Why do you do things? What’s your motivation? Not understanding this could be the reason you’re not achieving your dreams!

Whenever you set out to achieve anything you always start with a goal but do you really take notice of the genuine, underlying motive behind what you’re doing and use it to your advantage?

I never used to. In all honesty I didn’t really think about why I did things at all. I love to create things and my dream was always to put that to good use somehow working for myself. But without a big change in emphasis that was never going to happen. The motivation behind why I created things was completely wrong for what I thought I wanted to achieve.

change directionIn my head I wanted to make money but in reality my true motivation was holding me back from achieving that goal. The drive behind nearly everything I created was the craving of recognition and acknowledgement from my peers. It was the need for someone to admire my work and think, wow, you did that!?

Maybe it stemmed from a feeling of being undervalued or maybe my ego needed a bit of a massage (who knows?) but the fact was I prized the appreciation I got from others more than any monetary reward I might have gained from doing it.

Whatever the reasons, my achievements were decided by my real motives. I received a lot of acclaim and recognition, but not a great deal of the green stuff.

Aligning Your Motivation To Your Goal

Understanding your true motives can be an amazing decision making tool that helps you prioritise the things you need to do in order to achieve your goals.

Think deep about your motivation

Illustration by Carolyn Digby Conahan

Think about what you’re doing right now and why you’re really doing it. Think deep! If you realise your real impetus isn’t the goal that you thought you were aiming for then you’re never truly going to achieve it. If that’s the case then you need to adapt your motivation or change your goals.

Unfortunately, changing your motivation is not an easy task. In my case, in order to start making money and growing my business I needed to stop worrying about how my results would be perceived and shut out any worry about what other people might think of me. It was a big ask to suddenly drop the underlying incentive that had subconsciously underpinned everything I’d done for so long.

My ultimate target was making money. Unfortunately that didn’t motivate me a great deal. The solution I found was to imagine the difference that it would make to my family. That did motivate me! The lack of worry, the holidays we could take, the lifestyle we could have and my daughters could grow up with.

Luckily creating things for the recognition of others meant I created things I can be proud of. I just needed to change the end game. I needed to be less egocentric and focus more on what financial freedom would mean to my family.

Now I measure the success of my projects by how many pennies they put in the bank, not by how many people say wow. By realising and realigning my motivation I’ve turned my work from art to business.

Don’t get me wrong, I still glow when someone says, wow, you did that!? Only now it’s a bonus, not the end game.

What are you working on right now and what’s your motivation?

2017-05-01T07:50:56+00:00 May 17th, 2013|Daily Updates|2 Comments


  1. Josh @ FormYourFuture.com September 7, 2013 at 3:50 am - Reply

    Inspiration and motivation in my opinion are the two most important things for success. Without it, what is going to keep you going when the going gets rough. I definitely have felt a surge of inspiration in the past month. I’m finding motivation in helping others. Something about building a community seems to really get my cogs turning.

    Keep posting Craig! Starting a blog is rough at first, trust me, I know! I’m starting over as well, and I know it’ll take time. Stay in touch!

    • Coley September 7, 2013 at 11:40 pm - Reply

      Thanks for comment Josh, I’m feeling really motivated at the moment too! And I know what you mean about building a community. There’s huge inspiration to be gained by getting feedback from people that appreciate the things you do and bouncing thoughts and ideas around.

      Hopefully catch up with you again soon.

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