In the last few days I have been doing a bit of thinking around motivation; Why are some individuals are described as motivated? Where does it come from? How do I get motivated?
A motivated individual
I’m Michael and I’m motivated. I’m motivated to write this blog post at least, whatever that means. In the last few years my peers, friends and family have all commented on my motivation whether that is through working on AceScores, or Roadie; the driving instructor comparison site, or even writing this blog.
I appear motivated to others because I spend my time doing things that maybe appear a little “out there”. I work on websites, a startup business, I play tennis, socialise with friends and write a blog that I don’t think many people read! When they comment on my “motivation” they usually say “I don’t know where you find the energy!” Sometimes they slightly put themselves down for watching TV Shows or playing video games. This should not be the case at all because it simply about priorities; we shouldn’t compare because we all have different priorities or values.
It’s all about priorities. I do this because I have chosen where my energy should be focussed. Others should look at their own priorities/actions and not look to compare. Your priority doesn’t have to be writing blog posts, or contributing to an open source project! It could be having an amazing family and teaching your kid another language, it could be making sure your relationship is rock solid and watching tv shows together. Don’t get bogged down in comparisons.
Where does motivation come from?
In the last few years I feel like I am quite driven; especially when it comes to creating a business and being active; I work my ass of at nights on a startup, play several tennis matches in a week and even taken up running.
This was not always the case. In 2012, I did not know what I wanted from life, and I was going through some difficult times. I struggled to be a software engineer by day let alone have any success at nights doing anything else. Everything felt like a drag.
Fast forward a year later, I had a new job, I had taken up tennis and started designing a tennis website. The tennis website proved to me that A) I could easily learn a new programming language and B) I could build something end to end by myself. I put a lot of effort into these activities but the more I did, the easier it was — and to me that’s where motivation comes from.
Actions -> Result -> Motivation
I took action because of my priorities at the time; my interest was tennis and I enjoyed writing code again so I joined them up to create AceScores. Then moving on to Roadie; I had already built the habit of writing code at night so starting something like that was easy.
The author Tim Ferriss spoke about an author who had written seventy novels and he was asked how he stayed motivated and inspired. His response was “ Two hundred crappy words per day, that's it.” The idea being once he wrote two hundred words he would find inspiration and write a lot more with ease. I believe that. If I find myself struggling I will make a small change to Roadie just so there is a change, I feel good about that change or I see a difference because of it and then will make some more.
So, where does motivation come from?
Firstly — pick where you WANT to focus your time and energy.
Secondly — Try: Action -> Result -> Motivation.
So, in essence, if you will it it is no dream.