Tuesday, 23 July 2013
And Amazing Things Get Done
Why are you so motivated, Ciaran?
I get this question sometimes. I actually do get this actual question, I'm not just saying it. People really do contact me with this.
But their assumption's right inside the sentence. That I am so very motivated. So motivated. But that's not really true. Something else is true that they don't want to hear about.
They want the juicy aphorism, the big slogan, the thing that will get them all fired up, like they imagine I must be, all the time. What they don't want is the truth, which is sad, because the truth is a hell of a lot more powerful than that awesome sounding slogan that makes you feel awesome for the next 10 minutes, and then it goes away.
And it's sad, because I can tell you exactly what the secret is, if you can hear it, if you want to hear it. I can describe it at length.
And perhaps it might be an idea to start looking at things from this point of view, because it is a different point of view. Just to start considering something different. Just to begin. Just to begin to think about things in a different way.
Because the truth is that the thing I've found that gives me the most motivation, drive, motion, impetus, momentum - the thing that actually gives direction and motion to my life - isn't anything I've ever heard anyone else talk about.
A lot of people seem to think that motivation's this substance you want to get as much as possible of. Just as much as possible.
But that's not how you get things done, that's not how you really achieve mastery at something, or really make an amazing impact.
There's something else, something smaller and subtler, but that has a much greater power, because it's power over time. Anyone can get themselves pumped up about something in the short term, but a life isn't a short term thing. If you want to live a life that you truly live, that is abundant and filled with living - then you need consistent motivation, not a massive blast of short-term stuff.
And besides - you don't need massive, massive levels of motivation. That's just weird. You don't need this huge burning reason to do something.
And please just pay attention, just please, right here, right what I'm about to say next, because it's so huge if you can just see this tiny little shift.
You just need more of a reason to do it than not.
Once more in bold, in case you missed it.
You just need more of a reason to do it than not.
The bar is pretty low.
And as long as there's more of a reason to do it than not, and that state of affairs continues, you'll continue to be motivated to do it, indefinitely.
And as you continue to get involved and do what you can, what you can do gets bigger, because you get better at it, and then maybe one day, it gets done.
And that's it's really. No great conflict, no massive fight. No burning need, no heroic identity, nothing like that. Just 1% more reason to do it than there is not to do it.
And so really, when you really break it all down, it just comes down to sitting down and just starting - really, just beginning - to see if there is something real that actually does need doing.
And it has to be real, because if it's not then as soon as you've stopped
Do you want to be rich? Really? Honestly? I don't. I'm not criticising you if you do, I just don't. I want to be stable, be able to provide for a family, that's really it. Have enough money to go out with friends, help out my kids.
But becoming this super-rich money guy? It just seems so contrived to me. Just like a little... hollow. And don't get me wrong, I don't hate money, it's just... no matter how much I build up my ideas about being rich, convince myself I want to, believe I want to, tell other people I want to....
That motivation will not last, because all our ideas and beliefs are like shadows, and they always slide out. And what that means is that I'll never be able to focus with real consistency over time on getting rich.
It's the 'over time' bit that matters the most, and that's what doing something different can help.
Look for something real that needs doing, something big that needs someone's help. A genuine thing. Something that is of serious import, but in real life, and to the whole world. Not just to people. ANd it doesn't have to look good, and it doesn't have to look bad. Just to start thinking along the lines of real.
Just to begin, to begin to think - ok, well, what kinds of things genuinely do need doing? What can be done? And just to start thinking down those lines, I'm not here to feed you an answer. Just start thinking of how to get real. Not some little vanity project, but something of actual substance.
And start being a bit ruthless with yourself about this. Because perhaps it's your life that you're cutting off at the knees if you don't. Nobody else is going to have to live a shallow life, just you, so maybe it's something you might want to start making your problem.
And find something genuine that actually needs support. Something like that. Something where today, you just have 1% more reason to do it than not to do it - and tomorrow it will be the same. And it will always be like that, until the thing has actually been resolved.
And then you get to experience life, not just consumption. Not just chasing the next product, the next phone, the next tablet, whatever. But you actually get to live - which is a rare thing, and few people do.
But can you see what I'm getting at? Thinking down these lines, just to begin with, just tugging yourself in this direction a little.
And so you can actually start to do something that is legitimately inspiring - and continue to do it. And not just inspiring in general, or inspiring to others, but inspiring to you as well. Living life, living well, being alive.
The flow of things, action, life, developing skill, being outside of your comfort zone, getting scared, feeling alive. It's not a lesser form of being to live a life that includes the experience of 'being exhilarated', or being scared, or even being defeated, or knocked back.
What makes these things so damaging is when your motivation IS the belief and the feeling and the ideology that you've blasted up to massive volume. And then when you get knocked back, your heart breaks and your world falls apart.
It doesn't have to be that way. And the only reason it ever gets that way anyway is that you're NOT doing something real that genuinely does sing to you. If you were, you wouldn't need all this howling, screaming, bellowing motivation.
If you're doing something that actually does need doing, something real of real scale that genuinely matters, it's always going to be there. Not as a massive weight of super-motivation. Just as a little tug at the sleeve.
And sometimes you have days where you plunge right in, and sometimes you have days where you plod along, and sometimes you have days where you back right off.
But you never lose it, never lose the direction that you can get from taking the time to find out what really needs to happen, what the world really needs, what really needs to get done.
And that's when you do amazing things, because you take the time, the focused time to genuinely become amazing at things, and amazing things get done.
And it might be an idea to start thinking of things like this. Just as an experiment, see if you can do this, see if you can find a way to start.
Ah, I don't if any of this makes any sense. Probably not.