I was running late for an appointment last week and jumped into my car and turned the key. The nice smooth sound of ignition I was so used to hearing was replaced by the horrible grinding sound of an engine just about to turnover. I kept turning the key thinking that by some miracle it would stop the grinding noise and just start. Instead it drained what was left in the battery and silence followed. I was dead in the water.
How many times have you found yourself ready to go but unable to move. You lack the spark and or energy to move forward. Where did it go? You might have started out on your goal, journey or project with plenty of good intentions but for whatever reason it dissipated or just stopped. As a student of human behavior and a Business Coach I am brutally aware of the difficulty of keeping ourselves motivated to get to where we want to go.
Do These Work?
The traditional motivation methods most of us have experienced are motivation by incentive or fear. The boss tries to scare you into action by threats that range from firing to demotion. The next day in a change of heart the boss offers you the promise of bonuses, promotion or equity if you achieve the goal. Clearly both can have an impact, and often do, but the results are usually short term at best. Threats lose their veracity if they are never acted on. Incentives are only effective if you believe the goal is achievable but lose their long term impact once achieved. Neither approach has a long lasting motivational impact. So what is one to do if you want to change or achieve a difficult goal but can’t seem to stay motivated to do what is necessary to get to your destination?
Find Out What Excites You
I believe part of the answer is in finding what sparks us or excites us. If you can discover what you are passionate about and harness that passion you can access an unlimited battery of inspiration energy to keep you motivated and moving forward. Discovering your passion can be difficult since most of us have followed the career scripts provided to us by well meaning parents, educators and society.
- A simple way to start would be to list all the activities you do in your present job that you enjoy doing and are good at.
- The next step would be to ask your peers, friends, clients and family what they think your greatest strengths are. You should get some clarity on what you are passionate about and what truly motivates you.
- Finally, a good book that gives some insight to the power of connecting your passion to business is “Crush It!” by Gary Vaynerchuk
Aligning your passion with the behaviors necessary to convert that passion into results assures you a consistent spark that will keep your motor running!
Please offer your comments on what you do to sustain your motivation, spark your energy and keep yourself moving forward every day.