Don’t Wait for Motivation

Those who achieve their goals don’t wait for motivation, intrinsic or extrinsic.

Not External

They don’t wait to be inspired by some larger-than-life figure who seems to have all the answers to life’s biggest questions. They don’t look to their heroes to inspire or motivate them. And they don’t expect their manager, their leader, or their CEO to provide the spark that catches them on fire and compels them to take action.

The truth of the matter is that people who succeed and achieve their goals don’t need extrinsic motivation to do their work.

Not Exactly Intrinsic

Those who produce extraordinary results don’t have to pump themselves up or psyche themselves up to do what they need to do. They don’t need their inner coach to talk them into working, whatever that work might be. Nor do they re-read their mission statement to remind them of—or reconnect to—their “why.”

They don’t constantly remind themselves of why they want what they want or the contribution they intend to make. Instead, they do. Let’s call this the “Chuck Close Rule.”

The Chuck Close Rule

The artist and photographer, Chuck Close, once said: “Inspiration is for amateurs—the rest of us just show up and get to work.” Of all the so-called secrets of success, this just may be the most important. Your ability to will yourself to act is what produces results, even if something, someone, or some higher purpose doesn’t motivate you.

External, hyped-up motivation is fleeting at best. Believing you have to motivate yourself is an excuse. It lets you off the hook with the excuse that you “just aren’t feeling it.” And if you “just aren’t feeling it,” you won’t even look at your mission statement, let alone act on it.

When you don’t feel like working, start working and notice how fast you get over your resistance to work.

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