Motivation is the fuel in the engine that moves us forward toward our goals.
In the late 60’s Dr. Edwin Locke wrote a pioneering work called “Toward a Theory of Task Motivation and Incentives”.
This paper represented the beginning of what would become known as Locke’s Goal Setting Theory.
Now, over 50 years later, most of us cannot imagine a time when Goal Setting Theory (and the use of S.M.A.R.T. Goals) was not part of standard management practices.
A key principle of Goal Setting Theory has to do with feedback. Positive feedback, such as that received when a goal is achieved, provides further internal incentive to achieve the next goal.
If we can break our goals down into bite sized chunks that can be accomplished daily or even multiple times throughout the day, then we keep our motivation fresh and are better able to maintain forward momentum. This is true as long as the goals are specific, measureable, attainable (while somewhat challenging), realistic and time-relevant.
For example, having goals of making 6 sales calls before lunch and 4 sales calls after lunch, is much better than the goal of making as many sales calls as possible.
Having small successes throughout the day and the week can provide us a constant drip of motivation, keeping performance up and moving us ever more effectively toward our Big Goals. And as Sir Arthur Helps said in 1868, “Nothing Succeeds like Success”.
In Part 1 we looked at the origin of the word passion and saw that the root of the word passion is patior, which alludes to the suffering that may be encountered when you are committed to a passion, as opposed to simply being hopeful about attaining a dream.
Similarly, enthusiasm is much more than simply being excited about something. Enthusiasm comes from the Greeken + theos. Literally these words mean God-infused. But the original word for enthusiasm actually was understood to mean God-possessed. Possession carries with it a much more dynamic and active dimension than a simple interpretation infusion would allow.
To be enthusiastic is to be driven, to be not merely excited, but to be propelled deliberately toward some end. To be enthusiastic is to plunge headlong into an effort at top speed, unconcerned about possible failures or potential problems. Not because you are in denial about possible problems that may arise but because you are confident that your enthusiasm and the resources available to you will be sufficient to carry you through to the other side of those problems.
So we see that enthusiasm and passion are examples of two fairly common words that are far more important to the idea of achieving success and living a fulfilled life than might be assumed at first.
When you approach your passion with enthusiasm, your eventual success is all but guaranteed.
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