The deeper motivation for doing what you do is everything. It is the engine that powers the entire process. It is the driving force behind all that unfolds and as such, you must get to know it. To see it and really understand it. So, what are your real motivations for working?
There can only really be TWO fundamental motivations for doing any sort of work, or for doing anything at all for that matter:
1) You are seeking something external (e.g. money, status, achievement)
2) You are doing it for its own sake (a love of the process)
And, these two reasons are all exhaustive. If you are seeking something outside of yourself — the achievement of some external benchmark, whether money or status — you are in category 1. If not, you are in category 2.
This may be easier to grasp if restated in the opposite:
All work that is not done for its own sake is motivated by external rewards.
Needing to make money to put food on the table is one thing, but chasing after achievement or status is quite another thing altogether.
It keeps you locked in a cycle of constantly deferring to the future what is readily available in the present. It puts you in a place of disempowerment, where you risk achieving and achieving, but never finding. This is the path of living for external validation that is outside in. It is very different to revelling in the experience of something for its own sake — an experience that is inside out.
Be honest about your real motivations for working
This is why being honest to yourself about WHY you are seeking a particular career path matters so much. If you are in Category 1, then I invite you to consider the pressure of such striving and the inner tension that it produces. To consider what it might feel like to really engage from the inside out.
If you wish to go deeper into this enquiry, you may download a free pdf of my new self-coaching guide on how to find fulfilling work here.
Harsha is a 1:1 coach and independent thinker based in London. He empowers people to find more clarity, confidence and focus in their lives — to cut through the noise, in a world so full of it. Harsha’s new book, Machine Ego: Tragedy of the Modern Mind, is now available in paperback and Kindle through Amazon.