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November 21, 2020
What is the motivating force that drives us to work on a project or complete a task? Many of us experienced teachers who would threaten lower grades if we did not complete an assignment on time. Parents may withhold privileges from their children if they don’t clean their room. Bosses might delay a promotion if a proposal isn’t submitted. Over time, we realize a majority of our motivation comes from the fear of negative consequences. Having this type of mentality can rob us of the self-gratification we can achieve when we focus on completing projects with positivity and encouragement.
When we worry about what may happen if a project isn’t completed on time, we tend to lose sight of everything but the finish line. We miss out on the interesting facts we learn about what we are working on and what we learn about ourselves. If we create a positive mindset, we can confront unique challenges that may arise and see them as opportunities for growth rather than negative hurdles in our way. This will allow us to enjoy and appreciate the journey of our project and not press to complete it as soon as possible.
If we know there is a punishment for not completing a task on time, we usually have a tremendous sense of relief once that project is finished. While we were able to avoid that negative outcome, we may not have been able to fully enjoy what we accomplished. Once the project has been completed, we realize we didn’t take time to be proud of what we had completed. Instead of letting fear be our motivator, we should let our self-confidence drive us to achieve our best results and take pride in what we have worked on.
Unfortunately, many in our society focus on avoiding consequences rather than promoting an environment of encouragement and positivity. Being surrounded by negativity can be draining and suck the enthusiasm out of the individuals tasked to meet a deadline. This can lead to disdain for the task at hand and even others within the group. Try to create an atmosphere where challenges can be achieved, creativity is accepted, and happiness can be found at the finish line. This style of work and leadership is contagious and will pay dividends for all who are involved.
While fear is a motivator for completing a project, it’s not an effective way to achieve inspired results. Further, the work and morale of those involved will suffer. Allowing learning opportunities for mistakes and offering encouragement to those working on a task will create a finished product that everyone can take pride in. The journey to a completed project where positivity is the catalyst will yield personal growth and professional fulfillment.
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