Motivation is a widely discussed topic, rather than a widely discussed phenomenon in our society. We start learning about it early in school and as we grow, the reading material on motivation only tend to get bigger. Though there is so much information available on motivation, most of us fail to feel the phenomenon as often as we may want. Motivation in many cases is a result of a sudden thought process induced by an external force that often lasts a minute, an hour or a day. This type of motivation is what motivational speakers thrive on these days.
Modern-day motivational speakers, especially in India use a simple strategy to get people to hear them. They talk about big things and big changes, they create a version of life that everyone would want and tell people that they can have it. While it is true that anyone can have anything that he/she desires and work hard for. This strategy used by most motivational speakers is just to get people to listen to them (increasing their revenue) and not intended to motivate people in the long go.
The motivation you get by listening to such speeches and videos is momentary, even if you act upon it in under a minute. There is no guarantee that the sudden surge of motivation you got from a person, who was talking about an ideal life for you, will last. The reason behind this is simple, motivational speakers tell you to aim big and start right now, without telling you the how and the why. The big changes that these people want you to aspire for are too big in magnitude and will need a strategised plan. A plan that you prepare in such a hurry cause you have the urge to achieve the result in mind that you mess it up.
Big changes, like becoming a millionaire or losing 40 kgs of weight can’t be achieved by putting that goal on the wall and just start working. I can’t explain this fact better than Justin Gasparovic did in his article on Tiny Buddha.
He said, “The most powerful force in the human body is the desire to be consistent with who we’ve been in the past. Behaviour that is incongruent with the self will not last, which is why big goals are often so hard to accomplish.”
Let me explain this statement with an example. If you plan to be a millionaire by investing in stocks. You will just get the required knowledge through the internet or people you know and just start investing in the hope to be a millionaire one day. What if, you face a loss in the first week and you are a highly anxious person. You will start losing your sleep over the loss, or either end up taking bad decisions or just quit it entirely.
Do you see the problem? You as the person who you are today is not evolved enough to rationally analyse the loss in the best possible way. This happened because, instead of trying to become a person who can be a millionaire through investing in stocks. You started behaving like a person who is ready to become a millionaire through investing in stocks. The two scenarios are different as when you try to become the person you want to be, you start changing your behaviours and beliefs gradually to be the person. When you do the latter you aim for your goal, with your current sets of behaviours and beliefs and end up failing.
Aiming too big can also make you overwhelmed. Which might result in you never starting in the first place. While committing to making small changes, will only bring yourself joy every time you accomplish it. That joy will motivate you to make other changes.
The trick is to start changing your behaviour one at a time, instead of putting full force to get your goal from the first day. Stop following the banal step to just start working towards your aim, start making changes that will make you a person who will achieve those goals.
Aiming big and imagining yourself in a mansion might seem like the best way. It might also get you the motivation to start, but if you are not ready for the process, you might not get to the goal. So, instead of aiming for the big and try your ass off to enjoy the process, become a person who loves the process by changing your behaviour one at a time.
If you want to stop freelancing and start a 9-5, start by learning to stick to schedules and waking up early first.
You wish to open a successful business, and you are lazy now. First, learn how to stop procrastinating.
Change one behaviour at a time and the rest will follow you. Change your aim to become a person who can achieve that goal and you won’t need another motivational speaker to tell you to get up.