You need a compelling why

Motivation is critical to success.

And as nice as it would be to flip a switch and fire up your enthusiasm, it doesn’t quite work that way. You need a compelling why; a reason powerful enough to propel you past inertia, fear, resistance or whatever it is that stands in your way.

Without that internal drive, you’ll get stuck before you get very far. And in some cases before you even get started.

Beware the shoulds.

Should is never compelling.

Whether it’s career advancement, losing weight, improving your communication skills, becoming more organized or productive, improving your life balance, showing up on time, going to networking events – the list is endless – if your goal is based on I should, you’re setting yourself up to fail.

Seriously, how many shoulds have you accomplished and sustained?

My list is zero … except for the ones where should became I really, truly want this for reasons I can articulate.

From snooze button to up early.

I’m not a morning person.

My entire corporate career I’d rush out the door to make it into the office by 9AM. I was always in my office late into the evening and worked more than most of my colleagues, but every so often I’d decide I should get in earlier, that it would be better to be a morning person. I’d give it a whirl, have a day or two of arriving early, smug with satisfaction, and then quickly revert back to my normal pattern.

When I started my own business the pattern came with me … including the should. And I was equally unsuccessful.

Truth is that although I liked the idea of getting up early, I didn’t have a strong enough desire to push me through the challenge of changing a bunch of ingrained behaviors and resetting my natural body clock.

Until about fifteen years ago.

My coaching schedule started filling up and running into my office just in time for my first call of the morning meant I didn’t have time to get myself grounded or organized. I started feeling behind before my day even started. And I realized I could not do my best work that way.

Suddenly I had a meaningful reason to change. Was it easy? No. But once I was truly motivated, I was finally able to successfully change.

How do you know you’ve found your compelling why?

You feel a powerful and irresistible pull. You know it’s important to you. And it doesn’t matter if no one else gets it.

Pure and simple, you feel it. Motivation lives in your heart, not your head.

What’s the goal you’ve been struggling with?

If you’ve been stuck getting started or not very far down the path, it’s time to take a look at your why.

Write down your goal and make a list of all the reasons you want to achieve it. Sit with each one for a few minutes and notice your emotional reaction. When you find the one that stirs you up, you’re in the ballpark 🙂

Once you have a compelling why your chances of achieving the results you want just skyrocketed.

“Motivation will almost always beat mere talent.”
~ Norman R. Augustine, chairman of the Review of United States Human Space Flight Plans Committee


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