Credit: Akshar Dave

Motivation is anything that causes us to move. There are two sources of motivation – intrinsic (from within us) and extrinsic (from outside of us).

There are also two types of motivation. 

Attractive motivation moves us towards something we desire. 

Repulsive motivation moves us away from something we wish to avoid.

Pain sometimes has a purpose. When we place a hand on a hot surface, pain sensations motivate us to move quickly to avoid danger.

When it comes to awareness, we might begin to notice things we don’t like about where we are, who we are or what we are doing. We might also pay attention to places, people and things that attract us, given our stage in life.

Life events – or any moments that generate emotional responses – tend to be remembered or given additional significance by us. At both ends of the spectrum pain has a purpose, as does joy. The full range of emotions has signals for us.

Emotion is energy in motion. It moves through our body. If we ‘listen’ it might provide valuable information.

  • What is it about this place that I like?
  • Who raises my vibration? With whom I can be myself?
  • What things do I like and not like?
  • How do I like to be? Who do I not wish to be?
  • What was I doing when I felt so good? Or so bad?

These are questions we can ask to find out what our motivators are. When we feel pain, we should ask why it is so painful. The answer will tell us what we don’t like. When we feel joy, we can ask the same question.

So pain, while something we generally wish to avoid, is both inevitable and can sometimes have an important message.

Part of growing awareness is learning to tune into that message, to listen to our emotions while not being controlled by them. To listen to our hearts to help make big decisions, but partnering with our heads (our executive function) to ensure we act on decisions sensibly and in a grounded manner.

The trick here is not to avoid pain but to manage it when it happens, and if it has information for us, to tune in to what it might be telling us.

How to tune in is another skill altogether – but it starts with reflection.

James Parnell is the founder of A New Dawn in Ireland community and provides online coaching for anyone inspired to change their life.

This article is an excerpt from the book A New Dawn in IrelandIf you would like to be notified when the book is published simply register here.