I would ask myself "How am I going to be able to do this for the rest of my life?" Anything is going to be daunting if put into rest-of-your-life terms. About the only thing that I can 100% guarantee that I'll do for the rest of my life is breathe. Immature thoughts like this kept me from doing things I should have been doing and kept me doing things that were useless for my growth. That is the tragedy when we aren't doing that we should be, we further ourselves away from success by doing things we shouldn't be, forming the wrong types of habits.
The quote at the beginning of this post came to the rescue. I heard it recently on an episode of The Ziglar Podcast, and something about it clicked in my mind; a breakthrough that I may look back on for years as a changing point in my life. Motivation isn't intended to be drawn upon every hour of every day. It's a spring board. It's that 15 seconds of insane courage. It gets you up and moving. But it won't keep you there. That's what I misunderstood. I thought it was the driving force, the goal to work towards, the attribute to be conquered and attained. It's much like lighter fluid; very valuable to get a fire started, but horrible for keeping a fire burning on its own. Instead, use small bursts of motivation until a habit is formed. Think about habits you already have in your life. Do you have to pump yourself up to brush your teeth everyday? No, that habit has been engrained for years, you barely even notice it now. That's where we have to get with whatever tasks we are trying to accomplish now, whatever it is.
Now, habits are much like building a campfire. You don't go straight for the log, you build up to it. This realization struck me like a match. Both motivation and habits play a role, and when used together we're taught how we can sustain progress in our lives. Motivation will get you to try new things, it will get you started each day until you can form the habit you desire. The habit when established will carry you to bigger heights than you ever thought you could ever attain.
Please, if you find yourself struggling with the idea of motivation like I do, attempt to view it as a quick short term, boost of energy or application of willpower. Change your goal from being motivated into gaining healthy habits. Realize that progression in your life rarely comes from a single event or a secret cure. It comes through stringing together boosts of motivation for long enough to form a habit (which research says is about 3 weeks). Let your habits lead you to other habits until you are transformed by the refiner's fire into a new human being, someone who is continuously growing.
You will find quickly that I devour TED talks and find so much value in them that I would feel selfish if I don't share the insights that I gain from them. With that, find 18 minutes in your day to watch this one titled "The Puzzle of Motivation" by Dan Pink. In my next post, this video will serve as the launch point as my discussion ventures deeper into the principle of motivation, but I want you to have time to watch it and ponder on how the principle Dan is teaching can affect change in your life.