What motivates me?
It's a fair question, and one that ought to be asked: What motivates me to write "Personal Development 101"?
I believe an individual's motives are important.
I'm not saying we should all go on a big hunt to figure out what everyone else's motives are. I rarely care what motivates other people because usually I am concerned more with their actions than their motives.
What's important is that I know what motivates me. (And I suggest it is important for you to know what motivates you.) If I am interested in living in a conscious manner rather than just plodding through this life, then my own motivations are important. Example: Let's say I've been invited to a party that will be boisterous and boozy (two things I usually prefer to avoid) and I'm deciding whether to go. I better have a reason. Is it because there might be a business opportunity there? Is it because some good friends will be there? Am I craving alcohol? Is it because my wife is going and I'd rather be with her than stay home?
If I am ignorant of my own motivations, I will be clueless what I'm doing. In order to live life to the fullest, I like to know what I'm doing. And why. If I decide to go to the party I will be the happiest guy there because I will know exactly what I'm there for. If I decide not to go, I'll be the happiest guy in the world because I'll know why I didn't go.
So, back to the question: What motivates me to write "Personal Development 101"?
#5 Money. Knowing myself as I do, I know that money is some small motivator here. I like money. And the fact is that I really have enough money already. I get a bit of a pension, I own my own business, I am a labor-management arbitrator, and I teach half time at a law school. If I can't do well on the money that's coming in from all that, then I better re-learn how to count. I will take the necessary steps to monetize the Personal Development 101 web site, without falling into any false hopes that it will ever become a significant money-maker. Although money can be a strong motivator for me, it's obvious that I could make a lot more money by devoting my time to something else.
#4 Helping others. My life is good. I feel an obligation to "give back," or an inner need to help my fellow creatures. I do my best in my other lines of work to be helpful to others, to help my customers and my students. I help my employees, and I help my employees be conscious of the need to help my customers. This is not enough for me. I am looking for a larger audience of people to whom I can be helpful, and I am looking for a way to help people in a more personal way. I've been through some "interesting times" in my life, and learned a few things, and want to pass on some of what I've learned to others.
#3 Applause. I admit that I seek applause, I like to be noticed, I like my work to produce feedback. For as far back as I can remember I was the kid who always tried to do everything "right" so I could get praise for it. As a lawyer, I loved to win so I could see the appreciation in my client's eye. I became a law professor and learned to love being on stage in front of students who really wanted to learn something. I even ran for political office a couple of times, probably thinking that the number of votes I got was some measure of what others thought of me. (I never got elected, and the world and I are both better off for that.) I went into a business that disseminates my name all over the world - in part at least for the positive feedback.
#2 Writing. After being a law professor for a lot of years, I discovered a particular kind of writing that I liked to do. I would read the most recent court decisions in my specialty (employment law), and then summarize them into a few paragraphs. As time wore on, this form of writing became more interesting than teaching. I started a business in which I did this writing and emailed it out to practicing lawyers who didn't have the time to read the court opinions themselves. And then I gave up my law teaching job (one of the best jobs in the world) to attend to the business full time. Employees now do most of the writing, although I maintain a couple of professional blogs. I'm ready to write something else, and personal development is where I'm going.
#1 Helping myself. I saved the best for last. The best ways to learn about a subject are to teach the subject and to write about the subject. That is what I believe, based on my experience. So, the primary motivation I have for launching and writing "Personal Development 101" is to enhance my own personal development. I hope you will follow the journey, and learn a little bit with me along the way.
Ross Runkel, Post Office Box 1031, Salem, Oregon
Phone 503-399-8028. Fax 503-566-8844. email Ross@LawMemo.Com