In this week’s Renaissance Reflections post, I look at an article by Tina Seelig on Medium which points out that our motivations aren’t always obvious (even to us) and sets up some exercises to work out what’s motivating you.
Tina shares the following grid and invites us to fill it in:
The idea is that you choose one activity for each box. In the top right, you put an activity for which you have high passion and high confidence; in the bottom right, one for which you have high confidence but low passion; and so on.
Here is mine:
I decided just to scrawl in capital letters the first things that popped into my head when I thought of each section. I wasn’t exactly surprised with the results. However, smaller things then kept creeping into my mind, and so I decided to repeat the exercise, taking into account my life goals which I worked out during last week’s exercise.
Here is that version:
Naturally, the goals only went along the top part of the graph. There are some I’m confident and passionate about, and some I’m passionate but not confident about.
I decided to also add in things that I either do with my life currently, or have done with my life in the past. All of the past ones which I’ve now quit went into the bottom half of the graph, which was unsurprising: I quit them because I didn’t enjoy them. However, some of the things I currently do with my life also went there.
Hopping back to Tina’s article for a moment, her suggestions include continuing to pursue the top right quadrant, and working harder on the top left in order to increase confidence along with passion.
The bottom left – neither confident nor passionate – is the sort of thing that should be outsourced to other people, who might be passionate about *gag* marketing and advertising.
I’m not sure I completely agree with her about the bottom right quadrant, but that’s probably just because my life experience perhaps differs from hers.
Tina suggests that things in the bottom right – things about which we’re confident, but not passionate – can be moved to the top right by changing your attitude. “The only way to increase your drive is to change your attitude”, she tells us in the final paragraph.
See, I disagree. I’d be more inclined to say “fuckit” to everything in my bottom right quadrant. The reason I’m confident in most of them is because I fell into a job role that required me to do them, day in, day out, and it made me hate myself. There are some I don’t mind doing because they don’t take very long (editing websites, building WP templates), but most of the things in that box are things I’ve deliberately quit and have no desire to go back to. Nor do I want to suddenly discover a passion for running ad campaigns, doing blogger outreach, or managing teams. That part of my life was exhausting, and it’s mercifully over.
However, if you do decide that the things in your bottom right quadrant can and should be moved upwards, fair enough. It just looks like my upper two quadrants have more than enough in them to keep me going. 😉
If you decide to do this exercise, let me know how it goes!