Several years ago a couple of college students running for student body office adopted a campaign in which they, stealing an idea from National Lampoon Magazine, took a picture of a sad looking puppy with a gun pointed at it’s head and then, using the photo, produced campaign posters with the slogan, “Vote For Us or We’ll Shoot the Dog.” The campaign was well publicized and as a result, the students were victorious in the primary elections. However, when it came time for the general election, the novelty had worn off and the candidates were soundly defeated. (I can’t say for sure, but I believe the dog survived.) So why share this story? Well, I think it effectively sets up this week’s topic of “ Fear vs. Love as a Means of Motivation.”
It was Albert Einstein who said, “Love is a better master than duty.” When someone attempting to change a behavior is motivated by love rather than fear, the likelihood of true transformation is much greater. In the most recent Solle Training Webinar, Dr. Alison Caldwell-Andrews taught about the importance of self-compassion and about how building yourself up with kindness and gentle encouragement will lead to greater long term success than self loathing and self criticism. Dr. Caldwell-Andrews discussed the brain’s three different emotion systems, Threat, Achieve and Soothe, and spoke of how most of us don’t spend nearly enough time in the Soothe area.
Interestingly, the Soothe state is the most conducive to restoring and healing the body and mind. That’s where Solle Naturals and our unique products come in. Every product is formulated to work holistically, to simultaneously support the body and mind to achieve a state of balance, peace and contentment. When we spend more time in the soothe area, not only do we heal and regenerate more effectively, but we also start to think differently and therefore respond differently to varying forms of motivation.
Too many of us fail to chase our dreams or live our lives to their fullest because we fear failure. This is tragic, because even a slight shift in thinking can change everything. Think about this. If your desire or passion to achieve a goal is greater than your fear of not achieving it, you are all but guaranteed to accomplish your objective. As Henry Ford put it, “Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.” And the truth is, we are much more likely to believe we can and therefore persist until we do if we are motivated by love instead of fear.
Which brings us back to our story of the canine and the candidates. Fear may work in the short term, but if you want permanent results and long lasting success, love is a far greater form of motivation. The best way to spur yourself to action is to find purposes you are passionate about and/or seek opportunities that inspire you through love, because that is the path to true change and happiness.
“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.― - John Lennon