Ever had someone tell you, “Sometime this week I need to talk to you.”
For me when someone tells me that time stops. I immediately go into “The Guessing Game” mode. What’s wrong? What happened? What did I do? What did I not do? What shoe is about to drop?
No matter what else I need to get done I just want to go ahead and have the conversation and get the suspense over with.
Let me take my medicine, take my lumps, and then be able to move on. My motivation is not about making things better, I just want to feel better.
However, over the long term, having the right motivation is what moves the needle towards real progress.
I’ve learned this the hard way.
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve short-circuited the process because I just wanted to feel better or look better.
Oh I rue the many times I’ve allowed people to knock me off track and get bogged down in things that could have waited or would have solved themselves without my involvement all because I wanted to feel better or save face.
My motivation was not to make things better I just wanted the pain to go away.
But pain is often your friend. It is telling you something and usually that something is for your own good.
While pain relievers relieve the pain temporarily, they do not cure the cause of the pain. Eventually, if you really want to make things better you have to get to the root of the problem and find a cure.
I’ve come up with a great “check-my-motive” question that I regularly use when dealing with emotional pain. Before I act I ask: Am I doing this to feel better or to make things better?
There’s a world of difference between those two choices!
Remember, all pain is not bad. There’s the pain that comes from sickness and being unhealthy. But there is also the pain that comes from growth and exercising discipline.
Bottom line, sometimes feeling better does not make things better. Best to live with some temporary pain and stay on the progress track.
The ONE THING for today: A good “check-my-motive” question before taking action is: Am I doing this to feel better or to make things better?