I've written before on the subject of Motivation.  Tonight at dinner I was speaking to my son about what moves people, what DRIVES a person.

The conversation was exactly like this, as he sits to my 3:00  o'clock position at the table.  Innocently enough he begins with the no need to study for a test coming up, by which my wife, April replies:

Hunter, you posses a great gift like your Dad.  Both of  you have wonderful minds and IQ's that are somewhere, way out there.

Hunter: So...I pay attention in class, I don't need to do this stuff at home, too.

April: If you learn good habits like HOW to study then later on you'll have an easier time of it.  You are so smart now, what if...

Hunter: Mom you're really smart (she really is) you don't study.

April: I have to work very hard to do what I do, and understand what I understand.

Hunter: I'm going to sign a big NHL contract and be a millionaire.

Me: (Leaning away from the food with BBQ sauce still on my face)  Only if you put your mind to it.

April and Hunter look at me like I have a third eye.  I do, it was BBQ sauce on my head.

Me:  You'll make it to the NHL if you DECIDE that's what you want to do.  But you'll also have a plan for AFTER your hockey career.  If you learn HOW to study now, you'll save yourself the heartache of the first semester of college learning how.  I didn't learn how to study until I got there, because all I really needed to do was pay attention in class.

Hunter: I'll play hockey and everything will be alright.  I'll make 2 million dollars.  (Kids...)

Me: Yup, you will but only if you decide to.  (here comes the lesson folks)  People are motivated to do something ONLY for two reasons.

They are motivated by either PAIN or PLEASURE.  Nothing more, nothing less.

People are moving TOWARDS something (a goal) or AWAY from something (a negative reinforcer)

Then I relate the parable of the "Dog on the Porch"

Me: There was this old dog sitting on a porch and it was howling like no one's business.  "aaa ooooooooooooo, ooooo, ooo"

Just then a man walking by asks the owner of the dog, "why is your dog howling' like that?"

The owner replied, "he's howl'n like that because he's laying on a nail"

The passerby asks, "well then, why doesn't he move?"

To which the owner of the dog says..." I  suppose it doesn't hurt him bad enough".

Then I tell my son, "you see, unless something is so vivid in your mind's eye that you can see it, taste it...live it OR it hurts you so bad that you'll do something about your situation, NOTHING will change."

So it is for us too.  Unless you want something so darn bad you can't BREATH without it,  OR it doesn't HURT you bad enough, you'll continue to make excuses for your status quo.

Being uncomfortable doesn't motivate.

Something PAINFUL is!

Hunter then asks..."can I have ice cream for dessert?"

Me: "Yes, two or three scoops?"