Give me about 15 minutes to look over your daily schedule and your finances, and I will be able to tell what you really care about. Moreover, if you want to reach success in any endeavor, it will almost certainly require an increase in the time and treasure you devote to that project. The more substantial the goal, the larger allocation of both will be needed.
During the beginning years of the 2008 recession, I met with many successful professionals who were struggling to pay their bills and hold onto a lifetime of building their financial worth. Their services were useful but not necessary when their typical client was also worried about paying their mortgage. None of them had had to do much of anything to bring in clients for over 20 years. They were looking to my marketing company to help them get the phone to ring.
They were also looking for a magic bullet to accomplish this. When I suggested that they might have to go back to networking, doing seminars, or giving special pricing to stimulate new business, I was politely told those thing were not going to happen. Surely there was a solution that wouldn’t take that much “hard work.”
I replied that the other option would be to spend substantial funds on advertising and promotion. This suggestion didn’t get much traction either.
Over and over I found these highly trained and experienced professionals no longer had the necessary desire to stay on a successful path during a difficult time.
But why pick on these poor therapists, chiropractors, and lawyers. The same can be said for the vast majority of students at any level, employees, volunteers, and new business owners.
Why do students get B’s instead of A’s? Parental involvement or expectations? Teachers? Neighborhood? Ethnicity? Native intelligence? Teaching methodology? Sure! But I would maintain that most of those elements are going to underlie the desire to succeed in a particular class, subject, or generally. The more desire engendered by a good teacher, an interesting curriculum, an involved parent, a great learning environment, the more likely the student is to spend time and effort towards the goal of a high grade.
Can’t you review your own history in school and see the way these influences impacted your own desire. Now, can you also recall times when your desire trumped any negative influence in a specific classroom, a subject, or even the entire process? Moreover I can personally attest to having about as perfect a set of circumstances for achievement in school possible, and I had the perfect amount of desire to achieve a 3.0 in high school, undergrad, and grad school. I could have easily worked hard enough for a substantially higher GPA.
What is your current goal? Rate your desire to reach that goal on a scale of 1 to 100. If it less than 110, why? Are you going to be satisfied with only achieving a B or C in that endeavor? In other words, if you have set a realistic goal to run an 11 second 100 yard dash or hit $500,000 in sales, will you be happy with a 14 second 100 or $400,000 in sales?
How do you increase desire? That would be a completely different post. One quick answer is to make a decision to give 110%. In future posts we will be creating the basics for setting and reaching goals. In 2015, we will flesh those out with more detail, offer many case studies, review others work on the subject, and possibly invite guest bloggers to provide additional insight.
How do you maintain desire? We will address this subject, too. Sometimes you will need help from a personal trainer. Other times you can rely on accountability partners. Some folks have the natural ability to motivate themselves, even on the most difficult days. There will be many posts on staying on course.
Please help us help others by telling your story in the comments or giving us some of your solutions. Do you agree that success is firmly rooted in desire, or do you believe there is some other aspect of life that is a more critical component?