by Pastor Tim Burt
There is this thing in my bedroom called an alarm clock. If someone had never seen one before, and heard it go off at a certain time, they might think, What causes that thing to ring? It just seems to ring on its own? Of course it doesn't. It goes off because it was set by someone to go off at a certain time. Without someone originally setting that alarm, it wouldn't go off.
Sometimes when we see a person we perceive as "self-motivated," we often think of them being like that alarm clock going off without being set. We can get this perception that they are self-motivated—they just seem to do what they do without anyone setting them. Self-motivated people can appear that way. They seem to be like the energizer bunny—they just keep on going!
The truth is self-motivated people are not just that way. They are people who have been set. Something within them has been set. They are motivated by things you probably aren't aware of that keep them moving, and doing. They are not just automatically and highly motivated for no reason. Something has established and triggered their motivation within them. They know what it is though you can't see it. And because it's embedded in the core of their being, it keeps them going constantly!
What is the motivation within a self-motivated person? What is it that had triggered this energized and consistent effort of behavior toward goals they deem important? For some it may be thoughts of a better life. For others, financial success. Some may be motivated by a desire to have influence on helping others or lofty goals of changing the world. (That's me! Helping the world know Jesus!) They may be motivated by a desire to love others, or by the desire for people to love them. Whatever the reasons, there is something within that motivates them. This means that aren't really "self" motivated. It means they have been "set" from within and that desire drives their motivation. It appears to just happen naturally but that isn't the case. It is fueled by an inward desired for a particular outcome. Self-motivated people are people that are fueled by the pursuit of a desired outcome.
Desires from within you are what shape you—good or bad. Having the right desires—good and godly desires—are imagines painted within your heart and mind that motivate you in your actions as to how you walk out your life. Asking God to form good and right desires within you, and then spending time imagining yourself executing them will begin to set your inner clock. Psalm 37:4 NLT says, “Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart's desires.” Taking delight in the Lord is taking delight in the instruction of His Word to you. When you begin to delight in what God desires, and pray that God help form desires in you that you know would be good, it’s amazing what can happen to you!
I learned early on in my walk with God, if I want my inward motivation properly set so that desire is formed within me, it’s critical that I imagine it. I would imagine myself doing the thing I wanted to do. Scientifically this has proven to help people. It would because it’s God’s plan!
This very thing is what helped me become a better husband and father. It helped me become a marathon runner. This very thing is what helped me invent the commercial infant changing table you see in public bathrooms everywhere today. It is what has helped motivate me to consistently write this blog the past 15 years resulting in it now being read by people in over 196 countries. I spent a great deal of time imagining those things and seeking God in how to walk them out.
Let the Lord show you that these truths are true. As you pray and ask God to form good and godly desires within your heart that are right for you, imagine yourself walking them out. As you do, pay attention to what you are good and skilled at. Pay attention to how God uses you. And pay attention to what brings you joy as you do it. And finally and most importantly, pay attention to what you feel the Lord is leading you to do—and do it! Some things will be easy and natural. Others will be disciplines He wants to develop in you and will give you the grace to do. As you do them, they will become a part of you and turn you into a self-motivated person with your desires driving your motivation! And if you do this, it will make your life rich forever!
Proverbs 23:7 NKJV "For as he thinks in his heart, so is he…”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt