I’m currently listening to the book, “The Motivation Myth” by Jeff Haden. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s been incredibly motivating! I’m only about halfway through and, already, I can confidently say it’s one of the best books I’ve read on the topic of goal achievement. If you’ve set some lofty goals this year (whether personal or professional) and you’re struggling to make headway, consider this book a “must read.”
Over the next few weeks, I anticipate that I’ll write several articles based on what I’m learning. Today, I want to share with you a main premise of the book. This is a concept I have long understood intuitively, and perhaps you have too. But the way it’s described in the book really resonates for me.
According to the author, the secret to getting and staying motivated is simple: Break a sweat (literally or figuratively).
Essentially, he’s saying that action is the key. With action, you earn small successes, which motivate you to keep going.
Motivation is the result of achievement, says Haden, not a prerequisite for it.
So, while we remain inactive and wait for motivation to strike, we will never actually “find” it. Motivation is only created as the result of doing what you need to do to be successful. It’s a wonderful self-propelled cycle: Work, feel motivated, work some more, feel more motivation, and so on.
That means, as you approach a new goal, you probably won’t feel totally motivated at first—and along the way, you will probably experience times when motivation wanes. But you have to take the action anyway…especially during those times. That’s the only way things will shift.
The feeling you get from taking action is truly more motivating than the goal itself. This is why it’s easier to stay in a groove than to get in a groove. You leverage the power of inertia.
I’ve been feeling unmotivated to write blog posts lately. But you know what? I’m doing it right now. As I write, I literally feel my motivation growing. For some reason, I always forget how much I love writing. And the longer I wait to do it, the more of a chore it becomes.
But today, when I complete this article and post in online for the world to see, I’ll have a real earned success under my belt. Then, all I have to do is leverage that wonderful feeling and write a few more. I believe the key here is consistency, so I can’t wait a week and expect that motivation to stick around. I need to use the motivation I build right away, so I can continue to build more.
If you’re struggling to find your motivation for something, I encourage you to take at least one small step today. When you do, bask in the glory of your success. Allow that feeling to fill you with pride. Then, tomorrow, I want you to look for that feeling again and do whatever it takes to get there. Kick that wonderful motivation cycle into gear! Before long, it will come more naturally. But for now, let’s all just try to break a sweat today.
Stay tuned for more golden nuggets of wisdom inspired by “The Motivation Myth,” by Jeff Haden.