WIN ARTICLE #131 Balancing the Motivations of life


Balancing the Motivations of life

By Ben Peterson #131

For years I have been asked, “How did you keep motivated to wrestle for 16 years?”

My simple answer has been, “Say thank you!” A more expanded answer is to list the groups I have known through life that I wanted to thank. Today I list those groups in five categories. So I list them in a handful. Today I also understand I was showing respect and love for the groups as well as say thank you.

1) Myself: (Pictured by my “little finger.”)

This may surprise you. For years I would not have said that I was thanking myself. It sounded way to selfish and even arrogant and I was encouraged to do things for others.

a) Selfishness that demands: The truth of the matter is that I started as a selfish infant and carried that with me into boyhood and into my adult years. To get food, warmth, clean dippers and a toy an infant can be greatly motivated and it does not matter what is in the way they will scream until they get it. A parent works to curtail that as the baby grows. If the child does not learn to be less demanding and how to get things on their own no one will want to be with them.

b) Selfishness that cuts others down: is so often an attempt to make us look better, to build ourselves up in others eyes or our own eyes. This builds pride and confidence in a wrong way. Instead of majoring on doing what is right, best and good we belittle others and seek to keep them from doing their best. This usually builds arrogance. It can be a strong motivation, but in the end that motivation will die with us.

c) Proper self-worth: God made us individual functioning decision making creatures. We can make good decisions that thank and help others or we can be so self centered that others will not like us and at times we ourselves will not like being us. This selfishness can be a very strong motivation. Is there a way to deal with it?

We are of value to God: this is a huge motivator when properly understood. God made us in His image; therefore I am of value in telling other of Him no matter what my talents and skills may be. Every infant, child, adult and elderly person exhibits God’s handiwork and image. No matter what my state in life is God is desirous to express His Glory through me. Now that is a great motivation! As I live and work in that understanding I find that I am of value to others also in so many ways.

c) Personal pride: Did you know God is jealous about His reputation? The 2nd Commandment says:

“Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;” Exodus 20:5

Note that God is angry about us worshipping something or someone beside Himself. There is now other God and it is a lie to worship someone else in His place. Is there a way for man to be jealous and still do right? God wants us to be jealous of His representation. That is why he gave the Second Commandment. He wants us to give an honest example of Him. God must be represented in a truthful righteous way.

Our own personal pride should be strong if we are to stand against evil and speak the truth about God and everything else. We do not need to get arrogant to be confident and proud of God’s reputation or our own reputation. It is this balance that God has and He wants us to exhibit balance ourselves. Personal pride causes us to care about our own reputation, about doing things right, about seeking the best in all areas of our lives.

2) Family: (Ring finger)

Our most personal relationships come from our family. These are the people we live with and grow up with. We know them and they know us. It is natural to cheer them on and identify with them, especially if there is love, appreciation and trust built. Also help carry each others burdens. A car accident gave me a broken leg and a many stitches to my sister called for our family to unite. That experience proved to me that my family would come to each others aid.

A family can build good pride in its reputation, its desire to do what is right and its desire to honor the Lord. If it avoids arrogance and presumption on its own strength instead of God’s it can be a great blessing to each other and others. I thank God for my family. It was far from perfect. But I have wanted to do right and my best because I knew it would put a smile on their faces. How can I be immoral and face my wife and daughters. No I keep that strong in my mind and am motivated for them when my selfish flesh says satisfy yourself. A good family motto could be, “Make us proud!”

3) Friends, Community, Teammates, School, and Church Family: (Middle finger) The people we share common interests, activities and locations with can provide a great source of motivation. This acquaintance is close and often personal but is not always for life. We live close enough to cross paths, spend time together and learn many things about each other. Confidence and friendship are built. Our success affects them and their success affects us.

Neighbors, classmates, teammates and fellow workers can provide significant connections for life. Through out our lives these ties can become very strong and stay in our memories long after moving away from that/those connections. Yet those connections can give us knowledge, confidence and stability as we move on to other circles of contacts. Each new relationship can add to our motivation, confidence, drive and purpose in life.

4) Extended Groups: (Index/pointer finger) These groups are less personal, yet there are connections that build loyalty, commitment, pride and patriotism. These groups include a larger community like: a) A larger city, state or region. I have always wanted to represent Wisconsin well. b) A college – I know half the state of Iowa cheered for me as an Iowa State wrestler. I was motivated to represent them though I met only a few of them. c) The USA – I have been thanking Americas for years for the privilege of representing them in Munich, Montreal and a lot of other places.

Find other articles and a new book called “ROAD TO GOLD” by Ben at: Today Ben & John Peterson run Camp of Champs Wrestling Camps. Contact them at: PO Box 222 Watertown, WI 53094 800-505-5099

Asics The Competitor USA Wrestling
National Wrestling Hall of Fame
USA Wrestling
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