Why do you want to be successful?
What is it you are trying to achieve and why are you trying to achieve it? Without a powerful reason why, you will struggle to achieve anything of real value or lasting impact.
This article is the second part in my Success Formula series. Make sure you check out part one here if you have not already read it.
The first element in the formula is reason and I am going to encourage you to look at your reason for wanting success in the first place.
Well, why do you want to be successful?
It seems like an innocent enough question does it not? Almost a pointless question. I mean, really, who does not want success?
Everything in life takes energy. You cannot escape this fact. Whenever you do or think anything or engage in any interaction with the world around you, there is an exchange of energy involved.
You must take energy in to exchange for the bodily and mental essentials you need as a human and there is only so much to go around for the additional things you like to have in your lives.
Achieving success in any significant endeavour takes a lot of work. Achieving the type of comprehensive success most people seek in all areas of their lives, takes a huge amount of energy applied over time. You can do it, but you will need to make sacrifices. Focus your energy because it is limited and you must use it primarily for the essential elements you need to achieve your successful outcome.
You need reason fuel
Something must drive you toward your success but that means effort and effort costs energy. You need a fuel to give you energy and power that drive. A car for long without fuel, can it? Because you need sustenance, you cannot survive for long as a human without food or water, can you? Reason fuel is needed.
Your reason for achieving success is your fuel. Your reason must be compelling enough to power your ability to give up the nice to haves and, instead, expend your valuable energy on your success essentials. If your reason is not compelling enough your resolve will fizzle out and die. Your plan will fail.
The first step in planning for a successful outcome is to determine exactly why you are doing it in the first place.
Two types of driving force
There are two types of driver: Extrinsic and intrinsic.
External or extrinsic drivers, offering such rewards as money, fame or possessions, can be good drivers for some people but, as history has demonstrated time and again, even if they are achieved these things do not always provide the happiness or contentment which was sought. Many times, the external rewards do not prove healthy as drivers of success because the grass is always greener. Someone else always has more money, more fame or more possessions so there is no real end to it. Even if they do relatively well, compared to others, these externally driven types eventually burn out and give up. They often feel discontented and bitter which means they sometimes ruin their health and emotional lives. Life is too short to waste.
Internal or intrinsic rewards tend to be far more powerful and effective drivers for success because they are the real deal. An intrinsic driver might be as simple as feeling personally satisfied for doing a task well regardless of any thanks or monetary gain. In my experience, the most powerful intrinsic drivers are those which involve achieving success so other people benefit.
Perhaps an example might help clarify things further.
Consider which of the following two success drivers might make a middle aged, overweight and out of condition businessman start to eat a healthy diet, get fit again and then stay fit for as long as possible.
Driver 1: He wants to look good on the beach, impress others and fit into more stylish business clothing to help his career?
Driver 2: He wants to be able to play more sports and games with his children and stay healthy to help provide for them and help them as they grow toward their own middle age.
Which option would be most effective for him? Which option would drive you most effectively?
Go inside for the best fuel
The cost of gaining some extrinsic rewards is high. If you’re driven by such extrinsic rewards you must dig deeper. Find those all important intrinsic reasons for wanting your success because you’ll give yourself the best chance of finding it.
If you would like to dig deeper into what drives people, you might like to try the following books:
“Start with Why” by Simon Sinek.
“Drive” by Daniel H. Pink
I can recommend them both.
I hope you enjoyed this article and found it useful. If you did then please like it and share it. Every little bit helps in internet land.
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