Just about the most important question we can ask ourselves in deriving our motives is, ‘Who am I doing this for?’
Following closely behind that one, is this one: ‘What am I doing this for?’
We do the things we do for what appears to be simple reasons, yet there can also be layers of complexity regarding what gets us over the line. For instance, I write for several reasons, like, I wish to express my heart within an art-of-compassion that is written, to achieve some sense of fellowship with readers, certainly to gain some recognition and feedback, as well as to get better at what I do. Some people complain that I write too much, but, because this is God’s work in progress, I will not limit what God wills me to do. My writing is not about just today, it’s also about where it’s headed.
We all do things for reasons. What and who we do our things for are crucial in our deriving meaning from our pursuits.
The Beauty Of Intrinsic Motivation
When someone does something and they are called to do it, as if from within themselves they can do no other thing, they are motivated beyond explanation. It brings them to life.
Purpose and meaning are what drive most of us. When our purpose and meaning dry up we begin to question our place in life. Periods of depression begin to threaten.
But when we know what our purpose is, and we can derive meaning by living within the boundaries of our purpose, life suddenly makes sense. When we ask ourselves questions, like, ‘Who am I doing this for?’ and ‘What am I doing this for?’ the answers are self-apparent. These questions become rhetorical.
The greatest favour we can do for ourselves is to find what intrinsically motivates us, and then simply do it. We don’t do it for money, just for love. That’s the spiritual life in action.
As parents with children, or leaders of churches, or supervisors in workplaces, all we can ask of those under our charge is that they ask those questions of themselves. Then our job is to support them in doing the things their hearts are calling them to do.
When we learn what our hearts are geared to do, and what our minds think incessantly about, we have found one of the secrets to life.
Why do we do the things we do? If we have found our purpose, such questions become irrelevant. We love what we do. When, to the question, ‘Who am I doing this for?’ we can answer, God, we’re on the right path.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.