Politics have no relation to morals. – Niccolò Machiavelli
What does that mean?
Having grown up in the greater Chicago-land area, this quote really makes sense to me. Morals are about doing what is right for the right reasons. The definition of what is or isn’t moral is influenced by culture and environment, but there is a general consensus in most of the world.
In politics, however, things are all about power. Gaining power, maintaining power, maximizing power and wielding power. Yes, there are some who have a more altruistic view about power, but they tend to be the exception to the rule. Power attracts corruption like a flame attracts moths.
Why is motivation important?
Motivation is the reason behind your action, the root of your desire. For politics, the question for the candidate is “Why are you running?” They will, of course have a statement prepared, but it is up to us, the people, to decide if we feel that their motivation is for the betterment of the people, or for the betterment of themselves.
Some politicians work their way up the political ladder the same way some people work their way up the corporate ladder. When they finish at City Hall, they move to the State Capitol, and then try to go to Washington DC (this is for the USA, your country probably has the same people, just different stops on the ladder). To me, that’s not the proper motivation for anyone in any line of work.
Where can I apply this in my life?
I think we’ve covered the other people pretty well in the paragraphs above. We all should have a healthy skepticism of those who seek power, and question their motivation regardless of their platitudes and eloquence. Let’s concentrate the rest of this post on ourselves, and our own motivations.
Let’s start with the basic question “Why do we do what we do?” Sometimes we eat because it’s there. Other times because we’re hungry. Still other times, it just smells too good not to eat it. Most of us are fairly well fed, but there are those who eat because they have to, or to prevent someone else from eating it first. Different people, different circumstances and different motivations.
Grab some paper and write down a few things you are presently doing (not necessarily right this instant, but on a regular basis, or are working towards the achievement of). Then write down a few things you are planning or preparing to do. For me, writing this blog was one of the things I’m presently doing. Finishing on my project car is one of the things I’m planning to do.
For each of the things on your list, take a moment and figure out why, specifically, you want to do it. What is your motivation. Do you work because you’re bored at home, because you wish to contribute, or because you just want some cash? Many times, it’s a mix of these things, so feel free to write down more than one motivation.
For me, I write this blog for several reasons. First, I don’t really like to write, so it is a personal challenge to grow myself in this direction. Second, I enjoy thinking about these quotes and finding ways to make some portion of them applicable to modern life. Third, I want to put together a series of life lessons for my kids, and this blog is the proving ground for that effort. Finally, I hope to eventually earn a little money for my effort.
For my project car, I’m doing that for several reasons as well. For me, right now, the biggest motivation is to finish the silly thing. I got it nearly 20 years ago, and it hasn’t run in about 15 years! My first motivation is closure. Second, I want to have it on the road again. It’s a fun little car, and it was a blast to drive before I tore it apart. Finally, I want to use it as a father-son project, both for bonding and so he has something invested in it (as he will eventually be driving it).
How about you? What have you learned about your motivations? How many things did you decide you didn’t want to write down because they weren’t the best motivations? You might want to take some time each day for the next week or two and examine all the different aspects of your life and what your motivations are. If you know, you can change your motivations and refocus your energy.
Rather than quitting what I was doing, I would suggest that you work on finding more noble motivations to replace the ones you are less proud of. Continue doing what you are doing, but do it for the right reasons. If you are interested in politics, don’t do it for the personal glory, do it for the right reasons.
Don’t give up your dreams, improve your dreams by making them come true for all the right reasons.
From: Twitter, @philo_quotes
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/n/niccolomac135440.html
Photo by chrisamichaels