On Fear (as a motivator)

Image source: fox43.com

Image source: fox43.com

Fear. Its one of the most common ways that people try to motivate others. HItler used it during World War II to unite the German people against the Jews, Kim Jong Un uses it to keep his people from ever leaving the country, and Putin uses it to keep Russia under control.

Its so easy to use, all you need to do is to threaten and have the perception that you can follow through to begin getting results.

The problem with using fear is that its not sustainable. Ghandi didn’t give in when he was intimidated; the American revolutionaries didn’t give in to intimidation. Eventually someone resists the fear, and they quickly become an example for others. Suddenly, the power disappears into thin air.

The only sustainable and powerful way to motivate is to inspire, to empower, to make a person feel wanted, included, important. A person scared of death is desperate and may perform well in the immediate short term but the best person to have on your team is a believer. Someone who takes your cause on as their own. A person motivated by fear may give his life for a cause out of a terrifying desire to survive, but a person motivated by belief will devote their entire life with unmatched vigor and in the process gather hundreds of others. At the end of the day fear drives to desperation, breaking, and bitterness, while a sense of ownership leads to self-perpetuating exceptional results.

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