This week I was asked to deliver a “motivational” talk with someone who was struggling.  It got me thinking that I don’t really like being “motivational”.  I would much rather have a talk in which people reflect and find their true “purpose”.

When I think of motivation I think of videos, messages, or conversations that come from an external source.  They can get you excited to do something for a short period of time.  Sometimes for hours, days, weeks, or months, depending on the connection, but ultimately it almost always starts to fade away.  Motivation is like a fire, it may burn bright initially, but if it doesn’t get any more wood, no matter how hot it once was, it’ll burn out.  Since the “motivational” wood we need to keep the fire going is dependent on others we may or may not receive it when we need it the most.  It’s easy to get lost and to let ourselves off the hook.

Understanding our purpose, the greater reasoning why we do something, will surpass motivation and last far longer.  Knowing your purpose is an internal process and depends on no one else to make you feel a certain way.  Knowing your purpose will get you to do the things that you know need to be done, long after the fun and excitement to do them has left you.  Having a purpose larger than yourself is one of the most surefire ways to start accomplishing things because you realize you are not doing it just for yourself.  Having a purpose makes it hard to quit because you are always reminded of why you started.