“Freedom From” or “Freedom To”: What’s Your Motivation?

The Millionaire Client:

“I’m very upset. My life is really going down the tubes. I’ve been a millionaire four times. “ At first glance one may ask the question, “how can you be a millionaire 4 times and have your life headed down the tubes?” However, as we ponder deeper, the notion that this individual has been a millionaire four times implies that he lost his status as millionaire three other times. Upon further investigation of the motivation of the individual it was discovered that he possessed a “Freedom From” perspective on motivation. His sole motivation to become a millionaire was based upon his drive NOT to live in poverty. Therefore, each time he reached millionaire status and poverty was no longer and issue he was no longer motivated or driven to succeed. His work ethic became relaxed and he began to procrastinate causing him to eventually loose all of his riches each time.

(Charvet, Words That Change Minds, P. 38)

“Freedom From” or “Freedom To”: What’s Your Motivation?

Well let’s look closer at the difference between the two. As was the case with our millionaire, Freedom From motivation focuses on AWAY From patterns. The motivation is triggered when there is a problem to avoid or something to move or stay away from. Often times this motivation is fueled by threats or assumptions of the worse possible scenarios. “If I don’t come to work and do everything correct, I may get fired.” Conversations for people with this motivation tend to focus on what to avoid, eliminate, get rid of, or prevent. (Charvet,1995)

Freedom To motivation focuses on Toward patterns. The motivation here is triggered by goals to be accomplished. Furthermore, this motivation is energized by achievement and attainment. Often times this motivation is fueled by opportunity. “I will save the lives of millions if I come up the cure for this disease.” The conversations for people with this motivation tend to focus on what they can gain, achieve, get, accomplish, have, and goals to be met.

In life people are either moving away from a problem or toward a goal as fuel for their motivation.

I can remember growing up in Denver, Colorado living in nearly 30 different locations and being homeless as a senior in high school. My motivation to get to the NFL had everything to do with not wanting to end up at that level of poverty ever again. However, on my journey I discovered that I enjoyed motivating, leading, life coaching and making a difference in the lives of others. This discovery eventually moved me away from “Freedom From” to “Freedom To” motivation in life.

The motivation that we receive from focusing on what is before us in our front windshield (Freedom To-toward) is longer lasting then the motivation that we receive when we are focused on the things in our rearview mirror that we are running from and cannot control (Freedom From-away).

“When you change the way that you look at things, the things that you look at change.” Dr. Wayne Dyer

Here are some suggestions for making the shift from” Freedom From” motivation to “Freedom To” motivation.

· Stay motivated to approach inevitable changes with excitement and anticipation rather than intimidation and fear.

· Learn that the motivation in life is not to maintain predictable levels of accomplishments but to open the door to higher levels of success than you ever thought possible.

· Strive to leave mediocrity behind and move toward the great things in this world that only you have been called here to do.

“You can’t sail to new lands unless you are willing to loose sight of the shore.” Author Unknown


Dr. Inspiration

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.