Achieving Peak Motivation (Blog)
Use this thread to discuss the following entry from Steve Pavlina's blog:
Achieving Peak Motivation
Awesome post Steve. This makes polarization make much more sense and makes it seem much more applicable to anyone's life. Seeing how the darkworker and the lightworker eventually end up in the same place really ties the whole concept together. You could write a whole book about this concept :).
Hi Steve - nice post,
Although I haven't read all your articles on dark and lightworkers, I still got something from this read. I think your article is more about finding true happiness than about movtivation, at least from my perspective.
Your post got me thinking about the natural balance of self vs others, or in your words, darkworker vs lightworker.
For many years there was a time when I was a darkworker. I focused all my time, energy and action into providng things for myself. I thought that this was the only way that I could be happy.:p
Later in highschool I began tutoring kids in math and realized there was another side to being happy. I realized that I could be just as happy by contributing to others WHILE satisfying my own need to teach. I think this is what your post is saying. That is, to be truly happy is a balance of contribute to others while satisfying your own needs.
Stephen Martile — Personal Development with NLP
Ahh my favorite subject of this website. Great article, even though i had already figured most of what you've written by reading your other articles on polarity.
I'm eager to see the discussions here, and thanks for bringing the subject up again.
I couldn't agree more with this article. I find that the more I focus on love, and unconditional giving - without seeing myself as the sacrificial lamb - the greater my energy level, the more effective I am in the world and the more FUN I have with everything I do.
I really love moving away from the pleasure/pain model. Brilliant. Thanks, Steve.
The word "fear" isnt very elegant indeed. I prefer "self-love", that reasonates better with the DW mindset in my opinion.
opposing energy flows in conflict?
does this contradict what you said before (quoted below), and if so, what changed your mind?
I've been reading the forums for quite some time. This is the first time I've decided to jump in and post.
The way I see it serving yourself and serving others and sides of the same circle.
If you wish abundance for yourself because you have a healthy love for yourself you will create that abundance by serving and helping others well.
If you wish abundance for yourself because of fear (of poverty, abandonment, etc.) you will create that abundance through control and manipulation of others.
If you are serving the greater good from a place of love you will take care of yourself as well as other people.
If you are serving the greater good from a place of fear you will neglect yourself and may not be giving real value to others.
I fail to see how fear is a good motivator. It may motivate someone to make money or build walls, but will they enjoy any of their accomplishments? Will they end up like Conrad Black?
Serving the greater good from a place of fear also seems to end up in self-destruction. We see this in environmentalists who suffer from depression and suicide.
Perhaps the highest motivation is unique to each individual and that is why it is so important to really know ourselves and make conscious choices.
I wonder if Harry Browne (How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World) would be considered a successful darkworker. His basic premise was to take direct rather than indirect actions: rather than trying to free the world one frees oneself, and the only person you really know how to make happy is yourself, so why try making others happy? A real world example for me would be: rather than try to convince anyone to legalize raw milk for everyone, I simply get my own goat and solve the problem for myself.
Allow me to be bold here:
Fear is to Dark what Guilt is to Light.
Helga, a darkworker works with a feeling of intense self-worth. They are always very happy about being who they are. They don't aquire things out of a negative compulsion, fearing that they will be hurt if they don't have them. They feel powerful, unstoppable and invincible (at high levels of energy). They know they have the power to overcome anything - being a darkworker is about realizing your own power. They aquire things in a positive feeling of lust, a desire for all good things in life, that focuses on the positive. It is an expression of their self-worth, which they'll have no matter what happens to them and what their circumstances are. They see how they can gain something from any situation, thus life is very enjoyable to one who is "fear-polarized".
Someone who has a strong flow of darkworker energy cannot be moved by fear of poverty or abandonment, because there is also in the darkworker the idea that one is able to withstand anything. This is not self-delusion - a darkworker might for example realize their body is not physically strong, but they have the power to make it strong. If they find weakness within themselves, they feel a positive urge to overcome it, feeling confident, thinking of all the greatness they can achieve. ("wow! yeah!")
For darkworkers, the focus is primarily inward so they see greatness in themselves first. Lightworkers focus outward and see greatness in others first.
You're right, Helga. Fear, fright, anxiety, is a horrible motivator. But fear can be seen as the first little urge to serve yourself, just as the possibly very negative feeling of guilt can be seen as the first little urge to serve others. I think that should be made more clear in the blogposts.
thats so strange I was reading about intention-manifestation from Steve's articles a few days ago and was thinking about polarity all the time recently.... and then he posts this just yesterday....!!
Wow, that's an interesting way to put it
I hope I understood your post correctly. I can definitely relate to your struggle to understand motivation. I'm currently going through that struggle as I am my own boss now.
I'm confused to where I stand in the dark and light worker spectrum. I believe that you can only help people if you help yourself first. People like and listen to people who are like themselves. The light worker seems like a person who derives his or her wellbeing from others. That to me just screams trouble. Nobody likes to have someone dependent on them for any reason. The dark worker works out of fear. I think fear cause unethical and destructive actions.
However, I may not be at my motivational peak. It's the first time to hear this idea of dark and light workers. You have much more experience than me, so I think I'll study and try out your ideas.
I may just need to reread the post. I'm a bit tired.
I don't resonate with the term "fear" either, I think (for me at least) the term "desire" makes more sense. Although that'll probably confuse others.
I've been rereading the series on polarity lately and it's making perfect sense to me. I was toiling between the two, even experimenting more in being a dark worker, but that only led down the wrong path. I now understand my path as a lightworker and the more I commit to it, the more the universe takes care of me.
-Back from the brink
Well Steve this post hs really brought me back into focus, I know now for sure that the Darkworker Path is the one for me. Hate me if you want, militant Lightworkers, but my future lies in making my life better, so that everyone else is better too.
Or in the word of "Johns" From Pitch Black "Turn to thine own ass first, right"
Steve. You're still just plain wrong on this.
There is not a love versus fear polarization. To give in to fear is to negate the entire purpose of polarizing. The whole point is to overcome "Lightworker/Darkworker syndrome," by understanding that those are just two sides of giving in to the same fear.
You need to learn to give or take without fear. That means only giving or taking what is in abundance. For example, I am here to take. What I am taking is freely offered and abundant - Knowledge.
So, is my post giving? Nope. I am more effectively taking knowledge by offering my thoughts and looking at direct feedback. It's faster and more efficient than searching around looking to clarify my thoughts.
Is anyone deprived by my taking? No. This forum is freely offered. In fact, I add to page views which increase your ability to charge for advertising revenue, so I'm not even taking your inexpensive bandwidth. I'm adding a benefit to you.
Steve, you seem to understand giving without fear, but you don't seem to get taking without fear. The last thing you should ever do in order to give without fear is to give what you barely have. You figured this out.
You give knowledge, which you have in abundance. It takes nothing from you to do so, and it feels fulfilling. You realized that time was limited, and money was as well, so you weren't giving those without fear. You gave what was abundant, and now you also have abundant time and money.
Here's another example. I take from my Dad all the time. Taking without fear involves asking, or taking what is explicitly offered freely. It does not equate with stealing, even if you can do so fearlessly.
I ask my Dad to help me with things, and this actually gives him what he wants. He's driven by the need to be needed. Sometimes, out of fear, he creates artificial needs, which gets him into trouble. I create a genuine need for him, thus fulfilling his primary fuel for life. As an added bonus, if he's helping me, he keeps out of trouble.
Fear polarization is not a path to success. Polarization is fearLESS. That's it's purpose. To conquer one fear, and transcend it's other side in the process.
Finally, Steve is starting to take less of a hardliner stance on Darkworking.
My work here is done. :)
The Selfish Light Doctor (ooooOOOoooo)
I'll call selfish light-worker (with a really cool sword). After thinking about my chosen career as a doctor (currently pre-med 2 days from the MCAT) for just a bit, I do not feel I'm doing what is best for the everyone. I think it would be misguided to start in that mindset because for me it would lead to stagnation because I'm not too sure what I could do to benefit people most. But, if I start with the first question, YES! I do think this is the best way to ensure my happiness: finances (check), thinking I'm helping people/sense of accomplishment (check), continued learning encouraged (good stuff), and if I make my own practice there is no need to overwork once I reach MD status (sub-40hour work week is a big check on the happiness scale). Basically it's a damn good start.
I'd still consider myself a light worker because I'm motivated by self love, with consideration that I am part of the whole. I think the more healthy emotions and love I feel the more that my loved ones feel and benefit from peace and love and the more we can slowly benefit the whole of which we are a part.
I agree that this self-sided focus can answer both questions (help me vs. help others) in my focus on personal happiness. The more that I feel I am actually helping people with physical, and possible emotional health, the more I am happy (I enjoy feeling helpful). So in the interest of greater happiness I will gradually amass more information and pursue more endeavors that will help me help more people in the long run rather than getting overwhelmed by the task and simply reading and studying all my life to figure out how to best help, with no real positive output. For me, answering the question what's best for everyone first would be lead to stagnation based in fear of not actually serving.
I assume the second question was for dark workers but my motivation is highly in the love category. Even the money (a source of fear for some) is sought to increases my ability to live a healthy life and help those in need for cheaper prices (possibly going to Africa or holding a weekly free clinic). I see Steve's post as reminding me of the importance of priorities. I want to love myself and those around me first and work to extend that happiness and love by expanding to others... So I assume that keeping in mind this priority will unlock higher potential for motivational energy.
It reminds me of the article below which talks about the impact of pinpointing motivation and the desired goal on learning languages effectively:
Though its possibly much different than what people in here would try to do with the lightworker/darkworker concept, I hope that the mention of the article could work as a reminder that the information should help, not frustrate. Otherwise, strive simply to not work ;) .
The lightworker/darkworker doesn't seem a useful distinction to me. I think fear and guilt will take you to the same place. And I think "seeing greatness" will take you to a different place.
I like the term "Enlightened Selfishness." It was only recently that I came to realize that I Deserve the best off all that life has to offer. So I am on a mission to achieve the life that I want to have. And I really would like to "Polarize" one way or the other, but I am put-off by the whole "Darkworker" term. I find that I resonate more with the description of a darkworker, however using that title bothers me... as does acting out of "fear."
Can we substitute other terms here, so that I can polarize already?? :)
In a way, it is the whole concept of making service to self the same as service to others, but with two different energy levels. One starts off making onself happy and then using that happiness as motivation to feel even better. The other uses service to feel better about oneself, serving others and learning about fulfillment and accepting the fact that giving to others comes back tenfold (or so I've heard).
It is a gigantic commitment to polarize, but it looks like it will be worth it. When you center your life around either giving or receiving, it makes it easier to retain that motivation Steve talks about. Every action you take, you ask yourself, "Is this going to help me serve/aquire better?" This all depends on which way you polarize. I believe that polarizing will give you a tremendous strength towards hitting that peak motivation, so I may give it a try. All in the name of service, properly compensated of course.
I completely agree that serving from a position of abundance is optimal. It just gives you more resources to serve with. You've heard the story of the guy who says, "I'd give you the shirt off my back," but he does not even own a shirt. The thing I love about Steve's site is he found a way to make a decent living giving away things for free. That is exactly what the lightworkers need to do. Find a way to make giving sustainable and experience abundance to draw upon to continue the cycle of contribution.
What about "self-worker"? :)
I've always disagreed with the whole "polarization" concept. I'll outline why below, if anyone is interested.
I disagree with "polarization" because it's dualistic. Light/dark, Love/fear, Good/evil, selfish/selfless. The idea is drenched in dualistic thinking, which I usually reject instantly.
You may ask: so what? What's so bad about dualistic thinking anyways? I mean... maybe dualistic thinking is useful in this situation?
Dualistic thinking is dangerous for a lot of reasons. The main reason it's dangerous is that it puts blinders on our eyes, so we only see a 1 or 0. A or B. Up or down. When, in reality, if we step back and take a look at the whole picture, we see that there are an infinite number of choices. Dualistic thinking forces us to focus on only two possible choices in a sea of endless possibilities. It limits the mind.
The dualistic mind says: "There are only two ways to reach this point. You must choose one or the other. There are no third options. You must pick one."
The non-dualistic mind says: "There are as many paths as there are people. You don't have to choose any specific one. Follow your heart, and just do your best."
For example: suppose you watch a movie. Your friend asks you, "Oh, was it good? Thumbs up or thumbs down?" You reply, "It was a pretty good comedy, and it had some really funny parts." The dualistic mind insists, "So, thumbs up or thumbs down?" You say, "Well, it was pretty good. I wouldn't say thumbs up... nor would I say thumbs down. It's like thumbs 45 degree angle up." The dualistic mind insists, "You can't choose that. It's either thumbs up, or thumbs down. You can only pick one."
It's silly. There is so much that goes into what makes a good movie, it's too much information to channel into a binary system. But the dualistic mind refuses to accept that.
The same way: there is so much behind what motivates us. When I'm motivated to do something, there are thousands of selfish reasons, and there are thousands of selfless reasons. Why must I force myself to pick A or B? It's limiting.
Why not be more intelligent about it? "I want to get healthy for myself. Not for anyone else. I'm going to exercise every day for completely selfish reasons." And, "I'm love writing computer games. I'm going to spend a lot of time programming this game, and then just give it away for free. I want everyone to enjoy it, and I want to make it an awesome game for my friends to play with, because it makes me happy to see them excited."
What's so wrong about that? Why is it wrong to do some things for selfish reasons, and some things for selfless reasons? So if I want to be a "darkworker", I should stop writing my computer game? And if I want to be a "lightworker", I should stop exercising? That's silly. I want to do both. I want my thumb at 45 degrees. If it doesn't fit into a dualistic model of reality... then so be it :-).
That's just how I've felt about the whole polarization topic. I cringed just as much when I read Tony Robbins' pleasure/pain concept as well. Things are simply more complicated than a binary system. And there's nothing wrong with that.
You're right, there are many paths from point A to point B.
We aren't saying there are only two paths, but rather we are talking about the two fastest paths. And here duality plays a big role, because it makes every decision one takes simplier and amplifies certainty and confidence. Its either DW or LW, when you polarize, your confusion disappears, because you know clearly what your path is, instead of searching through ALL the paths again every time you face a new decision.
The impression i got from the post was that you use this view of yourself - lightworker / darkworker - in order to motivate yourself. So, instead of thinking of all the other things going on when you program that game you focus on the aspect that motivates you most, that it will make your friends happy.
The idea, i thought, was that if you thought about it beyond the simple selfless/selfish motivation you were thinking too much. The blinders are there so that you just do it and not think about it. I.e. the lightworker doesn't start thinking well i really enjoy programming the game so maybe i'm actually being selfish by doing this... and loses motivation. I suppose it's as though the horses put blinders on themselves in order to remove distractions and focus on the track. Instead of getting caught up in all the audience members who have money on them they focus on the fact that they are doing it for the win. Or, doing it for the exercise and joy... who knows what the horse is thinking! :D
What I realized in reading your article, Steve, is that my view of life is a perfect balance between lightworker and darkworker life.
1. There are 6 billion people on Earth
2. There is one of me.
Thus: If I love all people on Earth as I would be loved, and all others do likewise, I will have all the love in the world, literally, as will they.
Great Article, and Great Comments
I really appreciate the article and all of the comments here... both showed me just how un-polarized (non-polarized?) the energy of my thoughts really is. First I read the article... "Ooo, Ooo, I wanna be a lightworker!" Then I read the comments here... "Ooo, it's all darkworking for me!" Of course, I did have to go back to some of the previous articles to get caught up on the whole thing...
It all makes me thing of the Yin and Yang symbol - it's a part of the same whole... and as the article said, we all end up in the same place anyway.
A friend of mine owns a recruiting firm. Recruiting is a tough business, but it pays well. It takes about three years to learn to become a good Recruiter, but at the end of the three years, you can pretty much guarantee an annual salary of at least $100 K.
According to my friend, the people who make it in recruiting start out being motivated by money. You must want money so bad that you're willing to suffer rejection after rejection and work extraordinary hours. Every successful Recruiter he's seen begins with an unabashed desire for money.
After the three years, however, my friend has found that money is no longer the motivator. The Recruiters who stay and are consistently high achievers are those who become genuinely interested in finding the right match for both the client and the candidate. The perfect match - that's their thrill. They love the win-win-win (client, candidate, recruiter) scenario.
My best days seem to be when I fully engage in activities por soi, without thought of benefit either for myself or others.
I think you are creating confusion, and then creating a solution to YOUR confusion. Which is great. Solve your confusion. But I think the mistake is in thinking that EVERYONE must either choose ONE or the OTHER, and that polarization is the fastest path (whatever that means) for EVERYONE.
You don't have to choose at all, Steve is just suggesting that it is the most effiecient way to go based on what he's experienced.
The clincher of this blog post was when he addressed which was more important to you, making yourself happy or to help benefit others, stating that the singular path to each of those questions will ultimately fullfill both of those questions. I find that to be very true although it may not be obvious with some things.
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