The carrot or the stick?

What is your motivation for the actions you take each day? Are you taking action because you enjoy what you do? Are you taking action because you are excited for what comes next? Are you taking action because you can feel the excitement within you for what is coming into your life?

I now operate my days with most of my actions being based in love, and very few of my actions being based in fear. What are fear-based actions?

They are actions you take to appease another, but that cause you to turn against your own wishes.

They are actions where you try to prove yourself worthy of good things, which completely negates your inherent worthiness.

They are actions you take in order to meet another’s deadline, when you, eternal being that you are, have no deadlines for any achievement.

Most of us start out life doing what we love, get trained by society into doing what is expected of us, and then reach a point in life when we lose our taste for fear-based motivators. Which then opens the door for a gentle return to love as our motivator for most of life.

It took me a lot of years to break down the barriers I had created, which all seemed to say the same thing: I must do what others expect of me. I must conform to fit in. I must do what is expected of me so that I can say that I am good.

The fallacy of that thinking fell apart for me somewhere along the line and now I see that my highest and best purpose in life is to be myself, do what I want, and seek peace within me. And to achieve that goal, I try to pack my days with as many actions that are based in love, and avoid actions that are based in fear.

The conversion from a person who does what is expected to a person who largely does what she wants has yielded so many good things for me that I sorta wish someone had told me sooner that the spirit led life isn’t about sacrifice. It’s about joy.

Joy in loving what is in your life today. Joy in making plans for an even better tomorrow. Joy in the mundane. Joy in the grand adventure that is life.

And joy as a motivator? There simply is nothing more powerful.

We all know that the carrot is the better motivator than the stick, but when it comes to actual application of the principle, we mostly revert to fear. We set up fake deadlines for when something needs to occur. We use our own limiting beliefs to keep us small. We even rely on fear to make ourselves do things we don’t want to do, under the mistaken idea that doing hard things makes us strong.

Let me be clear: Doing something that scares you can help dissipate the fear. Doing something that you didn’t think you were capable of is a great way to breed confidence. Doing something that others deem difficult can boost your mood, if you are looking for others to approve of you and what you do.

But if you want true internal motivation, that only comes from love. Doing what you love. Loving what you do. That’s a cycle that is self sustaining. That’s a cycle that we all desire. That’s a cycle worth memorizing as you seek to shift into a new way of being.

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