Roger Claessens No Comments

What’s in it for me?

Young lady rowingMost of the time this is a key question, isn’t it? There are many circumstances where this question is applicable. Think about the motivation of members of staff, about research, self-development, education and sports, of course.

The reason why I selected this photo is not just due to the fact that I am rowing, but because it looks like quite a natural way to walk with a skull and rowing gear. I could not even think of walking like this. That natural way is the result of hours and hours of hard, very hard work. This is the issue when we see perfection. We think it is easier than it is. Besides, we only realize how though it is when we try to reach the same goals. Sure, you know the sentence, never give up (repeat it five times!).

Perfection is the level we should be aiming at. The reason is that we almost always fail short of that level and can hope, in the best of circumstances, to reach the level of appreciation of “very good or excellent”. In case one aims at “very good” if one falls short it would be “good” and “good is not good enough”. Now this has always been the case, think about the middle-ages and the corporations and their masters. There has always been competition. Today, because of globalization on all fronts, that competition is exacerbated. The consequence thereof is that, at times, even perfect is no longer good enough!

The young lady you see is part of a team of champions rowing for Canada. Let us say that she just rowed two hours which would mean that she has done or attempted to do about 5000 perfect strokes. Patiently, one after the other, she is determined, second after second, to control each stroke so that all the components of the movement are perfect per fraction of a second.

What is in it for her? It is a state of mind that provides her with the immense pleasure to be better today than she was yesterday and keep trying to improve that. “Me” is my challenge and showing the best of me is my greatest pleasure….and it makes the other team members happy too. You can translate this state of mind on most circumstances and who will the ultimate champion of your mind? What’s in it for me? Well me is all about you!