No matter what you want to achieve in life, there are two key ingredients that will stand you in good stead every time you set a goal. The first is determination and the second is motivation. Determination, in broad terms, is a firmness of purpose, a resoluteness. It is often stated that determination is the key to success.
Motivation encompasses your general desire or willingness to do something or the reason or reasons you have to act in a certain way. Although these both sound like pretty ‘high’ notions, they impact on virtually everything we do, every day, in every aspect of our lives.
Life generally isn’t easy. There are constantly things that get in the way on our journey to success. No matter whether you’re in a job that you can’t wait to get out of or you’re running your own business, it’s tough. Even if you are doing something you love, at times success can seem like a real uphill struggle. Apart from a genuine desire to achieve success, at Motivating Words, we believe that the major keys to success are determination and motivation.
Determination & motivation – are you born with them?
So the big question is: are we born with determination and motivation, or are they skills we can develop?
It’s easy to get disheartened when you read stories of success. Stories such as babies born premature who battle for life in their first few minutes, then go on, against all the odds to become incredibly successful in one way or another. But what you need to remember equally, is that there are babies who slip into this world without any drama whatsoever and go on to succeed as well. And what about twins, where one succeeds and the other doesn’t? Irrespective of the fact that they have the same parents and have been brought up experiencing exactly the same things one makes it and one doesn’t?
So, yes, in our view, you can definitely develop determination and motivation.
Treat determination & motivation like muscles – work & develop them
Developing your determination and motivation in many ways is no different to developing a six pack or big guns. In fact, many people find that it helps to think of them as a muscle that they can develop.
With global communication the way it is today, it’s easy to feel a certain closeness to successful people and have the impression that we share their values and their belief systems. Television, the internet, social media and magazines give us a real up close and personal relationship with highly successful people from every walk of life. Because of this, we have a very clear picture in our mind’s eye of what success looks like for us, we just need a helping hand to get there.
Reading – one of the best ways to give your determination & motivation a workout
There is arguably no better way to develop your determination and motivation than by reading. Watching films is good, clips on YouTube can be really insightful, but when you read, there is a connection with your inner self that these arguably faster and more invasive styles of communication simply don’t have. When you read you create your own story and develop your own images as you go. When you read, you’re developing the muscles of the subject you’ve chosen to read about.
Motivating Words recommended reads to develop your determination & motivation
There are lots and lots of books about success and personal development on the market and sometimes it’s helpful to have a guiding hand to find the right one for you. At Motivating Words we try to be impartial, but ultimately there are certain reads that we favour more than others.
When we got together to write this article, we decided to focus on 3 specific groups of people and highlight the reads that we think would help them develop their determination and motivation. Of course, we’ve applied some generalisation, but we really hope you’ll find our choices helpful. Here they are:
Building determination & motivation in professionals
If you’re climbing the corporate ladder, you’re likely to come up against roadblocks to your success on a frustratingly regular basis. Maybe a colleague has beaten you in the race for your dream post, perhaps someone has been brought in from the outside to steal your perfect role from under your nose? When these things happen, it would be all too easy to give up and adopt a bland attitude to your chances of achieving what you want to achieve.
If you’re feeling this way Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss will help quickly focus your mind, build your determination and motivation and set you up personally for the success you deserve professionally. This book was written by one of the most admired self-development gurus of our day and is a really accessible and exciting read. Laying out a clear path to success by giving you the tools and tactics you need to be the best version of you that you can be, it’ll set you up for success at work.
If determination is the key to success then use it to change your life
More and more people today are keen to get off the 9-5 hamster wheel and do their own thing. If this is you, your own thing might be a hobby that you can turn into a way of making a living or it may be that you’re planning to transfer your existing skills from the corporate world to become a freelancer or startup founder? Either way, determination and motivation are key ingredients in how successful you’re likely to be.
If this is you, then The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg will help quickly focus your mind on why you’re stuck in the rut that you’re in. It’ll help you build your determination and motivation and see a clear path towards your goals. This book is full of examples of people who struggled to change things but succeeded when they adopted Charles Duhigg’s method. At the end of the day, going to work day in and day out, when you no longer want to is very much a case of having a habit that’s safe, but no longer a habit you want, and you need help and courage to break it.
And when you get beyond the initial phase, you should throw yourself into The Lean Startup by Eric Ries. This book pulls back the curtain on the whole startup sector and gives you a roadmap to get your startup off on a successful footing. Providing you with a simple startup methodology, when you’ve finished this read, you’ll be in no doubt as to what you need to do to bring your dream to life.
Maintaining the determination & motivation in business
Every business owner goes into their journey of self-employment with all guns blazing and a clear vision of where they want to be in 1, 3 and 5 years’ time. However, the reality of running a business is often very different from the notion. Burning the midnight oil doing accounts when you’re a creative person, for example, can quickly turn your dream into a nightmare. Once again, you’ve guessed it, it’s determination and motivation that will get you through these tough times.
If this is you, then The 80/20 Principle by Richard Koch will help quickly focus your mind, build your determination and motivation and start to see light at the end of the tunnel. This book is based on the Pareto Effect and quickly brings us to the realisation that much of the effort we put into our lives has little impact. When you’ve read this book, you’ll have a completely different view of the things you get drawn into day after day. A real empowering read, it will help you sort out the priorities from the sea of tasks you have in front of you right now and adopt a new way of dealing with life and business.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for a method that you can apply simply and easily to improve your chances of business success, then Simplify by Richard Koch and Greg Lockwood is a great read. An approach that has helped companies like Apple, IKEA, Uber and Airbnb, this book is a complete solution that will bring you results and raise your market profile.