What sets successful people apart from the pack? Is it luck, money, good lucks, and/or talent?
No, it is one small simple fact — motivation.
People who are successful all share one trait — they are motivated.
Of course, motivation really isn’t simple at all. That is why there is multi-billion industry focused on self-help books, tapes, seminars, camps, and coaches.
There is just one problem with using these methods. When it comes to motivation one size does not fit all. One of the elements that makes human beings so endlessly fascinating is that we are all individuals.It is the primary reason our species has been so successful. It also means we each have different interests, goals, and motivation.
So before you can begin following any one of the thousands of motivational programs available you must first determine which motivational group you fall into.
After some thought, study, and research, I have come up with four basic motivational categories:
~ The Pessimist
~ The Competitor
~ The Minimalist
~ The Exhibitionist
The Pessimist is personified by my husband. Whenever he gets the smallest bit of bad news he immediately leaps into the deep end of doom and gloom. It doesn’t matter if the problem is small or large, he often reacts as if it is the end of the world. If the satellite dish has a momentary hiccup in service then he immediately assumes the bill didn’t get paid and our account terminated and our credit score is now on the decline.
It took me a long time to learn how to deal with this. At first I thought it was real panic and I would try to shield him from the smaller hiccups, and even some big ones, of life. But now I know this is actually how he motivated himself.
When we face challenges, big or small, he works himself through a familiar cycle. First he outlines the worst-case scenario, then he outlines his options for action, and then he takes action. And when he takes action just get out of the way as he moves very quickly — and successfully. Challenge faced, problem solved. It makes me crazy but it works for him!
My brother thrives on competition. Whether he is playing sports or working in sales, he is always more successful if he has competition.If his motivation flags he can easily juice himself up with a quick comparison of his progress toward a particular goal in comparison to others. He likes to keep score and that keeps him motivated. He wants to win whatever competition is at hand.
Don’t knock this method. By almost any measure my brother is a huge success and has worked his way from a contract employee barely able to afford his two-bedroom apartment to a high-level sales executive with a six-figure salary plus bonuses to further incentivize him.
Perhaps this person might best be described as having a short-attention span. They need short-term goals that are immediately visible and can be achieved within a short time span. They can go the distance as long as it is broken up into smaller projects. Each small victory will spur them on to the final goal but they need those little successes to keep them motivated. In many ways this label applies to me but I think down deep that I am really in the final category.
I know I fall into this category because I have a very difficult time with goals that I cannot see. It is one of the reasons I hate cleaning — sure you can see the results but with a busy family you know how long those results stay visible!
Like the minimalist I enjoy breaking large projects up into small, bite-sized chunks so they are not so overwhelming. When I grade papers for my teaching gig I always divide the pile into several smaller piles so I can feel I am making progress. I do the same with cleaning — first straighten the room, then dust, then vacuum.
But it isn’t enough for me to accomplish the task — I need to have a to do list that I can check off as I go and then crumple up and throwin the trash at the end of the day. I need to be able to point to some visible success for the day whether it is a shining kitchen, a stack of graded papers, or a pile of completed manuscript pages.
Which category do you fall into? Once you know that much about yourself you will be better able to find the motivation technique that works best for you. Stop by the Words of Inspiration web site and vote in our motivation poll and then go get motivated!