What is Motivating III: Double-Barreled Success and Personal Fulfillment
The sense of obligation only goes so far, for there is something much more to senior sage leadership when it comes to motivation. Volunteer community service has to “feed the spirit.” Even if they don’t initially know what it means to have their spirits fed, senior sages soon discover they are being nurtured by their civic service. And this suggests a different kind of generativity. Senior sages are usually men and women who have worked for a living throughout their adult lives, so the question might be posed this way: “Why do they do this if they’re not being paid?” The answer is not that they “owe” someone this service, but that they come alive through civic engagement and find new meaning and purpose in their lives. These senior sage leaders are getting “paid” but with payment to their spirit rather than their bank account. And there is payment to their physical well-being as well, for research shows that the senior citizen lives longer when spirit, mind, and heart are all being fed.
So for most senior sage leaders, giving back is much more than a sense of duty. It is contributing to social good because the personal rewards are so great. Senior sages find rich fulfillment in the work they do and in the results they are able to achieve—especially in collaboration with other members of the Grass Valley and Nevada City community. Many senior sages get involved in the arts and witness the great pleasure others take in attending a play or musical event. Many also see differences that they are making in the lives of women who are seeking shelter, or in helping children who are in need. These are tangible rewards that senior sages can readily observe and feel firsthand. In many cases, the senior sages had a career in business and were motivated by that success. They now find it is fulfilling to succeed at something that benefits other people in their community. This becomes a “double-barreled” success.
Senior sages are particularly motivated when double-barreled success is associated with a compelling sense of mission. If their favored nonprofit organization has a clear mission and vision of what is needed and being sought, then success for senior sages is much sweeter and their energetic commitment to do more is that much greater. When the mission, for instance, concerns the welfare of children, passion is easily ignited and senior sages readily find personal fulfillment. There is nothing quite like saving the life of a child or helping a child toward a promising future. It is in seniors’ work with children that we often find the most significant kind of generativity—a merging of two or even three levels of generativity.Download Article 1K Club