The Secret Of Motivation To Persevere In Any Goal. The fuel to stay strong and gain the motivation to persevere in any goal does not come from willpower.
In fact, I don’t believe that perseverance or willpower are qualities that only a privileged few possess. Every human being can become as perseverant as they want to be, but how do you achieve this? With a key ingredient that catapults motivation, which I’ll talk about in today’s post.
Everyone at some point will lose motivation
All beginnings are characterized by the enthusiasm, energy, and encouragement that come from starting something new and different. At the beginning of the year, many people start with extraordinary goals and objectives to improve in different areas of their lives.
Some say: “this is the year I will start my own business”, “this is the year I will write that book”, “this is the year I will get out of debt”, “this is the year I will get in shape”, etc, etc, etc.
But there comes a time when the motivation and enthusiasm of the beginning begin to dissipate. A few weeks after working hard to achieve that goal and seeing the difficulty involved, you begin to feel the effects of resistance and the temptation to give up.
It has happened to all of us or will happen to us at some point and we will say to ourselves “if only they had had a little more willpower, the results would have been different”. We think it is a problem of our personality or character… but the good news is that it is not…
Why do we lose motivation?
Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz in their book “The Power of Full Engagement”, based on their experience of coaching hundreds of world-famous athletes and high-performance executives, explain that our reserves of willpower are very limited and depend on mood, the previous night’s rest, nutrition and possibly even which side of the bed we wake up on that day.
When this reserve is depleted, any wind that goes against our goals will easily cause us to change course. A small-scale example would be to measure the willpower to overcome a craving. I assure you that it will be easier to overcome the craving in the morning than in the evening. The reason is that at the beginning of the day our willpower reserves are full and at the end of the day they are almost empty.
We lose the motivation to persevere for two reasons; 1) because we anchor it to the beginning emotion and 2) when this beginning emotion begins to dissipate, we anchor it to our willpower which is limited and variable. This results in “throwing in the towel” too soon.
Startup emotion and willpower come and go, they are variables that will never be a good fuel to maintain perseverance in reaching a goal… and even less so when the challenge and effort needed to reach it are of a higher level.
The secret for an inexhaustible perseverance
If the motivation to persevere is not found in the emotion of the beginning or in the willpower, then where is it to be found? We have always been told: “Be strong and have willpower” or “find your passion or something that excites you”, right? Not exactly…
The secret of motivation to persevere in any goal lies in the “what for” of that goal.
In this combination of a preposition and an interrogative lies a source of atomic fuel that leads us to question the purpose and meaning of what we do and to connect intellect with heart, reason with propulsion.
Mark Twain an American writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer once said: “The two most important days of your life are the day you are born and the day you find out what for”.
Something very similar happens when I was talking with a friend who wants to achieve a financial goal when the question “why do you want to have more money?” comes up and the answer is: “to have more peace of mind”, “to be able to travel more”, “to have a better car or house”.
My answer is similar to the previous one: “those reasons are not going to involve your heart in the long run…”, but when someone answers me: “to open an institute to help many people to…”, “to help hundreds, thousands or millions of people in…”, “to give jobs to many people at ….”, I see again “bright eyes” and conviction.
If someone’s reason for getting fit is: “because the doctor recommends it”… I assure you that person will never be fit, but if the reason is: “to see my children grow, be happy, achieve goals and be present in the most important steps of their life”…… that is a powerful reason.
I recommend making a list of each of the areas of your life. Write next to each area the goals you want to achieve. Once you have this list of goals, write the “why” for each goal. Place this list in a visible place, perhaps on the kitchen refrigerator where not only you will see it but also your family. Keeping the “what for” in mind is inexhaustible fuel to persevere in a goal.
Transport this to the goals you want to achieve in your personal and professional life. I assure you that you will see the difference in your performance and results. When the temptation to give up comes, which will undoubtedly come, having a strong and solid “what for” in mind will be the only fuel left after the excitement of the beginning is gone and the willpower is exhausted. Having a well-defined “what for” in every area of my life is what has helped me achieve the most challenging goals I have set for myself.
What is the most challenging goal you have this year? What is the “what for” of that goal? Please share your thought with me.
Thanks for reading and enjoy your day.