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"move it, brotha"

Fred Smith on motivation. This applies to work, marriage, ministry or child-rearing...

Many people think of motivation as a quick, easy blast ---- a shot to the solar plexus to spur action.  Not in my book.  I hear a lot about the time Knute Rockne stayed out of the Notre Dame locker room at half time until the very last second.  He then poked his head in the door and yelled, “Let’s go, girls!”  Of course this story is famous because the Fighting Irish went on to victory.  Somehow, I think this bleeds over into manipulation rather than motivation.

What is the difference?

1. Motivation is the process whereby a mutual interest is developed between two people.  This is usually recognized by both as they work together for success.  Motivation involves a long-term healthy drive in a psychologically friendly atmosphere where people are developed, not used.  There are common goals and positive outcomes.

2. Manipulation is the process used by one who gets others to do what he wants through the unhealthy use of fear, tricks, or devious plans.  Manipulation is often thought of as a fast way to achieve results.  However effective the short term is, it is a management strategy with a short life.  Performance by trickery is quickly recognized by others.

The word motivation can be replaced by the word “thirst” when we truly understand the process.  The motivator should identify the thirst in another and find ways to satisfy it.  I like to think of motivation as a fertilizer, as well.  Fertilizer doesn’t create the natural growth process --- it enhances it.  Motivation should enable another to do a better job at what they are already wanting to do.

Creating a cause big enough to involve others is highly motivational.  People will belong and even make sacrifices for something with meaning – something larger than themselves.  We want to belong; we want to contribute; we want to make a difference.  But, we want to do it because it satisfies our thirst, not because we were conned into it.  Motivators grow people; manipulators grow old.



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