What separates goal achievers from simple dreamers? What allows some people to accomplish fantastic endeavors despite tremendous struggle and immense adversity? What qualities or skills allow some people to accomplish great things while others stagnate?
To go from where you are to where you desire to go requires motion and energy – both initial as well as sustained! There are other factors surely, but one key element driving some people to achieve relates to the engine of their motivation.
Dabbling in desire supported by a little “rah-rah” encouragement will usually not overcome the gravity or status quo and certainly will not sustain over time.
The key is actually the root word of the word motivation; “Motive”. Motive is the “Why?” behind our actions. With a personal and powerful enough why as a driver, the what and the how fall naturually in place.
For a life and business to be fulfilling and successful, you must know your “why.” Without it, you will likely fail to do what is required when it is challenging.
A Compelling and Dynamic Destination
In the study of successful men and women throughout the ages, one theme is constant. From Joan of Arc to Sir Edmund Hillary; Benjamin Franklin, Margaret Thatcher, Gandhi to modern-day sports icons like Tom Brady, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Muhammad Ali, and the late Walter Payton; they all had one thing in common.
Each possessed a great desire — from their earliest childhood recollection — coupled with a clearly envisioned destination for their life. The above list is a mere sample to demonstrate the diversity of different dreams but with the same engine. The constant is that each held a clear view of their life’s purpose; their compelling destiny.
Destiny at first blush may seem a fancy power word. At the core, destination is where you want to go. Setting a destination for your life is working to predetermine your destiny.
One of the most important success factors is to ensure you have a strong enough “why” to initially create and then to sustain the action. It is critical to have a compelling andconsistently evolving destination. Your “whys” need to answer compelling questions to support your activities.
Is this really important to me? Am I willing to make the sacrifices for this destination? What kind of investment in time, money and frustration am I willing to expend? Am I really serious about this endeavor or is this just a wish? Without a compelling enough why, the first resistance you encounter on your destination shuts you down and forces you to reassess your initial desire for your goal.
This is why so many people fail on their New Year’s resolution. Initially the resolution sounds great – possibly even compelling when the words leave your mouth announcing your big intention. But when the first real challenge and test of motive arrives, the initial exclamation point withers into a period and then ultimately dies as a question mark.
I’m going to…! I probably could… Do I even really want to… ?
Most people don’t have strong enough motivation to carry them through the difficult periods. Successful people find a bridge to cross the chasm of difficulties and challenges and span the gap with the realization their dreams on the other side are worth the efforts. It’s important to asses your motivation; strong enough motivation can produce astounding results.
Men and women have climbed the highest mountains, we have explored space, people go to school for years for their professional endeavors, businesses are started, etc., all with enough motivation. Lack of motivation has left countless people living lackluster lives of average mediocrity short of their true desires.
There are always trade-offs. Action steps toward your goals are trade offs from other activities. Without a strong enough “why” you get discouraged and quit before you ever taste the fruit of your rewards. Lots of people have dreams trapped as wishes because their dreams are just not compelling enough to take action.
You need a why as well as a where. Without both, you are a boat adrift. The main reason most people fail is that they do not have a plan. Amazing, but how sad the aimless life that some people lead.
The Other Side of “Why?”
“Why?” as a motivational force and understanding is only half of the equation. Like the yin yang part of the same circle, there are other facets of the same question that need to be addressed to understand the full measure of motivation. The first part of the “why?” is why you want something. Understanding this helps you understand and fuel your motivation. It is vital to question, assess and understand why you want to achieve something.
In addition you must understand why you are where you are and why you have achieved the results you have achieved. The other “why?” then is about understanding why you are where you arein your life.
If your relationships are all in turmoil, you need to ask and understand, why? If you are in poor financial condition, it is important to have a strong and compelling “why” to be debt free, but you must also understand why you are where you are. With a complete understanding of why you want to achieve as well as why you are in your situation, you have better tools to create a compelling future.
Why do certain people not seem to like you? Why do you have a difficult time staying focused on one task at a time? This is not psychobabble. This is a rational approach to understanding fully where you are and gaining a complete accounting of your assets and liabilities.
Discover Your Why
Start asking yourself WHY? Ask it about everything like a 5-year old with a desire to know more. Why do you do the work you do? Why are you in the situation you are in? Are you where you chose to be, or have you been swept away with the current of momentum?
Days turn into weeks, weeks into months, into years; suddenly you are where you are. BUT — you are not trapped there; you just need a compelling enough “Why?” to escape and create the changes you seek.
Frank F. Lunn, CEO
P.S. Be intentional with your time thinking about your “why.” Chart out time each week, write it down, think about it, own it. Your “why” is the most critical part of who you are and what you can accomplish as an entrepreneur business builder. Be bold and be audacious!