Self-Motivation and Commitment

When we decide that we want to make a change in our lives–exercise, a side hustle, improving at work–we assume that we need to get motivated to make it happen.

We take on the idea that we need to motivate ourselves continually to do whatever it is we want to do.

This is why it is so common to hear people say, “I just can’t get motivated to…” They assume that if they wake up in the morning and don’t feel like doing something, that the first thing they need to do is make themselves “motivated.”

When you accept this worldview, you look around at people who work extremely hard and achieve large-scale success, and it appears unattainable.

But that view of the world is a lie. To achieve something, you don’t have to get motivated, you have to get committed.

Most of us grow up trained in a system of external commitment by obligation. You do your school work to avoid negative consequences from parents and the teacher. You do your work to avoid the negative consequence of being fired.

These commitments are usually imposed upon us. We don’t consciously choose them, so they likely won’t lead us to achieve our goals or get better than average results.

To do something big in your life, to achieve something better than normal, you have to consciously choose to take on commitments that force you to be greater than you currently are. You find a destination you want to go and then create your motivation by committing to it.

For someone who wants to start a business, this could mean committing to posting daily about your business efforts on Facebook. This small-scale commitment creates massive social pressure to achieve your goal.

For someone who wants to run events, this could mean creating the marketing and selling tickets as a first step, so you are forced to follow through.

For someone, who wants to be an entrepreneur the first step could be taking a job at a startup that forces you to grow and develop and helps you learn fundamental business skills.

No matter what you do, you are going to wake up some days and not want to do it. To achieve anything you have to find a way to motivate yourself to get up and get to work.

If you find that you are having a hard time getting to work, the solution isn’t to soul search and wait around–Motivation is a side effect of our commitments and vision for the future–it is creating commitments to ourselves and others that help us get to work even when we would rather be sleeping.




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