I used to think about motivation and inspiration as things outside of myself. I also thought that inspiration and motivation had to come from high lofty wonderful and pure things. I visualized inspiration and motivation as things that would pull me through my problems. Get that idea. They pull you. What if there were a thing that would double that pulling force?
Before we look at that, let’s look at things that push you. What might push you? Pain. Pain will push you to remove your hand from a hot stove or a hot pot. We may view pain as a bad thing and it is. What could be good about it? It might protect you from further injury, but it also may stop you from trying something you have associated with pain. What else could be good about pain? It can be a motivation. There is a phrase associated with the Holocaust. Never again! The people who lived through the inhumane torture of that time especially understand the meaning of “never again”. To them it means “never again” for themselves, for relatives, for friends, and for people they will never meet. Avoiding pain can definitely be an effective motivation. Maybe there is something more positive to be found in pain.
Bad experiences can be a source of pain. Bad people in your life can be a source of pain. People who have betrayed you, people who have turned on you or attacked you, people who have tried to destroy you or your reputation can all be sources of pain. You don’t need to dwell on the pain, though. You don’t need to think about it every day. You can use it by influencing your actions to improve things. It can be an extra boost, to fuel your journey to making things better. Two forces working together are more powerful than only one. Pleasure pulls and pain pushes. Pleasure is usually somewhere in the future and pain is hopefully from the past. Either or both can exist in the present moment. For motivation purposes and when formulating goals and plans, try using the power of two forces, the pull and the push.
Look at things in terms of a “what if”. What if I try and fail? What if I succeed beyond even my own vision of possibility? When I was in high school, onstage and shaking (but not my voice) in front of 800 people, singing in public for the first time, even though the applause, after I sang, was loud, did I think I would ever be on the stage of a showroom in Las Vegas? No. It didn’t seem possible and I didn’t even consider anything beyond my stretching, just to do that first performance. You don’t know what you’re capable of but I would bet it is far beyond what you might imagine. What if I were rich or what if I made or had more money? It might be waiting in your future but it all starts with belief; not belief that it will happen but belief in possibility.
A goal is your destination or your new lifestyle. You are the vehicle and your fuel is inspiration and motivation. You can study people who have done what you haven’t yet, but you’ll discover that you will get there on a unique route. Keep your eyes on the road.
Chuck Stewart, Vocal Coach
Chuck Stewart, Vocal Coach