People used to be impressed when I said I was a Computer Studies teacher – of final year school students.
“You must be bright”; “That must be hard”; “phew you’re brave” – they would say to me.
To be honest, I did OK at the job – many students got distinctions in their final year of school.
But I wasn’t that happy or that motivated.
Years down the line I finally figured out what as going on (OK…. so maybe I’m actually a bit slow!).
Hindsight often gives us insight!
I was doing research for my book “Magic Motivation – from stuck to success in days” when I came across the motivation triangle.
Quite a few people have packaged this concept so I’m not sure who originally came up with the idea.
There are three important aspects to being motivated:
- resources (your skills, knowledge, tools, people available to achieve the goal etc),
- the goal itself
- your personal values.
If you have the resources to achieve the goal, this helps you to be motivated.
If you have a compelling goal, this helps you to be motivated.
If the goal is aligned with your personal values, this helps you to be motivated.
If you have all 3 – motivation is in the bag, and you’ll magically achieve the goal.
When I was a school teacher, I certainly had the resources. I knew what I was doing. I had state of the art computer equipment and the students had the necessary brains.
The goal was compelling – get as many distinctions as possible. I wanted the distinctions so I looked good in start-of-year staff meeting; the students wanted them so that they were accepted into the relevant universities, and the parents …. Well they demanded them because they were paying the school fees!
So why did I often feel unmotivated?
Because teaching was not congruent with my value of freedom:
- Wanted to go on a business trip with my husband – I couldn’t.
- Wanted to attend a breakfast addressed by my favourite author – I couldn’t.
- Wanted to go and stay with my Gran when she was very ill – I couldn’t.
Teach kids who bunked school the day before instead of watching my kids play sport – absolutely!
Becoming a Life Coach has given me the freedom I desire.
Not total freedom – because I also hold a high value on professionalism and so I give my clients plenty of notice when I am unable to make a session.
However, my work as a coach is congruent with both those values.
The outcome is that my motivation levels are way higher than they ever were as a teacher. I wake up every day full of enthusiasm and energy for the work I do.
That’s the magic of motivation!