Is Motivation The Key To Success? No.

“What Motivates You?”

I can’t count the number of times an employer or friend has asked me that question. The question is important to answer, but it’s only a part of the puzzle. For example, at my peak, I was working 100+ hours a week. I’ve been called crazy for working so much and I can tell you for a fact that it wasn’t just my motivation that carried me through it.

So let’s answer the big question first, what does motivate me? My biggest motivator is my mom; you can read more about her in this blog, Son of a Genocide Survivor. I’m also motivated by friends, colleagues, peers, strangers, and myself. I started Fitsme because I had a solution for a problem and I was motivated to help those individuals. After returning from my trip to Cambodia, I started a non-profit (Love The Kids) because I was motivated to help kids in poverty. However, motivation can drive you in the right direction, but it’s not the answer to success.

For example, the gym is always packed to capacity in January because people aim to get in shape for their New Year’s resolution. But then, come February, the gym falls back to normal capacity. It’s simple motivation is only a temporary boost. Let’s say you don’t usually run at all in your daily life, but someone offered you $1 million for every mile you ran, would you do it? Of course you would! In this case, we’re financially motivated. Let’s say after 4 miles the deal was gone. Would you continue to run or would you quit since nothing is motivating you anymore? The short answer is you’ll quit and revert back to your old habits.

Habits,” now we’re onto something. Over the years, I’ve worked on developing good habits and I strongly believe that’s what led me to having a productive life. For example, at a young age I learned to be punctual and to this day I still hold the record for never being absent or tardy in my 4 years of high school (we all know colleges don’t track attendance). Even to this day, if for some reason I do run late, I feel uncomfortable and bothered. The same applies if I don’t go to the gym, because I’ve made that a habit too. As for anything I do in life (my work), I take action through motivation and it’s my good habits that allows me to follow through.

Good habits take some time to develop, just like bad habits take some time to break. So my answer to the question motivation is the starting catalyst, but it’s only temporary. Good habits are the real answer to success.




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1 Comment

  • Reply Tee | Rotten One June 16, 2015 at 9:56 am

    Hi Austin! Didn’t realize you started a nonprofit, I would love to learn more about it as I’ve been on-site in Nepal (as you know) volunteering here too.

    Aside from that, you make a good point about old / new habits. I think to get in the cycle of new habits, though, you do need some sort of motivation to turn a certain action into a habit. Maybe it’s a vicious cycle of motivation and habits, or that they both can be dependent on each other for the other to rise 😛

    Tee |

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