Recognition usually breeds motivation

| October 24, 2015 | 0 Comments

Chaplain (Capt.) Ryan D. Mortensen
2nd Battalion, 11th Field Artillery Regiment

2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team
25th Infantry Division

Not meeting your boss’s expectations? Feeling under-appreciated? Are you thinking that nobody even notices the hard work you put in day after day?

We all get beat up by the culprit called “recognition.”



I have seen talented people throw their hands up in the air and give up on projects, physical endeavors, relationships and even life because of the lack of recognition they received from their “support system.”

There are two things I want us to think about this week: Who are you performing for and who are you motivating? If we are performing for other people, we will find ourselves chasing happiness and acceptance only to find disappointment and frustration.

I believe recognition breeds motivation, so what happens if your hard work goes unrecognized? What happens when you put in another 60-hour workweek and receive no pat on the back for your hard work?

Too often, we leave work venting to our friends or spouse about how unfair our situation is. Here’s the thing: Mankind will always disappoint us.

When I am stressed or have thoughts of feeling underappreciated, I meditate on Colossians 2:23: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for man.”

This reminds me that I am guided by my values and not my emotions, which often breeds anger, hostility and destruction. Knowing I work for the Lord, I know that my contributions will never go unrecognized, and I am certain He will say, “Well done good and faithful servant!”

So, then, who are you motivating?

Isn’t it funny that we want to be recognized for all the work we do, but find excuses to not recognize those around us? Are we part of the problem? I would say we are.

Sometimes we take on this attitude of, “Well, I never got an award for that, so why should they?” or “They performed the standard. Big deal! They don’t deserve an attaboy or pat on the back for that!”

You will be surprised by how a seemingly insignificant positive comment made towards someone will motivate them to step up their performance. Someone needs to break the cycle of negativity and that person is you!

Are your emotions or are your values dictating your attitude?

Thessalonians 5:11 says, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up…”

Do you want to be remembered as a builder or as a wrecking ball? Be the change you want to see in the world.

The recognition we want will oftentimes come through the recognition we give. The Apostle Paul said, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility, value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests, but each of you to the interests of the others.” (Philippians 2:3-4).

Are you more interested in helping yourself or are you more interested in helping others? We can throw our hands up with frustration, disappointment and anger, or we can allow our values and ethics to motivate those around us.

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Category: Footsteps in Faith, News, Standing Columns

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