Have you ever wondered why some people seem to blossom and prosper in their lives, whilst other people seem almost constantly beset with difficulties and fraught occurrences?
Obviously, the two situations I’ve just described represent two extremes, but the reason behind this phenomenon has nothing to do with luck or fate. Surprisingly, the critical factor driving the outcomes we get in life is far less fickle; it is simply a matter of the way in which we are motivated.
While developing NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), researchers discovered that there are two basic modes of motivation. These are called ‘towards’ motivation and ‘away from’ motivation. People who are running the behaviour pattern described as ‘towards’ motivation are motivated towards the things they need in life. They have a clear picture of what they want and they know how to take steps to achieve it. People who are running the behaviour pattern described as ‘away from’ motivation try to move away from things. They want to stay away from painful experiences and their behaviour is essentially defensive.
Although protecting yourself from pain is clearly a sensible strategy that all of us need to employ in some situations, if it becomes your dominant motivation, you end up spending your life doing just enough to survive.
In order to thrive, you need to be able to take the next step, and to do this you need to know what it is you are moving towards. In other words, you need to know what you want and what it is you are aiming for. Without the necessary clarity and insight on what it is that you want you can end up searching, spending your time living from a defensive position and surviving rather than enjoying life.
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