Motivation can come from many things.
Regardless of where it comes from, fear, something innately internal, insecurity, whatever, we need it.
I talk about it a descent amount because I’m learning more about it and how to make it consistent.
We ALL seem to want consistent motivation, or at least we’re told to want it.
We’re told that to be great, and to achieve admirable things, that we have to be consistently motivated day in and day out.
Simply put, that’s boring, and motivation doesn’t do boring.
If you’re worried that your motivation ebbs and flows, that it has peaks and valleys, don’t. That’s how motivation works. IF you’re supremely motivated, that’s also a cue to shut out the world and WORK.
Even the most ‘motivated’ men in history didn’t live life in an all-out sprint in pursuit of their goals.
They also didn’t live life like a marathon, consistently chopping away at the tree day in and day out.
They sprinted for periods that may last days, weeks, months, even years, and then they rested, recovered, awaiting their next sprint.
The Spark That Lights the Fire…
The sprint was dictated by the challenge, which I’m convinced, is where motivation both comes from, how it’s triggered, and what we MUST use as best we can.
The challenge, the goal, then, isn’t to be motivated every single day, but to maximize those periods when we’re faced with a worthy and grand challenge.
These peaks must be doused with gasoline and set ablaze.
The valleys must be used to learn, reflect, study, and recharge.
Worthy challenges either have a massive upside that you’re fighting to obtain, or they’re a matter of survival, of avoiding an bottomless downside.
Either way, use these periods.
These are the times where you work long hours, where those around you get worried that you’re ‘burning yourself out’, where you lose touch with the outside world because you’re so focused on what you must do to fly or merely not drown.
Many men face the issue of not having a worthy challenge.
But that’s not a bad thing, it just is.
I didn’t have a worthy challenge for a solid 5 year span, but during that 5 year span I travelled, read a ton, learned, and sought out something that would have that upside I crave.
And upside doesn’t necessarily mean a monetary upside for YOU.
It can be an impact upside for society, for the market you want to create or build, for the customers and clients you want to help.
The best upsides are both.
They have both the personal upside, but that upside is only achieved if you help and benefit others… hence, the capitalism of goods and services that has consistently improved our quality of life over the past 10,000 years (read: the Rational Optimist, by Matt Ridley).
Don’t Waste It
During the valleys, where there is no massive challenge you’re facing, you can’t take backward steps, this is where habits and discipline become important.
There are simply things you do every day that make you better.
You read for an hour, you workout, and you take Man Brain to get dialled into those reading sessions, the work sessions, the workouts.
Then, there are those peaks, where you’re supremely motivated by the challenge you’re facing.
Maybe it’s a problem you’re trying to solve, a book you’re writing, a business you’re building, heck, a literal mountain you’re climbing.
Don’t waste these either.
Don’t worry about work life balance during these times, there should be no balance.
Don’t worry about burn out, just give it all you have.
Forget about those trips and vacations and focus on your vocation.
Whatever position you’re in, don’t waste it, but also don’t worry if you’re not insanely motivated right now, it’ll come, and when it comes you want to have the knowledge and the energy to kick some ass…
…And that’s what you’re building when that challenge isn’t here.