Episode 065 – How to self-motivate, self-instruct, motivate others, overcoming apathy, motivating younger vs elder generation and more
Motivation is a key ingredient in breaking inertia. In other words, it’s what’s needed to get your giant wheel of dreams moving. In this episode Dr Ro and Harminder talk about exactly this subject – How do you motivate yourself to act?
Weaved into the conversation are tools, techniques and insights into how you can both motivate yourself and others. These tools will be especially important given the current state of play.
Highlighting the state of play is critical to understand why motivation is lacking and why this episode is so important:
- Being locked down
- Losing jobs
- Working from home
- Binge watching Netflix and the like
- Economic uncertainty
To just name a few. Now add to this an important nuance. That is most people have been operating day to day based on ‘receiving instruction’. For example – ‘stay at home’, ‘don’t work, just receive furlough’, ‘wear masks, don’t wear masks’.
What this means is people have generally been conditioned to only act upon instruction (this dates back to the current school system, but that’s for another episode).
With this in mind, it’s critical to understand how to self-motivate and self-instruct.
So in this episode Dr Ro and Harminder aim to help you achieve just that, including:
- How do you self-motivate?
- How do you motivate others?
- How do you break the pattern of apathy?
- How lack of motivation plays out in towns where self worth is low?
- How to motivate the younger generation vs the elder generation?
- How do other peoples influence extinguish someones motivation?
- How is language critical to self motivation?
- What you can do to create an internal anchor to protect your levels of motivation?
- Why being motivated by others may be the treatment, but not the cure?
- What are some unhealthy forms of motivation?
- Directly dealing with someone trying to stamp out your motivation, aspiration and dreams?
- The power of authentic praise in motivating someone
- What to do if you have been feeling de-motivated for a long period of time?
This episode covered a lot of ground. Enjoy this conversation about motivation and we hope it re-inspires you to act on your dreams.
Harms: Hello it’s Harms and welcome to another episode of the Seekardo show and today by default you’re going to feel inspired and motivated.
But more specifically in the sense that you’re going to be leaving with maybe tools, techniques and a focus around how you can motivate an individual. Whether it’s in your personal world, an individual in the professional world, and that’s very much because we are in a time when we’re in a space right now where we’ve gone through a long what feels like a depression.
We’ve been in lockdown, isolated, not able to see family members and that feeling you have when you come together is incredible and exciting but how do we now translate that into getting results for ourselves in our life and often that means motivating and inspiring those around us.
Pairing into that is this idea that younger people be motivated in a different way to maybe the older generation.
Ro handing over to yourself, what’s your kind of general feeling when I introduce this around motivation and inspiration.
Dr Ro: Thanks Harms and I’m excited about this podcast but more importantly I think this is a time to reflect.
I know from just us talking to people but also being in front of audiences it has been a tough year even though we might deny it. There’s definitely a heaviness overall in I would say society and in the global community. Both the older group, but also yours as well Harms.
I think with social media there is a lot of buoyancy in people chatting about their lives and also still a feeling of where are we actually going?
In theory the economy is pretty much on its knees. We used to be able to see ahead by five, 10 years. You get an idea of a career but I walked down the High Street just recently in Tunbridge Wells and the number of shops in my shopping centres boarded-up. Shops that used to be quite abundant and growing closed down.
I’m hearing about redundancies and major problems in the economy at the moment and it’s not to paint the bad picture but it’s to explain how you may be feeling, a sense of her heaviness and underlying all of that is an internal need to be inspired or to be motivated to feel like you’ve got something to hang onto outside of just sitting watching Netflix.
I do think people have lost themselves a little bit in watching a movie disengaging, the word often I have heard is numbing themselves or numb ourselves and I’ve done it on occasions when I’ve just had enough.
The challenge is if we do that enough it becomes a habit and I think we need to break that habit, so I’m excited to talk about this, but I do think we need to address that as well.
Harms: One of things that pops to mind is you’ve looked at the big picture of what gets us into this place of being stuck in the mud, hitting a brick wall or feeling like this apathetic self where you ask questions well, what’s the point?
Maybe when you wake up in the morning you’re not jumping out of bed in excitement, you are looking at the alarm and snoozing it.
Dr Ro: They used to call it island fever.
If you’re on an island in the Caribbean and you hang out there long enough it’s island fever. Another term I got during the 80s was unemployment. There’s a word they use for it, but people that had been unemployed for a certain period just lost that sense of self-worth, motivation and desire because they were being supported by a paycheck.
That doesn’t mean to say their lives weren’t aspirational or anything like that, they just got into this very comfortable state of mind and I think we’re seeing that with furlough and with being told all the time where a mask, don’t wear a mask.
People have become so instructed.
Everyone is now feeling a little bit like let’s wait for the next instruction my feeling is fuck the instructions, we have to get out and self motivate now. That’s partly what drives this podcast for me anyway.
Harms: Interestingly, one of the things we find as I’m a property investor when we were going town to town and speaking to councils it was actually a massive eye-opener for me that once you take somebody’s livelihood, self-worth away and you don’t have a process in place to re-educate them what ends up happening is you have this kind of ecosystem and bubbles which people forget and don’t talk about.
I only saw it when we were trying to provide social housing in these towns that many of the residents of the town kind of just lose their fulfilment, lose the passion and don’t understand what motivation is.
They just default to drugs, alcohol. And what ends up happening is providers like ourselves provide social housing, so at least they have a roof over their heads, but that’s the first step.
Dr Ro: In the culture it’s this sense of like once you get to a certain level of not having something or surviving on a guaranteed rent or guaranteed income, albeit low, your personal self-worth goes to that space and these could be people that are actually previously really inspirational.
They may have had dreams and aspirations for whatever reason they’ve got to a point now where they don’t believe they don’t have them and that scares me.
It could be somebody who was in a high level career and they’ve been kicked back, but there’s a thing called the gender pay gap right now for women.
Women in the UK the average pay drop for women is four to to £500 per month less than they were before the pandemic so people’s worth has even dropped based on what the system is saying that they can be paid.
Harms: Take the pandemic for example, you shared the story with me where you went to a café and you found British Airways pilots, what an aspirational job you consider in society, a really prestigious job serving in a café and not to diminish the café job but it was a shift.
Dr Ro: It was desperation to try and have some sort of income and the problem is, the longer you stay in that emotional state, the more it becomes your identity and it’s hard to get out of that because there is the flipside to it, which is you can do this and you go yeah, but I don’t believe that anymore whereas maybe before you did believe it.
Same with kids you’ve got a beautiful son, the sky’s the limit until something happens outside.
Or someone’s going to have an influence that’s why we found it very difficult over the years to allow our kids to be in a space that is outside of our value system because we see around us, not so much where we live in a society where a particular group of people who are actually very diversely thinking and much more rounded and less conforming to a system.
Values around health, family and growth, but I do know people that even tell me now they’ve got the kids in school, but they say the kids are changing because the kids are now around a teacher who themselves is feeling devalued, undervalued, demotivated, feeling angry, possibly in a relationship breakdown, not being paid enough that comes out in our demeanour.
Even the best intentions with a child and so another set of values comes onto our kids and our kids inherit that.
Every single person listening to this motivation has something you have to physically go out and work on. We had a couple of things last week. I spent the last week with Harms sounding off and bouncing and sharing and also trying to get inspired with other things because life happens and you can’t just assume you’re a rock and that you’re always going to be a bullet-proof vest.
Because no human being is a bullet-proof vest we’ve all got spots that the bullet can get through.
Harms: You’re talking from a place of kind of the older generation’s wisdom and that’s a great way to discuss for the listeners who feel like they’re constantly wearing a bullet-proof vest as they leave the door.
Dr Ro: Sometimes you want to take it off Harms.
I think when you’re your age there are certain things you haven’t experienced yet you could look at a 20 year old and say wait till I’m 30 and then it’s like shit.
You’ve been knocked around, kicked around and you’ve raised a good subject about motivation in business and jobs and personal level, the corporate world is bollocks. Some of the stuff happening at the moment people are being disrespected and people’s personal self-worth is being diminished by the way the corporate world is treating people.
Harms: I think even in that phrase that you said there wait till you get to your 30s I’ve heard that and in that phrase alone, as I want to bring it down to my generation now, which is what demotivates and what can cause the removal of inspiration in a younger generation.
Whether it’s a teen I would never want to say to a teen knowing what I know now and extinguish their flame and say you might be excited now but wait till you get to your 30s there will be no motivation.
Dr Ro: You could do that because you’ve now experienced that journey, both in the corporate world and being an entrepreneur.
Harms: In that sense it’s true, but in the same breath like I could say because if I felt demotivated on a certain day and if I wasn’t in the right state of mind that day I could now shift or remove the motivation in somebody else who is younger whose maybe excited about life and I think that happens on a daily basis and all the time.
Dr Ro: And saying that is that even a sensible conversation to have with a young person?
Why would you want to set that frame up and that is a throwaway sentence and I understand where it’s coming from.
Part of it is ego and part is that you don’t understand the path I’ve been on, but it does sweep the rug from under people’s feet. When I was that age and still today, it’s like I’ve got a fuck you attitude. Where has it come from?
My father died, my mum was like almost like fuck you to the world. You’re not going to put me down because she was a single mum bringing three of us up and she just dug in, worked in the day worked in the evenings and she just refused to be beaten down.
I think something in that value system that she had led to me having that not in the same way, but I wouldn’t be beaten down by if anything if somebody challenged me, I would kick back and say right I’m going to prove you wrong.
That was an ego thing.
I think I did a lot of personal development in my late teens and early 20s and I just felt why should I wait for someone else to tell me that and why is it that their belief system and why should I adopt that?
Ask yourself the question: if somebody challenges you on your dream and you don’t believe that they’re correct, then don’t adopt that just simply refuse point blank to make that part of your belief system.
It literally is, thank you very much but that fucking does not fit into my picture of the world, so I don’t have to put that jigsaw piece in there. Because the minute you put it in there you build your jigsaw around their belief system.
Harms: If there is a young aspirational person who may have heard a phrase like that and they felt disheartened and you don’t necessarily have to say it to that person, but internally have that anchor.
Dr Ro: This weekend we had a lady who didn’t like me using the word fuck and she wrote in does Dr Ro have to use that type of language.
What was interesting was we had 40, 50 people at the event and I said I want to apologise because I used colourful language there and it upset one member of the audience, and a whole bunch of other people came back and said, we love it. Thanks for your honesty, we don’t mind you being direct. It wakes us up.
And actually, that’s true.
There’s a study that shows that when people are faced with blocks or feeling a bit down sometimes you have to break this state and there’s been a study shown when people use very strong language it cuts through a lot of the social conditioning.
It’s like a sledgehammer to a bubble that we create around us and you’ve seen me use it with people who are really in a dark place. It is not ever meant or used to be offensive, it’s actually to get your attention.
I had to make a decision as I had 40, 50 people say if you like this approach Dr Ro it is straight and I didn’t do it all weekend and twice more she said I feel uncomfortable so I had to tone it down. Then you weigh up as a human being do you live your life to please one individual versus a larger audience?
Same thing as a person for self-motivation do you listen to what somebody tells you, and live to what they said as they they’re older than you, because that’s what mum, dad, aunty, uncle said and you want them to be happy or pleased or feel proud of you, but who are you doing that for now?
You’re doing it for them.
I wrote down a statement over the weekend with one of my coaches for property and she said I didn’t want history to repeat itself and I said what do you mean by that? She said all my life my family has been broken, none of them financially dependent and I didn’t want history to repeat itself in my kids and my family.
She rewrote history and that’s a great message of motivation. If you decide this is the point I will rewrite the history of my life up until now and my family’s life.
Going back to when I was younger it’s still in me now, but maybe not as much back in those days it was more ego driven and pushback against the universe.
I was angry after my dad died I was actually quite pissed off that I didn’t get a chance to do these things so there’s that little bit in me and me but equally there’s a part of me that wanted to do something that I knew he would have been proud of when I got older, so that pushback is healthy as long as it’s not driven from a place of ego or all about you. It is actually about your vision and purpose.
We’re representing ourselves to the world based on what we believe in our core as supposed to look at me I’m fucking amazing, so screw you. I’m not trying to say that.
Harms: It’s not profanity for the sake of profanity.
If I was in my teens or 20s one of the challenges we have is we live in a society in an ecosystem where actually we’re surrounded by all of this, so it may not be the colourful language that shifts somebody younger because you watch Netflix show, you listen to some of the music available now rap and hip-hop.
It is a part of our useful dialogue.
This culture where maybe back in the day in your culture using the colourful language was for very specific moments in time. Whereas it’s in our culture, the music, the television, in the media in general.
I can have a conversation with a friend and we will use profound language in WhatsApp and it is the way we dialogue.
Dr Ro: It also remotes a response and the lady who responded was in my age group whereas most of the others were younger. The point is, it’s how we use it to self-motivate.
Harms: Then actually that leads to another question which is if maybe language doesn’t work for somebody or the younger generation because it’s so common to us.
How else do we do it?
Dr Ro: I think self is the biggest focus first because really the minute you start looking at how somebody can motivate us, then there’s a bigger issue there. How can we help motivate someone is a good thing that you bring in which is a manager, company owner, a parent, brother or sister or friend.
How can we help motivate the people around us?
I think that conversation should come after we tackle the internal conversation which is how do we motivate ourselves because anything outside that is really just a reinforcement of how we feel about ourselves.
If someone says something to inspire and motivate us that’s reaffirming what we’ve already done for ourselves, but if it’s constantly needed from outside there is a big freaking issue.
Harms: That is a start stop. You go to the gym on Monday. You don’t go all week. You look at a YouTube video which motivates you.
On Sunday you’re back in the gym, so it’s how we shift away from the start stop mentality and behaviour shifting it to you start and then you just go you don’t stop until you reach what you want to reach.
Dr Ro: On a personal level, whenever I find myself being crunched down a bit or my energy flattened three things for me.
One is just exercise. If I exercise for a prolonged period endorphins and all that I definitely feel and when I do weekend speaking I’ve got my rebounder and then I do press ups and then I’m pumped. I’m back in front of my audience and I can feel the blood flowing and that in itself a physiological shift in our body helps, that’s one thing.
Secondly, it is just that I do definitely thrive off inspirational music. So what can I put on that gets into my soul that triggers that feeling that we got from when we were younger and it goes back to when I was very young as well.
Harms: On my side I was very much stop start, stop start on a personal level.
Dr Ro: What age?
Harms: Motivation wasn’t anything from my teens, but in my 20s suddenly I had a feeling of aspiration that I wanted to do more. It started in my career, came out of an apprenticeship and was doing university on the side working within my profession in engineering.
Dr Ro: Harms comes from a very traditional Asian background.
There is a huge amount of cultural pressure, albeit all parents are different. I think yours are very relaxed in the way but it’s still there.
Were you driven up to the point where the motivation was more about proving status, your education, was it more internal?
Harms: I think unconsciously it just lives in our culture. In the Asian culture one is you’re conscious about be a doctor, engineer, a profession and then there’s the flipside, which is maybe you’re more relaxed and my parents were way more free in terms of letting us go where we wanted to go, but unconsciously because of the culture and the family dynamic exists.
Dr Ro: Especially when the family gets together and they ask, what are you doing?
Harms: Exactly and then the classic comparing kids.
What it does in a child’s mind from any culture creates this kind of model of what is successful. What should I be? Okay, I have to be a professional.
So by default that is what I was doing, no motivation required that was built in from day one.
Dr Ro: Was it head down or comparing or being aware of what other people were doing? Was there competition going on in your head? Was it very self driven or a mixture of those? What made Harminder the person today?
Harms: I think it was external so I think the motivation came from external factors, whether I was aware of them or not.
Culture had a big influence and that was kind of automatically making me succeed in my workplace and I was doing that, but there was a point and the shift when actually and this is my recommendation in terms of how do we motivate ourselves internally, is just adopt this kind of philosophy, world, education around personal development.
Dr Ro: You are in the corporate world and managing a bunch of people but something happened where you didn’t feel it was enough, did you lose motivation or did you feel very quickly that you were more than what you were doing?
Harms: I think the feeling is that lack of motivation so it was diminishing over a period of time.
Dr Ro: At its core what I was physically doing on a day-to-day basis.
I’m trying to peel the onion to say the lack of motivation can come from number one: you achieved a certain level, and what happens next or shit people around you at management level, senior management, family or an inner compass like there’s more.
Especially if you’re reading personal development now.
Harms: I think you hit the nail on the head.
It was the first statement you made there, which is because of my background, the cultural push by default I was going to succeed in a conventional world. I got to a senior position managing a bunch of people and in my early 20s as well. It was a supportive environment. My team was amazing, but the question started in my mind.
The motivation was diminishing because of that phrase just said, which is, is that it? Doing what I’m doing on an engineering basis, is it fulfilling me?
I wasn’t conscious of this question at the time.
Dr Ro: In order to be motivated sometimes we have to become demotivated which then brings the magnifying glass out, the $64 million question follows next which part of your life right now are you demotivated about yourself?
Then you can look at that and go. I want the opposite to this so that becomes your new motivation. There is no formal structure to this. I just want people to realise what we’re thinking so you get your point where you went. I don’t want this and did that reveal to you, what do I want?
Harms: Exactly that and like you said that demotivated feeling I just couldn’t live with, that feeling would get more intense every day. It gets to a point where the questions are inevitable. Why am I feeling this way?
Dr Ro: You were 22. What about a 44-year-old or 55 year old? We see them at our events. Pissed off.
Harms: When I think about that transition in my time and of course I met you around that time as well to help make that transition, to help ask the questions which I wasn’t aware of.
Dr Ro: Let’s draw a picture now you’re 24, 25 year old in a room and 44, 45, whatever I was when I met you and I’m bouncing around the stage. I’d been on a similar journey. What triggers motivated you?
That was like a catalyst on top of where you already were because that’s quite good for people to be aware of as sometimes people need to look for that trigger. What I want to get across Harms is I know we are saying your life can’t be about being motivated by others as it can’t consistently be but it can be triggered and motivated by a significant emotional event by somebody else that gets you to sit up go shit, this is what I’ve been looking for.
What happened when you walked in that room you are aware that you want to change, kind of frustrated, life feels grey.
What was your picture of demotivation, how did that look and how did it feel? What I’m concerned about Harms that young people that are numb right now and they think that’s the fucking norm and that is not the norm. But they think it and the trouble is, if they don’t see anything else they could go like that for 10 years, 15 years before they wake up.
Harms: That’s my worry and that’s why I’m sharing my example because I was blessed because of the danger right, because what I saw in the workplace was unmotivated, numb workers who had been there for 30, 40 years. Lovely people, great hearts, but they were completely depleted.
Dr Ro: What were their language patterns?
Harms: When you come to a place where by default, you don’t have to seek the motivation and go back and think about what it was like then, their language patterns always start with a negative, no positive outlook.
It was like they were functioning and those that were not aspirational in the job pretty much did, and this is probably by action did the bare minimum to get through the shift.
Dr Ro: To get through the weekend, to buy a car, to buy a holiday so it’s a functional existence, but kind of acceptance.
Harms: The problem is when you’re doing 12 hour shifts plus overtime and you’re now in work pretty much 90% of the time with minimum rest and sleep, bearing in mind night shift and day shifts at what point do you have a chance to recharge and remotivate and understand what you are doing here?
It was only when I moved from shift work to management and had kind of a 9-to-5 Monday to Friday style of work it was only then I had a moment to look at oh my god that’s what’s happening.
I may just move to the next level but I’m starting to feel and in context just got engaged and I was just starting to feel like, is this the life that we want to build as a family?
Dr Ro: We’re eliciting the journey from Harminder and part of that is not just what you see, but what you say or what you ask yourself, the lessons out of today they come from conversation but another another classic way to motivate yourself is to change the type of questions you ask yourself.
Harms: To be able to ask those questions at least the early-stage questions because I didn’t know what questions to ask myself the question started to appear when it was, I don’t want to use the word lowest point because that wasn’t the feeling at the time, but the feeling was I just don’t want to get out of bed in the morning.
Super excited the moment I walked home with my fiancé or meeting my friends. I was out of the workplace, but the moment the next day came that kind of feeling was I don’t want to get in the car and sit on the motorway for 40 minutes just to get to work to do this 7 AM conference call, which is meaningless.
What I’m doing on a day-to-day basis is meaningless.
Dr Ro: To be motivated to do anything your life has to have meaning, even the slightest thing like opening a door for another person gives us a sense of gratification.
Six human needs, you’re serving another person connecting with somebody, providing security for them as well. Something as simple as opening the door for another person has meaning, so does going and winning an Olympic medal that has meaning.
To me a great message coming out of Harms story is if you’re not actually growing in what you’re doing and it becomes a place where you’re just getting paid for the hours, where is it leading to?
Is what I’m doing right now fulfilling my own purpose in life?
Harms: Once it pays the bills the salary was good, but once it paid the bills and finances weren’t the primary motivational focus. Now those questions arose, I’ve done this now what’s next?
Dr Ro: Here’s another key question in the process of motivation you have two choices at this point.
Number one I’ll think about that in the future, choice number two write those questions down and really consider them because you then have to act on the answer to those questions. In my career I looked at five, 10 years and I was in a civil engineering role.
I looked at people who were senior to me, had got the PhD, some of the people who were in their jobs were very specialised and I was like I do not want this lifestyle.
Then I started to get panicky because I spent my whole educational career getting to this point and I’m reading these personal development books and they’re talking about personal growth and aspirations and it was being revealed to me.
Everyone was thinking the same thing and if I quietly spoke to them like 5% of them would’ve said the same thing, but now they’ve got a big house, a big mortgage, and kids.
Harms: I had to make a decision young that was a conscious decision, what you just said there is before I get married, before I’ve got children, before I am locked into these bills and responsibilities, material costs.
Once you get there I do appreciate it’s way more challenging to make the shift but what I had found and this is what we’ve said, sometimes you have to seek it because by default I didn’t have those questions in my armoury.
In my mind when I’m feeling a certain way I can self-coach I can self-motivate but back then it wasn’t a thing, so I went to personal development events. I found what are the other options and what are the other career paths, property was one of them.
When I met you and we were in a room together and you as part of the teaching were asking these questions.
Dr Ro: I know it’s a stylistic approach, but provoking quite honest questions from everybody in the room, but some people didn’t like it and kicked back.
Others were in a bubble and weren’t ready to receive it and there are people like yourself just like exactly at that point it was almost like the words that were coming out the vessel, which was me, fulfilling answers that you were looking for. Is that fair to say?
Harms: Absolutely and the questions you were asking were just that, a question and that it was up to me and everybody in the audience to answer that for ourselves.
If you answer that question honestly and truthfully and that’s where paper and pen cannot be beaten, nobody was looking at this piece of paper apart from me. What is the answer and the answer was clear as day, you’ve got to make a change.
Dr Ro: Did Geena feel the same way?
Harms: Yes, because we were couple that were connected in the sense that we had this completely open dialogue, it was so open that hey I don’t like what I do in my job and it was the same on her side, but we didn’t know the right questions to ask to get us excited, motivated and also allow us to believe that we can make the change.
Dr Ro: Here’s a question which I never thought about with you or anyone who is younger, but we do hear this that parents will strangle the dream, but I’m going to reframe this in another way and that is yeah, but you’re too young and naïve.
This is a guy that is manipulating you, putting ideas in your head. Could that be what happens to some people?
Did it happen to you or is it a case of actually if you’re asking the right questions and you’re objective enough you just have to look at what’s in front of you and go actually this makes sense for me personally at this moment in time.
A lot of older people my generation, I think, devalue or demean younger people by assuming they can’t make decisions, partly because they’re making decisions quicker than people my age group. They’re like you can’t make that decision now you’ve got to wait till you live life like. When you get to my age then you can make a decision about starting a business.
That’s what I was told.
I was 28 years of age and I decided to leave my career and all I was told was you’re too young, you haven’t got enough experience, you can’t go become a consultant and you know me I was like fuck you. I’m going to go and do it and prove to you and it turned out I was being engaged by the very same company I worked for at a rate of £500 a day and they paid me about 18 to 20,000 per year when I was employed and now they bring me back as a consultant to work on projects that they need advice on.
What do you say to that conversation about young people being naïve?
Were you naïve or you and your wife naïve by jumping on the early acting or was it a case of we were just ready?
I had a 19 year old girl that did not sign up for a property course 10 years ago and she came back 10 years later and she was in tears because she’d listened to her family while still in the career. She said they told me I was naïve and that I shouldn’t be listening to you on property. So what was going through your head because you were still in that young age where you could be inferred by family, et cetera?
What made you make a sensible decision rather than what might be perceived to be a naïve response?
Harms: If you were to look at models in the world. If you look at Elon Musk, Jeff Besos, founders of Google, these companies they were all naïve and that’s because what you said earlier in the conversation Ro, people would have told them you’re naïve. You don’t know what you’re doing, that’s been tried. I think Google was the 19th search engine when it first started.
Dr Ro: Tony Robbins started at 20 years old.
Harms: He would have had people that say what do you know, you’re only 20. They forget the fact he worked with an incredible mentor so were they all naïve? 100%.
I think that’s the approach I had and I think in the Asian culture one thing we all can see and without a doubt all Asians know the uncle and aunt’s who’ve built a business.
There are some incredibly successful business owners on the Forbes rich list, they’ve done amazing work for charities and when they started business and they came to this country by default because they couldn’t get an education in the conventional way, they had to just be naïve and start a business.
Dr Ro: Some of these are the most intelligent people qualified people but now they come into a society which doesn’t recognise that.
We’re talking about doctors, lawyers, all that stuff. My father came into that as well, and they must get moved into a sub level of society and disrespected and they’re left with do I try and climb the corporate ladder or let me start a business.
Now there are jokes about corner stores and businesses and I was in Bradford loads of Asian landlords back in the 80s.
Harms: They may still mock corner stores, but the thing these Asian families own 25 of them they franchise them, they turn them into multi-million pound businesses.
Dr Ro: They put the hours in that maybe people in this society weren’t prepared to do at the time.
Harms: They would have been called naïve, by family members saying this is risky, all that kind of stuff so I say to younger generation we’ve got so many amazing models that we can align ourselves to, and the other question to ask is the people giving me advice have they done what I want to do?
Whereas I am standing in front of myself, who’s done what I want to do, I was surrounded by an amazing team who have done what I wanted to do, so who do I listen to in this situation?
If you’re young in your 20s what do you have to lose?
Dr Ro: If you’re 55, 60 imagine if you were sat in the same room as Harms and by the way you go no and the no will be because of personal blocks, ego is the biggest thing by the way people in my age group and also the feeling of shit I’ve got too much to risk.
My career, my friends might think I’m this and that.
So here’s the ironic thing both ends of that spectrum you’ve got nothing to lose really because you at 23, 24 maybe doesn’t work as quickly as you wanted it to you’ve got longer time to do it, someone 55 years of age you’re running out of time you’ve got nothing to lose, you’ve got to do it now because you don’t want to wake up in six years’ time saying I should’ve done that.
Harms: It is a different motivation for generations.
Dr Ro: You wouldn’t come to a wealth related seminar, property or a stock market event you wouldn’t come to that if your life was perfect. So the question has to be why am I here wanting to learn this or do this?
It’s because something isn’t right, you’re trying to find a new way forward.
The motivation message here is don’t dismiss the universal message, or if you believe in karma or whatever you believe in something has brought here vibrationally to a point where I have to be here for a reason. Everything we do is our responsibility so you got there at 23 and you sat next to people who were double your age.
Harms: I saw the same thing in my workplace and I saw them in this room, so at some point you ask yourself the question, do I then do 30 years unmotivated? Because that’s just life.
Dr Ro: And accept it, stick your head down, go for a beer on a Friday and have your two weeks holiday and that’s it, and that’s fine.
Harms: But it’s not the reality.
If you’re feeling like that’s not what you are on this planet to do, and there’s more of life you want to grab, that should be motivation enough.
Dr Ro: If you’re sitting here now and you are feeling unmotivated in your career but you still want to stay in your career ask questions. If you’re in a family and something is not working out, maybe the internal motivation has been lost, what’s changed in the family dynamic?
Is it to do with the hours you’re working? Is it to do with lack of connection?
Have you not taken the time to sit with your kids? This last year with us, lockdown is difficult and everyone is trying to find a new dynamic in the family and so that motivation often comes from a question.
Ask questions about what doesn’t feel right and then how do I want it to feel, how does it show up, how does it look, sound, feel and then you reconstruct your life to achieve that. Who do I need to speak to that can help?
For me I’m happy to take external motivation as part of motivation is me asking the right questions, but then equally I don’t know the answer sometimes, let me go and see someone who’s doing what I want to do and how’re they doing it.
How can I be inspired by them?
Harms: That’s like shifting this kind of inner motivation into practical application. It’s like I want to do this. I’m now excited and motivated to do it, but I don’t know how to do it. And of course you seek those answers and with the new information will come a greater sense of motivation.
Dr Ro: And downsides, anything you push into the universe it will push back and that’s not to say it’s a resistance it is just there’s going to be things at any time you create any sort of activity in life you’re going to have challenges.
Norman Vincent said many years ago, the only people who don’t have any problems are the ones lying in a grave; they don’t have a pulse. If you’ve got a pulse and you’re pursuing things in life you’ll have challenges so accept that’s part of the new journey.
If you are wanting to experience something new and you are lacking the motivation first of all decide that’s what I want to do, and then if you don’t know how to do it, seek people who have done it.
We had a guy fit our deck over the summer and we got chatting and it led to a conversation about he saved some money up and he’s openly asking me how did you do that. He is seeking guidance and a bit of advice and as the person I am happy to share it.
I think people of achieve certain things or family is growing really well, a great manager in the business or great entrepreneur in the business if you contact them and say love what you’re doing, kind of in a bit of a sticky patch at the moment, I’d really appreciate maybe some inspiration, how did you get there?
Nine times out of 10 my personal belief is they’ll give you inspiration. Most people want to give back because they’ve got to a point and who is not to say that they didn’t do the same thing and they want to give back to society.
Harms: Most often than not, if you dig into someone’s journey it won’t be too dissimilar of a story that you shared, they would have gone through that challenge where they there was a point in their life where they had to re-motivate, self-motivate to shift the direction of the life and do what they you want to do.
Dr Ro: I’m not talking about constantly bugging them as there’s a point where you may have to pay for knowledge, but I’m talking about maybe just an insight and inspiration.
Harms: It can be simple as a word or phrase or sentence here and that’s all somebody needs.
Dr Ro: If you are talking to people to inspire them I think it’s always good to notice what’s great about that person.
So from a management perspective I’ve sat in board meetings and they don’t have a clue on how to compliment people. This is dangerous I think at board level and corporate level at the moment, is still this feeling of trying to survive and protect themselves, so conversation often steers towards what they’ve done, as opposed to I like the word we, I think we suddenly round the whole board off.
Complimenting others does not take anything away from ourselves. If anything, I think it makes us empowered and that’s really missing in the corporate world right now.
Harms: Why does it have such a profound effect?
I love when I receive praise for good work that I’ve done. It motivates.
Dr Ro: You might remember I used to quote this a lot, soldiers die for it and babies cry for it. The two extremes a soldier will go and do something to the point where they are recognised and babies cry for it because we all have an innate need to be loved and to be cuddled and recognised.
Sometimes just a hug or a well done, that’s amazing what you just did, it doesn’t take anything away. I just think that people are afraid at the moment to give compliments or praise because in some way by doing that it makes that person rise in their esteem and position in this conversation of who I am as a person.
There is a real danger of that happening more and more at the moment. It was a big 80’s thing, and then it shifted a bit through the 90s. In the 00’s there was a big push around personal development and the law of attraction was a big conversational piece but then that’s turned around again.
Harms: in the younger generation there was a spell about maybe a decade ago, where there was the opposite extreme and I think basically it was being misused.
People were overly praising and I think they pulled back from that but when these things happen they pull at extremes. That didn’t happen so let’s never praise anybody ever again.
Dr Ro: What happened was the extreme was that no one was then having the harder conversations it became tough love.
The tough love goes so far over you don’t tell people what they need to hear and also to do with politically correct conversations. I just feel at the moment when things are done well even at the lowest level of management or even down at the ground level people should complement all the way through.
I was in a board meeting recently and a lady came in and served sandwiches and what was really nice and refreshing for me was the youngest members of the board said thank you so much, really appreciate you bringing the food in and I thought that’s great.
That didn’t happen with some other people in the room and those sorts of things to me are an indication of where people’s heads are.
I think motivation at the company level is to recognise something great in somebody and it doesn’t have to be a big thing, but let them know that.
I’ve noticed it as a brilliant way of opening up a compliment of motivation because it means that you actually took the time to be present. Mindfulness is as much about being aware of the moment and being aware of somebody else, just be mindful to say I’ve noticed and I love the way you did this.
As I love the way it means you feel it, as opposed to I thought you did a really good job there that’s corporate speak. Whereas a personalised touch to it and that works in relationships, I feel is good for relationships. My daughter was playing a piano piece last night and I was in the kitchen washing-up and I heard an old piece of jazz music from years gone by.
I just walked in and listened and I let her play and I said that’s amazing, I love the way you and she said do you want me to play it again? She did it again and again and she was really getting into it.
Harms: That authentic praise in that moment encouraged whether it’s a bit of motivation.
Dr Ro: What was funny was I said that’s a really famous piece of music Savannah and she was testing me and said what’s it called? I remembered the song and that cheered her up and I came in and then I paid her a compliment and it wasn’t done with any part of purpose apart from just a compliment unconditionally and we do that easily with our kids.
We do it with kids but somewhere it changes to peers or even someone above us like how often do you see employees really praise their bosses?
You should be able to praise up and down. I’ve done work with network marketing groups and they talk about upline and downline and what I got from senior people early on is what’s your view on encouraging people.
I said we should encourage upline and downline because you’re being guided by the people above you and also they want to hear they are doing a good job because maybe they’re new to managing a person in a business, but equally praise people below you as well.
Everybody wins then, as even the senior manager or a new MD of the company may be nervous about it and this is a new role to them.
Pressure is immense.
Harms: People are afraid generally to be given feedback. It is definitely lonely and they don’t have an open communication channel actually because of their position sometimes so being able to praise them, they’re not robots they will feel it too.
Dr Ro: Where that becomes a difficult thing to do is if you’re dealing with a really egotistical CEO, managing director and now it’s like I don’t want to praise them because they’re arseholes.
That’s a different conversation altogether. Maybe you’re in the wrong company.
Harms: By default just approach it as those are edge cases and approach praise as it should be free-flowing when authentic.
Dr Ro: I agree and if they have done a good job and got a big ego just do it because universally I believe that what we put out comes back in different ways. So rather than mute it, because the whole thing about law of attraction is you mute one thing and not the other if actually somebody you know has got a bit of an ego, but they did a good job just say, I think you’ve done a great job if it’s a genuine compliment not for any other reason.
Harms: Often the ego is so big it is actually masking that fact, they really want that praise. That’s why they’re going above and beyond and putting on a show.
Dr Ro: Just be comfortable self-reflecting and asking internal questions that drive you first. Paint the picture of how you want life to be, write it down. Start to ask questions about how I can get to that space.
Not, I can’t get there, but what sensibly can I do, practically what can I do?
Who can I go to inspire me? We get inspired by YouTube videos, reading, audio programs, seminars and all those things. I’m not going to stand here at 55 and say I don’t need it all the time, but that’s just topping up if you like, guiding me.
The internal motivation is already there. It’s like the car, how do we steer it now?
Whereas if you’re sitting in the car park and there is no movement you and I could try and turn somebody’s steering wheel, but it’s very hard to see the wheels of a car when there is no movement, and that movement is that internal motivation first.
Harms: On a personal level for the younger listeners it’s very easy to ignore those early signs and early feelings of demotivation and I’m not talking about one random event or one random day.
I’m talking about if you feel demotivated over a period of time consistently then tap into anything we’ve spoken about, starting asking internal questions and think about if you are self-motivated and you build as a practice that comes and when you’re in your 30s, 40s, 50s, you then have this innate power where you can motivate the younger generation and then we continue to grow as a population.
Dr Ro: Seek the light.
When something flashes up when you’re 55, 60 or 25, whatever the minute there is a place of darkness in your life, go to where the light is because there’s truth in that light.
I’m talking about what in your life or what around you has created a glimmer of hope or inspiration or what inspires you, go look at it.
It could be exactly what you need right now. Don’t ignore it, don’t mute the light, don’t put your head down, seek the light. It could come from a message, from a passing comment from somebody, from an audio, a book, a podcast.
Just don’t live your life you head down in the darkness thinking this is all there is as there is always an opportunity to make a change.
Harms: That’s the final word.
That’s myself and Ro signing out. We shall see you in the next episode.
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