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Life Through Dance

Your Deeper Motivation

By Elizabeth Dickinson

As dancers, our motivation to dance is pretty simple: it brings us joy.

It’s sometimes harder to find motivation for other things in our lives, even things we say we want.

There’s an exercise I sometimes use with my coaching clients, and I invite you to try it if you’d like to uncover your deeper motivation for wanting anything.

Think of something you want. If you like journaling, you may want to write this down. Now ask yourself, “If I had that, what would I have?”

When you have that answer, keep asking the question, “And if I had that, what would I have?” Keep going until you can’t go any longer, or you start repeating the same or a similar type of answer.

Chances are that you have landed on a quality of being that is your deeper motivation.

For instance, if you’d like to win the lottery, it's likely that if you repeatedly ask the question “And if I had that, what would I have?” after you’ve run out of all the things you’d buy or do with the money, you’ll land on the quality of freedom (or your equivalent).

And that’s your deeper motivation.

Once you find your deeper motivation, I challenge you to discover all the different ways you can find or express that quality—whether or not you win the lottery.

Not all activities are as simple and joyful as dancing, but knowing what’s underneath anything you want highlights your deeper, truer motivation. May we find more joy in everything we want or do.