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What is Motivation?

Motivation is an internal process and differs for each of us. Whether we define it as a drive or a need, motivation is a condition inside all of us that desires a change, either within ourselves or within our environment. When we tap into this well of energy, motivation empowers the person with the drive and direction needed to engage within their life in an adaptive, open-ended, and problem-solving sort of way.

The essence of motivation is energized and persistent goal-directed behavior. When we are motivated, we move in a positive direction and take action.

Motivation is influenced by the satisfaction of one’s needs that are either necessary for sustaining life or essential for wellbeing and growth.

Our environment and personal history will play a significant role in terms of our motivations. We will also be motivated by goals, values, and desires to experience specific emotions associated with personal feelings.

What motivates you? Money, personal fulfillment, health, family?

When I think of what motivates me it always comes back to the same story. I had been teaching resuscitation to nurses and doctors for years. Doing what I was taught to do in a way I was taught to do it. I did it for the extra money, not because I was passionate about it, just because it helped my family’s bottom line. Not once did a student come back to me and say they had used what I had taught them and saved someone’s life. Yet these students were all professional healthcare providers.

In 2010 that all changed. A student, Robin, an employee from a local health insurance agency, sent me a letter. She was not a healthcare provider, she was an office worker who took a CPR class from me 2 weeks earlier, and she was writing to share her experience. Her experience changed not only her life but the life of a 2-year old, and my life as well. She was the first person that ever told me that what I taught her saved someone’s life, and it was the life of a 2-year old.

Here is her letter:

What motivates me? The thought that teaching one more person just might save someone else’s life.

Do I teach the standard, traditional way, NO. I did that for more than a decade and no one ever took any action that truly made a difference. Over the last 15 years I have shared knowledge with our non-traditional, not-by-the-book training and we have saved 100’s of lives; the mom who saved her 3-month old, saying she heard me over her shoulder telling her “just do something”, “pump, no one will let you do CPR if it is not needed”. So many lives changed because of a simple straightforward format of teaching others. Teaching others to save someone’s life is contagious and increases my motivation to do more with each story.

Power is in the knowledge, this is what motivates me.

Ask yourself, what motivates you? Feel free to share with us what motivates you to do what you do. Whatever it is, embrace it, share it, and grow it! Own it!

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