You’re either a leader, looking to take your team to the next level. Or, you are looking to give yourself an edge. Either way, there are two elements you should consider in order to jumpstart this transformation. These elements in themselves won’t guarantee your success, and they are definately not a silver bullet. If you want success you’re going to have to work hard to get it. Considering these two elements however will help ensure that your hard work is focused and effective.
The two elements you need to consider are motivation and behaviour. Read about them, think about them, write a journal about them, reflect on them and how they are impacting on you.
There is a reason why you want to be successful. And it needs to be more than just for power or wealth. Take a lot of time to think about why you are doing what you are doing. For instance, I write software. I could say that my motivation for writing software is to earn money. (and it is true that at the end of the day I really do need to earn money) My real motivation is different however. Why did I choose to earn money by writing software? Well there are several reasons for this:
- It is an activity that I enjoy
- In doing so I can create tools that make my life easier and more enjoyable
- In doing so I can explore and discover new ways of doing things
- My tools are beneficial to others and as such bring them happiness.
- I have a fascination with how people go about doing things and this is an ideal way to explore this and learn and experience it.
- and so on
I make sure that these reasons for doing my work are always surrounding me and it gives my work purpose which in turn creates a high level of energy and enthusiasm. It also shines through and others become interested and direct energy towards you. With higher energy levels my output increases and feeds the cycle creating an endless loop of increasing energy being directed towards my work. The more I do, the bigger and better it becomes and the more energy I get to feed back into it. So motivation is the funnel that gathers energy and directs it towards your efforts. If you’re going to be a success you’re going to need a lot of energy. Spend some time now thinking about what your motivation is. It’s often a good idea to break this down into several aspects:
- How is it going to make you a better person?
- How is it going to benefit others?
- Why are you going to enjoy doing this? (even though it is going to be hard work)
The first element, motivation, will give you the energy you need. Now this needs to be put to good use. To be successful you need a high level of output but you also need a high quality of output. This is where behaviour comes into it. Now that you are full of energy to go out and tackle whatever lies ahead, you need to make sure it is being used appropriately. A lot of people put a lot of thought into what they want to do but very little into how they are going to do it.
Take a step back and take a look at how you approach things. What you are doing currently is probably not producing the best you could be producing. Think about where you can improve. Write them down and reflect on them.
Now, think about what you can do to remove each of these from your list. Ideally you want to modify your workflow and introduce behaviours and habits that will strengthen you. For instance, you may identify that you tend to stay in your comfort zone. If you are to find those new and exciting new ways to perform you’re probably not going to find them in your comfort zone. So you need to get out of it and this involves changing your behaviour. And there are many ways you could do this. You could set yourself targets in other areas:
- Whenever you go out to a restaurant you will pick a meal you have never had before
- Every weekend I will try and to an activity I’ve never done before
- Before doing anything at work I will consider and write down 3 ways I could go about doing it.
To give you an example, I’m wanting to improve my public speaking abilities so I’ve taken several steps to achieve this and am seeing rapid results:
- I go to as many talks as possible and at every one I force myself to ask atleast one question.
- At these groups I’m attending I’m always looking for opportunities to get up and present.
- At parties and meetings I make an effor to talk to atleast one person I’ve not met before.
- I look for any opportunity to help others out.
It was tough at first but after a while it became enjoyable and I have learnt so much about other areas and made many good friends and contacts as a result. You’ll find that no matter which areas you are tackling, if you do it enthusiastically you will see results, but you will also start to see many non direct benefits too.
Take the time to consider and apply these two elements and you will see dramatic improvements. I would consider making your motivations prominent, stick them up on your wall, say them to yourself every morning, whatever works for you. Then put a concious effort into organising your behaviour and you will be on a roll.