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Motivation Has Its Limits

How many times have you started something but never finished it? How many times have you gone into a task or goal with all the motivation in the world to accomplish it, but then somehow got lost along the way and left it half done? I think the world is great at hyping us up. There is always the “next thing” to invest in, the “next book” to read (I can’t even tell you how many books I’ve started but never finished) or the “next opportunity” to get involved with. New is exciting, and new catches our eye- at least it catches my eye. It lures me in and convinces me that “new” is better than what I have right in front of me.

This is where consistency comes into play. Motivation is no good if consistency doesn’t provide the follow through. In our morning Leadershift call today, Mike Davidson made the statement, “Motivation gets you going, consistency gets you growing…it doesn’t matter how talented you might be or how many opportunities you might receive-if you aren’t consistent, you won’t continue to grow.”

The way I practically break this down into a mental example is that it doesn’t matter how many books I have started reading. If I am always stretching myself thin, trying to find time to start one book after another, I’m probably not going to grow and learn from the material in any of the books because I’m not staying focused and on task. I’m not being consistent with the goal I originally set.

I dialed into this morning’s Leadershift call from the road, heading from Little Rock to Kansas City. It was only 6:25am and I was already exhausted from having been up for two hours preparing for this road trip. But then Mike started sharing about how he was in his camper with no AC and no electricity, yet he was still leading this call, and he wasn’t letting a deterrent like that stand in his way of the commitment he has made to himself and to us Leadershifters. I believe commitment and consistency go hand in hand. You can’t possibly remain consistent if you aren’t committed to the goal you are trying to reach, and vice versa, you can’t remain committed to your goal if it isn’t paired with consistency. Through Mike’s consistency and commitment to showing up every week, especially on a day like today, he was putting into practice exactly what he was teaching us about.

I am motivated to learn American Sign Language, and I have a plan for how to accomplish this, but without consistently practicing and without showing up to class on Monday evenings starting this Fall, I am not going to grow in my knowledge and understanding of the language. Motivation is not enough to get things done. Motivation was enough to get me to enroll in my ASL class, it is consistency that will keep me coming back each week and practicing every day.

I wonder, what motivates you but is backed with no action? What keeps you going when the motivation seems to get lost in the chaos of day to day life? Something I’ve heard Mike say often is, “The bridge from good to great is built with the nails of discipline.”

Discipline is a word that often times seems to carry a negative connotation. Discipline often times has to ignore feelings and focus on what the goal at hand is. Discipline can’t be lazy and apathetic- it has to be committed, consistent, and determined. In this day and age where the world bends to accommodate every emotion, discipline can appear out of place. This is what my husband reminds me of quite often, that if I pursue my goals based on how I feel in the moment, my checklist that I referenced in the first blog post will never be completed at the end of each day.

So how do I pursue my potential? How do I continue to walk with an urgency for growth? It begins with the nails of discipline. It looks like pressing into the discomfort and the hardship at first, in order to get to where you want to be in the end. All things are difficult before they come easy, and it’s not a smooth road to walk at first, but it’s the only option for those who are invested in their personal growth.

Motivation has its limits. Discipline, Commitment, and Consistency are the essentials.

But what is your why? Mike shared with us today that it is the “why” that will always be what keeps us going. If you lose sight of why you are being consistent and disciplined, if you can’t remember why you started investing in yourself or pursuing a certain goal, it’s time to pause and refocus. Know what your “why” is and remind yourself of it as often as you can.

Together let’s unearth our “whys” and practice discipline and consistency. It starts today.

So here’s to growth. Our growth.

Amy Davidson

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