Why you do what you do?

This is a very powerful question – and if you stay long enough with the question – it can give you some wonderful insights about your own reasons for your chosen work. I crucial for us to explore our own answer to this question –

Why you do what you do?

Tony Robbins (born Anthony J. Mahavoric) is a pioneering life coach who has spoken to millions of people through his best-selling books and three-day seminars. His clients include CEOs to heads of state to Olympic athletes, a wide swath of high-performing professionals look to him for help reaching their full potential. He is also a celebrity author of best-selling self-help (ahem!) books: Unlimited Power, Unleash the Power Within and Awaken the Giant Within.

I found this TED talk quite resonating with my own beliefs and hence decided to share it with the readers of My Zen Path. You can sense his energy, earnestness and intensity in this TED talk. It also shows a glimpse of his spontaneity as he interacts with Al Gore – and bluntly confronts him. He often asks his clients to look within themselves, and find the inner blocks that prevent them from finding fulfillment and success.

Coincidentally, I came across an interesting HBR article today morning that emphasizes that best and sustained work is often fuelled by intrinsic motivation and external rewards are likely to burn out sooner or later.  This is the point I have reiterated in various articles here on My Zen Path – you do something because you want to do it, for the satisfaction, joy that it brings. Not merely for extrinsic motivation or external rewards. After a certain stage in your life, intrinsic motivation is all that matters. This is what Tony Robbins asks –

What is your motive for action? What is it that drives you in your life today? Not 10 years ago. Are you running the same pattern? Because I believe that the invisible force of internal drive, activated, is the most important thing. I’m here because I believe emotion is the force of life.

He goes on to explain with examples why emotions plat such an important role in our motives. He talks about his own childhood and someone gifting them food during Thanksgiving when they had none. He is engaging and intense in his talk, and I liked how he brings this to the conclusion as he asserts –

Because the sixth need is to contribute beyond ourselves. Because we all know, corny as that sounds, the secret to living is giving. We all know life is not about me, it’s about we. This culture knows that, this room knows that. It’s exciting. When you see Nicholas talking about his $100 computer, the most exciting thing is: here’s a genius, but he’s got a calling now. You can feel the difference in him, and it’s beautiful. And that calling can touch other people.

And I can relate this to Maslow’s Self-Actualization, or in fact, as Maslow himself later expanded – it is more towards Self-Transcendence. This is a beautiful talk, do watch –

The featured image used with this article is taken from the TED talk included here.