Pulse January / February 2019 - Page 44

n the United States, for example, children are taught from a very young age that we have inalienable rights which include life, liberty and the “pursuit of happiness.” They’re taught they have to go look for happiness because it exists somewhere outside of themselves. From that baseline, goal-setting begins, followed by the desire for motivation to reach those goals. But what is motivation? It’s an external influence that impels, or convinces, us to do something. Motivation can be both very powerful and very positive; I however, relying too much on external motivation can cause us to disconnect with our own sense of self. If this occurs, true fulfillment isn’t there in the way that it could be, even if success is achieved. What if we took a different spin on success? What if we have it backwards? The fact of the matter is that every time you’ve set a goal you've done so because you believed you would be happier once you achieve it. So, what’s the real goal? It’s happiness! Instead of thinking, “I need to achieve my goal to be happy,” you can flip it: “I need to be happy to achieve my goal.” What many people who feel both successful and fulfilled have found is that when they choose happiness first, the achievements come much more easily. How does this work? When one does this, they tap into something much more powerful and longer lasting than motivation: inspiration. These two words are often used interchangeably, but they are quite different. While motivation is an external influence, inspiration is an internal drive or passion—and there’s a big difference that comes into play when we act based on motivation versus inspiration. Often, when you’re motivated to act, We're conditioned from childhood to believe that happiness is something to be found, rather than something we already have within us. 42 PULSE ■ January/February 2019