How Are You Motivated? – Rhoads Life Coaching

HOW you are motivated is different from WHAT motivates you. Are you motivated because you want to do things, or because you have to? The pull or push of that motivation makes a big difference in how we see and experience the world.

Think of the donkey being motivated by wanting the carrot instead of being driven forward with the swing of a stick. Both are effective tools for motivation. There is a dilemma though if we are being pushed (or push ourselves) too much. Using the stick too much in our daily lives has long term negative consequences. The message of “you have to do this.” or “I have to do this.” implies there is no choice given. It requires less effort for the donkey to want to go forward.

We have countless examples of these two forms in our lives – either being drawn towards what we want, or being pushed to do something we would not choose to do. So where do they appear in your life? Take some time and observe over the next few days and weeks which mechanism (pushed or pulled) is being applied as you go through your day. Don’t just apply this to big decisions. Are you being pushed or pulled into obeying traffic laws? Is there a benefit for you in WANTING to be safe with everyone else on the road instead of HAVING to obey the law? Can grocery shopping be something other than a chore?

The intent is to be able to have more ownership and purpose in each task.  This is possible by wanting to be intentional with your daily life instead of being driven forward by the tasks that HAVE to be completed. –

How are you motivated? - Rhoads Life Coaching


finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Inner Talking – Rhoads Life Coaching

We have lots of conversations with ourselves. This inner talking happens all the time, whether we notice it or not. There can be one or two sides of our personality giving commentary, or a multitude of thoughts and comments being thrown around inside each of us as we navigate through the day. Have you ever paid any attention to how you speak to yourself? Why does it matter?

This inner talking is important as it gives a clue as to which internal lens we are seeing the world through. This could have a big impact on how we react! Some of these conversations can be very negative and can have a significant impact on how we address the world.

It is also important to pay attention to how we talk to ourselves as we sometimes treat ourselves much more harshly than we would treat others. Are the conversations you have inside your head helpful or hurtful? Do you blame or shame yourself? Would you speak to your family, friends, or coworkers the same way your Inner Critic speaks to you? If your inner talking is more negative towards you than others then you could be limiting your own potential. If those harsh inner thoughts are being given to others, then you are a source of negativity in your own world.

Ironically, it is that same inner talking that can be part of the solution. By creating positive inner talking you can push back and silence the negative comments! How much do you affirm yourself for the positive things in your life? How much do you affirm all of the hard work and effort that goes into each day?

Be careful with how you speak to yourself! That inner talking has a significant influence on your daily life! –



Inner Talking - Rhoads Life Coaching


finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Energy Sinks and Energy Wells – Rhoads Life Coaching

An energy sink is a place in your life where you have to use energy to be present. An energy well is the opposite, a please where you are recharged by being there or participating.  Just like in a video game, these sinks and energy are distributed through out our lives and we interact with them on a daily basis, sometimes trying to avoid them and sometimes trying to find them.

There are also different types of sinks and wells. We have physical energy, emotional energy, and intellectual energy and it is possible to fuel or drain one or more of these sources without fueling or draining others. Have you ever noticed that after an exhausting week you are able to rally on Friday evening and go out to have fun? That intellectual or physical sink can be recharged with an emotional well!

So our energy levels are complex! It takes stored capacity to do the things that are valuable and important to us. It becomes a subtle science of paying attention to what drains us and what fuels us. The intent is not to only hoard energy, but to create a balance of give and take. It is possible to deplete all of your energy until there is nothing left to give.

There is unique quality to you as a person that your sinks and wells are specific to you. Understanding what they are is important and being able to navigate between giving and taking energy to those around you is critical to your health and well being.

Where do you have to use energy in your life? Where do you have wells to refuel? Pay attention to those sinks and wells and how you treat yourself in terms finding each when you need them. –

Energy Sinks and Energy Wells - Rhoads Life Coaching


finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Creating Effort to Avoid Effort- Rhoads Life Coaching

Yogi Berra, in his infinite humor and wisdom, is rumored to have said once after passing the same landmark three times, “We are lost, but we are making good time!” His joke is a perfect example of creating effort in order to avoid effort! How often in life do we refuse to stop and figure out a practical solution to a problem and end up creating a whole new problem by avoiding solution?

If you are honest with yourself, you can think of a recent example where you spent time and energy to do something in order to avoid doing something else. Our children are masters at it when it comes time to eat their vegetables or go to bed. Entire procedures and policies are created by profitable businesses to avoid confronting an unethical or unproductive situation. From a practical standpoint it is possible to overextend ourselves by creating new tasks in order to avoid something else. There is a temporary gain in creating this new effort. In the long run, however, we lose not only the energy and time in completing the new task, but the original problem is still left to be resolved.

The solution starts with self observation. Being able to change starts with realizing that something is being avoided. It is easy to see in small children. Can you see it in yourself? Understanding what is being avoided and why allows for a solution to be tested and a more direct path found.

We are given a limited amount of time and energy each day. We also sometimes make things more difficult for ourselves by creating unnecessary obstacles or paths. Where in your life are you creating effort in order to avoid effort? –

Creating Effort - Rhoads Life Coaching


finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Recurrence & Getting ‘Unstuck’ – Rhoads Life Coaching

Recurrence is the repeating of events, thoughts, and emotions in our lives. We tend to think of life as a long linear string, but in reality we live our lives in loops of varying lengths and degree. These loops lull us to sleep. The only way to get out of these patterns is to change how we live.

Punxsutawney, PA just celebrated their 132nd Groundhog Day. They have a lot of practice at this recurring tradition! This mile marker on the calendar has become one of my favorite ‘holy-days’ not because of the tradition and predicting (and celebrating) the end of winter, but because of the 1993 movie ‘Groundhog Day’. Harold Ramus and Bill Murray give us a comical example of how recurrence works. It is possible to to get stuck in the loop of doing the same things day after day, week after week, year after year. How often do you say to yourself, ‘Where did the weekend go?’ or ‘I’m just trying to get to Friday’? If we don’t pay attention, nothing ever really changes and we become mechanical in how we live. This mechanicalness drains the meaning and fulfillment out of our lives.

So how does Bill Murray get out of his loop? First he takes ownership of his situation. Something has to be done! He keeps trying things until things start to click. There are setbacks! It is hard to break out of the recurring patterns. He has to change. It is critical to note that the world doesn’t change around him. The change comes from within himself.

Here are four rules to follow for getting ‘unstuck’!

  2. Don’t STOP!
  3. Lose CONTROL (in a good way)!
  4. Ask for HELP!

Where are their recurrences in your life? These could be daily, weekly, monthly, annually. Where are you being mechanical and just going through the motions? What is ONE THING to do different this week to start to break the loop and to create more intention and meaning in how you live? –


Rhoads Life Coaching - Recurrence


finding purpose and meaning in daily life

What Do You Value? – Rhoads Life Coaching

What are your values? Have you ever thought about it? How do you know?

We acquire our values based on our experiences. Even if we didn’t know it while it was happening, we learned what was most important to us as life happened to us.  Our personal values are as unique as our fingerprints.

Values end up being large concepts that are difficult to define. Freedom, independence, integrity, growth, family, love, and honesty are all examples of these large concepts. Check out Jame Clear’s list of 50 core values to find examples. We have trouble seeing them in our lives because they saturate every aspect of how we live.

When we encounter a situation that conflicts with our values, we feel frustrated and out of sync and we often have conflict with other people who have different values from our own. We filter all of our beliefs, thoughts and actions through our values. Take some time to try and define what your values are because there is a benefit to knowing what you value most! –



finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Internal Blocks – Rhoads Life Coaching

Nearly all of our thoughts and behaviors (good or bad) served a purpose at one point. Some of them prevented bad things from happening to us. Some of those preventative internal blocks got left in place and no longer help, and now hinder growth and change.

Say for example, I had multiple events growing up where I was laughed at or teased for being willing to try something new that I had never attempted before. It would make sense if I put a block in place to prevent myself from trying new experiences in order to not be exposed to more teasing and vulnerability. That internal block protected me through the rest of growing up and served a useful purpose. Now as adult, I have forgotten that preventative measure is in place and I am unwilling to ask someone out on a date or look for a new job. What once helped, now hinders my ability to change and grow.

What internal blocks do you carry around with you that no longer help (we ALL have them!)? How do you go about removing them? The first step is self-observation and becoming aware the block is there. From there understanding the purpose of original behavior and what is different now allows for a new choice to be made and the block to be removed. This might take awhile! Change and growth and something better become much more difficult without going through this process. Which internal blocks can you remove? –


Internal Blocks - Rhoads Life Coaching


finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Practical Application – Rhoads Life Coaching

It doesn’t matter what theory, dream, vision, goal, desire, or belief system you have until you create some practical application of that idea. Reading about shooting foul shots may be a helpful tool, but expecting to shoot foul shots without practicing is unrealistic. That also applies to our values, priorities, goals, and vision. It may be comforting to dream of a better job, or a wonderful vacation, but until you make make practical steps to apply that vision, you are only daydreaming. The same can be said for the belief systems, self-development, and growth we say we prescribe to.  All of the self-help books in the world will not change anything until you apply the steps outlined. Without taking a positive attitude, or loving your neighbor and enemy into the world, our spirituality and religion do not serve their purpose. These ideas were not meant to stay as theories.

What practical application are you missing from your daily life? What goals have you set that you are not working towards? What do you believe about how we should treat each other that you are not implementing? What do you need to start practicing? What is your motivation to start and keep going? Who will hold you accountable? –

Practical Application - Rhoads Life Coaching


finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Being Hopeful – Rhoads Life Coaching

What does being hopeful mean for you? Have you ever paused long enough to focus your attention on what hope is and where it comes from? Whether we know it or not, our hopes are reflections of our values, priorities, vision, dreams, and fears. Being hopeful for something shows who we really are. What are you hopeful for?

Implicit in hope is an expectation that things will change for the better. Think about that for a second. Once we give up hope and our lives and the world becomes hopeless, we do not expect things to change. Hopelessness surrenders to the world staying the same. Somehow, being hopeful is implicit in being human. Our resilience to holding on to hope will get us through just about anything. Embedded in our survival is a vision of the future being better. What are you hopeful for?

So as we end this season and this year, take a few minutes and observe your own hope. What does being hopeful mean for your personally? Where do you sense it in your body? What do you need to do point yourself towards the change that is required to achieve what you are hopeful for? –


Being Hopeful - Rhoads Life Coaching


finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Bringing Light to the Darkness – Rhoads Life Coaching

Our culture, whether we are aware of it or not, has spent an enormous amount to time and energy celebrating bringing light into the darkness. Something about being human is fulfilled by the hope illumination brings. Each year we experience a collective convergence as we pass through the holiday season and our cultures and religions orient themselves towards the days beginning to increase in length again and light begins to overtake the darkness of winter.

There are many layers to the symbolism of this image. It is possible to process this illumination at a personal, family, community, and planetary level. At its simplest level, we can literally see more light shining into each day as the planet tips back towards the sun. There is also the opportunity for personal growth as we bring light to the dark places of ourselves, illuminating the shadows that we fear. By bringing more light to our own personal darkness, we illuminate those around us and ultimately the world itself.

It isn’t an accident that we light candles and decorate our homes with lights. Even if you aren’t a religious person, it is difficult to not get caught up in the collective celebration of illumination. As you celebrate the end of the year, what parts of you will benefit by being illuminated? How will you continue your growth and development as we pass the winter solstice and more light is brought to the darkness? –


Bringing Light to the Darkness - Rhoads Life Coaching


finding meaning and purpose in daily life