Monday, June 1, 2009

What Motivates You?

This week is the final week before our Vacation Bible School, and it is going to be jampacked. If you think of me this week, pray for all of us that we can get through the craziness of this week. Pray also that we can reach souls for Christ during VBS. In the meantime, this week I'll be posting some of the lessons and observations I've gleaned from the weeks leading up to VBS.
I've been thinking a lot about motivation. What kind of things motivate you? What do you use to motivate others?
With my boys, sometimes I use rewards for motivation. It's especially hard to motivate them in their schoolwork. Sometimes they'll pour themselves into it with the promise of a day off coming up soon. One week their Dad wanted to take them snorkeling. They finished their schoolwork in record time so they could go. Of course, some if it wasn't actually their best work. And one of them did end up having to redo a few things. : )
If rewards don't work, the threat of punishment does. You know--good actions have good consequences and bad actions have bad consequences. Sometimes they will work harder under threat of losing a privilege, or the promise of extra work being put on them.
What about grown ups? Well, nothing motivates me like a deadline. And I don't mean in a good way. I may put something off or I just can't get around to finishing a project. Such as writing the scripts for the daily VBS skit. But then the pressure of knowing that the start of VBS is looming near is like a crushing weight on my chest. I finally finished the last script this morning. Now the work of decorating the church is hanging over me. And of course there's cleaning the house for our fifteen to twenty houseguests next week. And the logistics of feeding, housing and providing for everyone. Both here at home and during vacation Bible school. Nothing like a little pressure to motivate me to get up early. Or keep me from sleeping!
I find it especially interesting the way some men need to be motivated. For instance, Matt was supposed to write the cheers for the two teams we'll have in VBS next week. I asked him. I reminded him. I prodded him as the time drew closer.
Finally, yesterday I wrote my own cheers. I honestly wasn't trying to be ugly. I had a few minutes and I thought it might help him out. I gave them to him and asked him what he thought. I knew he would probably want to tweak them some, but at least I'd given him some ideas to start with.
Matt came back to me last night, with his own cheers. As near as I could tell, they were completely different from what I wrote. And his were good. They were better than mine--I don't mind saying it. But he didn't do it until I stepped in. Which made me think. Maybe, sometimes guys will be motivated by someone doing the job the wrong way. Have the men in your life ever stepped in to advise you on something? A friend told me last week how her brother was instructing her in the correct use of a certain piece of exercise equipment. He didn't have much to say until he say her using it, but then he wanted to make sure she did it right.
So if you want that fence painted, try doing it yourself. Just don't be surprised (or offended) when the male in your life comes along behind you and redoes the work.
So what motivates you? Or how do you motivate others. It would really be a help to my busy week if ya'll leave a lot of comments to carry on this conversation. See? I did it first. Now you correct it. And you thought you couldn't be motivated!

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