Achieving without praise

We sometimes confuse our motivation to pursue goals or new adventures with our desire for praise.  These questions help decide whether you truly want to run a marathon, travel the world, go on a meditation retreat or (insert activity here):

1) Am I more excited about the achievement/activity or about announcing it?
2) Would I still want to do it if I couldn’t tell anyone about it?

I’m not criticizing broadcasting accomplishments.  Please do!  Many of us are cheering for you. The questions are merely tools to help clarify your true aspirations.

2 thoughts on “Achieving without praise

  1. This may be my favorite one yet. My 12-yr-old daughter recognized this tendency in herself a couple months ago, and told me she felt ashamed that it may be that the desire for praise was such a strong motivator for her to do good. I told her to give herself a break for now, that two things make her more mature than most adults I know; first, that she recognizes this in herself; and second, that at least she desires to “do good” in the first place, regardless of the motivation. The only downside is that one may develop a sort of addiction to praise, to the extent that success is measured more by the praise than the evidence of having done good.

  2. Very well said. And it’s so refreshing and amazing that a 12-year old has the wisdom and ability to be introspective that most of us adults don’t.

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