How Motivated Are You?

Published in The Times 31st
December 2005
1. According to Naomi Campbell, supermodels do not get out of bed for less than
£10,000. What’s the minimum daily wage you’d accept to work as a hospital
cleaner? [Tick one] a) £0-£50 a day
b) £51-£1,000 a day
c) £10,001-£100,000 a day
2. A famous experiment once showed that men are more likely than women to
respond to sexual overtures from willing strangers. With which of the following
statements would you most agree? [Tick one] a) It would be difficult for a stranger to bribe me with sex
b) I would secretly like to be propositioned by an attractive stranger but it doesn’t
happen (sigh)
c) I have certainly been seduced by a willing stranger
3. An organisation to which you belong issues a new mission statement starting:
“Many hands make light work”. Do you… [Tick one] a) Plot sabotage?
b) Give them a ‘B’ for effort?
c) Offer to rewrite the cliché?
4. Your New Year’s resolution is to keep a diary but the entries turn blank by January
9th. With which of the following explanations would you most agree? [Tick one] a) Perhaps my underlying fear is that I really don’t have enough to say
b) When you boil it down, writing diaries is for failed politicians and sacked
tabloid editors
c) I guess I don’t have enough time in my busy schedule to keep a daily diary
5. You’ve hastily typed an email and then hit ‘Send’ only to have an “Oh, *@$*!”
moment when you realise that you’ve made some serious errors. Do you… [Tick one] a) Secretly rejoice in the chaos you have just brought down on your head or that
of your boss or family?
b) Realise for the umpteenth time that it is a good idea to double-check all your
c) Reason that not a lot of damage will be done under the circumstances?
6. You believed you were going to be made President of your professional
organisation after the present incumbent had served a reasonable term but he/she
appears to have reneged on the deal. Would you want to? [Tick one] a) Rage in your tent like Achilles so colleagues will know how upset and
wounded you feel
b) Consider retraining as a psychotherapist as a means of self-healing
c) Hire a hitman
7. When Roy Tapping lost his arm in a hay bailer, he applied a tourniquet, tucked the
fallen limb under his other arm, walked two miles home, put the arm in a freezer,
called the ambulance and made himself a cup of tea. Do you? [Tick one] a) Assume the story is too good to be true?
b) Feel Roy Tapping doesn’t sound quite human?
c) Hope the story isn’t false? 8. Do you suffer from insomnia? [Tick one] a) I invariably sleep like a lamb
b) The only thing that keeps me awake at nights is indigestion
c) Sometimes I stay up for hours wrestling with my problems
9. How do you take personal criticism? [Tick one] a) I always think you can learn something from others
b) Undermining people can never be motivating
c) Negative criticism tends to bring out my competitive streak
10. If you wanted your child to enter the Sunday Times Rich List one day, choose
which parenting style it would be best to adopt… [Tick one] a) Loving
b) Indifferent
c) Cruel
Q1: a=7(moral); b=0; c=7(greedy)
Q2: a=7; b=0; c=7
Q3: a=7; b=2; c=7
Q4: a=0; b-1; c=4
Q5: a=1; b=0; c=6
Q6: a=1; b=2; c=6
Q7: a=0; b=0; c=7 (story is true)
Q8: a=0; b=0; c=5
Q9: a=3; b=2; c=5
Q10: a=2; b=4; c=6
Scores out of possible 60
41-60 – highly motivated – you are as driven as a London bendy-bus. You could
even be a criminal. (Note motivation tests do not discriminate between morally
noble/less noble motives, e.g. Qs 1,2, 10).
21-40 – average motivation – you are as driven as a middle-of-the-road Lexus.
0-20 – I am surprised you have managed to read this far – you are as driven as a
sit-up-and-beg bicycle. But at least you are unlikely to be a criminal.
If you find yourself making the same mistakes – or excuses – over and over again
then tell yourself you have at last discovered what does NOT work for you. ‘Looping’
behaviour is the curse of those who cannot get motivated. Better to try something
new, however desperate, than cling to past patterns. The same goes for useless – as
opposed to useful – emotional venting. Society has a common image of the therapist,
for instance, saying ‘There, there, it’s not your fault’. On the contrary, responsible
therapists put their clients on the spot by suggesting: ‘What’s the evidence that this is
a successful strategy?’ Good venting, in fact, leads to action, which is why I would
judge Gordon Brown – for all his apparent motivation to achieve the highest office – as
one who may not get there because he appears to complain without going in for the
kill. You wouldn’t find any other successful Caesar-in-waiting making that mistake.
Real Mr Motivators know that half the secret of success is creatively visualising a
positive outcome coupled with doing all your homework in a real time rehearsal – and
then going ahead despite any misgivings. Obviously you need to know whether you
are a page-a-day or a catch-up-at-the-last-minute kind of person. It is also incredibly helpful to be honest about your wishes – if you cannot bear to offend anyone you will
never be a success. Otherwise, plan – then act. What’s the worst thing that can
happen? That you tried and failed? Or became Prime Minister?

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