Saturday, 28 November 2015

What Drives You?

We are approaching the end of this year, getting ready for a new year with new resolutions. Truth is, everyone wants to make something significant out of their life. We all have a need to live purposefully in order to validate our existence on earth. In the mind of our Creator, we are all here for a purpose. There is no one on earth who was designed to live a meaningless existence.

What interests me is what motivates us to fulfill the purpose that we were created for. What  motivates you to make a difference or to impact society positively? Are you motivated by competition or by purpose?

Comparing your journey in life to the strides others have made is one way to stay motivated.  Competition is a very strong source of motivation. Let me give you a few examples of being motivated by "Competition."

You have a desire to do well in your academics and on a recent exam, your classmates earned "A's" while you earned a lower grade. Competition could motivate you to prepare better next time.

Your neighbor got a shiny new car; because you don't want people to think that he's better off than you, you go into debt to go get your own.

You see someone advancing in his career faster than you are. You find yourself subconsciously in competition with him, looking for ways to get ahead by all means possible.

Your friend has thousands of followers on social media. So that you can look equally popular, you work on growing your following.

Competition is a strong, viable motivating force but not always the best one. When we are motivated solely by competition, we find ourselves in a world where we are never satisfied. The indisputable fact is that  someone will always be bigger, prettier, smarter, wealthier than you are. Competition can drive you insane and make you feel a sense of worthlessness within yourself. For many people competition is a breeding ground for an internal sense of insecurity. 

The Bible even talks about how senseless being competitive is. II Corinthians 10:12 (NLT version) Oh, don't worry; we wouldn't dare say that we are as wonderful as these other men who tell you how important they are! But they are only comparing themselves with each other, using themselves as the standard of measurement. How ignorant!

There is however another motivating force that is very powerful. That force is PURPOSE.
Purpose is a deep understanding of WHY you are doing something or heading in a particular direction. When you understand the purpose of a thing, you will likely withstand all of the temptations and trials that make you feel like quitting.

Scenarios of being purpose motivated would be:

I need to get an "A" on my exam so that I can make a first class and get into the post-graduate program that I've dreamed of my whole life.

I need a new car because my family is growing and I need to give them a safe, reliable means of transportation.

I need to advance in my career so that the world will hear my voice. There is so much that I have which my company needs and it's only if I get to a senior position that I will be able to have the recognized influence that can advance this company.

I have an important message that the world needs to hear.  I need to grow my social media following so that I can get that message across to the maximum number of people possible.

Purpose motivation will make you plow through when things get tough. When you understand the "Why," you are willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish the "what." Being motivated by purpose protects you from giving up and throwing in the towel. You will have staying power.

Being motivated by purpose will also help you to carefully choose your priorities. You know where you are going and will be more inclined to take decisions that will get you there.

When it comes to examples to follow in life, Jesus Christ, the son of God, is always the best. Jesus was motivated by purpose. He was able to be resilient in the face of the worst opposition because He knew why He was here on earth.

I John 3:8b (KJV)
... For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

Purpose preserved Him and purpose can preserve you, too!

So, next time you feel driven to make a big decision, ask yourself,
 Why do I want to do this? What's my motivating factor?

If you are being motivated by competition, take a step back and reevaluate.  This year as you prepare your new year's resolutions and look back over what you have accomplished, examine your motives.  Let’s all make it our aim to live 2016 motivated less by competition and more by purpose.  May God bless you on this journey.

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