Determine Your Motive

We all have goals and we all have dreams. The difference between “achievers” and “dreamers” is that people who achieve are willing to apply themselves in ways that those who just dream of success are not.

Successful people have certain things in common. In my last blog, Conquering Fear, I talked about one of those things: the ability to distinguish between actual FEAR and SELF-DOUBT.

This week I want to share another critical element of success, and that is the importance of determining your MOTIVE.

One of the most common questions I get from people, only second to “how do I get rid of my big belly,” is, “how do I stay motivated to maintain a healthy lifestyle?”  Motivation is one of the hardest things that we deal with, but I think it’s because we are looking at the situation incorrectly.

When people ask me about motivation, what they’re referring to is an intense feeling of commitment and an emotional attachment to carrying through on any given set of behaviors. The problem with feelings is that they are always fleeting.

Think about it: feelings come and go.  When we feel badly, we are able to get through it because we know that ultimately the bad feelings will pass. When we feel sheer elation, part of the joy of the intense feeling is the inherent understanding that we will eventually come back down to earth.

Every married woman I’ve ever talked to would tell you that she can look at her husband one minute and feel her heart bursting with love for him—and on the same day, something will occur and she’ll fantasize about killing him in his sleep and putting his cold, dead body in a wood chipper to hide the evidence. Feelings come and feelings go, just as motivation will come and go.  Such is the nature of life.

What is permanent and a solid basis for change and achievement is determining a motive.

A motive is the “why” of why we do what we do. A motive is a REASON.

If you have a compelling motive for achieving a goal, you will be willing to tolerate the daily grind it requires to succeed.  I realized this one year as I was preparing for a competition.

It was a gorgeous New York City summer and as usual, everyone was out enjoying the carefree fun of city life…except me, it seemed.  I had entered a September competition, which meant that the last three critical months of preparation were June, July, and August.  If I wasn’t working, I was at the gym prepping for the contest.

There were many, many days when I did not feel motivated to go to the gym while my friends were out playing in the park or otherwise having fun, but my MOTIVE was to do well at my September competition.  Had I relied on my feelings, I would have quit, citing lack of motivation as a reason. What saved me was ignoring my feelings and focusing on my motive.

I understand that we all want what we see in the final scene of Rocky, where he runs up the steps while inspiring music plays and the crowd cheers him on. He throws his arms in the air like the champion he is and feels like he can conquer anything.  In real life, if we wait for a feeling like that, we will be waiting forever.

Rather than wait for a feeling of motivation to wash over you, determine your MOTIVE. Why do you want to achieve your goal?

Once you determine your motive, let it sustain you regardless of how you feel on any given day.

Achieving great things requires great effort. There’s a day-to-day grind that high achievers understand, accept, and embrace.

Decide what you want to achieve and determine your motive. Keep your motive at the forefront of your mind and ignore the idle chatter in your brain when things get tough. Motivation is but a fleeting feeling, but a motive is forever.

Shine on, Tara Marie