Alinda Nortje, colleague and Executive Chairperson of Free To Grow, during a presentation, related her experiences of facilitating a workshop for UNICEF in a country in the Middle East – as facilitator, there is always a steep learning curve when one gets to a new context. Upon landing, the facilitator immediately goes into learning mode to absorb as much of the culture, business nuances and country-specific norms to be able to relate appropriately to the context. It is usually a humbling experience, but worthwhile for one’s own growth and paradigm development. Some of the best people to speak to for these insights are the drivers of the organisation with whom you are working. The drivers pick you up from and drop you off at your hotel daily. They view the culture and the people from a different viewpoint to you, so they are a rich source of information. Alinda had three drivers during her time in the country and asked each one, apart from the usual questions, why they liked driving for UNICEF – the three answers were different and all legitimate, but gave huge insight into people motivation:
- Driver 1 – “I love cars and UNICEF gives me the opportunity of driving vehicles I would not otherwise be able to afford”
- Driver 2 – “I really don’t like being caged up in an office all day, so driving takes me around the country and I am able to meet new people”
- Driver 3 – “It is my holy work”
Alinda was fascinated by the response of the third driver and so asked him to explain himself. He responded: “Children are the future of this country. When I transport consultants and other UNICEF professionals to assist children who are suffering, I am growing the future of my country. This is my holy work”.
Kenneth Hildebrand noted: “Strong lives are motivated by dynamic purposes” and I believe he is correct. Having a clear sense of why you exist, establishing your personal purpose or crystallising a compelling vision for your life is foundational to the motivation one needs to live one’s life to the full. Some of the ingredients of developing this vision include the following:
- Self-awareness – a realistic picture of your strengths and weaknesses and abilities. A lack of self-awareness may cause you to be diffused in your focus and to be involved with that which is irrelevant to your growth and role.
- Giftedness – the capitalisation of your unique abilities and the leveraging of these gifts to achieve your highest contribution.
- Passion – emotional attachment to an activity or goal or cause that drives you forward to achieve in this arena.
- Calling – a sense of purpose, a feeling or knowledge of why you exist.
- Confirmation of others – the witness or recognition of others of your giftedness and their encouragement for you to achieve in this area of skill.
- Elimination of that which you are not gifted in or passionate about – being able to distinguish between the core and the peripheral and discard that which is not central to you and your future contribution.
A strong core vision for your life provides compelling motivation to achieve and contribute significantly as you go about succeeding with your life goals. A lack of vision has a withering effect, does not grow self-image or confidence and could devalue perceptions of your net-worth as a human. Growing a compelling vision is foundational to motivation and subsequently to impact.