Motivation Is A Subtle Thing

What is the serious precursor to success? There are lots of choices and you could make an argument for any of them. Skill, curiousity, perseverance, patience and money come to mind. All good things and all needed to some extent.

But, at the end of the day, you must actually do something. Anything, right or wrong is better than nothing. What gets you started? Motivation.

Again there are several possibilities. Duty, coercion, and passion. I think we can ignore coercion for now.  It does not last long as a motivator. People learn ways to avoid coercion. Duty is defence and people do it, but sometimes begrudgingly. No excitement there.

Passion works. It provides focus, energy, curiousity, persistence and patience.

So where does passion come from?

I had a discussion once with a bright guy who argued passion comes before skill.  Skill develops from your passion. Without the passion, people would not make the effort needed to be supremely skilled at anything.  I, on the other hand, think skill starts passion.  As you find an interest, it grows.  You keep noticing new applications or nuance and find that exciting.  As you go deeper, it becomes all absorbing. Passion. Like dating.

Neither of us convinced the other, so I suppose we could say, both matter.

Let’s look at in the longer term. Passion is a hard thing to maintain, but skill is durable. As we see old structures, we are less motivated to look for them or to react to them.  Our passion deteriorates to mere enthusiasm.  Better than boredom I suppose.

Break-throughs are difficult and risky and threaten our ego for years before they are clear. Passion alone will take you there. Enthusiasm is good enough for many things, but it will not take you to break-through territory. Still it is good enough for most things on most days.

Financial planning requires at least enthusiasm to persist. That is why you record results and review them against your personal world landscape. Feedback. Seeing success early is helpful.  Seeing the need for change is a control idea. Control is good. Keeping up to date is a useful influence tool too.

Enthusiasm is passion after taxes. Like income, after tax is the part you can use everyday.

Don Shaughnessy arranges life insurance for people who understand the value of a life insured estate. He can be reached at The Protectors Group, a large insurance, employee benefits, and investment agency in Peterborough, Ontario.  In previous careers, he has been a partner in a large international public accounting firm, CEO of a software start-up, a partner in an energy management system importer, and briefly in the restaurant business.

Please be in touch if I can help you.  866-285-7772

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