What's Your Motivation?

Do I do what’s expected? Or do I follow my heart?
— Lise Dassin in the musical, An American in Paris

Welcome to Week #2 of my special blog series inspired by shows I recently saw in New York City.  (View Week #1 here, based on a quote from the hip-hop/rap musical, Hamilton.)

Today's quote is from An American in Paris.  

When making an important decision or choosing how to behave in a situation, have you ever struggled with whether to do what's expected, or to follow your heart?

Today, I invite you to ask yourself a different question:  "What's my motivation?"

A remarkable coach, Steve Chandler, talks about the concept of Pleasing vs. Serving.  Let's apply this concept to your decision-making process ...

Is your primary motivation to please others?  To seek outward approval, recognition, permission or acceptance?  To stay small or hidden?  Because it feels easier, or you don't want to make waves, or you think you have to play by someone else's rules?

"Pleasing" is essentially giving your power away.  Surrendering.  It can lead to a weak, victim mindset.  It's what can happen when you just do what's expected.

I want so much more for you.

What if your primary motivation in decision-making was to serve  -- God, others and yourself -- by honoring your authentic self?  To lead with your natural strengths, greatest passions and strongest skills?  To care so genuinely about achieving the best possible outcome that you make a ruckus giving it your all?

"Serving" is taking ownership of your power and your life, and standing in a strong, leadership mindset.  It's what can happen when you follow your heart.

This is what you were created for.

This is not to say that seeking guidance from trusted, outside sources is bad.  It's to caution all of us (myself included) from becoming so dependent on other people's expectations of us, that we stop thinking, feeling and speaking for ourselves, and listening to our hearts.

As you approach decisions this week, slow down to ask yourself, "What's my motivation?  Pleasing or Serving?  Do I do what's expected?  Or do I follow my heart?"  Then, be open to the lessons that come from your choice.