What Motivates Us

Yesterday, my boss told us a story in our Monday morning meeting that shifted the way I thought about motivation. I’m paraphrasing for sure but hopefully the meat of the story stays in tact.

There were these two men who ran together everyday, one was older and one was significantly younger. Based on appearance, the younger man’s youth and vitality would assumably give him an advantage. However, the younger man could never catch up to and pass the old man.

One day, the older man asks the younger one, “WhatΒ do you think about when you run? What motivates you to keep going?”

The young man responds, “I imagine a snarling, hungry wolf running behind me, his teeth chomping at my heels. That’s what keeps me going.”

“Interesting,” said the old man.

“What about you? What do you think about when you run?” said the young man.

The old man replied, “I imagine I’m the one chasing the wolf. Though I can never catch him, I always try.”

It’s easy to see how this key distinction affects each man’s drive. One focuses on the fear of being eaten by the wolf, while the other focuses on surpassing the thing that’s better than him.

Many times, we focus on what we don’t want. As Tony Robbins says, “what you focus on expands.” Likewise, we fail to instead focus on what we do want and head toward that.

Its funny how when you ask someone if they could design the ideal life for themselves 10 years into the future, they usually can tell you more about what they don’t want compared to what they do want.

Then, we wonder why we get all the things we don’t want, and never what we do want.

So my challenge to you, the reader, is how can you stop focusing on the bad, and instead focus on what we want more of? Better yet, how can we push ourselves to chase our higher self everyday? While we shouldn’t ever think we’ll achieve “perfection,” you might surprise yourself on how much you’ll grow in pursuit of it.

For me, I’m stuck on a treadmill chasing treadmill ahead of me. Who knows if I can ever catch it πŸƒπŸΌπŸ€”

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Where’s that darn wolf? πŸ•πŸ©πŸ–πŸ¦„

 

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