Can we talk for a moment? A real heart-to-heart talk about the myth of motivation. It’s a word so often over-used in self-help books, on posters with affirmations (you know the ones, with the sun coming up over the mountains) and spouted by get-rich gurus in seminars that are overpriced and leave you overwhelmed.
The Merriam-Webster’s definition of motivation is ‘the act or process of giving someone a reason for doing something.’ Let’s question that thought for a moment with regards to success and achievement. Is there an act or process that gives a person a reason to achieve?
We think the answer to that question is a big ‘no.’ Shocked? We were too, until we really started looking at the process of achievement, of reaching goals. There is no one, no book, no poster, no guru that can motivate you to accomplish what you’ve set out to do. So, should you throw your books away, tear down your posters and demand your money back from any seminar you’ve ever taken?
Not just yet and maybe not at all. Those things can be used as tools to help you in your process of setting out to achieve your goals. The secret lies in the reasoning behind the goals. When you set goals that align with who you are and what’s important to you, you’re more likely to succeed. You’re more likely to do the grunge work that it takes to push through from where you are, to where you want to be.
Simple, right? Again, no. If you really wish to light your life on fire, it’s even deeper than that. Taking a good hard look at yourself and aligning where you wish to go, with what you believe in, is only part of the battle. There is something in you, waiting to be uncovered. We all have, within us, the possibility of greatness, to create something larger than ourselves.
Discovering it is akin to an epiphany and once you uncover it, you can’t go back. You can’t un-see that part of you where this fierce desire lies. It’s a Pandora’s Box and once you open it, you can’t control what comes out.
We call this your ‘Big Why’ and it’s a whopper of a discovery, of self-realization. The truth is, few people dig deep enough to find this part of themselves and let it out. Think about it, when is the last time you actually met someone what was truly passionate about what they do? We aren’t speaking of someone who is happy with their job, we’re talking people who would cease to exist if they weren’t doing the thing they loved.
They discovered their ‘Big Why’ and their life is all that much richer for it. Now, we’re not necessarily talking about famous people. We hear every day about someone famous who lost their professional drive and started turning out mediocre work or harmed themselves in some way. That’s the end result of being pressured to turn out a product on a mass scale that you’re no longer passionate about. It’s painful and self-destructive.
Your ‘Big Why’ should fuel you. It should enhance your life. It won’t detract from your existence it will add to it. The journey of discovering your ‘Big Why’ can be a fulfilling one and can take a few hours, a few years or a lifetime to figure out. The point is, when you do realize what your ‘Big Why’ is, you will want to act on it, immediately if not sooner.
This won’t be just a goal in your life, this will be your goal for life, at least your life right now and however long you choose to pursue your own truth. Can your ‘Big Why’ change? It’s possible, but let’s stick with finding what yours is, in the first place.
Listen to yourself, your inner voice. Your ‘Big Why’ is there somewhere. It may lurk in your imagination as something you think about constantly. It could be something that’s already in your life, like a hobby that you could take to a grand scale if you could only dedicate yourself it.
It also doesn’t have to necessarily become your full-time profession but the reason you’ll excel at your profession in order to fund this passion.
When you put your ‘Big Why’ in front of you, living it becomes your motivation. That’s where some of those books, posters and seminars can come in handy. The right tools are integral to your process and you need a plan and guidance to help you along the way.
Coaches and mentors can work wonders for you as well. After all, when is the last time you saw a winning football team, or any other athlete for that matter, without a good coach? Coaches hold you accountable and aren’t afraid to call you out when you go off track of what your path. Mentors offer guidance, experience and wisdom because they’ve already traveled the road to their ‘Big Why.’ They can help show you what to expect so you’re better prepared along the way.
It all comes together to make your very precious, very real, very now life a fantastic one, filled with passion and purpose. No matter where you are in life now, discover your ‘Big Why’ and let it frame your future. Allow it into your life when you discover it.
You and everyone around you will be richer for it.