All of us have many things we dream about. We want to constantly improve parts of our lives. It may be our health (losing weight, working out, quitting an addiction), our relationships, our finances… You name it!
We have big goals, we sometimes get super excited about them, but most of the time we fail to pursue them.
We just quit after a few days . Then we start over again. Then we quit again. Then we promise to start again on Monday. Then we stick for a few days aaand… Well, you get the point
Why do we get trapped on this roller coaster and what can we do to stop it?
Motivation VS Determination
In order to get started on a project we need motivation. In order to keep going we need determination.
Motivation and determination have different structures. Most people mistakenly believe that motivation is all they need to get them through something. But that’s not true.
Motivation is useful in the beginning. It influences how we get to work on what we want. We may feel compelled to achieve our objectives because they will bring us greater satisfaction or because it’s how we avoid pain.
Our motivation is mostly related to why we want to get to our destination. It’s the initial jolt of energy. The main reason why motivation is not really reliable for long term objectives is that it operates in cycles. We may feel motivated and compelled to do work on some days, while we may need to talk ourselves to getting things done on other days.
The cycles of motivation are what make people go on and off diets, for example.
In order to implement a permanent change, we need to use determination to go for our goals.
Determination is what makes us do things even if we don’t feel like it. Determination turns work into a habit which consistently produces results. Determination is the feeling that we need to achieve our goal and we disregard everything which will keep us from attaining it.
Determination is what beats all odds and makes us truly unstoppable.
Why You Need Determination
If we rely solely on our motivation and on our feelings, we will always get inconsistent results. While it’s true that results also motivate, usually in the beginning results are the slowest to show. And it’s usually in the beginning when we mostly need to pull through.
With the passing of time we start turning action into a habit and we need less and less motivation to do the necessary work.
Sometimes we really don’t feel like paying the required price for our goal. Other times we feel like we deserve a break. While it’s healthy to give ourselves a pat on the back from time to time, consistent results can only be produced by consistent action. Cultivating determination is what will make us get those results.
How To Use Determination
Each of has examples from the past when we were really determined to achieve something and we did it. Determination is a skill we all possess, we just need to learn how to make use of it whenever we need to.
Just think of small children who learn how to walk. They are an example of sheer determination. They try to balance themselves, they fall, but they get back up, then they fall again and persist until they master the skill completely. We all know how to walk, so we all have gone through this process.
Basically, every time we have mastered something which seemed very difficult or nearly impossible, we have made use of determination.
Determination is a pattern. You can find out yours if you recall a time when you managed to pull through, despite not feeling motivated. Try to remember and really be there to see what you saw, hear what you heard and feel what you felt.
Now answer the following questions:
- What did you picture in your mind?
- What did you say to yourself?
- How did you feel?
- What posture did your body have?
If you are able to answer those questions, you can find your structure of determination.
Next, apply that same structure to the goals you are currently struggling with. Look at your situation just as you did in the past when you were determined to get things done. Feel the same feelings and use the same words.
Do this until you feel determined enough to follow through with your plans under any circumstances.
There you have it! Now you know how to bring back that state of feeling determined whenever you need it and use it to get you through any difficulties you may encounter on the path to your goals.
I’d love to hear your stories – did you have a time when you felt really determined to do something and managed to pull things through, even though you initially lacked motivation? How did you do it? Please answer in the comment section below.