What Is Your Motivation For Decisions? - Teal Swan Articles - Teal Swan Jump to content

What Is Your Motivation For Decisions?

In your physical existence, you are experiencing and sorting through the contrast of wanted and unwanted all day long.  If space and time and therefore movement is added to the equation, you will naturally go towards those things that you want and away from those things that you don’t want.  Experiencing the unwanted is meant to crystalize what you do want to think and say and have and do and create in your life.  In this way, it is meant to serve as a necessary part of your personal expansion.  But some people don’t use the contrast of unwanted and unwanted in this way.  Instead they simply begin to let what is unwanted control their life.  They live their lives with the primary intention of avoiding the unwanted.

Pushing against what is unwanted and trying to avoid the unwanted is a very different thing than going in the direction of what you do want.  To comprehend this, I want you to think of the face of a compass.  Imagine that South represents the unwanted.  And due North represents what you really want.  When you have a clear idea of what South is, you can use that awareness to then define what direction true North is and start taking actions in that direction instead.  But many people don’t do this.  They see South and don’t want to go South and so they go East or West simply to avoid going South.  Or they keep going South, hoping that it will magically turn into North.  Or they keep pointing South, screaming that the South should change into the North because it is so wrong for being the South.  Essentially, they live their life fighting South or avoiding it.  Some people spend their lives fighting the unwanted or avoiding it.  Neither is actually going in the direction of what they DO want.

I want you to look at your life and relationships and ask yourself this question: Am I doing the things I am doing to avoid a consequence or am I doing them because I want to?

For example, am I doing the dishes because I want a clean house?  Or am I doing the dishes to avoid getting in trouble for not doing them?  Am I saving money in my account because I want to feel financially free or because I want to avoid being cashless in a calamity?  Am I saying yes because I want to help that person or because I want to avoid them turning against me if I say no?  Am I doing this job because I want to be doing this job or am I doing this job to avoid the feeling of financial risk or insecurity?  Am I staying in this relationship because I want to be with this person or am I staying in this relationship because of how scary life might be without them?  Am I not telling someone the truth about how I feel because doing so really does not serve me/my desires or am I not telling someone the truth about how I feel because I want to avoid the feeling of being rejected, invalidated or ignored?  Am I exercising to have the body and physical feeling I want or am I exercising to not be fat?  Do I spend time with my kids because I want to be around them or because I want to avoid the feeling of guilt and the potential that one day they will grow up to hate me?

Keep in mind that one person may do something because they want to avoid a consequence and another person might do that exact same thing because they want to.  We may do something at one time because we really want to and at another time do that same thing because we want to avoid a consequence.  For example, I may rub my wife’s feet one day because I really want to and another day because I feel like if I don’t, she will start a fight about how un-attentive I am to her.    

You may argue that these things are two sides of the same coin.  But really, they are two different directions on a compass.  You will think different thoughts and make different decisions and take different actions if you are doing things to avoid unwanted as opposed to if you are doing things to get you closer to what you do want.  For example, let’s say that a person doesn’t want to feel poor.  They might get a job they hate simply because it provides financial security or start hiding money under the mattresses or start buying clothes that makes them feel rich even though they can’t afford it etc.  On the other hand, if this person realized that they wanted to feel financially free, they may start to educate themselves on economics and finance and investing.  They might decide to do shadow work relative to the experiences and beliefs that are keeping them poor.  They might find an outfit at an affordable price which allows them to feel opulent but without the purchase being a bad financial decision and therefore taking them further away from their desire.  

For another example, if a person doesn’t want to be alone and lose the security of their relationship despite it not being what they want, they might decide to become more and more codependent in their relationship.  They might start to have extramarital affairs.  They might cope by going into denial or continually look for proof for why they should stay in their current relationship.  On the other hand, if they realized they want a different kind of relationship, they may choose to be honest with their partner.  They may insist upon marriage counseling with their current partner and leave if their partner refuses.  They may begin to develop security outside the relationship.  They may put energy into strengthening other relationships so they won’t feel alone.  They may start to act in a way that is authentic so as to increase the odds that a new relationship will be based off of what is real.                             

Sometimes if we really want something, we will be sure to act in a way that prevents unwanted consequences.  But its’ not going to feel the same way as it does when you are doing something purely to avoid consequence.  It will feel like taking a preventative measure brings you closer to what you really want and is therefore chosen with your free will.  It will feel like an accessory action to what you want.  When we do things simply to avoid the unwanted, we will feel controlled or forced into taking actions to prevent or avoid.  Subconsciously, self-preservation will become our top need and priority and all of our other desires will be thrown on the backburner and deprioritized.  We will then begin to feel really, really resentful of whatever or whoever is making us feel like we must self-preserve to the detriment of all of our other desires.  We will see those people and situations like the bad guy and feel controlled by them.  Really, we are being controlled by our own unexamined priorities and fears.  

Become clear about what you don’t want.  What is that consequence you are trying to avoid or fight?  Knowing that, what does that indicate that you powerfully want instead?    If you pivoted towards those things, what could you think and say and decide and do that would bring you in the direction of what you are wanting instead?

For example, imagine that you hate the fact that the environment is being destroyed.  You don’t want that.  This means you want a healthy earth where people live in harmony with the planet.  In what ways could you put your energy into bringing about that vision?  How might you stop pushing against environmental collapse and pour your energy into a healthy planet instead?  You might plant a garden.  You might vote for policy makers that have a similar vision.  You might make solar panels to power your home.  You might start riding a bike everywhere or take public transportation.  You might show cool new environmentally friendly products to people you know… or even buy those products for them.  You might start posting things that educate people about environmental awareness on your social media accounts.  

When you are facing in the direction of what you want, when you are thinking and saying and deciding and doing things that bring you in the direction of what you are wanting, you will not feel the sensation of resistance or stuck-ness in your body.  You will not feel like you are running away from anything or pushing against anything.  Instead, you will feel that expansive, empowering feeling of bringing about what you want and putting your energy into what is right for you.  A life that is lived simply to avoid what you don’t want, is not a life.  It is not what you came here for.  There is no way to feel happy or fulfilled or on the right path if you live your life to avoid what you don’t want.  Live your life for what you DO want.  Let your awareness of South define what North is for you personally and then GO NORTH by thinking thoughts and saying things and making decisions and taking actions that actually take you directly North.             


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