For the Indonesian War Cry - On Motivation

· March 18, 2014

DISCLAIMER for frequent readers of this blog: I now work for the Salvation Army in Indonesia and they asked me to write an article from time to time in the Indonesian War Cry (the Salvation Army magazine). I of course used my normal style of writing and wrote about the thing I’ve written about here. Oh, not Javascript or Nancy maybe but Limit WIP, Lean and Kanban. But with a Christian twist and message.

So if you don’t want to read this, please stop now. I’ll soon come back to my normal things. But if you want to please continue. Maybe there’s something that you can use in here. Or not. As normal on this blog, I use it to store my ideas and thoughts. END DISCLAIMER

Here is the first of two short articles that I’ve written for the Indonesian War Cry. I hope you like it.

I was asked to write something about motivation. This puzzled me a bit, since I don’t always feel that I’m motivated or motivated others. So I asked: “Why me?”. “They tell me you are very motivated” was the answer. That I could understand better, even though I have other words for, what I think “they” meant.

My name is Marcus Hammarberg and I have just moved to your beautiful country with my family: my wife Elin and our three boys Albert, Arvid and Gustav. I’m here to help out with getting the hospital foundation to work in an effective manner.

Back to motivation. What is motivation really? If we check a encyclopedia it says something along the lines of:

  • to give (someone) a reason for doing something
  • to be a reason for (something)

So to be motivated is to have a reason for doing something. The keyword that comes back again and again in those phrases is “reason”. The basic foundation on which we act and are.

To me, this ties nicely in with my work and what I think is important to feel motivated. In order to feel motivated I need a goal, something to strive for and to feel that I am a part of helping the group I am with to reach that goal.

I have all my life worked for the private sector in companies around banking, insurance and internet business. The reason for them is to make money. It’s a bit sad, but true. If they didn’t make money they would not have any reason to exist. Sure there are other, more lofty goals such as providing with a great work place, making a difference in the world and contributing to charity - but at the end of the day they need to make money to exists.

I have done a lot of work to help these companies to operate more effectively and earn even more money with less effort. In the process a lot of people have got better, more interested jobs and become more motivated. That’s all good and nothing that I am ashamed of helping with.

Now I work for a non-profit organization. What is our reason? What is the goal, vision that motivates us? Can my ideas, experience and knowledge about becoming effective help an organization that is not in it for the money?

I thought a lot about that before I came to Indonesia, and still do. I am becoming more and more sure that I can help and that the same principles applies, but we reaching for another goal.

In everything we do we have Jesus in the center. He is the reason and our efforts is to bring his message to the people we meet. That goes for all christian churches. But the Salvation Army starts in another end; seeing the physical needs of our fellow man to. Never is this summed up better in the slogan that Indonesia has adopted:

Heart to God - hand to man.

That’s our reason for me being here. Helping others around me and doing so with my heart close to God and his will, in the spirit of Jesus Christ. If I can contribute to that, in some small way, I feel motivated.

Here comes to wonderful part: there’s a reason that goes the other way. Jesus has a reason too. The whole reason for him being, acting, loving, dying on the cross and rising again. You know what that is?

I’m borrowing the words of a wonderful song:

“We are the reason that He gave His life We were the reason that He suffered and died To a world that was lost He gave all He could give To show us the reason to live”

Now, if you are the reason Jesus existed, and your goal here is to give his gift of love to others… does that motivates you?

Maybe it scares you? It has scared me a lot. Who am I? I cannot do that? But I have this and this and this weakness? It’s called “the impostor syndrome” (or just being a phony) and talks about that we think that everyone else is better than us and that we will soon be revealed as imposters.

It’s perfectly natural to feel this way and most of us do, but you don’t have to. Because the one that calls you is the one that have created you. This is shown in really interesting and quite funny passage of the Bible, Exodus 3-4. This is where God calls Moses to lead his people out of Egypt. Moses is come over with the impostor syndrome and is very reluctant to do this. Who am I, Lord? I’m not a good public speaker, Lord? Why would they listen to me, Lord? We can all relate to that. This is the words that the Lord gives Moses for comfort (Exodus 4:11):

The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord??

This is what motivates me. I think that I am what I am and where I am, because the Lord intended me too. I want to be the best Marcus I can be for him.

I have to come back to how I try to be the best Marcus I can be in another column. It’s not really what you think. My goal is to do more by doing less.

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