I always chuckle a little in seminars when I try to rationalise going to the gym on a daily basis and beating the crap out of myself both mentally and physically to then spend several days struggling to walk or do my laces.
What would make me for the past 20 years get up at some ungodly hour to go and train people and why would I, then, in most of those twenty years work with very little reward 14-16 hours a day.
It always intrigues me what drives people to do what they do. Where it comes from. Is it intrinsic or an extrinsic motivator. Do they want to experience something, do they want to buy something, do they want simply to help.
I’m just returning from a few days in Disneyland, Paris with my family. In true fashion I wanted to know more about the park and the people that work in it. People that spend their day putting smiles on people’s faces.
I did some research and found out they get paid, in the grand scheme of what they do, very little. That the costumes they often wear are uncomfortable, awkward and hot as hell. I also learned why a lot of them do what they do. I read an interview from a former character (it’s shrouded in mystery people who play characters as it’s part of the magic, no one can ever admit to ‘playing’ a character). One of them in an anonymous interview stated the following:
“I once had a little boy in a wheelchair zoom up to me, stop short, look up at me, and say ‘Mickey, Mom and Dad asked me what I wanted before I go meet Jesus, and I said I wanted to meet you!’”
I get it…..
What drives people isn’t always financial, it isn’t always about owning something or doing something.
Sometimes it’s just helping people with the struggles they have in life. Making their lives easier and less painful.
What we do as an industry is that. If you’ve lost site of that in search of the dollar or the glam that maybe comes with the financial rewards maybe you just need to remember what made you do what you do.
I get rewarded VERY well for what I do and I own some lovely things. To be honest that consists of two main things that were things I always wished to own growing up. One of those I’m selling shortly as it has no practical use anymore and I get my fun from elsewhere now and ‘bigger’ things.
The thing I’m actually returning from now…..
Two things prompted me to write this.
What I learned from Disney and something my good friend Sol asked me the other day along the same lines. I answered to his question:
“I hate to see people struggle. If I can help with the skills and resources I have, I will. Family, friends and total strangers, in that order.”
You see, I struggled, I struggled with my weight. I struggled with my identity. I struggled with getting accepted by my peers and by society. Most of that struggle was with myself as I believed I had to conform with some ‘ideal’ some ‘expectancy’. I struggled financially and struggled just with life in general.
What I don’t struggle with now is knowing why I do what I do and what’s important. I also don’t see myself as hard done by. People have things far worse off than I’ve ever had it. I’m lucky but I also realise that I’m a result of the work I’ve put in and the fact I stayed focused on what I did it for.
Ask yourself why you do what you do.
Remind yourself and stay focused on that. In amongst it there will be undoubtedly belongings or ‘things’. There will be experiences and other things but use them all to drive you and keep pushing to help people.
It’s a great industry we’re in and maybe I’m an optimist but I see the great in what we do and what we can bring to society and peoples life’s.
For those of you doing things for the right reasons I salute you and I’m very proud of you.