I think not.
If you were to ask me, I would say that there is one word that is used more than that—MOTIVATION.
Do a quick Google search for the word “motivation” and see what gets thrown up. I did. 247,000,000 results popped up on my screen in 0.35 seconds. And quickly scrolling through just a few of those links will give you an assortment of things designed to “motivate” you—from quotes, to books, to movies, to cats.
It seems like everyone these days puts out books, articles, blogs, and YouTube videos on the subject of motivation. For a few dollars you can buy any one of a number of books from the stores on the subject of motivation, written by people who have come to be labelled “Motivational Speakers” because of the years that they have spent motivating people.
Honestly, it can seem like too much. And there are a fair number of people who do think it is too much. And I can understand why and do sympathize with people who wonder what the big deal is about motivation. Yet, as I often tell people who ask me about the “motivation hype,” (if you will) the problem is that many of us don’t fully understand what motivation really is.
As a wise friend of mine stated:
“Many of the articles about motivation are very superficial. They don’t even scratch the surface of the matter... Overused, worn out slogans do not make any impact on readers. People heard it already thousands of times: think positive, you can do that, sky is the limit etc... But it means nothing to them. Authors often manoeuvre around the main theme without saying anything meaningful.”
I totally agree. There is nothing beneficial about a superficial knowledge about motivation. In fact, it probably does more harm than good. If all you’ve heard is clichés, then it turns you off to actual motivation that can help you.
And so my goal with article is to help explain to you three things:
I do not claim to be an expert on the subject, but I will humbly share my experiences—both as someone who motivates others and someone who is motivated by others.
As any science student will tell you, you cannot properly discuss or even study a subject unless it has been properly defined. Until you know what exactly is being spoken about, you won’t come away with proper conclusions, as you will be interpreting based on your opinion of the subject, rather than the actual subject itself.
To put it in the science student analogy: If the professor said that they were going to discuss fish and began describing a goldfish, the student would agree with him while he was stating that fish have scales and fins and eyes and gills. But since he didn’t specify what fish, perhaps the student have an image of a shark in his mind and would begin to disagree the moment the professor began speaking about the fact that fish have cloven tails, or a voracious appetite for worms. The discussion on fish would then prove useless because the precise fish wasn’t described.
So it is when addressing the subject of motivation. It’s impossible to talk about why it is important and how to get it without first defining what it is. So let’s get started!
The BussinessDictionary.com describes it as:
Internal and external factors that stimulate desire and energy in people to be continually interested and committed to a job, role or subject, or to make an effort to attain a goal.
My trusty English Webster’s Dictionary says this:
To provide with, or affect as, a motive or motives; incite or impel
I believe that those two definitions will open up worlds of possibility for us when it comes to redefining motivation.
Let’s start with the second definition. Let’s talk for a minute about “motives” for a minute.
A wise man once said that motives define our existence, because we do nothing without them. We have motives for everything we do. Everyone does. Everything on that happens on this planet happens because of motives. Whether good, bad, sincere, or ulterior—motives define everything that we do.
Now think about that in the context in the first definition about stimulating our desires and energies in order to be continually interested in our goals. Motivation is then, by clearest definition, stirring up our motives so that we are continually driven to achieve our goals.
I will say that again. This is my redefined definition of motivation:
Put it in that context, it is easy to see why motivation is such a great need and why there is so much emphasis given to it.
Have a dream that you want to see come to life but don’t know how to begin or where to get the drive to keep going?—Stir up your motives. Have a job to do but can’t seem to find the energy to do it on a daily basis?—Stir up your motives. Have a role that you used to love but now is weighing on you?—Stir up your motives. In short, get “motive”-ated!
Motivation is essential because without it, we don’t accomplish anything. We are not inspired, we are not passionate, we are not driven, we are not focused, and we are not successful. Why?—because sustaining anything over a long period of time requires motivation.
Something that might have entered your mind when I first started talking about motivation was inspiration. True, they do sound alike and do share some common traits—a bit like the goldfish and the shark. However, I must state here that motivation is not inspiration. Motivation can begin with inspiration, but it isn’t the same thing. If you wanted to put it in allegorical terms, inspiration is the spark and motivation is the fire. Inspiration gets you started; motivation keeps you going.
For example, say that you get an idea for a product that you know will be a big success in the market. You get all excited about it and you begin to do your research. You call people who you know can help you develop it. You begin to look for potential investors in your idea. All the while, you are getting more and more excited about it. This is inspiration. You got an idea and you were inspired by it.
However, you begin running into obstacles. Your initial idea has some bugs that aren’t getting ironed out with your best efforts. You need help so you call people in to help. But they are busy and can’t dedicate time to it. Some don’t even share your passion and may even mock your product. You try take it to investors but they are busy and don’t take your calls or don’t give you appointments. The few who do are either uninterested derogatory, or too busy to look into it right away and tell you they’ll call you later. So you have no funding. Perhaps you’re even broke!
You are now discouraged and your inspiration is gone. The spark that was so bright in your soul only a little while back has burned out. You are on the verge of quitting. Perhaps you do quit. And the world is forever robbed of your product while you go through life feeling like a failure because of your lack of success in your venture.
This is why motivation is so important. Inspiration will always die out. You will always encounter obstacles. You will always be faced with difficulties that will drive you to the point of quitting. What, then, will keep you going and pushing through till you are victorious?—Motivation; channeling your motives to keep you pushing forward towards your goal.
This has been the case for everyone who has made a success out of their lives:
They believed in their product. They believed in their success. They believed that they were destined to succeed. They refused to let difficulties steal away their desire to achieve. In short, they focused on the dream rather than the difficulties. This is motivation.
Now if you don’t have a dream yet, go out and get one. You need to find the inspiration or else there is going to be no fire. So go out and look for it. And be passionate about it. You don’t know where it’s going to appear from, but you’ve got to do the searching. As one of my favorite quotes by Jack London says, “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” The image of a caveman running after a dinosaur with this club always brings a smile to my face.
Talk to people, research the market, write down your passions, travel somewhere, interact with a different group of people than you normally would. Visit our website. The goal of BigDreams.co is to spark the inspiration and fuel your fire, so go through our articles and maybe something will resonate with you. But however, whenever, and wherever you get your inspiration, you need to start somewhere, sometime, somehow. Start today!
You see, the more you envision your future, the more excited you get. Then you use that vision and that excitement to motivate you through the days ahead.
Motivation must be maintained daily, as we are constantly being de-motivated by the world around us, our failures, other people, worries, troubles etc. Staying motivated requires effort of daily basis.
If we need to re-motivate ourselves every day, it may seem like a pointless exercise. But just because it is something that we have to do again and again doesn’t mean that it isn’t worth it.
The great speaker Zig Ziglar, when asked about this very subject, said the following:
I hope that you’re enjoyed our little time together and have come away with a clearer understanding of what motivation is and why we need it. Remember, we here at BigDreams.co are here to help you in any way that we can. Do pay us a visit!
May you all find your dream, get inspired by it, begin to pursue it, and have the motivation to see it through till the end!
Thirumur David Kiran
Social Entrepreneur, Speaker, and Youth Training Professional.