Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Strong Enough Incentives?

I was talking with John, a new student of mine, when he told me he wanted to make some changes in his life. He said he wanted to start a new business, and get in better shape at the same time.

"Sounds great," I thought. "Now answer me this... why? What's your incentive? What's your driving force behind these potential life changes?"

His answer left me speechless:

"Ummm... I don't know."

John's in big trouble, and quite honestly, probably doesn't have a chance to reach his goals. His incentive to achieve is, well... not there.

We can do anything we want in life, but we must truly want, and have very strong incentives. If we have a strong driving force behind our wants, nothing can stop us when we hit those inevitable "walls" that we all run into. When our incentives are weak, or in John's case, nonexistent... we'll quit at the first sign of trouble.

Do we want to lose weight? Why? For our health? Or for others' ideas of what healthy looks like? If the latter is our answer, we most likely won't reach our personal goal. Our incentive must touch our core... must drive us emotionally and personally. It must be strong enough to keep pushing when negativity comes knockin'... and as we know ~ negativity will come knockin!'

Do we want to become more serious with that special someone? Is it time to finally commit? Why? Because our friends and family keep saying that if we don't go to that next level, we'll lose him/her? Or because we're truly in love, and want to take a deeper, more genuine step? Do we feel real trust and happiness for their future? Can we put our feelings on the line, risking rejection that's held us back in the past? Simply... do we want this bad enough?

What's your incentive? Does it drive your decisions, or are you settling for less... just because? Are you making decisions based only on "maybe," or you looking in the mirror and seeing true passion?


Beautiful Dreamer said...

Fantastic Post! I agree, we all need goals/incentives that motivate us to succeed! If we fail to plan, we plan to fail.

Always love reading your posts, continually inspiring. Great read.

Beautiful Dreamer

Innocent Owner Of Mad Cats said...

When I look back at the things I failed in, non of them had true incentives. Very good and very true post.


wow - my incentive is to be a published writer. and i love to write. so i think for once in my life i've gotten myself headed in the 'write' direction

Matty said...

Dayne, this is so true. Just take a look at someone without a job AND bill collectors at their door, and their mortgage company about to force them out. They have incentive to take ANY job regardless of salary or position. Or criminals addicted to their drug of choice. They have incentive to break into your house and steal your things, or rob the local store. And what about the heart attack survivor who's doctor says to exercise, lose 20 pounds and change your diet, OR ELSE.

Incentive can make anyone do anything, if that incentive means enough. I'd like to have millions of dollars and not have to work anymore, but my job and my salary is more than enough, and so I just don't have the incentive to move forward on my business idea.

It's all about how MUCH the incentive is to you. How MUCH does the incentive impact your life.

plainolebob said...

Coach Dayne, my incentive is that next beer.
Just kiddin Coach, her is a story that I remembered while reading your post.

Young man asked Plato, how is it that you gain what you desire.
Plato took the young man to the river, asked him to kneel down at the rivers edge, he held that young mans head under the water as he sruggled to get free to breath. Finally Plato relesed him. He rose from the grasp and groped for air, took in a deep breath of fresh air. He then looked at Plato, and asked why did you do that to me.
Plato replied, you will attain your desires when you fight for it as hard as you did that first breath of fresh air, and you will always remember how sweet it is to attain it.
The struggle was won, and you now know your desires and how to obtain them.

Write Right Where You "R" said...

More 20-somethings like my sons should read this! Thank you! I will be forwarding it!

spldbch said...

My problem is this. I had all these goals I wanted to accomplish and I had the drive to achieve them. Once I obtained them it was like, "Ok, now what?" There are a lot of things I do because they are important to me. But right now if someone asked me what I want I would say, "I don't know." (Well, I'd probably say I want to find the love of my life but that's not really something you can actively pursue).

Thanks for your post -- it got me thinking.

Dayne Gingrich said...

Dreamer: Thank you for your kind words. I love "If we fail to plan, we plan to fail."

Innocent: It's amazing how many things we don't achieve do to lack of incentive, isn't it?

Crib: You're definitely passionate about getting published, as I've read in many of your posts... which is exactly why you will!

Matty: So true, yeah? Incentive dictates our everything. It's what truly drives us to achieve both good and bad.

Bob: Great story. How dare you come here and outdo me- hahahaha. I always love your insight, as it's obvious you've "lived."

Linda: Please let me know what your 20-something thought after you forward.

Melody: I totally understand that, "ok, I did it.. now what?" Anti-climactic sometimes, right? It's not about the result, though... process process process. If our incentives are strong enough, our process will be much more exciting.

Thanks everyone for your comments!

Always a mom said...

Hi Dayne,
Thanks for your comment on my blog about my
receipt of the Superior Scribbler Award. Yes...It is lots of fun & maybe a little more work (passing it on) than I had expected ...he-he...
but I was truly honored to have received it.Thanks again :)
God Bless!

Jay Dreamer said...

Wow! All this is so true :] Thank goodness you found me (I've been needing a blog like this!!!) I'll be sure to read some more when I get back home. Thanks for stopping by my little blog!

Deborah Ann said...

Hi Dayne, thanks for stopping by Heavenly Humor for a visit!

Deborah said...

Great post! It is so true what you just said. Anyways, thanks for dropping by my blog and following! I just started this one a couple of weeks ago, but I love it! I'm looking forward to following your blog! Thanks again~

Better Man said...

Hey Dayne, Just a quick to say I enjoyed reading post. I have something on my blog for under "My First Award.


kys said...

I can relate to this one. My problem is that I don't have a driving force to do anything. I now that is sad but it's true. I have spent my whole life doing things because someone told me to or I felt guilty (ie Mommy Guilt) if I didn't. It feels too selfish to reflect on my wants and/or needs.

Deborah Ann said...

Well I def need to lose a few pounds. But I'm thinkin' .... wait til after the holidays?

Phil-theincredibleshrinkingman said...

What a fantastic post, over the years i've been pressured into losing weight because other people felt i was too big, it wasn't for me that they wanted me to lose but for themselves and their belief in what healthy and acceptable is, inevitably i re-gained everything i had lost because there was no long term incentive to stay thin or keep losing the weight. It's taken a long time for me to reach this point in my life, i've hit some lows but i'm doing this for me this time not anyone else, and I have some real incentives to focus on along this journey.

Slow and steady may not win the race, but it'll certainly get me to the finish line.

Calli said...

A great, thought provoking post, as always, Dayne!

I need to prioritize my goals and narrow them to just the ones that provide the most beneficial incentives. I get caught up in a rush of creative 'ideas' yet need to highlight and work on those that shine the most...and of course, I always have the 'family' & 'health' related goals which always take priority!

thanks for this post~:) and be well~