The other day a customer said, “The best way to make sure my house is clean, is to invite someone over for dinner!” I laughed about that. But somehow, it rang true. If I want to make sure our section is tidy, I invite my Dad over. His garden is like a park, and just knowing he is coming motivates me to get out behind the lawn mower.
Is it that we are worried about what other people think of us, or is that we need to put ourselves under pressure to do the things we know we should do anyway?
It’s probably a bit of both.
We always like people to think well of us. Approval is important and touches every aspect of our lives – our appearance, the choices we make, where we live, or what we choose to say. And that’s OK as long as it doesn’t paralyse us or prevent us from being ourselves. Although I think that other people are probably not bothered at all, and the perception of a problem is all in my mind.
Or is it that we work better to deadlines? I know that if I can put something off that I don’t enjoy doing, or something that I perceive as drudgery, I probably will. There’s a great book called Eat that Frog (21 great ways to stop procrastinating and get more done in less time), by Brian Tracy, which goes into this in detail.
Motivation is quite complex and takes a better mind than mine to figure out. But I like having my house looking good, my business in top shape, and the car clean as a whistle. So, I’ll use whatever motivation I need to achieve that.
However, if the people that I invite over are more concerned about the look of our house, rather just enjoying our company, they are probably not the friends we want to have over anyway!