A friend asked me earlier this week why I was writing the blogs I’ve been writing. It seemed like an odd question to me. Wasn’t the ‘why’ obvious to this friend of mine?
We proceeded to have a discussion regarding my ‘why’. I was able to articulate exactly my ‘why’ for each of the three blogs that I write weekly. But, her asking gave me a reason to verbalize a concise reason for my motivation.
Sometimes, we don’t know why we do what we do, we just do them. We get into routines of work and home and rarely think about why we are doing what we are doing.
I believe that motivation is an issue rarely delved into, but something that should be examined often. We have no trouble stating what we believe to be someone else’s motive. I’m not talking about that. I am talking about us each day evaluating openly before God, our own personal motivations.
Dare I say that if we were to humbly take a look at them and allow God to show us the truth of the matter, we would not be as bold and brash to ascribe blame to someone else and why they do something.
Two of the most simple and prominent motivators are money and pleasure. It is often just that simple.
We work for money and we play for pleasure. If we reduce our motivations down to these two motivators, we will find our lives empty and hollow. Even if we find great pleasure in our work, that too will soon become empty.
The world is filled with so many people dragging themselves to their workplace every single day. They do it to get paid. If they don’t go, they don’t get paid. Then, they don’t have a roof over their head and food to eat.
I see another generation of people who have witnessed their parents and grandparent engaging in this daily drudgery for their entire lives, only to die at the end unfulfilled and they are asking themselves, do I want to live this life of drudgery too?
Instead, they seek an experiential lifestyle that will bring them pleasure. They reduce the need for a roof to the smallest and simplest they can. They live a small footprint on the earth so that the money they do have can be spent on gaining pleasure, which they are convinced is not in things.
But the pursuit of experiences for pleasure's sake will also grow hollow. It will not sustain the necessary motivation for the long term.
When the money and pleasure no longer satisfy, it is often hard to admit. Disappointment usually sets in, then discouragement, depression, and then despondency.
Depending on your type of personality and upbringing, this may happen quickly or take several years to surface and is challenging to recover from.
There was once a person who had it all. He had all the money a person could want. He had all the pleasure a person could hope for. The euphoria of having it all did not last, and it did not sustain because he had lost the one and only life giving motivator and could not get it back.
Ecclesiastes 1:3 What advantage does man have in all his work
Which he does under the sun?
Ecclesiastes 1:8 All things are wearisome;
Man is not able to tell it.
The eye is not satisfied with seeing,
Nor is the ear filled with hearing.
Ecclesiastes 2:1-2 I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure. So enjoy yourself.” And behold, it too was futility. I said of laughter, “It is madness,” and of pleasure, “What does it accomplish?”
These are just a select few ramblings of a man who had everything but had left his first love and source of joy, King Solomon.
He had it all. God gave him wealth to have it all because he had desired wisdom. But, in the end, he had grown far away from Jehovah God, dabbled in idol worship, did as he pleased when he pleased, and disappointment, discouragement, depression, and then despondency set in.
The words in Ecclesiastes are the ramblings of a man in the throes of despondency. And yet both the motivational factors of money and pleasure he had experienced to the full.
What are we to conclude, then? That neither money nor pleasure for motivation will ever fulfill you. But you already knew that. And yet… we are still driven by them both.
And so was I for most of my life. That was until I too began to see the lack of fulfillment there. The growing realization that to be genuinely fulfilled with an internal joy that God gives, we need, we must follow the path that he lays out for us.
Most people are afraid to ask God what his plan is for them. They are convinced that his plan will provide very little money and no pleasure. We believe he will stick us in some obscure place as a missionary or something that in our mind is hard, boring and unfulfilling.
God needs you in the profession where your heart will sing and you will flourish. Because he loves you. Because he has designed you with the gifts and talents that are needed in this world we live in. If you are a round peg trying to fit into a square hole because of money or pleasure, ask God where you place is.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
He does want you to have money and pleasure, but if we seek those things without his guidance, we will never be truly fulfilled by them.
We cannot be driven or motivated by money. Money is just a medium of exchange. It cannot bring internal satisfaction. Pleasure is so fleeting and fickle that sustainability is not obtainable.
I’ve had many shifts in my career through the years. Most have been wildly profitable. Some were very fulfilling for a while.
Recently, over the past couple of years. God has been leading me down a path of writing. I wrote four novels in one year with his help.
Everyone showered me with great reviews and comments. It thrilled me because this validation was sure to lead to financial profit. But it did not.
I am just being real here. The royalties on books is so very slim it is shocking. Multiplied, it adds up, but when you are a new author, climbing the mountain to being ‘known’ is daunting.
After writing those four novels and reeling from all the hard work that it had been, I was ready to rest. Particularly since the motivation of money was not there. Neither was the motivator of pleasure.
Yes, it was pleasurable, but not in balance to the degree of hard work that it required. One did not justify the other. Pleasure should not be that hard to obtain.
Then, a little over a year ago, God pushed me to define the call he had placed on my life and to streamline my focus to what he wanted me to do.
It has been a journey of prayer and faith. He has called me to write. He has given me many books to write. There are a few other sidebars on that call, but for now, I am focusing on writing.
In the meantime, until it is profitable, he has graciously given me a career that is profitable and one where I am also helping people.
So, I answered my friend, why I write the blogs. Here were my answers.
I write the Inspirational Blog posts because I have an overwhelming desire to encourage and help people to be all that Christ has for them to be. I long to see people walk free of bondages that have kept them from their best life in Christ. So, I write…
I write the Writing Blog posts because I love to encourage others and see them succeed. I share freely what I have been given so others may not have to try so hard to figure out what to do like I did. I pray they take my research and trial and error and run with it. So, I write…
I write the My Life of Miracles Blog posts because I want to encourage others who are growing discouraged from lack of answered prayer that God still hears, sees, and does miracles. He honors your faith and he will do all that he says that he will, not just for me, but for you, too. So, I write…
Profitable? Not yet. But, I believe it will be. I hope it will be. I pray it will be.
Pleasurable? Not always. It is hard work. I do a lot of writing, proofing, and marketing, etc. But, then there are times it makes my heart sing, particularly when someone tells me it has blessed them.
What is my motivation? I am doing it because it is what God has set before me to do. It is my calling and the only way to see it fulfilled in my life is to be obedient and do it. I trust him that in this journey I will see more than I ever dreamed of. For me this is a test of trust. Do I trust him while there is no money and little pleasure? Do you?
This is what I keep hearing...
Do the work. God will do the rest. For you and for me.
I want to encourage you to leave me any comments below. They are so encouraging and motivating to me.
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Let me ruffle some more feathers here (I seem to be so good at it). I take issue with the little ‘ask Jesus into your heart’ prayers we tack on to the end of our religious box sessions. That does not lead to being born again. At best, it may allow those saying it to realize that there is a need in their life to allow Jesus to help them change and by saying that prayer sincerely they are acknowledging that something in their life needs to change and they give that to Jesus, which is amazing. But...