“Dangling a carrot in front of a donkey—or anyone else for that matter—is not nice, and not fair, unless you eventually plan to give it up to them.” ~ Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration
Traditionally a carrot was dangled in front of a donkey to keep him moving forward, even if he didn’t want to go. He trotted along, all the while hoping to get his mouth around that sweet juicy treat.
We all work better with a little incentive. When we plan something and work towards it, or choose a reward for the achievement of a certain action or purpose it allows us to hold a pleasurable image in our head, even when where we are right now is nothing but pain and hardship.
It will be worth it, we tell ourselves. It will be worth it because… there’s that juicy carrot at the end of all of this!
Early this year, while I was still so sick from my latest round of lyme drugs that I couldn’t get out of bed, my husband put a deposit on a cruise holiday next year. You need to have something to look forward to, he said.
What a wise man.
On the nights when I couldn’t sleep, wracked with pain and fever, miserable with both lyme disease and the side effects of the drugs that are treating it, I would google that holiday. I’d read reviews from people who’d taken the trip already. I searched out the ports we’d visit and what we might do there.
I even googled the onboard cocktail lists!
For me, that trip is a shining light at the end of a dark tunnel.
What’s your ‘because’? What’s your carrot?
Are you being mean to yourself by holding that carrot so far away that you never have any chance of being able to take a bite?
Worse still, is there no carrot at all, leaving you with nothing but work, work and more work?
I challenge you to find a carrot sweet enough that it will motivate you to do (or keep doing) the thing you need to do.
Little carrots. Big carrots. Allow yourself the pleasure of anticipation, and the thrill of the reward. You’re worth it!
And do share with us what your carrots are. Maybe you’ve got an idea that will be just the inspiration someone else needs!