Even though you might know how to set goals, how to make plans, and how to become productive enough at work, there’s still one more thing that you need to remember. If your motivation is not inspiring enough to drive you to action, then you will never be successful. Let me repeat that: If your motivation is not inspiring enough to drive you to action, then you will NEVER be successful.
Now how do you find that motivation? Keep reading as this might just be one of the most important lessons you will ever learn.
What is your “WHY”?
I’ve recently bought the book Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek and, while I don’t agree with a lot of his concepts, the central point of the book is something we all make use of.
Most businesses and corporations want to sell more and they often do it through manipulation. Some examples that I personally know they use are well-crafted marketing tactics, fake sales, and more. Sinek included other examples like rebate complications and the like. It’s not just businesses who engage in manipulation; individuals do it too. A lot of people pad their resumes with fake achievements and they backstab their peers to get jobs and promotions.
People use lies and manipulations all the time simply because they work. How many times have we been fooled into buying things we don’t need because of a “big sale”? Unfortunately, manipulation and lies need more of the same to keep up profits, and they tend to cost more and need more effort to maintain in the long run (If a shop gives sales too often, people stop buying from it during regular times).
There is a way to gain people’s support without resorting to manipulations, however, and that’s by INSPIRING them to support you because of the good things that you do.
Why those with a great “WHY” succeed
Simon Sinek listed plenty of examples of companies who held a compelling goal (or “why”) behind their actions, like Apple who wanted to innovate and break boundaries as opposed to just selling computers, and Southwest Airlines who wanted to make air travel accessible for everyone in a time when flying was seen as a luxury and high prices (and company profits) was the norm. Having a compelling reason to exist invites inspires people to support those companies instead of those who just want to sell things and make money.
This is also the reason why people support excellent leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who campaigned for racial equality. They didn’t need to manipulate people by lying in elections to get votes or support. They had an inspiring “why” that was worth supporting, and that’s why the world helped them succeed.
Now, this concept is not just for great leaders or companies. This is something YOU can do yourself.
What is your “WHY”?
Have you ever wondered why people still succeed despite all the problems and disadvantages they’ve faced in life? A lot of people seem to think that just because the poor have very few resources and opportunities, it means they’re destined to stay poor forever, unless there’s some miraculous change in “the system”. It’s as if one new law will turn everyone, including the drunkards, the thieves, and the people content with staying in low-wage jobs, into mega-rich billionaires with no effort on their part.
Unfortunately, that won’t happen. You can make as many changes to the system as you want, but unless the changes you make inspire people, few will be empowered enough to make use of them. Wealth is never given. It is EARNED.
Here’s the other thing. If people can never become successful in this day and age, then why do some poor and underprivileged people manage to succeed DESPITE all of their disadvantages?
There are street children who are able to gain scholarships in the most prestigious schools in the country (I was a financial aid government scholar myself).
There are many, MANY more just like them who succeeded DESPITE their lack of privileges and opportunities.
Why did they achieve the things they wanted?
Most often, it’s because they had a powerful desire to do it. A desire so strong that it inspired them to break through all the setbacks, failures, and obstacles that they’ve faced and find or create their own opportunities. My own mother used to be a poor village girl in some far off province. Most people, her own parents included, thought she’d be nothing more than a poor and uneducated laundry girl (labandera) when she grew up. My mom didn’t like that plan so, as a kid, she pressured her parents to send her to school like her brothers until they eventually relented. There, she did her best in her studies, was consistently at the top of her class, and had an excellent career before she married and decided to focus on taking care of her family.
What was her “why”? She simply didn’t want HER children to suffer from poverty like she did. It was strong enough to drive her through everything she faced in life, and she succeeded at it.
Let me ask you this:
Why do you work in your particular career or business?
Why do you watch TV, browse the internet, read books, or read articles like this?
Why do you do the things you do every day?
Is it because you simply want to be entertained after a stressful day at work, or is it because you’re aiming for something greater? Do you do what you do because you want to enjoy life more? Improve your quality of life? Is it because you want to be free from the harships of mediocrity and poverty? Is it for glory? Is it because you want to be proud of yourself when you grow old and look back in life?
Is it because you want to leave a legacy? Is it for your family? For your children and grandchildren?
Really, just ask yourself this question:
Why do you live life the way you do now? Is that reason amazing enough to inspire you to become successful?