Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Havta Gotta Wanna's

To begin today's post, I want to ask you a question.  What motivates you?  Is there a reason you do what you do?

There are three main motivators in life and all others are merely part of those.  These motivators are  Hafta, Gotta, and Wanna.  Side note - The Hafta Gotta Wanna's would be a great name for a band...


The best way to describe this is to think of how a little child responds to being told to clean their room.


"Ah.... Do I havta?"


A person whose motivation is the "havta" is more concerned with consequence than end result.  Sure your room will be clean, but you are more concerned about what will happen to you if you don't clean it than you are about the benefits of a clean room.  There are a lot of people that are motivated by the "havta" mentality, and for some, it helps them get from point A to point B albeit in a less than happy way.

Think of the "havta" as trying to walk across the street by digging under it.  You still get there, but to use the young peoples vernacular, it "sucks".

This brings me to....


To describe the "gotta" (which is where most people are found), think about how you respond to work.  Do you go to work out of fear of being punished or do you go to work for the benefits (i.e. paycheck, health coverage, etc)?  The gotta people do things for the reward, or what's in it for them. 

Where the "havta" fails when you can no longer escalate the punishment, the "gotta" takes over.  I know I was much more likely to eat my spinach if I new it was to be followed by cake.

Call it bribery, or call it incentive, it doesn't matter.  When people know something good will happen, they are more likely to act.


What happens when the chocolate chips you were using as a bribe... er... incentive for you child to use the toilet while potty training, run out?  You and they will likely revert back to the "havta" and punishment will likely result.

The thing is, there is a better way.  If you can get yourself to buy into something so much that you "wanna" do it just because you love doing it, the battle for creating healthy and lasting habits is won.  I keep going back to children on this because it is readily evident in them.  We have gotten our children to buy into the fact that they need Sunday naps, in fact they actually "wanna" take the nap for no other reason than they love Sunday naps.

The "wanna" is defined by people who do things out of love rather than what's in it for them, or potential punishment affixed to inaction.  To further illustrate, think about a time when you participated in a service project and really enjoyed yourself.  What was your motivation?  It was likely because you wanted to help and loved those you were helping.

It really is remarkable how much better life can and will be when you forget yourself and be a "wanna".

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