The Impossible Dream

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Photo By Gerald Martillana of Unsplash

“Chasing the dream can be more rewarding than achieving it”

One of the most rewarding things about posting these articles is the interaction with readers from around the globe. This week’s article was inspired by a comment from last week. The subject was examining the motives behind our actions – even when it comes to choosing a profession (click here to read it).

The comment from Joe Samnik read, “Success is the great killer of dreams; money is a byproduct of our services.” What struck me was the first part;  success being a great killer of dreams. While I never wish to put words in anyone’s mouth, especially Joe’s since he has become a trusted friend, I interpreted it to mean success was the actual accomplishing of the goal and once it’s completed, the desire to continue can be greatly diminished.

I admit it’s a rather loose interpretation but in some ways, it makes complete sense. By nature, humans are goal-oriented. If we have no purpose to get up in the morning, the day could be spent in bed or lying around the house. Accomplishment seems to be part of our DNA and when it’s fulfilled, the void is satiated with finding other objectives and ambitions. However, what if there were other motives behind why some are driven so fiercely to achieve?

The adrenaline rush which comes from conquering a challenging project is quite rewarding. Whether working with a team of likeminded people or as an individual, the littlest accomplishments provide an emotional stimulus that to put it plainly, just feels good.

Once the project is completed, some of those feelings can be replaced by a sense of loss or sadness. Although there may have been enormous successes and financial gain, the question now becomes how could all of this hard work, trust, and determination leave anyone sad and possibly even in despair? What will bring back those wonderful feelings?

The obvious answer is to begin another project but by examining the reasons for the sadness, it may uncover even more daunting and troubling motives.

It’s possible that when we accomplish something – whether it be individually or as a team, if the intention is to benefit others besides ourselves, there is a greater sense of purpose and satisfaction. If the reason for this hard work was for recognition, wealth, or power, it can ultimately lead to disappointment and frustration.

It’s rather ironic that while trying to achieve personal satisfaction, a major contributor to that is working to evoke those same feeling in others. While our efforts do induce positive emotions within us, seeing those same feelings in others arouses a deeper sense of purpose and accomplishment. When those efforts are solely intended for our benefit alone, it is bound to only have temporary satisfaction.

There are indeed lots of reasons why we strive for success, but when it is concentrated on benefiting humankind, it is certain to have a much greater impact; especially on our own lives.

Thanks to Gerald Martillana for the amazing picture. Find out more about him by clicking here. I look forward to your comments.

 

 

 

 

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Good Job

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Photo by Riku Lu

“Our job is not who we are unless we allow otherwise”

The last few articles have been focusing on the motives and specifically why many times money is primarily the focus (click here to read last week’s). When it comes to commerce and trade, money has a significant impact on the decision-making process. Profit is critical because it is neither prudent nor possible to run a business that can’t pay its bill let alone its employees.

Income and the potential to make it can have a strong bearing on how some choose a profession. On the other hand, others pursue a career because of a particular interest, hobby, or fascination. Occasionally, few stumble into something unknowingly and find out they’ve uncovered a hidden skill. But no matter what we end up doing, all of us hope for jobs that we completely love and are substantially compensated. This, no doubt, is the exception rather than the norm.

The potential of earning a comfortable living can be a motivation behind why a particular profession was chosen but not always the best motive. In and of itself, money and the ability to make it, is not a terrible thing. But it has the potential of being one of the biggest adversaries and obstacles to overcome. It divides families, destroys relationships, and can consume someone to the point where one becomes entirely  unrecognizable. It’s almost as though it carries with it the dark and unforeseen curse!

Gold, silver, nickel, or paper; none of these has any mystical force or spell lurking to capture and undermine our kindness, generosity, and integrity. There is no law of nature that states once a specific amount is accumulated, it triggers a hex continually plaguing you forever. Ultimately something changed; more than likely it was the motivation behind why all that wealth was accumulated eventually influencing that person to become swept up and overcome by the misbeliefs of what all this affluence meant. Even those starting with the best intentions have staggered along the way and were caught up by greed, power, or some other ego-centered ideas.

The ego tends to get in the way when we lose gratitude. No doubt many worked hard with their sweat and blood to create such a magnificent enterprise and reap a well-deserved compensation for those efforts. But being grateful reminds us that it wasn’t simply our efforts alone which created this business. It demonstrates that our motives remained true and our integrity was more important than the size of our bank account. Appreciation keeps our intentions upright and in many ways, inspires us to give back so that others may have opportunities to thrive as well.

After all, it’s important to have strong communities and when they support what you do, giving back shows your motivations remained authentic and your spirit stayed true to being grateful, thankful, and providing opportunities for future success stories as well.

Thanks to Riku Lu for the beautiful photograph. Find out more by clicking here. I look forward to your comments.

 

Opportunity Knocks

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Photo by Paige Weber

“The ultimate motivation is something more than money can buy.”

Recently I’ve been thoroughly examining my motives and the reasons behind my actions. In last week’s article, (click here to read it) we discussed the possibility that some philanthropists may not always have the greatest intentions behind their giving. This week, I want to bring that point closer to home.

Five years ago, I made the choice to shift careers from sales to helping people to heal and get a greater understanding of who they can become. It hasn’t been as quick as I’d hoped and reality still dictates that I continue in sales in but I’m constantly focused on the importance and tremendous need for what I am doing.

Part of what I do is related to the Life Coaching business and while I do not consider myself as such, I’ve joined groups and received messages from several, including those whose business is coaching Life Coaches. And there is one recurring theme that has and always will continue to infuriate me. So many of these ads are motivated by the allure of making more money.

“Big Money Business Coach” or “How to get the highest-paying clients”, are just a few of the examples. Others talk about how to speak and get top dollar or “The Seven Figure Life Coach” as if that truly is the measure of success. Rather than opportunity knocking, it sounds more like an “opportunist knocking.”

Not once have I ever received a notice about how to make my message more effective. If making more money is not a part of the program then something must definitely be wrong! I have and always will consider my message to be the most important part of what I do. If there is anything this world needs it’s more healing and greater understanding.

I am not suggesting that these services aren’t worth getting paid. Everyone’s time is valuable and if the service is beneficial then it deserves compensation. But those focusing primarily on making money, their motivation has little to do with the impact and positive outcome of their client.

I look forward to the day when I am doing well enough that I can take time to work with those less fortunate. Perhaps speak to the homeless or those living in shelters and remind them they can heal. It doesn’t require any money and we should not deprive others from this opportunity because of their financial status. Who knows, it could impact their lives in ways that will enable them to become incredible human beings.

Another annoyance is when religions push the idea that if you’re prosperous then you must be blessed by God. I’m fairly certain that Jesus did not charge admission for the Sermon on the Mount nor did He, Gandhi, Mouhamed, or Dali Lama ever regret they didn’t make more money.

The truth is that showing profit is a much easier tool to measure so-called success. I mean, you wouldn’t expect to ask your clients to rate their happiness as a measure of your own success, would you? Well, in my case, that is precisely what I do. While I cannot choose their healing steps nor decide upon their happiness, when they do begin to heal and see their inner beauty, there is no amount of payment that can substitute for that moment.

Thanks to Paige Weber for the wonderful photo. Click here to find out more about her and I look forward to your comments.

 

For Goodness Sake

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Photo by Charl van Rooy of Unsplash

“Philanthropy is not always the reason good deeds are done.”

In last week’s article, we discussed how at times there are other factors that can influence our motivations (click here to read it). It is even possible there are moments when we don’t assess them too closely in case problematic motives may be revealed.

Everyone aspires for his or her actions to be interpreted as altruistic; however, being magnanimous may be shaky grounds for an excuse to further one’s own agenda and bottom line. Too often, under the guise of being philanthropic, “gifts” are given with an underlying expectation of a return; which ultimately changes the word “guise” to something more like disguise.

If you have been one of those fortunate enough to give substantial sums to charity and freely do so, you ought to be commended for those efforts. No doubt your generosity has helped hundreds if not thousands of struggling and sometimes hopeless individuals.

The term “philanthropy” is now frequently used and many proclaim that title as a badge of honor. Although no one would doubt the importance of contributing to worthy causes, there are times when good deeds have had other, not-so-good intentions or consequences.

When was the last time you gave anything and expected nothing in return? If you were to give money to someone in desperate need and weren’t acknowledged, would that somehow change the potential of your gift? The act of giving shows more about us and our intentions even more than the size or type of gift we gave.

Charitable giving has become such an integral part of society that  laws have been passed to make it tax deductible. However, if the tax benefits were to become greatly reduced, how drastically would that affect your generosity?

I’ll be the first to admit that for much of my adult life, I was rather, well, stingy is quite frankly how it ought to be described. Thankfully, when I went through my stage of personal growth, I learned the importance of a compassion and giving heart; not for the sake of receiving something in return but for demonstrating good intent towards my fellow human beings. We have all heard the saying about giving and receiving but if the odds were against getting anything in return, should that diminish our capacity as a kind and generous person?

What is even more troublesome is that many will circumvent charitable tax laws and manipulate them for their own gain. Others will only make large donations to organizations only if the money is spent according to their demands; even to the point where that donation ends up completely back in their own pockets.

While there is nothing theoretically wrong with getting the most out of charitable contributions, let’s continue to examine the motivations for our generosity. You may find that a simple gesture can do someone a World of Good!

My thanks to Charl Van Rooy for the beautiful photograph. I look forward to your comments.

Motive Behind the Motivation

Red Rock

“Success doesn’t always justify the reason we succeed.”

Our day-to-day tasks can range from rigorous to monotonous and sometimes a bit of incentive may be the antidote to getting us going. Entrepreneurs and go-getters are often commended and sometimes envied for their ability to self-inspire and not depend on or require the enthusiasm of others. No doubt many of us wish we had much more of this quality than we currently do.

The business of motivation is mindboggling. During 2016 in the U.S. alone, the Personal Development Industry reached nearly $10 billion dollars! Although it may have benefited many, that statistic alone is enough to question what the motivation behind all this motivation really is. However, criticizing these motivators doesn’t allow us to discover what may potentially be self-destructive motives of our own.

I am not simply talking about seeking revenge or reciprocating malicious behaviors. Many people under the guise of doing good deeds may use this reasoning to distract them from facing difficult issues in their own lives.

For example, a couple may be facing difficulties in their relationship and rather than facing those issues, one of them decides to be a volunteer coach for a youth sports team. Even though this experience can positively impact dozens of children’s lives, the personal issues for the couple not only remain unresolved but continue to fester and grow. The well-intended act became an excuse not to confront or deal with the looming crisis directly ahead.

Had one of them used alcohol or drugs as a distraction, this undoubtedly would have spiraled into a much worse outcome. However, neither scenario resolves the issues of the once-loving duo.

By no means do I want to imply that any time a person wants alone time from a relationship that it is a sign of troubles, it is simply another opportunity for self-reflection and being honest with our true motivations.

If there is anyone guilty of distracting himself from relationship issues, I’ll be the first one to raise my hand. Not only was I keeping myself occupied, I didn’t want to even consider the notion that there was trouble in my marriage. However, by the time those matters came into view, it was long past the point of no return.

This is true not just for relationships but in many aspects of our lives. Several of us have engulfed ourselves into work hoping that some kind of promotion or monetary gain would help “fix” the problem. Perhaps there is a health or other personal issue and instead of seriously looking for answers, we respond with sidesplitting humor. Again, that doesn’t dictate that every self-deprecating joke is an alarm going off, it’s another occasion for true self-reflection.

There are occasions when we need someone to push us to that next level and inspire us to conquer more than we could ever imagine. Reaching these goals builds confidence and self-esteem which is always a good thing. But by constantly examining ourselves and becoming aware of why we do what we do, this helps us in our own personal growth and development; something which no amount of money will ever purchase.

The photograph is of Red Rock Canyon. A “must see” if you have a chance to visit Las Vegas. Thank you and I look forward to your comments.