Have you ever felt so thrilled about something? So intrigued to do great positive things about your life only for it to fade away? Why did that great psyche die off?
I remember one Sunday back in high school when these motivational speakers came to teach us about life. I was so motivated and I knew I had to change my life to become this focused boy.
I arranged my locker, tore and threw away a letter I had received from a girl from Loreto Kiambu and arranged my exercise books according to their genres; Languages, Sciences etc. I even went to the Christian Union (CU) meeting later that night immediately after evening preps.
I started waking up early for morning preps. I studied vehemently knowing that my life has changed for the good now that I am focused and have stopped cussing. But did that last?
Soon enough? The thrill declined and my locker was now unarranged. I stopped doing assignments and waking up in the morning became an uphill task. I was back to where I was, even worse? But why? I was motivated, I had changed.
Vusi Thembekwayo, an acclaimed business mogul and a global speaker says that if you study people who are at the pinnacle of anything you will notice that motivation is maybe 1% of the process. He emphasizes on the word maybe.
He continues to say that he will prove his point by giving this illustration. “If you want to become a world-class body builder say an IFBB pro, you will have to train twice a day, eight hours a day and six days a week.
You will also need to have eight meals a day. Your calorie intake will have to ne regimented and your meals will be pre-planned and pre-cooked. You will not eat according to taste but according to function.
You will need to train for a minimum of ten years to compete at an average level with an average global body builder.”
He talks of how much many would want to get in shape as their new year resolution. “You get that gym membership, that new gym gear because you are motivated and inspired.
You then go to YouTube and subscribe to all the fitness channels and follow all fitness models on Instagram. You forget that the models you follow have taken a minimum of five years to look like that.
You have the incorrect understanding that after a month or two of working out you are going to look like them. At first, because you are motivated, you start working out. Your body becomes sore, you feel the pain in your muscles but you push yourself.
Something then happens, maybe you fall a little ill and you miss the gym for a day. A day becomes two, then three, then a week and you stop working out.
What did you miss? You thought motivation was the key but winners don’t need motivation, they need discipline. Discipline is getting things done because they need to get done, not because you feel like it. Not because you are motivated by it?”
He asks the question, “You think Nelson Mandela was motivated to spend 27 years in prison? You think Martin Luther King was motivated to march across the state and proclaim freedom?”
He says that the people who changed the world did not do things because they were motivated. They did them because they were committed and were disciplined to see them through.
“Discipline is far more important than motivation and that’s why you have to be more careful of the decisions you make because once you make those decisions you have to see them through.”
He says that motivation is important but it is overrated. He says that motivation will fade and that’s why you need a stronger will and a deeper commitment to see things through.
But is this true?
Jason Wojcik who describes himself as a lifelong learner and a knowledge sharer says that, “Motivation is the building block for developing habits. Without motivation, you can never invoke change. Without motivation, you will never implement what you need to do for building habits.
The key is that motivation is a short lived power that is not sustainable. The habits you build from the motivation is what keeps that engine powered in the long term.”
Let me ask a question, If someone says they started advocating against raped because they were raped, is that a motivating factor or is that simply self-discipline that keeps them moving?
Can self-descipline work without motivation? Can one just have discipline without a cause?
Motivation becomes overrated when it is exaggerated. There are those motivational speakers who tell you how they started their restaurant with one been seed and one ounce of maize flour.
But let’s say you are a struggling entrepreneur and you hear something like, “In 1886, sales of Coca-Cola averaged 9 drinks per day. That first year, they sold only 25 gallons of syrup. They grossed $50.00 and spent $73.96 on advertising.” Won’t you get motivated and think, “If Coca-Cola made it, I also can.” Won’t you be disciplined and start working with the motivation you got from that?
We cannot say that motivation is useless. Sometimes we need that push, we need that thrill. We need to hear that someone else was in the position we currently are at and they made it. Sometimes we get so low and all we need is a source to tell us not to give up.
Is motivation overrated? Or do motivational speakers overrate it. Do you agree with Vusi Thembekwayo that we do not need motivation? Tell me your thoughts in the comments below.