What Keeps You Going?
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I’ve written about the importance of starting, of taking action, a few times now.
Without action we have nothing.
Inaction produces nothing (although conscious inaction does have its place).
But what happens when we do get going, and then we stop?
What happens when that initial push begins to wear thin?
How do we sustain our motivation long enough to see this through?
I don't know how many times I started something full of enthusiasm and excitement only to find myself confused and a little disappointed just a couple weeks later when none of those feelings remained.
The feelings didn't stick, and neither did the action.
I was becoming notorious for that. Great ideas. Great intentions. No execution. I don't believe action and execution are everything because it sounds cool. I believe it because I've experienced the latter effects firsthand.
So I’ve been there. I’m still there from time to time. The only difference now is that I’m more focused on what I want, so it’s much, much more difficult to pull at my attention.
Which brings me to my first question for when this happens.
Let’s start by asking ourselves if what we’re doing is something we genuinely want. And if it is, why? Do the answers align with our core values and principles? Do the answers align with what matters most to us in our lives?
With that in mind, let’s now look at what changed? From when we started until now, what changed?
If we wanted to start this and we do want to keep going, what’s different now from when we originally started?
What’s getting in the way that was not before?
Not surprisingly, it’s usually distractions that get in the way of where we are and what we want.
In Brendon Burchard’s book “The Motivation Manifesto” he talks about the two sustaining choices of motivation as being attention and effort.
He says, “The real downfall for many people isn’t that they are 'unmotivated' people, but that they are simply distracted, too absentminded to sustain motivation."
I love it when I read an author’s work, especially someone like Brendon Burchard whose work I admire, and it connects things.
Want to know what keeps me going? Effort and attention.
Keeping my head down (focused effort) and my heart up (passionate attention) so that I can show up, and do my work every single day.
We don’t need anything special to get what we want. Success and achievement are starting to seem like something elusive, available only to a select few, but it’s a capability we all inherently have within us.
Focus and hard work.
And hard work.
This is why it’s important we ask the first question above first. If something really isn’t important to us, there is no way we’re going to be willing to focus and work hard, consistently pushing ourselves each and every day.
Not everything deserves that from us. That’s fine. Let that go.
Focus on what matters to you. Show up, and do that work.
That will help you build momentum.
That will keep you going.