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.

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