You made the choice, here’s what it means.

Yesterday I wrote about three men, one pitchfork and The Dragon and asked you to make a choice.  If you’ve made it great, if not, go back, read the post and choose.  The reason will become clear soon enough.

Each man represents something.  A form of motivation.  Understanding what motivates you can go a long way to making the hard work easier.  Setting up the right reward, understanding why you want something, both of these make it easier when you have to put in 20 hour days. (Of course, surrounding yourself with uber-achievers helps)

What does the choice mean?

Lets start with the easiest one, the saga poet.  Longing for fame, he hoped to achieve it by slaying the Dragon and protecting the village.  Surely the stuff of legends.  Defying the Dragon with no more than a pitchfork, also the stuff of legends.  If he threw the pitchfork, you’re looking for recognition, not necessarily from the world, but recognition nevertheless.  Perhaps you want to be able to go back to your old English teacher and point out that you’re making a living from writing, despite his attempts to dissuade you.  Perhaps you want people to quote a phrase you coined.  While easy to describe, if this is what motivates you, you may struggle.  You’re relying on other people to validate your achievements.  Setting a goal of getting 11 358 twitter followers is easy.  achieving it is not (unless you don’t mind autofollows and robots).  It’s also tricky to set up a system of rewards.  Short of releasing a sex tape of some description, this is a long, hard and lonely road to walk down.  (the sex tape only requires the first two)

The second man is motivated by a desire to help people.  This can manifest by helping a lot of people, building better relationships, personal and business, or protecting those he loves.  While the validation he craves is also received from other people, it’s a lot more targeted. Catering a message to help one individual achieve that A-Ha moment of clarity and seeing the understanding dawn can be a reward all by itself.  If this motivates you, choosing rewards requires a little thought.  For me, it’s fairly easy.  my rewards all revolve around time with my better half.  I unplug and spend real quality time.  Yours may be going to that conference you’ve always wanted to, or arranging a meeting with some old friends, it just takes a little creativity.

The first man is motivated by money and power and a desire to protect what he has worked for.  The prospect of losing any of his cattle to the Dragon is distasteful at best.  He stands defiant as sometimes you have to fight for what’s yours.  you do have to be a little wary of this mindset as it can lead to scarcity thinking. (not something I advocate) The benefit here is that rewards are easy to set, as are goals.  Money and power, a heady combination.

Tune in tomorrow when we discuss choosing between cows and virgins.

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