We know the four steps to reaching our goals – accomplishing our purpose. We begin with a thought, we use initiative, take action and keep our momentum going until – we have a great accomplishment! Now we get the rewards for our efforts and taking the initiative. Some of the rewards are external – trophies, applause, accolades from others. Some of the rewards are internal – pride, confidence, gratitude and growth.
While it is gratifying when we receive the external rewards and others recognize our efforts and accomplishments, it is the internal rewards that we receive that teach us the most and can motivate us to continue taking the initiative. Our internal rewards come from the satisfaction we feel from completing a task that we find of value.
If we are a child, learning to tie our shoes may bring us great satisfaction. Parents can help encourage the internal satisfaction by praising the effort and pointing out the virtues needed to for this accomplishment. They may include perseverance, determination, commitment and patience. Once a child sees that they have these virtues they learn to use them in other parts of their life – school work, riding a bike, chores at home.
What if they then took the initiative to help someone they knew that was struggling with schoolwork or making friends. There internal satisfaction would stem from the virtues they were growing such as thoughtfulness, service, kindness, friendliness, even courage.
There are great rewards for appreciating the virtues we are growing in ourselves and our children as we take the initiative to learn new things, to serve others, to be helpful at home. The internal rewards will grow our knowledge, confidence and abilities – no matter what age we might be.