The key to self-motivation, as we discussed yesterday, is our ability to make a choice.
But not just any choice.
The key to self-motivation is making a choice that leads to an action that is part of a bigger and more meaningful purpose than whatever the immediate result of the action will be.
I just made a choice to sit down and write this post. Why? I don’t make money for writing this post. No one is sitting around waiting for this post to be published or to hit their inbox.
So why am I self-motivated to write this? Especially when there is an opportunity to cost for what I’m doing right now.
Why am I so self-motivated that even though I struggled to decide what to write about, and came close to skipping writing today’s post altogether, I still powered through anyway and started writing.
First, because it is my choice to write.
Second, because I believe that these words that I’m writing right now, even if no one reads them today, will eventually be part of the tapestry when Primility is something bigger, bolder, and more widely viewed and impactful. Maybe it’s when Primility is a book, or an online course, or when I turn this idea into TED Talk. I don’t know. But I do believe something bigger is happening here, even if it’s taking a long time to develop.
It’s my choice. It’s part of something bigger. So I’m motivated.
In other words, I feel a sense of purpose.
When I’m creating content here, I feel like I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing — what I’m uniquely qualified to be doing.
Geoff has a great story for how he discovered his why — and his why is to help other people discover theirs. Read this: This One Word by Aristotle Will Give Meaning and Purpose to Your Life.
In it, Geoff proposes three questions that will help you understand your why better.
Take a look at these questions … because when you understand your why better, you understand the bigger meaning behind your actions, which is what makes your choices matter, and, ultimately, motivates you to not only to make them, but to follow them through to a successful outcome. That is the self-motivation we all seek.
Here are those questions:
- What do you feel deeply inspired by?
- What are you particularly talented at?
- What meets a significant need in your world?
Go ahead, answer them.
In your head, in a journal, on a scrap sheet of paper, or in a text editor. Heck, answer them in the comments. It doesn’t matter where, but it does matter when.
Answer them now.
- I feel deeply inspired by finding examples — in so many varied walks of life — of how balancing pride and humility has been a key to someone’s success, whether they ever thought about it in those terms or not (most don’t).
- I am particularly talented at identifying these examples, cataloging them, and turning them into useful content, whether it be blog posts or podcast episodes. This is a talent I’ve developed not by accident but by being intentional about looking and translating.
- I don’t know anyone who doesn’t desire to be better. But I know plenty of people who are content to wait to be better later. In fact, I’ve often been this person. I want to consistently remind myself to not wait, but to be better now, and as I develop this ability I want to share it with others. Training myself to have a primility mindset helps me do this, which is why I want to share it.
I didn’t wait. I acted. I answered. You should too.
If you agree that these questions will help connect you to your why, to your purpose … and if connecting to your purpose will help you understand why your actions matter … and if understanding why your actions matter will motivate you to stop procrastinating and make choices … and if making these empowered, meaningful choices is the key to self-motivation …
Well, who wouldn’t want that?
There’s no downside.
There’s only the upside of increasing your level of self-motivation, which helps in every area of life, or the missed opportunity of waiting to be better later when you could be better now.
Even this choice, right here, matters.
You can choose, right now, to connect more deeply with your purpose in life, and how your unique combination of inspiration, talent, and circumstance can positively impact the world. That means something — to you and to others. That is primility.
Don’t let this opportunity to pass you by.
Be better now.
Flickr Creative Commons Image via Eric