V. B. To Have Peace, Teach Peace to Learn It, P 2
2 All good teachers realize that only fundamental change will last, but they do not begin at that level. Strengthening motivation for change is their first and foremost goal. It is also their last and final one. Increasing motivation for change in the learner is all that a teacher need do to guarantee change. Change in motivation is a change of mind, and this will inevitably produce fundamental change because the mind is fundamental.
My motivation for everything was to be happy and I used to think my happiness was predicated on winning. I wanted to make more money than others. I wanted others to look on me with envy and wish they were like me. When I was a teenager I would fantasize coming back to my old neighborhood as a famous and rich person and everyone would see me and wish they had been my friends while they had the chance. Mostly they would wish they were me.
This desire to win showed up in all sorts of ways. I would want to be the one to win the argument. I wanted to win the argument more than I wanted to love the other person or to be happy. More to the fact, I thought being happy meant winning the argument. I wanted my child to be the smartest and most attractive. I wanted my husband to be the envy of all my friends. I was the center of the universe and I thought that everything revolved around me. What I wanted was the only thing that mattered, and I thought I knew what I wanted.
I still want to be happy. But now my motivation for happiness has changed. I am no longer motivated by the desire to win because I see that winning doesn’t provide true happiness. If I win, I may feel a momentary surge of adrenaline but that’s all. It quickly wanes and as the pendulum swings back, I feel the loss of that adrenaline surge as loss of happiness. What I have discovered is that the loss goes much deeper than no longer feeling the brief elation of winning.
In order for me to win, someone else had to lose. I discovered that this was the problem; the reason happiness evaded me no matter how many times I won. I had discovered a new motivation. I wanted to know I was One again. I wanted to remember my true nature, to join with my brothers and so know I was One with my Creator. I wanted to wake up from this sad dream of separation.
At first, I tried to cling to my old motivation while embracing my new motivation. I would win and feel momentarily elated, and then I would feel bad because winning meant losing. I couldn’t have both the win and the happiness. I started to look at things differently and I realized that the joy I felt in joining was so much more satisfying and long-lived than the happiness of winning. In fact, winning no longer felt happy to me when it meant my brother had to lose.
Everything changed when my motivation changed. I lost my interest in competitive games. I lost interest in making the most money and in winning arguments. I lost interest in arguments altogether. Instead of trying to win an argument, I became interested in what we had in common. I began to want for my brother what I wanted for myself, and seeing him happy made me happy. When my motivation changed my life changed in a fundamental way. The change was in my mind, and the change of mind created a change in behavior that changed my life.