In my last article, I discussed the problem that everyone seems to struggle with in working towards their goals: maintaining motivation. I focused on the importance of remembering your ‘why?’ and focusing on the bigger picture.
I want to keep with that general topic, because maintaining your motivation is such a persistent problem that it warrants a multi-faceted approach to its solution.
I hear from people who say things like, “I want to make changes for the better, I can always find the motivation to get started, but I can’t maintain motivation and consistency over long periods of time.”
When you think of the most successful people in their given trades, the Michael Jordans, the Steve Jobs, and the Oprah Winfreys of the world, you think of passionate people.
People who love what they do, are passionate about it, and wake up every morning rip-roaring and ready to face the day and change the world.
A common theme around successful, legendary, game-changing types of personalities is an inordinate amount of passion, drive, and unfaltering motivation.
The way it is sometimes conveyed makes it seem as if these people have some gene that allows all these things to come naturally, and somehow makes them inherently different from you or me.
They do not.
Although these people and the hundreds of others like them do exhibit drive and passion for what they do, they do not have some super human power that enables them to be totally motivated all of the time.
The difference between successful people that live their dreams and other people that only view them on the backs of their eyelids is their commitment to the path to success.
We have all heard the old adage saying that it is the journey that counts and not the destination. Well, that applies to personal success as well.
The key to true success is to not view it as a destination, an end point, a discrete moment in time, but rather to focus on living and embracing the path, and falling in love with the work along the way.
From a goal-setting perspective, this could be rather confusing
We are told to set concrete goals, to create clearly delineated moments in time where we can say we have reached a point and that means we are, then, successful.
While this is true, it is only so in the larger context of continually setting such goals, and living and working through each one, with intentions to keep going.
People tend to believe that success is a singular event.
- “If I just lose 20 pounds, then I’ll be in shape”
- “If I book this major client, then my business will be set”
- “If I could just get my work featured by a reputable publication, then I’d have all the credibility I’ll need”
If you set a goal, for example, to lose 20 pounds (and any other goal you can think of) and you work hard and achieve it, then what?
You are happy, yes of course, but what happens after that? Do you get to go back to not working out and eating whatever you want?
After you book that client, can you sit back and not deliver on what was promised?
In the above mentioned examples and everything else in life, the answer is an obvious, NO. Yet this is the way in which most people view the attainment of their goals, and what they feel defines success.
If you look at those individuals you consider most successful, you will begin to see a trend that it is not any one particular achievement or event that makes them different from the rest. But, rather, their commitment and dedication to their path, the process.
If you fall in love with the journey of improved health and exercise habits, you will most likely achieve your milestone (loss of 20 pounds) along the way.
If you fall in love with providing the most valuable product and experience for potential customers, you will most likely achieve public recognition.
But you will also continue to improve past your milestones and challenge yourself in different and better ways.
The key is focusing on the path and
not the destination
“You have to fall in love with building the identity of someone who does the work.” -James Clear
Committing the time day in and day out, even when you may not want to.
Working through the boredom of eating the same meal every day, or reading about the newest advances in online marketing, or writing and re-writing those chapters because you are so focused on the path of a healthy lifestyle, the path of entrepreneurial success, the path of a successful writer, that it becomes a lived and daily experience…Rather than a march to an end point.
Success is a process, not a moment
When you focus on the path, and truly commit to it, you will find that any goals you set for yourself will be attained, and they will be mile markers on the highway, milestones along the way that you pass only to see another on the horizon.
Successful people commit to the path.
They commit to falling in love with the process.
They work when everyone else has tired of it. They envelop themselves in the day in and day out continued lifestyle, so when they are bored, or tired, or unmotivated, their commitment to living the process keeps them moving forward.
If you want to become meaningfully better at anything, you have to fall in love with the actual path of achievement.
Not just the dream of it’s result.
So fall in love with the boredom, the repetition, the practice and you’ll find that everything else will fall into place.