As I'm beginning to wind down for a little break over Christmas - I naturally always pause and have a think about where I'm heading next year, I think we can all agree that for our industry in particular 2020 has been a rollercoaster of all sorts of emotion. I'm not sure about you but I've found whole days go by where I've not been able to concentrate on the task at hand and I've found myself staring out of the window or even sometimes on an evening re-watching a whole episode on Netflix because i've been daydreaming.
Something that I've learnt over the years in business is motivation is this funny little thing it sure helps you get things done - in all areas of life but 2020 has made me in particularly look at this word motivation.
What exactly is motivation? Is it enthusiasm for an action?
Or is it just a situation where taking an action has become more desirable than not taking action? You might not be excited about doing a particular thing such as your accounts, but at some point, the anxiety of not getting it done becomes worse than just doing the work.
What do you think? How do you define motivation and that drive to just get things done?
Here are the motivation myths I found to be particularly untrue for this year .....
Motivation is all that matters. As much as I would like to think I'm the 5th member of Little Mix, they just don't know, when I'm dancing in my kitchen with my kids - I sure as heck wouldn't make it as a pop singer!
Motivation is great, but there are a lot of other things that matter, too. A bit of intelligence, talent, skill, good resources and people, and some opportunity are just a few things that also matter. In spite of what I tell my own children about possibilities and succeeding in life, there are a lot of things you could never do no matter how motivated you are. My mother also told me the same when I was dancing around the kitchen as the 6th member of the Spice Girls. She still loves me - and no I never made it into the spice girls! My daughter genuinely has more talent at 6 for dancing than I ever did ......but that's another story!
However, motivation is far from worthless. You’ll have to manage yourself far less if you’re motivated to do something positive that supports your goals and values. A lack of motivation is challenging, however.
You can’t do anything without motivation. Really? Have I been excited to sit down at my my desk each and every day this year? Probably not. Are you thrilled to get out of bed each and every single day? Or does the thought of standing outside in a 30 minute queue for school fill you with the desire to pull the duvet back over your head. That sounds more like me!
There are plenty of things you can do whether you’re motivated or not. What are some things that you regularly do that you truly don’t want to do?
You shouldn’t do it if you’re not motivated to do it. This one 1000% struck a cord this year. I'm a huge advocate for mental health due to a situation I found myself in a few years ago and quite often motivation gets a bad reputation - but only when it doesn't come with a plan.
Do the best athletes in the world only train when they feel like it? Even when the world shut down in Lockdown 1 - they found new ways to keep training. Do you think bestselling authors only write when the urge strikes them? Writing a book was in my 2020 plans that I wrote late 2019 ........... pre-covid or PC as I am now going to refer to it! It would have been easy to have put another wishy washy book out into the world that didn't have any sort of anything about it and blamed it on covid.
But.......... I made the decision that covid had already impacted on a lot of my future plans for the business - and I wasn't letting it have this one. God knows how I did it but I sat and wrote 20,000 words on marketing strategy for business owners of all shapes and sizes. An accumulation of everything we have used inside of our businesses to build up audiences for companies of all shapes and sizes. And I made damn sure every word packed a punch ....... not because I have desires to be a best-selling author at all - but I would like my legacy for my work to be remembered for putting 100% into everything I did. If you want a copy at the moment you can only get it for being a part of our community. It's sure not going to make best seller lists that way - but it will help our industry.
I truly believe the most successful people in every field go to work and get busy every day. They don’t wait until they feel like doing it. They just do it in spite of how they happen to feel.
If I could only do the things I really want to do after the year my family has endured this year I might not have done much beyond snacking on the couch and binge-watching TV.
And I decided that 2020 gave me something I wasn't ever expecting.....perspective...here's why......My youngest brother sadly passed away in August. He had been suffering in silence for a little while. It's been incredibly tough to deal with. He was a talented freelancer and incredibly adventurous human being and his death mixed with the horrendous crap that this year has dished out in terms of in, out, in out in, out can break the most inwardly strong people.
I have received the most disgusting emails I'm ashamed to say from members of our own community at all times of the day and night......The passive aggressive ones are the worst.
The notion of ....be kind...... got lost somewhere along the way in 2020 and that legacy is one that motivates me at all times of the day and night. You never know what people are dealing with silently but also be kind to yourself........learn to speak to yourself with sparkle.
People make assumptions about motivation all of the time. My friends know what truly motivates me. The people who make assumptions about me, tend not to know too much about my life and I'm okay with that.
Motivation is great when it’s available, but motivation appears in the most funny of places - sometimes they are the moments you have to pick yourself up and do what needs to be done in order to then be able to do the things that truly motivate you.
which takes me to myth 4.......
Motivation is always available. Motivation isn’t always on-tap. There are days you feel super motivated and some days you’d rather just quit. It’s hard to predict when you’re going to feel motivated. The best policy is to make a decision to put in the work whether you feel like it or not. Every decision has a cost. However, motivation makes it much easier to pay that cost. The world is a funny place still but with news of vaccines and turning points I do think that the future is positive........If you’re just dying to go to travel, the cost of the plane ticket is easier to bear than if you’re not excited about the trip all together.
Motivation for sure can be in short supply at times but just imagine how great you’ll feel when the task is complete.
Sometimes, it’s necessary to just put your head down and do what needs to be done.
You can’t spend your life waiting for the perfect circumstances and the perfect attitude. Sometimes the biggest thing in your way can be the thing that least expect and that can be your ability to find what truly motivates you. Because nothing changes when nothing changes....
Take advantage of motivation when it’s available but avoid waiting for it. You’ll find that success in anything you want is easier to reach.
So for 2021 if you haven't already thought about your goals for the next few months of your business....have a think as to what motivation means to you because that's what's going to keep you going on and get to that next stage of your business.
I tend to find my motivation on the days I struggle by going on for all of the people I'm inspiring without even knowing it...... those are the messages that land in my inbox from people like you - those who pick up our emails and read our blogs, every once in a while....someone let's me know that they got round to implementing that tip or they were inspired to take some sort of action by something I've written. and of course my own children - who believe that all sorts of wonderful things are possible when you work hard, mix it with a bit of passion and intelligence and talent and whole dose of kindness.
Have a great week everyone. How do you define motivation? I'd love for you to let me know.