantage of it.

2020 and 2021 have been difficult years so far. Physical distancing has robbed us of the many opportunities that arise from in-person interactions. Many of the traditional starting points, like coincidentally running into someone in the corridor, or the legendary “chai pe charcha” moments are happening less frequently. But there’s still a lot you can do, which is crucial during times of uncertainty. After all, it’s during uncertain times that many solutions, ideas, and opportunities tend to come from unexpected plans.

It is all about giving people potential dots to connect with. You can change the way you communicate and ask questions, especially via virtual meetings. For eg., when someone asks you during a virtual meet,  the dreaded “What do you do?” question, you can give them a number of potential “touchpoints”. You can answer along the lines of “I’ve been working on X, recently been interested in Y, and just started exploring Z.” This opens up the potential “ah, such a coincidence, I just started looking into XYZ!” moments.

Look for possible potential opportunities that could be available to someone with your skillset – and are open to those unexpected ones that someone might tell you about – that’s where the magic happens. A great way to start this is to work on the side with people you admire. This is a fruitful way to put yourself on their radar – and to “be there” once a position unexpectedly comes up.

Hope my pointers were helpful for you…….. Would love to hear from you about what motivates you?

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