I was at a speaker’s retreat last weekend. There is nothing like getting together with 30 of the most seasoned speakers on the planet to get your mind churning. One of them asked me why bad habits seem to come naturally instead of good ones and why it’s so hard to discipline ourselves to do the right thing. Why is sitting on the couch so easy when going to the gym is not. Why is vegging in front of the TV so comfortable while concentrating on reading and writing sometimes gives me a headache!! Why is the world like this?
Part of this cosmic conundrum is that it is simply a function of the physical order of the universe. Entropy states that everything begins to break down from order to disorder in isolated systems. The other part is the status of human nature. We are fallen according to the accounts of the origin of man in many religions. Why, just look at our cohabitants on this planet. Animals don’t become overweight on their own or lounge about when there’s work to do. Only humans do. Why isn’t the path of least resistance the one that produces the best results for me physically, mentally and spiritually? Do you know how skinny, rich, and smart I’d be? Why was I born on a planet where discipline is so darn hard? Rats!
The eminent psychologist, Douglas McGregor, outlined this distinction regarding human motivation by describing these two worlds as Theory X and Theory Y. Theory X makes the assumption that all people are inherently lazy, self centered, and will try and avoid work unless persuaded. Theory Y states that work is as natural as play and that man can be creative and self-motivated.
So what planet are you from? Do you want to blast off from Slacktooine to colonize Achieva? Here’s how:
- Don’t remain isolated. Interact with great people, read great books, and be a part of great organizations. Once you begin to inject the orderly and positive into your solitary system, you’ll open yourself up to a new world order.
- Answer to a higher authority. Whether you’re religious or not, let’s face it, sin comes as naturally to the most pious priest as it does to the most apathetic atheist. We’ve all got to fight the seven deadly sins and all the horrible things that result from them. Find a group, religion, book, or person that helps you follow the rules and moral code of society in order to become a law-abiding citizen embedded with a conscientious character chip.
- Find your passion. When you love what you do, a dreary job transforms into a thrilling career where you can profit from your gifts every single day! You get to tune into what feels most natural to you and makes the best use of your talents. It’s much easier to be creative and motivate yourself to do things if you’ve got the inherent skills and temperament for the task. If you’re not in it right now, find it as fast as you can and live the rest of your life having a professional party of interplanetary proportions!