Want to increase your motivation? Don’t just have fun, share the joy. Find people with similar interests and do things together. Don’t just do them occasionally. Do them regularly. This can increase your happiness and call out your true genius.
Long before Pepsi made the slogan famous, people have known that a great way to Have Fun is to Share the Joy. Last week I wrote about having fun as one way to stay motivated for life. Motivation is easy when you enjoy who you are and what you do. This week I want to take that one step further. Motivation is even easier when you have fun with others.
Consider this testimonial from a reader of LifeTrek Provisions: “I grew up in Palos Verdes Estates, and I can tell you that for as long as I can remember (because I was heading off to swim practice at the same time) a group of men would meet religiously at the Palos Verdes Plaza every Saturday and Sunday to run. I went through middle school, high school, and home from college and they were still there, although in later years I saw them finishing rather than starting their runs! For many years I thought they were a bunch of lunatics!”
Today, this reader, who’s become a runner herself, knows they weren’t lunatics. They were just having fun, together. I know how this works. Every Tuesday morning at 6:00 I drive halfway across town to run up and down the Grandview hills with a group of friends. It’s great motivation to have a group of people with whom to share the joy • or the pain, as the case may be. When bad weather hits, it’s tempting to stay indoors for a more conventional workout. Knowing that my running buddies will be standing at the corner of 5th and Broadview gets me out the door and into the right frame of mind. Life doesn’t get much better than this.
Runners are not the only ones who get motivated by sharing the joy. People in all walks of life experience this benefit from hooking up with people of similar interests and pursuits. Even rather solitary pursuits, such as Yoga, can benefit from the group experience. Go to a Yoga class once a week and you’ll be more motivated to practice Yoga on your own, in between classes. That’s how sharing the joy works. A little bit goes a long way.
Are there people with whom you can share the joy? It may take some initiative on your part to find and get them together.
Perhaps you’ve heard about the concept of social capital. Capital, of course, refers to wealth such as money or property used or accumulated in a business by a person, partnership, or corporation. Social capital takes that concept and applies it to the realm of human society. It measures wealth in terms of the relational networks between people which add value to life. Unlike traditional capital that gets depleted with use, social capital accumulates with use. The more you give of yourselves to others, the more networks you will have to fall back upon and the greater will be your social capital.
Unfortunately, social capital has steadily waned in the last forty years. Increasing workloads and the growth of two-income families, increasing mobility and suburban sprawl, the increasing use of electronic media (e.g., television and the Internet), and generational shifts in culture have all contributed to a decline in social organization and a rise in human isolation. So here we sit, trying to have fun, all by ourselves • wondering why we’re not more motivated and fulfilled.
I’ll let you in on a little secret • solitaire is a lot less fun than poker. But in recent decades the incidence of solitaire has increased steadily (especially thanks to Microsoft) while the incidence of poker and other organized activities, groups, and clubs has decreased steadily. As Robert Putnam has observed, while more people are bowling today than ever before, participation in bowling leagues has dropped to an all-time low. People are bowling alone.
The decline in social capital means that you may need to seize the day if you want to share the joy. You may need to be the one who takes the initiative to say to your family, neighbors, friends, or colleagues • let’s do something good, healthy, and fun together: not just once in a while, but regularly. It may take some doing to create or find those networks, but the social capital that will accrue to your benefit as a result can hardly be overvalued.
These relational networks increase your motivation by providing both support and accountability. When you know that people are caring for and looking to you in the web of life, you will live into your true genius and your best self. We cannot do this alone. But in connection with others we can stay motivated for life.
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LifeTrek Readers’ Forum (selected feedback from the past week)
Editor’s Note: The LifeTrek Readers’ Forum contains selections from the comments and materials sent in each week by the readers of LifeTrek Provisions. They do not necessarily reflect the perspective of LifeTrek Coaching International. To submit your comment, use our Feedback Formor Email Bob.
In the book “Baby Steps To Success” by Vince Lombardi, Jr. and John Q. Baucom, Ph.D. (1997) they were discussing accepting responsibility for your success. They quoted the title of Dr. Schuller’s latest book, in which he says “If it’s going to be, it’s up to me.” I think that’s another way to express your thoughts in this week’s Provision. Well done. Thanks.
I enjoy your weekly notes. Keep up the fine job. In response to this week’s, I must say I have fun, sometimes too much. I enjoy what I do and often feel guilty that I enjoy what I do so much. But then I realize that God has blessed me in this way. The road has not always been easy but as I look back over life I see a huge majority of it that has been just plain FUN. Peace and grace to you
Nice one! The Neti Pot makes a big difference for many of my clients!
I’d like to thank you for your services. It’s nice I can learn from you anytime, anywhere. I have a question for you: I’d like to dedicate my whole life to the training/coaching area. Right now, I’m living in Mexico and I’d like to be trained as a coach. How long, where, and how much money do you think I need to be trained? (Ed. Note: For a list of certified coach training programs, go tohttp://coachfederation.org.)
Thank you for another thought provoking and affirming Provision. I have found the practice of getting involved in things that stir me personally in terms of joy, fun, interest, or fulfillment to be literally lifesaving. By incorporating play with new and interesting learning opportunities, together with family volunteer efforts and the continual nourishment and growth of my faith, I have gained the strength to pursue goals that sometimes seem exhaustingly far away.
The challenges of my health require me to pick and choose activities and pursuits. Having fun, developing new interests, helping others, and other such activities are worthwhile not only for the rewards they carry within themselves and as a result of our pursuing them together. So do go out and have fun. Learn something new and interesting. Take up a hobby you’ve always found interesting. And by all means, go find someone who needs your help! It’s great medicine.
May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.
President, LifeTrek Coaching International, www.LifeTrekCoaching.com
CEO & Co-Founder, Center for School Transformation, www.SchoolTransformation.com
Immediate Past President, International Association of Coaching, www.CertifiedCoach.org
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