Earlier this year, in a seminar with Chris Howard, master of NLP (neuro-linguistic programming), I finally “got” a really important distinction, which is about whether you are more motivated by “moving away” goals and values or “moving toward” goals and values.

Example – as I understand it (I’m no NLP master but this is how it works for me). Am I more likely to commence and complete a project on time and on budget if my motivation is about something I am building, a positive, exciting goal (moving towards) or if I am motivated by fear of loss (that I won’t get paid, that I will lose face, that I won’t get more contracts, etc).

Answer – it depends. But an “overlay” distinction that Chris Howard made was that (again in my paraphrase/interpretation). I am more likely to have sustained output and sustained, consistent success if I am motivated by “moving toward” goals and values. The fear or sense of loss motivation lasts until the threat has passed. With the “moving toward” goals I can happily “up the ante” once I have reached the goal.

In home based business, when overwhelm and challenges of time management can be serious issues, it’s important to work out whether you are more likely to be motivated to completion by positive, “moving toward” goals or by “moving away” goals. My choice is for “moving towards” – which is not to say that now and again I will be fired into action by fear of loss of a contract or a client.

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