A lot of very smart people end up as failures – failures in life, in work, and in relationships. A lot of very smart people are given plenty of opportunities for success and never take advantage of them. A lot of very smart people are born into privilege and yet turn into failures. And a lot of very smart people accumulate degrees and skills and still fail to achieve what we think they would. And what is the common factor in all of these failures? It’s lack of self-motivation.
All of the intelligence and all of the opportunity and all of the book learning is simply for naught if there is no motivation to do anything with them. Here are 10 reasons why self-motivation is the only path to success.
What is Self-Motivation?
A child may be motivated to pick up his toys if there is a reward for doing so (of if there is a punishment for not doing so). Someone outside of himself has created that motivation. If there were not an outside motivator, the child would probably not be so quick to pick up those toys. He has no self-motivation. As we mature, we become self-directed individuals. We muster up the motivation to accomplish things – or not. If we don’t become self-directing, then we don’t meet with success. Here’s why.
1. Without Self-Motivation, Goals are Not Set
Successful people set goals and then go after them. Those goals come from within, based upon that person’s passions. If goals are set at all, the non-self-motivated person sets only small temporary ones. Such goals may be to get a job that will pay the bills or to save enough money to take a vacation with a friend. They are small and short-term.
2. Without Self-Motivation, Plans are Not Made
Even if the unmotivated person is able to set a long-term goal, s/he then fails to develop a plan to achieve that goal. The goal just becomes a dream for “someday.” The self-motivated person develops a very specific plan of action, constantly reviews that plan of action, makes modifications when necessary, and stays on that path.
3. Without Self-Motivation, There is No Risk-Taking
Successful people do take risks. In fact, they are driven to take risks, because they know they will stagnate otherwise. Unmotivated people find excuses not to take risks, and those excuses become justification for their stagnation. It’s not the right time; others have tried that and failed; my friends say it’s a stupid idea; my family won’t support me.
4. Without Self-Motivation, There is No Optimism
Optimism is that belief that the future holds promise. It provides energy and enthusiasm. Self-motivated people re optimistic about their futures. Unmotivated people have fear and insecurity about the future. They are therefore willing to stay in their comfort zones where they are safe and don’t have to fear an uncertain future.
5. Without Self-Motivation, There is Blaming Others
The self-motivated person knows that he alone is responsible for his successes and failures. When he meets failure, he is able to reflect on it, identify what he did wrong, and change his behaviors and circumstances so that success is ultimately achieved. The unmotivated person blames others and never has to look within to see what should be changed.
6. Without Self-Motivation, There is No Follow Through
The self-motivated person, once he sets his path toward success, stops talking and starts doing. He is the list-maker who gets up each day with actions in mind. The unmotivated individual develops his path perhaps, but then spins his wheels talking about what he intends to do. No action follows all of that talk.
7. Without Self-Motivation, There is No Self-Confidence
Because the self-motivated has taken action and has met with some successes, no matter how small, he has developed the self-confidence to keep moving forward and take on new and greater challenges. The unmotivated person has not taken action and, therefore, cannot muster up any self-confidence to take on a challenge.
8. Without Self-Motivation, There is no Passion
Passion comes from a deep desire and a love for what one is undertaking and pursuing. Self-motivated people are able to feel passion and that keeps them going through any rough patches, even big ones. The unmotivated individual shuts down as soon as a rough patch is hit, because he doesn’t have that inner passion that will push him through it.
9. Without Self-Motivation, There is no Focus
Unmotivated people are easily distracted. They may begin a project and leave it half-finished. They do the same thing in life. They set a goal, being planning and acting, and then get side-tracked by other events and circumstance. The self-motivated individual never takes his “eye off the ball,” resists distractions, and move forward.
10. Without Self-Motivation, There are Missed Opportunities
Because the self-motivated individual has a passion for what he is doing and the goals he has set, he speaks to them whenever he has the chance, even to strangers. He finds opportunities to connect with other like-minded people; he surrounds himself with other self-motivated individuals. All of this relationship building brings opportunities for partnerships, for funding, for all sorts of support. The unmotivated person doesn’t seek these connections and misses opportunities.
Passion, drive, planning, focus, and steady action – these are the hallmarks of a self-motivated individual. And these are the very things that every successful person will tell us are the keys to success. All of them have their origin and their lives within that larger realm – self-motivation.
Kerry Creaswood – a young and ambitious writer from Savannah, GA. She is fond of various forms of art and thinks that everything we can imagine is real. To find more about Kerry – check her Twitter or visit her blog.