Motivation is one of the trickiest things in life.
It seems that to find success you need to find motivation.
There was an interesting case study in Tiger Woods. Here was a man that found motivation for the early part of his life to be one of the greatest golfers in the world. And he did it.
After reading about Tiger Woods, listening to his interviews, watching his interactions, it was fairly apparent that early in his career there were a few motivations driving him to be as good as possible.
I think much of the drive came from within, but some also came from a drive to make his father proud. Those motivations worked for several years. Then his father sadly passed away. Tiger’s life, for many reasons, turned negative. He kept trying to find his old glory in the game and continued to suffer.
A very successful golfer, Jackie Burke, was asked for his thoughts about Tiger and he said that Tiger now looked like a man standing at the bottom of a mountain that he once climbed wondering if it’s worth it to make the climb again.
Tiger knew what it took to reach the top of the mountain. He seemed to know that his previous motivations wouldn’t be enough to push him to climb the mountain again.
But I think he found a source of motivation with his children. His children really hadn’t been old enough to see Tiger at the top of his game. That was enough motivation for Tiger to climb the mountain again and win The Masters for a fifth time and celebrate with his children. To show them what their dad could do. To make them proud.
Understanding motivation seems to be at least partially about understanding yourself. When I think about my own life I think about what’s important to me. That requires thinking about times when I feel good, challenged and fulfilled.
When I think about my work I think about times when I feel motivated. The times when I’m really focused on doing something and trying to get better.
It’s not always easy to pinpoint why certain moments are like that while for others I’m seemingly just going through the motions.
I’ve learned, at least a little bit, that part of my motivation comes from solving problems. When something is wrong or out of place with my business, I seem to narrow my focus and really give all of my effort to figure it out.
The challenge, with that information, is to figure out how to apply it more often…at least I think so. That seems to be a way to grow in life. At work or at whatever.
Finding what motivates you and seeing how you can put yourself in those situations and focus on that source as you work to improve. It’s obviously not easy. I’m sure there were times when Tiger Woods thought that he could just show his kids his own Wikipedia page. But he was able to find a source of motivation and focus on it enough to climb the mountain again.
If he can do it. Anybody can do it. For whatever matters most to them.