- The reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.
- The general desire or willingness of someone to do something.
The 2nd definition is generally well known when it comes to achieving your goals, however, we may look at number one and not realize the actual impact that this definition can have on one’s life. The reason you act the way you do can be a deciding factor in whether or not you have a successful business or healthy relationships.
Don’t Try So Hard
Okay, I know that you don’t hear a sales and success coach say that very often. But sometimes you shouldn’t try too hard, especially if your motive is off. It actually works against what you’re trying to accomplish by putting pressure on the situation.
It might not be obvious to themselves when someone’s motive is off, but it is usually very obvious to others.
I coach many sales people and when they are motivated by money rather than service, it shows. When they are driven by getting a sale rather than gaining a customer they will cut corners and leave out pertinent details. All you really have to do is care about the customer and service them properly, and in turn you will earn the sale.
Have you ever seen someone try so hard to get a date that they do things they wouldn’t normally do? They act as if they enjoy things they don’t, eat food they hate, and do other crazy things like that. Instead of trying to find someone they are compatible with, they are desperately trying to find someone in general. Instead of being themselves, they are trying to be who they think their date wants.
Have you ever seen someone try to exact revenge on someone? Whether they are successful or not, it always makes them look bad. They will usually justify it to themselves somehow, but other level headed people can see right through it.
A poor motive only leads to failure of some kind, in all cases.
“All actions are judged by the motive prompting them”
I recently overheard a conversation about people holding the door for others. They shared with one another their irritation because they didn’t receive any thanks for their courtesy. One of them even said they would call the culprit a vulgar name, all because that person didn’t acknowledge their kind, caring act of love (said with tongue placed firmly in cheek).
Is their motive pure in this case? It doesn’t reflect on them if that person doesn’t say thank you, does it? No, but their actions in response to this unforgivable act certainly does. By responding with vulgarity or irritation, it seems their motive may not be so pure.
While saying thank you should be common courtesy, my question is this: why would someone be holding the door for another to begin with? Is it to gain appreciation? Is it solely for the thanks, to feel good about themselves? Or is it because they have a good heart and they care about others and want to do good things?
Expecting thanks is like giving a gift with attachments. If that’s the case, is it really a gift? Let’s say the person you held the door for is an angry, unappreciative person, are you any better if you insult the person or get angry at them?
“Kindness can become its own motive. We are made kind by being kind.”
I always try to ask, what’s the motive? Whether it’s someone who is arguing with their spouse, or someone offering me a business opportunity. It can only help me if I understand the true motive behind it.
■ Is there potential for someone to get hurt emotionally or financially?
■ Is this truly in everyone’s best interest?
■ Is this win-win?
■ Am I missing anything?
Most importantly, I always try to ask myself, what is the motive for my actions? Am I being selfish? Am I thinking based entirely upon emotion? Am I putting stress on the situation? Am I looking to further myself and others? Am I doing this selflessly? And finally, will I be at peace regardless of the outcome?
Ask yourself this before you act, “what’s my motive?”
Don’t let bad motives eat away at opportunities or your reputation. Ensure that your motive is pure and virtuous and it will mend bridges, create opportunities and allow you to flourish.
“It’s motive alone which gives character to the actions of men.”
~Jean de la Bruyere
Rock Star Life Coach & Sales Trainer