Is Your Motivation Killing Your Dreams?
You’re living under a rock if you do not know who these above people are. Of course, you know them. You don’t just know them, you want to be like them. They are the Doers that have Motivated and Inspired billions of people across the world to pursue their dreams. Or, have they? I look at them and feel like it is only a matter of time and my first step before I become one of them. My mind swells with all the motivation and daydreaming that follows as I position myself at their level, literally.
What happens after that, though? I feel highly motivated at first, doubtful about my abilities at second, depressed about my life at third, and finally resort to saying a thing like “you know what, these people are all gifted, and I am not. Let’s get real”. Here, our Motivation has actually become the Extinguisher of our dreams, unless one of us is really gifted. Why does this happen? There’s nothing wrong in being awed by someone’s success. Nor do I mean to say that their success isn’t inspiring enough. The problem starts when people aimlessly spend years to find their aim in another person’s success without realizing that they are looking at the wrong place. Bill Gates is obsessed with Da Vinci; so much so he spent $30 million to buy Da Vinci’s Codex. He is evidently inspired and fascinated by the legend. Surely his success would have shaped his perspective; but did Bill ever think that he too should be a painter like Da Vinci? Or, was he the reason Bill started Microsoft?
We all are Bill Gates that never started a Microsoft! Why? Our so-called motivational sources have actually never CONVINCED US enough about why should we start what we aspire to. People like us look at our idols and becoming one of them becomes our aim. At most, we’re overwhelmed and humbled by the successes which, more often than not has taken a toll on our efforts to even start anything. Firstly, there’s an immediate subconscious comparison of our present self to the present self of that legend. We’re probably where (s)he was 30 or more years ago, but our mind will not accept that our legends were once hustlers too. Secondly, we’re bound by the limits of our own minds to convince us that we too can achieve unimaginable success. These external sources of motivation will give you instant gratification to dream but will fail to convince you enough to start.
If I tell you to start running from today and you’ll be the next Usain Bolt, what’d you tell me? On the contrary, if I tell you that if you start running from today, you’ll probably lose 5 pounds a week, what’d you Do?
You’ll surely be inspired by Usain Bolt and aspire to become a runner like him but his story will never convince you enough to start running because you’ve never known and connected with what it takes to be Usain Bolt. His real journey has been behind the scenes. All you’ve seen is a shimmery, glamorous bit of his success, all carefully built up by the media and his PR agencies. Will they ever let you know anything more than the humble beginning of Usain? No. Why? Simply because it won’t sell. Why are we wasting all the energy to find our motivation outside when it is clearly not working? It is like purchasing a car with debt just because our neighbour has it without knowing how to drive or even understanding, whether we actually need a car!
If your only motivation in life is to get successful like somebody else, sure you might achieve it fighting the odds, but would you not feel inferior throughout? In your mind, the hero of your story is somebody who is years ahead of you already. You’ll always feel like you are lagging behind. You’ll continue like a nomad trying to achieve an illusionary success. Basically, try to be the top contestant of the Rat race. Stop doing that. Bring back the Focus on yourself- the only person who knows what your current situation is and is capable enough to tell you what your next step should be.
By all means, learn from the legends on the way. But, start with your own Why!
If you’re struggling with your Why or If you’ve already found it, we and our readers would love to read about it and be inspired; so do share your story in the comments below!