Being Mindful of your Primary Motivation

Before you start something it is always worth spending a moment thinking “Why am I doing this? What is my primary motivation?” If you have a definite reason for doing something, then you can keep it as your focus, thus ensuring greater peace of mind and a higher likelihood of getting what you want from the activity.

– For example, if my main reason for going to play a game of tennis is fun and relaxation, being clear about that ensures that I can enjoy the competitive side of the match I play without letting it become too much of a focus point and thus spoiling my relaxation and enjoyment.

– Similarly if I go out with my wife for a dinner with the clear intention that it is relaxation time, keeping this in mind will mean that I avoid taking up difficult or conflicting topics of conversation that may get in the way of that quality down time.


– If my intention for playing tennis is to push my limits and play as well as possible, I  can make a conscious decision to set aside my merely recreational attitude for a temporarily more serious approach.

– I may deliberately go out for dinner with my wife in order to talk over a difficult or thorny topic, but the fact that I know what my/our intention is ensures that I can keep focused on the goal, and be prepared for the challenge that may come.

My basic point here is that if you are mindful enough to have a clear idea why you are doing something (whatever the size or significance of the activity), then there is a greater chance you will achieve your goal and a greater chance that you will do so with enjoyment and true presence of mind.

© Toby Ouvry 2011, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website

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