“I thought my motivation was money, funding my son’s college and my retirement, socialization and activity.   As the first day grind-ed on, I discovered my real motivation was not to succumb to failure; but tackle a very difficult job and succeed!   After 7 years of being a stay-at-home Mom, I had to prove to myself I still had what it takes to achieve what I set out to accomplish, in a stellar manner.”


Since that time back in 1994 many challenges have passed under and over my life bridge. Now in my 60’s, I look back and see life has phases or eras so to speak, which come and go.   Some last for several years, others do not. Some become the center of life, others quietly sit on the outskirts; occasionally adding to the complexity of life.


Whether man or woman, the individual who is ‘aware of self’ can look backwards and attest to the rise of one phase as it overshadows the fall of a previous one.   There are times in life when more than one phase rises; competing for time, intellect and awareness.


Take for example: Child rearing is definitely one of the larger phases of life. Let’s say this phase sits at the top of the wave for approximately 18 years.   It can be in direct competition with education or career for either a man or woman.   A third or fourth phase occurring simultaneously could include relationship building and maintenance, taking care of elderly parents or financial struggles.  I think you get what I mean.


No wonder life is complicated!  No wonder there are some areas in which we succeed and others where we succumb to failure or fall somewhere in the middle.   How on earth does any one individual get behind so many peak phases or eras at one time and not fall to shear exhaustion!   I haven’t even spoken to other events that reside on the outskirts; including life goals, financial goals, preparation for aging and retirement, preparation for grand-kids, grief for fractured relationships and even death.


If you have ever wondered why success is achieved in one area, but not in another, especially when you feel both are of an equal footing on your “motivation scale”, perhaps in reality, they are not.   Be assured that I am not here to initiate self-guilt, but rather heighten self-awareness and insight.


Life has always been filled with choices. With a greater insight and self-awareness, life choices can be made with better knowledge and have a greater chance of falling on the success side of the motivation scale.


Here is a bizarre example: I am 5’ tall. I desire to be a professional basketball player and make $$ Millions. I am highly motivated to be a professional basketball player. My motivation is “off the scale” for success!   However, I lack total insight and self-awareness that the other basketball players are well over 6’ tall. My insight is skewed.   My self-awareness appears to be absent.   I succumb to failure. My self-esteem falters. I become angry and bitter. I am accelerating down a slippery slope where I will eventually bottom out.


This example is so blatantly obvious we can all chuckle and say “duh”. Believe it or not, when our own insight and self-awareness is either low or absent we can find ourselves on that same slippery slope and not understand why success has been elusive.  Remember the old saying “you can’t see the forest for the trees”?   It is like that.


Relationships often fail due to the “forest/tree” or “looking through rose-colored glasses” analogies.  I have had my share of failed relationships in life, even though my motivation for success was at its peak!  Sadly, I chose partners whose basic personalities and values were in opposition to my own.   Love is blind?  Yes.  At times it isn’t very smart either.


To summarize:

  1. Motivation dictates success.
  2. Phase or era of life dictates success.
  3. Insight and self-awareness dictates success.


Stay tuned – More to come!

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