The Secret of Sustained Motivation

My job is to help clients build motivation to take positive action towards their goals and objectives. It is tremendously satisfying to see someone you work with move forwards with genuine enthusiasm. I recently had the great pleasure of receiving this lovely endorsement from a client:

“Six months ago, I was a bit stuck, unenthusiastic about my job and unsure what might be next. Matz, through gentle but important provocations, helped me examine my strengths, weaknesses, values and interests. As a result, I’ve increased accountability to myself, overcoming a few future-fears by taking firm action. Now, re-invigorated and ready for life’s next chapters I’m even more focused and committed to prioritising work I am passionate about. So much so, that I’m seriously considering establishing a new social enterprise.”

Motivation is the force or energy that initiates goal-directed behaviour. Motivated individuals are more likely to care about success. They are prepared to go the extra mile when the going gets tough to increase output and elevate quality of results. Motivated people find more satisfaction from work and generally achieve greater fulfilment in life. Motivation can be initiated by a variety of factors; some examples may be:                

1.     Intrinsic Motivation: Comes from within an individual. You are intrinsically motivated when you engage in an activity because you find it personally rewarding, enjoyable, or interesting.

2.     Extrinsic Motivation: Driven by external sources and involves engaging in an activity to receive a reward or avoid punishment. For example, working to earn money or studying to avoid a bad grade.

3.     Biological Motivation: Driven by basic biological needs for survival and wellbeing, such as food, water, sleep, and sex.

4.     Achievement Motivation: Is related to a strong desire to overcoming obstacles. People with high achievement motivation often set challenging goals for themselves.

5.     Social Motivation: Such as the desire for acceptance, approval, or belonging, play a significant role in motivating behaviour. Social connections and relationships can be powerful motivators.

6.     Cognitive Motivation: Driven by intellectually stimulating activities. Curiosity and the pursuit of knowledge can be powerful motivators.

7.     Creative Motivation: Driven by a strong desire to create and innovate, not surprisingly a type of motivation shared by many artists.

Understanding and harnessing motivation is crucial for all kinds of personal development, but the challenge is to turn these theoretical constructs mentioned above into a tangible positive force that makes a material difference to our lives. Motivation may be the engine that drives action, but this engine does not run on its own. Rather, it relies on the support of three crucial pillars: clear direction, unwavering commitment, and healthy resilience.  Together they form a symbiotic relationship that sustains and amplifies motivational momentum. Understanding the profound connection between these three qualities will make easier for you to maintain momentum in any kind of personal development you aspire to, making a successful outcome much more likely.

Clear Direction as the Leading Light:

Motivation finds its true potential when it is aligned with a clear sense of direction. Without a defined path or purpose, motivation can become scattered, dissipating energy in various directions without making meaningful progress. Clarity of direction acts as the Leading Light, providing guidance and purpose to the journey.

While motivation may stem from a desire for success, it is the clarity of direction that turns vague aspirations into actionable steps. A clear plan outlines the necessary skills to acquire, milestones to achieve, and the overall trajectory toward success. Clear direction transforms motivation from a fleeting spark into a sustained flame, as individuals can see the tangible steps they need to take to reach their destination.

Commitment as the Steadfast Anchor:

Motivation, though powerful, can be fickle. It waxes and wanes with external influences and internal fluctuations. Commitment acts as the steadfast anchor that prevents motivation from drifting away during challenging times. Commitment involves a deep dedication to the chosen path, a promise to oneself to persevere despite obstacles.

Commitment means staying true to your plan even when faced with setbacks. Whether it’s a rejection, a period of stagnation, or the lure of easier alternatives, commitment reminds the individual of their initial resolve. It involves a conscious decision to stay on course, even when the journey becomes arduous.

The relationship between motivation and commitment is reciprocal. Motivation fuels the desire to achieve goals, and commitment ensures that this desire transforms into consistent action. Commitment, therefore, acts as a stabilizing force that prevents motivation from being a fleeting emotion, turning it into a lasting trait.

Resilience as the Shield Against Setbacks:

No journey toward a goal is without challenges. Life, by its very nature, is filled with uncertainties, setbacks, and unexpected hurdles. This is where resilience, the ability to bounce back from adversity, becomes paramount.

Resilience is the shield that protects motivation from the arrows of disappointment, failure, and frustration. In pursuit of a dancing career setbacks can take various forms – failure of a project, rejection at an audition, or sustaining an injury. Without resilience, these setbacks can be demoralizing enough to extinguish the flame of motivation. Resilience, however, transforms setbacks into opportunities for growth. It fosters the mindset that failures are not endpoints but rather stepping stones toward success.

The connection between motivation and resilience is evident in their shared focus on overcoming obstacles. Motivation propels individuals forward, and resilience ensures that they don’t crumble in the face of challenges. The ability to view setbacks as temporary roadblocks rather than insurmountable barriers is the essence of resilience, making it an

indispensable companion to motivation.

The Interplay of Clear Direction, Commitment, and Resilience:

The interplay between these three elements is the heartbeat of sustained motivation. Clear direction without commitment may lead to inertia – a well-defined plan with no action. Commitment without resilience may result in burnout – relentless action with no capacity to rebound from setbacks. Resilience without clear direction may become misdirected effort – bouncing back from setbacks without a clear plan may lead to repeated mistakes.

In the intricate dance of sustained motivation – direction, commitment and resilience are not isolated entities but interwoven threads, each playing a vital role in the journey towards success. Understanding and nurturing this triad is essential for individuals seeking enduring satisfaction in their personal and professional pursuits. In this synergy lies the formula for achieving and building a purposeful life, where motivation is the driving force, commitment and resilience are the pillars of strength, with clarity of direction as the unwavering guide. In this delicate balance motivation blossoms into a powerful force capable of propelling anyone toward their loftiest goals.