Jamaica Gleaner - - WELLI -

USAIN BOLT made it clear that his prime mo­ti­va­tion was to be­come a leg­end. What is your mo­ti­va­tion? What fu­els your engine?

If you stop to think about it, there is some­thing at the fore­front of your mind. Some­thing that guides your ac­tions.

For you, the driv­ing force may be ca­reer ad­vance­ment. A re­la­tion­ship may be keep­ing you en­gaged. Money is­sues may be at the top of your mind or your mo­ti­va­tion is rais­ing your chil­dren. Health con­cerns may also oc­cupy your thoughts.

One way to get to the core of what mo­ti­vates you is to re­flect on the first thing that comes to your mind when you wake up. Or to iden­tify where your mind goes when it wan­ders off.

The im­por­tance of tak­ing time to care­fully iden­tify your mo­ti­va­tion is the fact that your thoughts de­ter­mine who you are. Words and ac­tions are al­ways pre­ceded by thought. There­fore, be­hav­iour mod­i­fi­ca­tion must be fo­cused on what oc­cu­pies your mind.

It is by analysing your pre­oc­cu­pa­tions that you can learn more about where you are headed and iden­tify the cor­rec­tive ad­just­ments that are re­quired.


The goals and ties that are the fo­cus of your at­ten­tion lay out some­thing of a road map to guide you. The map is use­ful. How­ever, there is a miss­ing com­po­nent.

A map’s value is lim­ited to a spe­cific lo­ca­tion. How­ever, with a com­pass, you can find your way from any lo­ca­tion. In life, you need the equiv­a­lent of a com­pass to di­rect your path.

Be­low are some key points on life’s com­pass.


We need to be able to make a dis­tinc­tion be­tween good and evil. Things like fair play, hon­esty and trust­wor­thi­ness are cen­tral to cre­at­ing func­tional com­mu­ni­ties and healthy in­ter­per­sonal re­la­tion­ships.

The eth­i­cal com­pass is not a set of rules and ac­tion plans that are brought over from your road map. It is a set of val­ues, prin­ci­ples and stan­dards that ought to be ap­plied to ev­ery sit­u­a­tion. It guides your de­ci­sion-mak­ing in com­plex sit­u­a­tions and in cases where your judge­ment is chal­lenged.

The im­por­tance of hav­ing an eth­i­cal com­pass is that some­times we are faced with truly dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tions, and im­mense pres­sures and temp­ta­tions are brought to bear on us to make in­ap­pro­pri­ate choices. Our eth­i­cal ground­ing em­pow­ers us to re­sist, even in the face of un­pleas­ant con­se­quences.


De­spite voices of dis­sent, it is widely ac­cepted that in­di­vid­u­als who ac­cept the role of a higher au­thor­ity in their lives feel more con­strained to avoid an­ti­so­cial be­hav­iour than non-be­liev­ers.

Reli­gion pro­vides a core set of be­liefs and moral prin­ci­ples that guide the be­liever’s ap­proach to life. It also em­braces a struc­ture that en­cour­ages com­pli­ance and pro­motes greater ap­pre­ci­a­tion of core prin­ci­ples.

In that en­vi­ron­ment, in­di­vid­u­als strive to lead lives that are aligned to the re­li­gious val­ues and steer clear of be­hav­iour un­wor­thy of their call­ing.

A firmly grounded faith has even more power to guide you into mak­ing the right choices. While sit­u­a­tion ethics might be used to wrig­gle out of mak­ing a hard choice, reli­gion of­fers less flex­i­bil­ity in terms of de­ter­min­ing right from wrong.

Agape love

The abil­ity to view oth­ers in a favourable light so that you would treat them the way you want to be treated makes all the dif­fer­ence in what plays out in our homes, at work, and in the wider com­mu­nity. This in­volves the ca­pac­ity to re­spect the needs of oth­ers and to give them due con­sid­er­a­tion even to the point of deny­ing your own de­mands.

In the fi­nal anal­y­sis, hav­ing a com­pass with agape love as its true north is the ul­ti­mate goal. It em­braces ethics and reli­gion and moves hu­man in­ter­ac­tion to a higher plane.

One crit­i­cal step is to re­duce the fo­cus on SELF in your thoughts, words and ac­tions. Self-de­nial holds the key to trans­for­ma­tion!

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