Business speakers often give scenarios to help you discover what motivates you. They essentially ask, “What would you cross through fire for?” or in other words, what are you willing to risk your life or die for? It is an interesting question. I wondered what I would be willing to risk my life or die for. My answer was incredibly revealing to me about myself. But for now I’ll keep it to myself and give you room to consider it. What would you risk your life or even die for?
Dave Ramsey tells about how wonderfully fun it is for him to be rich. He shares why it was worth it to him to make the sacrifices to become rich. Hint: it isn’t about the money itself. He said that he enjoyed “borrowing” a single-parent’s old car and secretly getting the oil changed, putting new tires on it and then returning it. This person thought they were doing him a favor. What a fun surprise! His experience lit me up inside. I want to do that! I was so excited! I was convinced I wanted to be a millionaire. What would it be like to gift someone in need with such useful things? That parent really did do him a favor, and me, too. It made his day, and just in the retelling, it made my day. I have since decided that millionaire status is probably not the aspect of this story that fired me up. So, if you think money is what you really want, you might consider why. Why do I want money? What would I do with it? Why is that important to me?
My inner fire is knowing why. If I can link into the most important reasons for me why I am doing something, it becomes clear if it is worth the effort later when problems always come. Like a North Star, why guides what I’m actually trying to accomplish and prevents getting side-tracked. My high school English teacher taught us to ask ourselves, “So what?” about every paper.
You didn’t get the dishes done this morning, so what? You weren’t on time to work, so what? You are overweight, so what? I call it “the so-what factor.” If I have no answer, I stay unmotivated to change. Sometimes that can be a good thing. Some things aren’t worth the struggle. This is a great place to ascribe to the attitude, “don’t worry, be happy.” Or is it?
The world of actions can be a very confusing place. For example, there are very good reasons to do the dishes. For years, I couldn’t see why they needed to be done early or quickly. So every day they were always a big pain–dried on, making an embarrassing kitchen, always haunting me with what I still needed to do. Would I do the dishes early and quickly because someone else thinks it should be done that way? No! But, I won’t not do them now because it is easier, sets me free for the rest of the day, makes me feel welcoming to friends, I feel calmer, and my husband really appreciates it. You see, it isn’t about the dishes at all. My personal freedom and showing love to my husband in ways he feels and appreciates are way more important to me than any thing. Knowing why has been like learning to put my foot on the gas pedal and stop driving around with my emergency brake on. It gets me out of my own way.
As I’ve come to understand how this power works, I’ve been able to control it better. For example, I know that I love to help people, hate to let others down, and love to help people care well for themselves. I, personally, have never been very good at keeping an even pace, or keeping a schedule. I get easily bored of routine. I need a lot of challenge and variety. So, knowing these things about myself, I decided to teach group fitness. This would help me love doing it for others and also help me pace and persist for myself. It is a beautiful win/win solution. I love my work, and I have had a consistent workout schedule for over three years without injuring myself. That has never happened before and would never have been possible until I found and understood my fire.
You may have things you value or believe that are so strongly intertwined with who you are that they are invisible to you. I searched and searched for years and never saw my strongest motivation of all. I recently found it, and it powers all I do. It also explains my driving, persistent and deep happiness that I have never before been able to explain. My sister once accused me of constantly wearing “rose colored glasses.” But, it isn’t my glasses. I know that now. I have always spoken the truth for me. It is way more than just a positive attitude.
Even in the darkest times, I have been deeply happy. I have not been able to communicate this to others, unable to understand why they didn’t have it, too. But, it is a belief, a desire, a why I have that is so core to me that I am very internally buoyant.
It is gratitude. In particular, gratitude to God, my Heavenly Father. I am so thankful to be alive. I am so thankful to learn and live and experience. I am thankful to be free. I am thankful to be me. It is this deep fire gratitude that gives me a pioneer spirit in adversity. And, it is a mighty faith and knowledge that I am loved and not alone. There is nothing I want more than to live well to show my love and gratitude to God.
What is worth risking your life by living for it?
Best wishes in your quest, no matter how long it takes, to find and use your unique answer to
DarEll S. Hoskisson
DarEll S. Hoskisson loves to do hard things, but not too hard. She shares her own challenges, goals and experiences as she guides you into a realistic path of self-reflection and self-improvement. She shares tips on how to find, know and trust yourself so you can decide if other’s suggestions are right for you. DarEll has the world a little upside down—where work is play and play is work. She actually thinks other people’s problems are fun to try to solve and lights up with a personal challenge. She loves people, harmony, and excellence. She also loves useful things like tools and ideas that make work faster, easier and more fun. DarEll married in 1993 and graduated from BYU (1995) with a bachelor’s degree in English and Secondary Education. Since then she was adopted by 5 children and has worked with many non-profits. She is currently a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor—leading pilates and yoga at her local YMCA. DarEll lives in Florida where she enjoys her family, nature, her work, and encouraging people to live well. She periodically posts her poems, what she is learning, and service opportunities on her personal blogs: https://personalabridgements.wordpress.com and https://darellhoskisson.wordpress.com