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You Don't Need Motivation

One leadership and management skill we hear emphasised is motivation. However, maybe motivation isn't all it is cracked up to be.

Photo by Jukan Tateisi on Unsplash


You have set yourself a big goal (perhaps you used the EXACT technique), and you've decided you're going to spend the next few days, weeks or months working towards it. You're going to train for that marathon, finish that project, or find a new job.

So you need to be motivated, right?

Well, to a point, but motivation won't get you to the finish line. Nor will its mental siblings determination and willpower.

Why? Because these things are fickle. They ebb and flow. They can be destroyed by distractions, by the weather, by a poor night's sleep or a change in mood.

So, what do you need?

The answer is you need consistency.

The reason is that consistency compounds. Motivation might get your project started, perhaps with a rush of progress. Motivation might get your trainers on for a day or two, which is a good start. But, how many times have you started something with enthusiasm only for life to get in the way when your motivation faded? How many project have you started but failed to complete because one day you just weren't feeling it, and one day turned into two, which turned into three...?

Consistency will keep your project moving on a bad day. Consistency will get you out for a run when the weather turns.

And, little by little, you'll reach your goals.

So, don't say, I'm going to find a new job, I'm going to work hard on this project, or I'm going to train for a marathon. Instead say:

  • I'm going to work for 1 hour a day on this for 4 weeks. This compounds to 28 hours in a month.

  • I'm going to complete three high-quality job applications a week. This compounds to 12 applications in a month.

  • I'm going to run for 1 hour, 5 days a week, for 3 months.

Do that, and after 60 hours of training, your consistency will get you ready for your marathon 🏃‍♀️🏃‍♂️

And you won't need motivation at all!

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