Motivation – what is it anyway?

Many times we catch ourselves in need to be motivated, by people, friends, communities, videos, posts… Then you get hyped up, ready for new start, you kick in, endure for some time and drift into procrastination and failure… over and over again. So, ask yourself: Can it be done better, different…? I guess there must be another way to get things done, some kind of different approach to efforts that may not be as hard as we perceive them. The following quote explains the root cause of playing mind games with ourselves, trying to dodge self-awareness and responsibility.

We are more often frightened than hurt.
We suffer more from imagination than from reality.
Lucius Annaeus Seneca

What does this have to do with motivation? Well, without properly understanding a meaning and purpose of motivation, we have a BIG problem:  Motivation being misused so many times to lure people into state of hurting themselves in imagination more than they would suffer in reality. For example, huge number of motivational videos are on the edge of being aggressive and pushy, putting you in some kind of ‘warrior’ mindset. At the end makes you feel like private Pile from ‘Full Metal Jacket‘ 😀 Militarizing your way to success is so cruel and unrealistic, there must be something wrong with it. It’s not funny if it’s you in Pyle’s shoes, is it? 🙂 In order to find meaning and purpose of motivation, I will start by defining the problem:

 

Motivation is not a just a feeling, there must be something more – it’s not enough for achieving our goals.

In order to understand and solve the problem, let’s try to define key elements/steps in achieving our goals – just by using pure common sense and logic:
  1. Motivation
  2. Goals
  3. Plans
  4. Community
  5. Learning
  6. Working
  7. Success
  8. Joy
 It sounds logical, doesn’t it? First you need to be motivated for achieving something, then you define your goals, you plan, connect with others, find resources and learn, work hard, succeed and enjoy at the end. What on Earth is wrong with this? Well, it’s the first step – Motivation! What does ‘being motivated’ mean at the first place? It’s phrase so common that majority assumes it know what it means. Most people will tell you – it means ‘being excited’ about something, interested in, etc. And here is a re-defining punch line of this story:
Part of being motivated is knowing your motives, reasons for doing anything.

The origin of the word itself speaks about motives, the reasons for doing something. Once figured out, it cannot be forgotten anymore!  But, let’s see first how we discover those reasons. I love to compare this part to a kid’s endless  ‘Why this..?’ and ‘Why that…?’ questions. Why do kids do that? Because it’s our nature – we desire to know things. Try to play the same knowledge game with yourself by asking ‘Why?’ questions until you find final answer. ‘Why do I wan’t to earn a lot of money?’ or ‘Why do I wan’t to loose weight?’ or ‘Why do I want to get this project done?’ or ‘Why do I want to be a better parent?’… If you are not lying to yourself, you will most likely find a very silly answer that will probably look like: ‘Well, I love to spend money’ or ‘I want to be the coolest of all my friends’ or ‘I want to be better than my colleague’ or ‘I don’t want my son to blame me when he grows up’… The more silly answer is, the more truthful you are to yourself.

 

Part of being motivated is breaking your fears and discovering your true nature.

Yes, it’s different, it’s true and it’s simple!  🙂 By pealing your fears off and discovering yourself, your motives and reasons will show up by themselves, so you will be able to see them, control them, discard or accept them. Try to avoid getting into ‘being excited’ mode BEFORE breaking some of your fears and discovering your nature. Those things by itself will bring excitement. You won’t need motivational videos: they keep pushing a light switch for a jammed bulb – you won’t be enlighten until you screw it right. You won’t need others: most of people will motivate you just to enjoy seeing you going down again. True friends will nurture your nature by helping you to accept yourself.

 

Ready for the next stage? Defining your motives and discovering yourself directly changes your Goals & Plans:

 

 Fewer of simpler goals don’t require planning. Just use opportunity and start with small steps.

By discovering reasons, motives and own nature, we will quickly realize that happiness for us is always a small set of 2 or 3 goals. That makes it ultimately simple to understand and comprehend. Even if some of those things are complex, long term goals requiring years of hard work – it’s still the same! Just find out what is the first small step you should do and by all means – do it! You will plan after the first knowledge is acquired through practice – and it will be easier. So to summarize: knowing our motives, fears and inner-self naturally shapes our goals that are easier to remember, plan and control onward.

 

Be patient, I will be done soon 🙂 Let’s see what is hidden behind Community & Learning.

 

Community is often confused with relationships. Learning is often exercised without playing. 

Personally, I feel the world tries hard to pre-define success and structure the ways of getting it. The community will provide you with a way that will get you started, but will hardly explain where you wish to go… Unless you go where everyone else does. Let’s say you join a social group of runners & joggers. They will welcome you, teach and support you, give you a drills and training schedule, measure your skills level. I am OK with that…but in community, it’s hard to fake your achievements and it’s easy to fake your goals. With true friends it’s the other way around: they don’t care too much about your achievements, but they do care about where you are heading. Defining your direction is more important than how far you made it. So, before society shapes your way of learning, spend some time playing by yourself instead: you will start learning faster and it’s more fun. Focus on strengthening your relationships rather than climbing up establishment leaders. True friends will play with you and guide you if you get lost on your Path.

 

And finally: Work, Success & Joy.

The only thing that creates lasting motivation is success. There is no workaround for it.

I cannot exaggerate the importance of these words enough, they are very crucial. Only when we succeed, only then the success justifies and complements initial motives. Our own drive becomes real and practical, dynamic, changes ‘Let-me-try’ initiative into ‘I-will-do-it’ explosive mindset. You expand exponentially in skills, new opportunities, motives and actions – it’s instantly another level! Sounds great! But wait… how you get to your first success? If your goals are big, you NEED to work hard, waiting for LONG to feel HUGE success. It is hard to get there, really hard – and that’s where majority of us fail. But guess what? You are the one who owns and controls the definition of success. Re-define huge success into successful startup and then work on it – you will see how it goes and what is next successful step. You will WANT to do it, waiting for a SHORT time to feel SMALL success. The good news is: you will still achieve the same, but your work will be exposed – to yourself and others – by having many checkpoints – and many successful moments 🙂 So, it’s different way for achieving the same, but more realistic and satisfactory. Create your first goal big enough to bring satisfaction and small enough to be achievable. This measure is defined only by your gut feeling.

 

I would be so pleased by knowing that you realized so far where I am heading to 🙂

Achieving our goals starts with motives and ends with desire to do more. Therefore, motivation sits between first and every next step of our action. Your action doesn’t really start with motivation. It starts by breaking your fears and letting your nature to play with first small steps. Motivation links those steps into chain reaction – it keeps you moving towards success on the other end. 

Whoila!

Motivation is a teacher, it teaches you how to define your motives, break your fears and discover yourself. Motivation is not outside, in organized community, it’s within us and reflects back through our relationships. Motivation is link in chain of our action steps, a checkpoint for taking joy, learning and enriching our goal.

My dear reader, whomever you are, I just wish to save you from troubles of taking motivation in a wrong way, being addicted to it, stuck in the process. Don’t let society serve you a motivational package by manipulating and twisting key elements/steps towards success – you HAVE to do it yourself properly! If you weren’t a careful reader, it’s my fault, so I will re-define those steps in the light of new approach:

1. Define motives
2. Break fears
3. Do a first step
4. Nurture relationships
5. Be playful
6. Succeed
7. Desire

I must add on a famous quote from my favorite movie ‘Revolver’ – directed by Guy Richie:

 

The greatest enemy will hide in the last place you will ever look. He will hide behind your pain. 

I mean wow and I mean wow again! Yes, he hides behind your worst nightmare knowing you will never go through it. And you won’t because of fear you built to protect yourself from it! The enemy will manipulate ALL the time: first by pretending to be your best friend, ‘wishing’ you good and telling you to run away from pain… And you will protect your best friend. But guess what: the opposite way is exactly the way he wants you to go. If you stop and think, he will turn another page: ‘Go and taste the pain now!’ he says… ‘Accept it is hard and that it will always be hard!’ Old devil knows we will easily drop our goals and we will almost never drop our fears. That is the moment when you should ask yourself a question: will I allow myself to be manipulated? Artificial motivation is not bad, but it’s many times on the edge of manipulation. Too much of outside motivation (persuasion) is actually our greatest enemy. Am I supposed to go through blood, sweat and tears to reach my goal? Absolutely YES! Do I need to accept it will always be painful? Absolutely NO! We suffer in imagination, but we endure and succeed in reality (remember Seneka).

 

 

Let me give you an example of the most perfect motivation by Mr. David Labouchere. In 55 seconds he defines your possible fear, gives you alternative for your motives, then finishes with very practical, simple startup step for small success you can reach pretty fast – and then see what to do next 🙂 I see a healthy, balanced person who instantly becomes your friend:

 

 

So my dear reader, if you are curious enough after this story, re-define motivation and use it properly for your own good. Let me know what you think! Enjoy! 🙂

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