Thursday, June 1, 2017

Motivation- the Balance between Needs and Values

How is it that yesterday I was on top of the world, and today I am dull, and uninterested. I'd like to blame it on hormones, the foggy weather, or allergies, but that would be too easy.
If motivation comes from living a life immersed in my personal values, as I am told by reading Abraham Maslow, or Nathaniel Branden, then I know that when I tap into my natural energy, my values, (Inspiring, Discovering, Fun, and Adventure, - my top four values), life is simply more rewarding. Then what is limiting my access to this nature me?
Perhaps one of my needs is going unfulfilled and it is overshadowing my values, and thus limiting access to my vitality. When I have a need that is not completely met or handled, and I have no "needs satisfaction system" in place, to keep that need in check, I drift along in a leaky emotional boat. My sail may be strong, (my guiding beacon of values), but the cracks in my hull prevent me from having a smooth journey.
Is it possibly to patch this waning spirit? Absolutely! Needs can be identified, and with conscious effort, satisfied permanently. I can plug up those leaky holes in my hull, put on a protective layer of good quality smooth paint, and zoom off, once again following my unique endeavors.
One of the first steps to renewed smooth sailing is accepting that we have an unfulfilled need. Here you might be asking yourself "How can I accept an unmet need when I do not even have clarity on what needs I do have?" While we all have basic human needs, we all have unique individual personal needs that help us to be our best.
Genetically we are not created perfectly in sync with our environment because our environment keeps changing. We are, however, endowed with a brain, which allows us the freedom of choice, as an adaptive mechanism. Having needs is normal and natural. Needs let us know where we are off balance with the world. Your unique personal needs can be discovered through your own personal exploration, or through using an assessment tool such as Thomas Leonard's Needless Program*. Once we know what we need, we can "cowgirl up" to meeting it.
The influential need, the one that is holding us back, tends to be one of our top four or five dominant needs. These are the ones that have the most strength in our present life, or the one that pushes the hardest to be seen. Careful examination can cue us in on where to focus. If a need is handled, it will not cause us any angst. If one of the newly identified needs is causing an unpleasant feeling then perhaps this is our limiting need.
Next step is to understand that this need exists for a good reason, however, today, it no longer serves you well. Janette who was under constant stress, and managed to maintain her social and emotional status quo as a sweet successful person by hiding, masking, and comforting herself with food, can illustrate this point. Janette needs to feel importance, or noticed. The busier she was the more worthy she felt. The food, which momentarily sedated her stress level, as the carbohydrates had their relaxing effect on her nervous system, did nothing for her lack of importance to life.
In order to satisfy her need to be important, or valued, Janette did some work on her self-esteem. Accepting her own behavior as self-serving, allowed her to open up to new and healthier possible actions to fill her need. Soul searching led her to conclude that she had been created with certain unique specific gifts, and that those gifts were what made her valuable. She stopped the task cramming behavior, and comparing herself to other people, and started using her values as her compass.
When I moved from the corporate world, to being a solo-preneur, my environment became less restrictive and confining and I began satisfying my need for freedom. By choosing to live with a large window overlooking the ocean, by running along the beach, riding horses in the hills, and being free to do as I please, when I please, I further fulfill my need for freedom. This does not mean I am irresponsible, because irresponsibly is not freeing. It does mean that I make my own choices, and that my choices reflect what I need to be my best.
Needs are normal, unique, and a part of us. A need does not have to be a secret hidden deep within us. It is our responsibility, as mature adults, to satisfy our own hunger, but we can also ask for help. Partnerships are invaluable tools.
*For more on Thomas Leonard's Needless Program read his book the "Portable Coach", or email me from by clicking on my name.

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