Motivation and goals

Motivation is generally the natural result of what we’re doing. We’re motivated to get a license so we can drive to the store. We’re motivated to learn a new programming language because our current job is boring. We’re motivated to lose weight because we want to look like the people in the movies. But often, motivation isn’t natural or free.

Yet most things worth doing in life require the proper motivation. If we have goals that don’t have built-in motivation, it’s up to us to provide what’s lacking. For example, I’m not wild about a consulting gig I’m on right now. The work just isn’t that interesting. I motivate myself to work on the project each day by taking hourly breaks and ending the day with a reward… an hour spent reading a book or watching a movie.

This is what has worked for me in my particular situation. The things that motivate you will probably be different. Being around certain people can be motivating. Seeing clear progress towards a goal can be motivating. Cash can be motivating. Reading certain books can be motivating.

Speaking of motivation, Jared Richardson and I have been in the planning stages of a new book for the past few months. We launched this blog to motivate us to move more quickly toward our goal of publishing the book before the next ice age hits. Having a blog about the book makes us accountable to the public. If we aren’t making progress, people will complain. That’s highly motivating for us.

What motivates you? Tell us in the comments.