I was reading another article on PersonalBrandingBlog.com last week and was inspired by Sharmin Banu’s article on finding your own unique aspirations.

It triggered me because one of the frequent questions I‘m asked by clients and prospects is about how they can motivate employees to perform better and take more initiative on the job. My answer always involves aspirations as part of the recipe.

Human motivation can be a very complex concept. It is influenced by many factors. Yet, I believe  we get too caught up in that complexity and make it too complicated.

There are four factors that drive motivation:

  • inspiration,
  • aspiration,
  • purpose, and
  • the pain/pleasure principle

Let’s take that list from the bottom up.

Human beings are hard wired to avoid pain and to seek to gain pleasure. Virtually every decision human beings make can be whittled down to that common phenomenon. I challenge you to assess all key decisions you’ve ever made and see how they were a combination of those two dichotomies.

Secondly, purpose drives motivation.

I know this because all you have to do is break down the word “motivation” to its derivative form, which is motive.

A motive is reason or purpose for doing something. When you are clear on your motive and that motive is important enough, it will drive you to action.

But, I believe the real juice in life comes when we combine the first two items on my list into my Human Motivation Equation, which looks like this

Inspiration + Aspiration = Motivation

Here’s how this worked for me.

In 1998, in my 17th season working in professional baseball management I found my self bored to tears sitting around my baseball stadium waiting for our home game to end, just so I could go home. I knew it was time for a new career.

I attended an Anthony Robbins weekend seminar and found my inspiration and my aspiration in the same place. This is unusual. I didn’t know what I wanted to do until I experienced Anthony Robbins in person at a live event.

His story and personal growth strategies inspired me to aspire to become a business coach, consultant and professional speaker, my current profession, which I began in 2002.

Sometimes, though, we have dormant aspirations. We sit around lamenting those aspirations, wishing and hoping for the right time, wishing and hoping the strategies to move toward those aspirations will come to us.

It’s in those moments we need to search out inspiration. We need to find others who are doing what we aspire to and learn from them as to how they did it. Start by following their path and then make it your own.

Amazingly, just a few weeks after my Tony Robbins experience, in another personal growth seminar, I found myself on a team of people with whom we were going to spend five days together. We were told at the first session to pick a partner to work with for the entire week.

As I looked around our group my eyes were transfixed on a tall gentleman wearing a denim dress shirt that featured a logo on the left breast, “National Speakers Association.” I searched him out.  Fortunately, he peered in my direction and we have been friends and colleagues ever since.

When you decide on your aspiration and you are inspired to search for a path to achieve it, the world will bring those related resources to your consciousness.

Then, you just have to be courageous enough to go for it.

Best wishes for an inspiring journey to fulfill your greatest aspirations!