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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

How to Motivate People to Do Good

It’s a common problem no matter where you are, and whether you’re gathering donations for your church or a charitable organization: you can really have a hard time motivating people to do good. Try as you might, you will always bump against people who do not think that going to a homeless shelter for a night of volunteering is not as worthwhile as going to the club.

No matter how hard you work at it, it can be hard to convince people to help you fold clothes or gather canned goods for the less fortunate, especially when they have jobs that they think are more important than any other earthly activity. And no matter what you do, there will be people who will criticize your work as being a Band-Aid to other problems that should be solved.

Despite all these criticisms and setbacks, you should be able to do the work that you want without worrying about what people think. Moreover, you should be able to bank on a willingness on your part to motivate people to do what they can to help your cause out. How do you motivate people to do good? Here are a few tips that you may want to take into consideration.

When starting off your marketing blitz to get people to listen to you, keep in mind that you are not preaching to the choir, but neither are you trying to make devils listen to you. You will have a healthy mix of people who both want to help and who don’t really care. The key is to hit your note in the middle and not end up alienating any of them.

By being too solicitous and too pity-inducing, you end up irritating the people who don’t care yet. By being too appealing to people’s emotions, you may end up annoying the people who already do care and want to help out. Avoid being self-righteous or off handed. Remember, when you want to help people, you don’t want to show how helpful you already are.

Avoid using negative language, such as, “Don’t go to the club tonight when you can help people!” You don’t want people to feel that they are doing something that they should substitute with something that you are endorsing. This could lead them into thinking that you are trying to change them, and whenever people feel that their feelings and perceptions are being attacked, they will go on the defensive.

If you are working with a charitable organization, try to tie in your work with something enjoyable. Have a dance party or rent out the club for a party and charge for entrance. Promise that you will give proceeds from your earnings to a charitable organization or cause. Have people dress up in costumes, and then give prizes away for the best costume, and ask people to bring canned goods with them.

Find a way to tie in your cause to something that people could do and have fun with. You want to look human, too, and you want to get as many people as possible. Just be sure to stay within the bounds of decency and you will be fine.

Lastly, surround yourself with reputable people. No one wants to donate a cause that is associated with gangsters, thieves, or anyone who doesn’t have a solid enough reputation. You want to have people around you that anyone can look up to and admire.

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The Press Association: Lung cancer genes discovered

The Press Association: Lung cancer genes discovered

3 Factors That Make You Hard to Motivate

There will always be times in your life when you have to perform tasks that you deem unpleasant for one reason or another – working with a co-worker you don't like, going to work on Mondays, taking the garbage out, driving to meet the in-laws at the airport, having dinner with the spouse's friends... Doing these things just siphons whatever motivation you have inside you and makes you feel sad, tired, sorry, even annoyed. But did you know that there are also things inside you that actually make it difficult to feel excited and enthusiastic? Get to learn the factors that make you hard to motivate:

Your mindset

Your mindset is a major factor that can make you hard to motivate. This is because it can severely limit your understanding of the world and all experiences in general. Your mindset can sometimes be composed of growth-inhibiting beliefs, prejudices, biases and standards.

If, for example, you believe that nothing good can come out of your staff, you'll fail to see that there is a clerk there that actually has management potential. If you refuse to believe that you can actually write for a famous magazine because you're a person from a small town, you'll miss out on an opportunity to expose your talent and reap its rewards.

Your comfort zone

We all have certain limitations in our minds. These limits are things we decide on based on our own personal beliefs, ethics and standards. Within these limits, we feel comfortable in and can pretty much do as we like.

Once we approach the outer edges, we begin to feel discomfort, shyness, embarrassment or annoyance. We do not wish to go further because we do not like what we don't know or haven't experienced. Because we have a fear of the unknown, we'd rather stay within our comfort zones because we feel safe there.

The problem here is that a narrow comfort zone can be a major factor that makes you hard to motivate. Each time you are presented with a new idea or experience, you check to see if it fits into your comfort zone. If it doesn’t, then you simply refuse, no questions asked. This is unfortunate because many of these ideas and experiences can be good for you. But you'll probably never know because you don't have the motivation to try them.

Your past experience

Did you get burned by the stove? That's probably why you hate to cook. Did your former bosses fail to show appreciation for your hard work? That's probably one reason why you don't feel motivated about your job.

Your background – personal, social and professional experiences – has a lot to do with how you decide things in your life. They can also be factors that make you hard to motivate. If these experiences are negative, they tend to make you more hesitant and unsure of yourself because they affect your self-esteem and confidence.

If, for example, you've only been met with rejection or ridicule in your life, it wouldn't be hard to imagine if you don't feel a strong need to excel or to improve yourself. You'll probably be thinking – 'So what? Nothing I ever did was good anyway. Why would things change now?'

Unless you consciously make an effort to identify these past experiences and then refuse to let them rule your life, you will always be hard to motivate.

Are you hard to motivate?  Press the comment button and write your answer to this question and then tell me why are you hard to motivate.  Let me know if it is any of these examples or is it something else.

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