Ok, I do actually floss my teeth, NOW, every single day but that didn’t start until very late in life. I know, gross. Hopefully my dentist isn’t reading this, he would be extremely disappointed.
Flossing always seemed like a HUGE inconvenience and a waste of time, especially since I never had any cavities and always got STELLAR reviews at my 6 month checkups.
Until…one day the dental hygienist told me that because of my receding gums that if I didn’t start flossing regularly the entire structure of my face would change by the time I was 40?!?!
That did it, I started flossing religiously. Why? Because of VANITY. Never mind, that I could have tartar build-up, halitosis or possible tooth loss.
I was worried about my face changing into a monster and never looking youthful or beautiful again. I was terrified!!!
Why am I telling you about my dental history?
Because it all goes back to MOTIVATION. In this example I was motivated by fear. Fear that I’d be unrecognizable in a decade if I didn’t take better care of my teeth.
The hygienists scare tactics worked even though I’ve been told my whole life the importance of good dental care.
The problem is that I like instant gratification. If the action I’m taking doesn’t produce results instantaneously than I’m less inclined to do it.
Like wearing sunscreen. My skin may not show the effects of sun damage until I’m much older but if I don’t take action now I could have many problems down the road including skin cancer. I’m a huge sun LOVER and staying in the shade is hard for me but I know I’ll regret it later on in life if I keep working on my tan now.
Again, the threat of wrinkles and aging is scarier than the health risks and that’s what keeps me applying the SPF.
Sadly, my motivations (like most peoples) are usually driven by the three biggies… STATUS, LOVE, MONEY.
For example, the employee who has to pass a nicotine test before being hired. (S)he will quit cold turkey with no problems so that they can succeed in their career.
Yet, they won’t quit on account of their HEALTH and the future problems that they and their family will face. Seems a little backwards, right?
Once you PAUSE and take a look at what is driving your actions it’s really interesting what you can learn about yourself.
There are no right or wrong motivators as long as they feel right to you. But if you’re not aware of your motivations they can send you down many WRONG paths.
As I become aware of my motivations I’m actively trying to make them more meaningful such as…HEALTH, KINDNESS, PURPOSE.
Sometimes the actions I choose require a lot of effort and produce less exciting results but they feel good and provide MEANING in my life.
Such as being an entrepreneur. It’s by no means an easy road but I get to do work I love every day and I’m driven by my purpose of creatively INSPIRING others.
What motivates you to floss your teeth, eat your veggies, take a road trip, stay monogamous, call your senator, etc?
Do scare tactics work for you? I would love to hear about what motivates you. Please comment below!w
If you need help understanding what your TRUE motivations are try using the Reality Check worksheet that walks you through 5 simple steps to find instant clarity.