What motivates you?

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  • By Maj. Daniel Huffman
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You know what motivates me? A Chinese buffet with plenty to eat and a reasonable price, or a $5 Kentucky Fried Chicken all-you-can-eat buffet full of baked chicken, mashed potatoes, and green beans, or even a seafood buffet with shrimp and fish, especially on a Friday.

What also motivates me is the sheer ability to know you can push through any adversity by applying some continuous force to an object along with a great deal of energy received from said buffets to make things happen and help take care of people, along with solving problems and issues.  In addition to my love for my family, country and the military (and a powerlifting or/ Crossfit workout), it keeps me going every day.

What is motivation? Motivation is a simply a force or stimulus which, as the word implies, motivates something to do something. It is that inner "oomph" that gets you through the day or during times of adversity, or simply when you are just sitting down thinking of a great thought and you gain a boost of energy.  For example, thinking of getting home when you are getting close to your rotation date.

Motivation comes in many forms, so what motivates you? How about performing your Air Force specialty knowing you are a part of the greatest Air and Space force on the planet, let alone part of the United States military? How about knowing you are getting paid and receiving other great benefits to perform that specialty? What about knowing you are getting trained in that specialty so one day you could possibly do the same job in a civilian position after you are retired from the military? These are motivating thoughts and should drive you to high performance in conjunction with our core values of Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence in All We Do.

How do you motivate others? Different scenarios call for different motivation. If someone is feeling depressed or having a hard time, positive motivation is required. Meanwhile, someone underperforming or performing in an unprofessional manner would require some negative motivation mixed between positive motivation (called a motivation "sandwich"). The key is to know when to use both to get the member back on track. As you gain experience in supervision, you will gain an understanding of which to use and when to use it, along with the proper forms at your disposal.

How do you get motivated? Does someone motivate you verbally and you feel energized? Do you eat a meal (or a buffet like me, sense a theme?) and instantly feel like you can lift a mountain? How about just being around someone else who is motivating and that instantly gets you motivated? The point is, motivation is infectious. Once it gets hold of someone, it quickly spreads from person to person. A good example is a sports game where it seems like one team is going to lose with just a couple of minutes left, and then suddenly they get the pep-talk of their life and get the big win. A military example would be a commander who rallies their troops to defend a base, ensures reinforcements flow, and continues fighting the enemy forward.

What can you say about motivation? It is motivating! I am motivated and you need to find out what motivates you. Eat a buffet (love 'em), work out in the gym, visit friends, go shopping, or just take five minutes and gather your positive energy. Motivation can help push you through many forms of adversity. If you are ever in need of it, just ask yourself, what motivates you?