Intrinsic motivation is not always easy to discover, develop or increase.
Billions are spent on coaching and accountability each year to overcome the lack of personal drive that so many people have.
The challenge is that no matter how good a coach you hire, no matter what accountability system you devise or invest in, and no matter what program you buy, you can’t escape your own personal decisions and personal accountability.
I make good money as a coach and I 1000% believe in the coaching industry…
…but I can tell you that it’s nearly impossible to coach someone who doesn’t have an adequate amount of personal drive and motivation inside themselves already.
I often compare intrinsic motivation to the path behind my house.
About 500 feet behind my house is a large county park. There is a huge lake, multiple docks and a paved walking path that is about a mile and a half long.
In the wintertime, the leaves fall off of the trees and I can see parts of the walking path from my back porch.
In the spring and summer, the trees and brush grow up so densely that I can’t see any part of the park.
When I first moved in over six years ago, I took my machete, my ax and my saw and cut a path from my backyard through the brush and up to the walking path.
It took me the good part of a day to do it, but afterward, I was glad I had a quick shortcut to the park.
The next spring, the path was already starting to become overgrown and I didn’t really clear it adequately before the brush got thick and wild again.
So by the end of the summer, the path was virtually gone and I couldn’t make it back to the park easily.
Today, years later, there is no path left.
So instead of a quick walk to the park, I get in my car and drive around the corner to the park entrance. I decided a while back that it wasn’t worth the hassle to keep the path clear, and that driving is faster and easier.
I believe that our intrinsic motivation, personal discipline and routines are just like that path.
With consistent maintenance, you can wear a path into any area of life, whether it’s in your backyard or your mind.
Any day that we skip a step or let ourselves off the hook, the thick brush in our mind grows over the path we created.
Any day that we stick to our routines, choose the right actions and hold ourselves accountable, we deepen the psychological furrow in our minds.
Every morning I go for a walk at the park, and when I get back I get into my hot tub to meditate.
When I’m done meditating, I get into my cold plunge tub at around 46 degrees.
And after three minutes, I get back into my hot tub to warm up and say my daily affirmations.
When I’m done with that, I get back into the cold plunge for another three minutes.
Today, like almost every single day, I really didn’t want to get in the cold plunge the first time.
And I definitely didn’t want to go back in the second time.
It was only 25 degrees outside and the cold stung every part of my body in and out of the tub.
But I told myself “if you quit now, you’ll quit in the future” and I don’t ever want to quit on myself.
So I decided to follow my routine, and do what I had committed to myself to do.
No one was watching.
No one cared.
My partner Rachel would never judge me for skipping out on part of my morning routine…
…but I knew inside that it was one of the important days in my life where I needed to wear the path deeper in my mind.
I needed to stoke that fire that creates the intrinsic motivation that I need to be successful in the long run.
I believe that these little unseen decisions that we make each day are either moving us towards or away from our goals.
I believe that you can feel these decisions too.
So today, when you’re considering not doing the work you know you need to do…
Or when you’re about to let yourself off the hook when you should really be doing that work you committed to yourself to do…
Hold yourself accountable and do the work.
Do the work.
You’ll thank yourself later on when you achieve the goals you set out to achieve.
And that’s one of the most rewarding experiences in life.
Setting out to achieve something, and then actually achieving it in the end.
The best part is that the more we commit to and execute on things the more our internal intrinsic motivation grows.
We become stronger every time we make ourselves do what we know we should do.
It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.
So my questions for you are:
– Where are you going to hold yourself accountable today?
– What difficult thing were you avoiding that you’re going to face head-on now?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
To your success,