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Our Dangling Carrots: What It Takes To Move Us Forward To A Goal

Updated on August 18, 2016
If you want the mule to move forward you dangle the carrot in front of the mule and you keep moving the carrot forward. If you want to move yourself forward, you need a metaphoric carrot that will move you forward.
If you want the mule to move forward you dangle the carrot in front of the mule and you keep moving the carrot forward. If you want to move yourself forward, you need a metaphoric carrot that will move you forward. | Source

I Always Wonder What It Takes To Move Us

That's why I've entitled this "Dangling Carrots." My son took a telephone message for me once. He's an artist so of course he had to doodle it up. Not only did he write down the message and the number of this gentleman that he knew I'd be excited to hear from, he used some of his colored sketch pencils to draw some healthy carrots and some broccoli too.

The broccoli didn't stand out as much as the carrots did. My son knew exactly what he was doing and that I would understand his metaphoric message to me. We had many middle of the night discussions about people and what motivates them. Many years later I'm still thinking about it and I still have the 3x5 card that he drew the carrots and broccoli on.

So... what does it take for us to move ourselves along to motivate us enough to strive for something? When it was first published, I had the opportunity to listen to the One Minute Millionaire. The best part of it for me was a particular story in the appendix. It was a story of a woman who was separated from her kids. The crux of the story was what it would take for this woman to do something about her situation. What finally moved her to action was her burning desire to have her kids back. That's what it took to move her from complacency in life to spring into action like she had never done before. As distasteful as the thought is of having our kids as a symbolic dangling carrot in order for us to achieve something is, sometimes it really has to get down to something as serious as that. Some of us are real tough customers or sometimes we just get stuck and need something important enough to get our attention. We require an event, crisis or a crane of sorts to catapult us into living again. I for one have to admit that at times I've gotten off track or just so tired of it all and it feels like I really need something a little more powerful to move me than my own pep talks or I won't move either.

Do you Have A Trick Or Method To Motivate Yourself?

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Learn who you are and what motivates you. There are many ways of using the carrot principle for your own benefit.
Learn who you are and what motivates you. There are many ways of using the carrot principle for your own benefit. | Source

What Others Have Tried

Stories of others who have experienced the same malaise in life is encouraging and some are even powerful enough to reset our attitudes which in turn, pulls us out of that deep pit of apathy, making us a healthy working and contributing part of the human race again.

A trick or concept that an international traveling writers group uses is in essence a strategy of purposely removing oneself periodically from all accustomed to comforts; foods, family, friends and ultimately your comfortable home. What does that do? It's pretty basic. When you change your environment you totally and automatically change your frame of mind, all of your reference points and your emotions too. And depending on how drastic the change, it can even transform you. It's one of the advantages to writing retreats. You need to get some writing done but there are too many distractions or the atmosphere isn't right. There's always something standing in your way.

Just think about a few of your favorite places. Naturally they would be places where you feel comfortable, happy, maybe even at peace. Then as soon as you leave one of these favorite places, your comfort flies away, you're content but not exactly as happy like you were, and your peace has been swapped out for a noisy market. This is not a pleasant environment for you, never has been and It has a painful story behind it.

Now let's say, if you were to decide to try to take in the nuances of this noisy market, you might get a few gems of insight for an article, book or a painting or two. But it's not to be. You make haste to find a place, home perhaps where you can have some peace and quiet.

Freeways to Flip-Flops: A Family's Year of Gutsy Living on a Tropical Island
Freeways to Flip-Flops: A Family's Year of Gutsy Living on a Tropical Island

Do like Sonia did. Take a leap and make every moment count.

 

Getting Your Money's Worth

Okay, let's flip the script a bit. It's the same scenario except that you paid for this experience. It cost you a few thousand dollars to travel to say, Belize with twelve other people in hopes of unblocking your writer's block and re-igniting your creative flow. You are in that noisy street market. This time it's in Belize. If you're like most people you're going to do your best to wring every single adjective, verb, flashback and metaphor out of this noisy market experience and every day of the rest of your trip.

Change Your Own Environment And Routine.

You may not be able to afford to or want to travel halfway around the world to motivate yourself but you can use the example to create your own scenario to encourage a different type of activity or response that will be profitable for you.

If you make a change in your routine, even a small one it can create a big or much desired result; just like getting up a little earlier to get to work on time or to get that prime coveted parking space.

Experiment with changes in where you write, paint, create or brainstorm for ideas. Chart the results and make adjustments based on your highest productivity.

How will your carrot and stick story end?
How will your carrot and stick story end? | Source

So What's Your Carrot? And What's Your Plan?

Is it a dream or a goal? A great business or patent idea that won't let you sleep at night? Is it a sick child or another kind of unhappy circumstance? Maybe your carrot is purple, oddly shaped and will take a little more effort or support to get it off the ground. What will it take to stir up productive activity within you to move forward? Or, how much are you willing to put up with before you've had it and finally decide to do something about your situation? Although there absolutely is a right or ripe time for everything, time itself really doesn't wait for anyone. Something to think about as time just passes you or your dreams and opportunities by.

Here Here for carrots that won't let us rest. Life would be such a bore.

Are You Procrastinating About Something Because It Seems Too Hard?

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What's Your Carrot And Stick Story?

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    • Babbyii profile imageAUTHOR

      Barb Johnson 

      3 years ago from Alaska's Kenai Peninsula

      Glad you thought so. It really does help to mix things up every now and then. I think it gives a freshness to life and to my writing too.

    • Buildreps profile image

      Buildreps 

      3 years ago from Europe

      Interesting read, Babbyii. I now understand what a dangling carrot means! The block "What Others Have Tried" was the most interesting for me.

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