Chapter 9 Motivation and self-engagement

Two happy frogs were playing and hopping around a farm when suddenly they fell into a big vat of milk. Desperately, they puddled as they tried to climb out but after a while, one of the frogs lost motivation, stopped swimming, and drowned in the milk. However, undiscouraged by her friend's fate, the second frog stayed motivated and continued to swim, her movements eventually churning the milk into butter. She then found herself on solid footing again and leaped out of the vat.

images

Yes, I'm afraid that the moral of this short story is something many people don't like to hear: Motivation is overrated!

Motivation is always necessary to start anything. It's about desire. But motivation alone won't get results, especially if what you are trying to achieve is difficult or challenging. This is because motivation is often short-lived or temporary. How many times have you heard the expression, ‘they lost motivation', or have lost motivation yourself?

This explains, for example, why most people never achieve their New Year's resolutions — such as losing weight by joining a health club and adopting a healthy diet. They go to the gym regularly for the first few weeks, then lose interest and motivation. A similar thing tends to happen when people listen to stories about heroic leaders or inspirational tales (for example, seminars or TED talks). They ...

Get Leadership Results now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.