External Vs Internal – A classic motivational struggle

Theme parks are designed to be funInteresting post on Seth’s blog a while back.

He’s commenting on one of my key themes: External motivation versus internal motivation. He doesn’t go into the topic at length of course, that’s not his blogging style. He likes short and pithy and he is the best in the world at it.

He just ends the post with this and it struck me.

The nature of our new economic system, that one that doesn’t support predictable factory work, is that external motivation is far less useful. If you’re looking for a big payday, you won’t find it right away. If you’re depending on cheers and thank yous from your Twitter followers, you’re looking at a very bumpy ride.
In fact, the world is more and more aligned in favor of those who find motivation inside, who would do what they do even if it wasn’t their job. As jobs turn into projects, the leaders we need are those that relish the project, that jump at the chance to push themselves harder than any coach ever could.

In isolation this is about work. It’s about industry. He doesn’t actually say it (it’s really not his department anyway) but I don’t think he knows how to exactly engender internal motivation that overcomes the external. How to make the gut strength motivation deeper and more pervasive than that which comes from the brain topside.

He’s not alone. Most every coach, counselor, or guru who’s trying to do it is on the wrong track. Often they fail to see that the motivation they’re supplying to their client is just yet another external motivating factor. Like a bird chirping on a tree branch or the sound of a wave hitting the beach. It’s still from the outside. It’s external.

Not surprising that they don’t see it for what it is though.

Internal motivating ques are very subtle and personal. Who gathers around the water cooler to talk about their gut feeling? Almost no one.

Too bad though. That one phenomenon is the basis of the new immunity that I’ve been writing about for some time now. The point I always make is simple but, as the old saying goes “still waters run deep” and this is no exception. It’s taken me years to give this voice so that I can explain it to people.

I think the era of the great motivator standing up on stage getting everyone going is now just about over. I don’t think people will go on paying big money for that same stuff for too much longer. Same with the calm-talk of the “spiritual teacher” sitting there answering questions while attendees hang on his/her every word.  It’s more personal now. It’s got to be. There’s just too much to contend with already.

All they’ve got is mostly just more words. Words that form ideas that motivate people. That’s how it’s been done for centuries. It’s about as old hart as it get’s

But now that model is in real trouble as our difficulties with a changing world catch up with us. Seth is smart enough to notice this new trend. So, how about you?

[Would you like to hear more about what I’ve got to say on this topic?  Sign-up here and get a free limited release MP3 download of my 90 minute conversation with copy guy extraordinaire Donnie Bryant. I hold nothing back and this call is jam-packed with information about my H.E.R.O.  project that I haven’t ever released on this blog before.

More power to you.

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