Height of Inspiration or Depths of Desperation?

It’s funny how I can find the money and the resources for the things that I ‘have to’ do. The car transmission fails and suddenly my brain goes into overdrive to solve this pressing problem and get my vehicle back on the road.

The rent is due and the thought of being homeless during the winter forms new neuron pathways between my left and right brain. I find myself battling a sickness, and suddenly life’s priorities shuffle themselves into the correct order. Time spent with the family seems more pressing than the business meeting that was so critical. In fact, when I’m sick the only thought that dominates my mind is to regain my health.What motivates you?

On opposite ends of the spectrum of human motivation are inspiration and desperation. The reasons that drive you to act can be found somewhere along that continuum. I know that many noble feats have been accomplished through love for another person, but this can be classed as inspiration. Love for the object inspired the lover to perform acts that would be hard to explain otherwise.

I must confess that I am closer to the ‘desperation’ end of the spectrum than the ‘inspiration’ end. I am a deadline type of guy. While in school, I always procrastinated until I just had to write that term paper, study for that test or-you may smile-pay for the tuition. It seemed the idea that there was no way out placed my brains on steroids. I happen to know many colleagues who operate on a similar principle. At the same time, there were many students who just had to get the paper completed a long time before the deadline.

Inspiration would appear to be a much nobler motivator than desperation. Yet, it has always been said that necessity is the mother of invention. Necessity is closer akin to desperation than inspiration. It is often true that desperation can lead to inspiration but seldom the other way around. There are countless inventions which came about to solve a pressing problem compared to those made for just a luxurious use.

Those who study direct response marketing tell us that buyers respond more to avoid pain than to gain pleasure. In other words, Mr. Jones is more likely to buy the central air cooling system because it saves him money, than for the reason that it keeps him cool in the summer. Statistics also shows that the vast majority of those who inherit large sums of money, either through family or the lottery, end up losing their wealth or in some instances their minds.

This reminds me of the old adage: ‘Easy come, easy go’. There are many parents who have passed on a legacy of wealth, and hence laziness, to their posterity.

The critical point for the home business owner is motivation. You can no longer lose your job because you are late, tardy; hate the boss, disliked by fellow-workers and a myriad of other reasons. Now you are the boss and have less to fear outside of failing yourself! Your motivation must now be intrinsic, and you have less people to blame for all your failures.

Although many tout the superior benefits of owning a home business, the harsh reality of finding that motivation to get out of bed when there are no traffic jams to beat leaves countless paralyzed.

My advice? ‘Know thyself’! Know what makes you tick and ‘trick’ yourself into that frame of mind. There are many motivational speakers who teach that you should write out your goals and even place a picture of your dream home next to your workplace. Even though this may work for some-and it doesn’t for me-, I think that contemplating the results for failure can awake many giant ideas.

If you are on the inspiration end of the spectrum then listening to motivational tapes and reading the stories of those who overcame great odds, may just be the medicine for your soul.

Do you love being healthy or hate being sick? Do you love having money or hate being broke? Do you love being with your spouse or hate being away? Do you love being independent or hate being bossed around? Do you love happiness or hate being sad? These questions may all seem to be two faces of the same coin but very different faces.

You may be like George Bernard Shaw who said, “You see things; and you say ‘Why?'; But I dream things that never were; and I say ‘Why not?’ Or, you may identify closer with Dwight D. Eisenhower who said, “What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight – it’s the size of the fight in the dog”.

You may be the dreamer or the dog engaged in mortal combat. What counts most is to know who you are, and light the appropriate burner on your motivational stove.

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