Theme of the week

Issue IX (03.04.2011)

Motivation is the Secret of Happiness and Prosperity

Once there was a person who went to visit his relative at his newly constructed house. In the night he preferred to sleep on the roof. There were no walls on the roof since construction was still on. While half asleep he felt thirsty and started moving towards stairs.

It was a total dark night. Because of clouds the light of moon and stars was also not available. By mistake, he jumped from the roof and in confusion, got hold of a lantern of a window to save himself from falling off.

He kept hanging from the lantern throughout the whole night. He didn’t know what is the distance between his feet and the floor below.

In the morning when the sun started rising, he noticed that the floor was hardly one meter below his feet and he could easily jump to the floor if only some light was there.

The plight of the man in this anecdote is same as plight of all of us whenever we are not able to see the positive aspect of a situation or when we get totally upset by someone’s negative quality. A little light of wisdom is enough to give us relief and to keep us motivated.

The riddle of motivation has caught the attention of number of management thinkers. To remain motivated constantly is supposed to be one of the prerequisites for a successful life. In other words, a totally demotivated person is like a dead person. If a person remains demotivated for a long time, it leads to depression which in turn results in many negative consequences.

Most of the time when we are demotivated, we are practically busy in brooding or in cursing a situation which has not turned in our favour. We do not generally observe that we are disturbed because we are not able to sustain high level of motivation. Disturbance in level of motivation is like disturbance in the level of blood pressure and needs to be maintained.

The table below gives us an insight how being highly motivated is our own virtue and how both low and high levels of motivation have different consequences in our life :

Consequences of Low and High Degree of Motivation

Level of Motivation




Very High



Anxiety, Anger, Fear

Happiness Hope


Attitude for Self and Others

Concentrating on one’s own and others’ weaknesses

Looks at one’s strengths only if others appreciate

Believes in oneself and has Faith in Others

Observes others’ qualities & helps them in realizing their importance

Level of Success & Prosperity

Faces failures repeatedly, May Face Financial Problems

Successful in some areas, Not creating much Assets for future

Successful and Making Contributions for Future

Also supporting others in creating wealth

Emotional Health

Generally sad

Easily getting angry

Generally Happy

Cool and calm

Effectiveness in Various Roles

Not able to realize others’ expectations

Gets entangled into conflicts easily

Realizes one’s duties and fulfills them

Is able to create sense of responsibility in others also

One school of thought searches the answer of a question that “What are the factors which lead to high level of Motivation”. According to them some external situations can make a person motivated. On the other hand some thinkers searched the answer of the question, “ What knowledge and qualities of a person help him in remaining motivated.” The difference lies in who should take the charge of a person’s motivation– others or the person himself?

If we look back at our past life, we can easily conclude that when person himself takes the initiatives for keeping motivated, results are long lasting. If others try and help, short term difference can be seen but ultimately the person may end up complaining about others which again creates demotivation.

Expecting others to be responsible for creating positive feelings in us is equal to inviting troubles in life. The secret of remaining motivated is to realize one’s worth and make oneself an asset to at least those who are significant to you and in general to others.

Given below are some ways to constantly recharge ourselves:

Approach leading to  Depression

Ways to enhance Level of Motivation

Each one of us has a self image which is based on what others think of us. Since people are generally bocked down with their own problems, many times we do not receive positive messages or signals and reacting to such messages leads to low motivation.

The key is to actively observe one’s strengths, polish them and integrate them with others’ strengths and priorities. This helps us in making us an asset and in maintaining a positive self image.

Having negative attitude for others and searching a negative angle in every situation is a sure way to be highly demotivated.

When the positive angle in a situation or in others is not visible like the floor in the anecdote above, the key is to have faith in oneself and in laws of nature which are governing this universe.

Qualitative overload creates conflicts in our life. Because of some false attractions or extra responsibilities at times we create such roles for us for which we are not prepared.

The key is to spend some time daily to prepare us for higher responsibilities in future.

If we work to get others’ appreciation, we act like a follower. No matter how hard we try, the chances of being ignored or criticized are always there. A follower’s attitude generally leads to reactive behaviour.

The other alternative is to feel committed to the root purpose of a work. This leads to a leadership approach and helps us in being proactive even in odd situations. If the real purpose is fulfilled, there is no reason to be disappointed.

Negative emotions like hatred, envy or anger lead to low level of motivation.

High level of motivation goes hand in hand with positive emotions. The key is to nurture positive emotions like compassion, respect and concern within us.


Assess Your Need to Recharge Yourself

Visualize your past 15 days.

  • How many times you were upset because someone criticized you.
  • How many times you felt you are not able to handle your problems.
  • How many times you projected a negative attitude in your interaction with someone.
  • How many times you acted with a follower’s attitude.
  • How many times you took a very long time in accomplishing something which should have taken much lesser time.

 If your answer is Never of rarely, you are highly motivated. If, on the other extreme, your answer is almost everyday or frequently, go back to column two of the above table and search many other ways to enhance your level of motivation.
Also try these

  • Choose a positive quality or a positive emotion every month to nurture within you. Sow a seed of a plant on the first Sunday of every month and nurture it. While giving care to this plant, remind yourself that you are caring, compassionate or have the quality you want to nurture. If it is a skill, make a plan and learn it. After a month when the plant has taken roots, see whether the positive quality or emotion you thought about also has taken roots within you.
  • In the next one month, whenever you face a conflict or a failure, try to learn something from it. Imagine that you are an outsider and not someone who is involved in the situation. Having a battlefield approach makes us prone to be disappointed because there winning is more important than learning.




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