Why you don’t need motivation to succeed

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Progress comes from discipline, establishing systems, habits and then stopping yourself from being your own obstacle 

I battled in my mind before putting up this headline for the article, others I shared it with did too, but isn’t that exactly the truth? Oh, you also have reservations? Let us delve in and then you can judge for yourself.  


Motivation gives us a drive, just like listening to music to get in the mood for something. It influences our needs, desires and actions. And it often comes naturally. Sometimes through an occurrence or conviction. But what happens when you just do not feel motivated. Let’s face it no matter how passionate we are about our work or career we tend to get tired. Not tired in a bad way but it comes as a normal human instinct. You get demotivated for diverse reasons then procrastination sets it in. It could even be the cause.  

However Success doesn’t necessarily require motivation or ironclad willpower and you don’t need to drink bulletproof coffee, meditate or yoga, journal or do headstands before you can bring great ideas to life. Creating systems and habits can remove the problem of demotivation. When routines do the heavy lifting, it doesn’t matter if you feel like tackling a task. You simply need to show up and follow through. Established, efficient processes will not only benefit your business but enhance personal and team productivity. 


Systems aren’t exactly a hot topic in startup circles, but they do work. A lack of systems would make you run in circles, and waste a ton of time trying to get things done smartly. 


Two types of motivation

In “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us,” Daniel Pink explained motivation’s different forms: extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic motivation depends on outward rewards such as money, praise or perhaps winning a race etc.  Intrinsic motivation comes purely from within. If you run that race because the movement itself feels good or you experience a sense of personal accomplishment, the medal becomes a shiny afterthought. 

In his book, Pink suggests that extrinsic motivation — the carrot on a stick — is ineffective. He proposes that humans can achieve higher performance and lasting satisfaction by tapping into “the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and the world.” 


Yet even intrinsic motivation fades if you overtax it. Starting a business takes grit and determination, but you still might have moments when it’s difficult to move forward. An every business owner will attest to this fact. Mostly you feel afraid or the task is grandiose That’s precisely the moment when systems can take you over the finish line. 

Here are three strategies for creating reliable systems : 


Go straight to the point-  Creating certain outcomes and desired results mean that your systems should be straight to the point. And every process created should lead directly to that goal. The reason for this is that a lot of plans can be made and without the right planning, they all go down the drain. Focus on only true priorities 


Understand that motivation is optional – Motivation and enthusiasm don’t always show up for work when you do. Melissa Dahl shared some deceptively simple advice in a 2016 piece for The Cut: “You don’t have to feel like getting something done in order to actually get it done.” Her point is surprisingly brilliant. People often think “getting motivated” means generating inspiration or excitement before starting an activity. But feelings don’t need to align with actions. You can lack motivation and still move forward. For example, finishing that presentation deck instead of binge-watching Netflix. Who says you need to wait until you ‘feel like’ doing something in order to start doing it? Routines can outsmart feelings because they don’t consider your interest level. If you follow the routine, you’ll engage in the task. It’s that simple. There’s no need to take your emotional temperature because it doesn’t matter. Results accumulate when you repeat the system without stopping to gauge your feelings.

Learn how to delegate: Have you ever dreamt so many ideas, plans and realized you did not have the capacity to fulfil all of them by your self? That is where delegation comes in. Tasks are best offloaded to someone else when you can redirect that time, focus or energy to high-level activities only you can carry out. As a founder or Business owner, your job is to work on the business, not in it. According to author Ray Silverstein, “There is a bridge every entrepreneur must cross in order to grow a business beyond a certain point, a point where they must transition from ‘doing’ to ‘leading.’ It means stepping back from day-to-day operations and slipping into the role of overseer.” 

Delegation also makes sense when someone else is better equipped for the task. If you hire marketers, designers, developers, managers and researchers for their professional expertise, it’s important to lean on those skills. Most companies and products gain complexity as they grow, and there’s usually someone who can achieve better results in less time. That enables you to remain focused on your top priorities. So let this influence how you work. The next time you find a million reasons why you cannot go through with your work because you do not feel motivated enough, know that you can rise above it and succeed. If you want to be successful, waiting for motivation could be your biggest mistake.