“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”
There is much wisdom in the much-shared quote from Jim Rohn; but it is only two thirds of the picture. The third element is essential when it comes to achieving great things. It goes by the name of resilience.
Not as sexy as motivation. Not as easy to give practical advice for, as the concept of habits is. But if you don’t have resilience – then you’re unlikely to succeed. Just look around at the many individuals and organizations that started out with great energy, enthusiasm and promise but failed to reach the finishing line.
But I Did Everything Right
You may be highly motivated, have done the detailed planning with your Gantt chart, collated the necessary resources and done all of the right things at the right time and in the right way. But you can bet your bottom dollar you are going to face unexpected setbacks that push you to your limits.
There seems to be an equation which is something like the greater your goals and ambition, the more obstacles you will face along the way.
A Well Trodden Path
Most people are familiar with the account of Colonel Sanders and his bid to bring his Kentucky Fried Chicken recipe to the world. He was reportedly turned down 1009 times. Yes, you read right- 1009 rejections.
Agatha Christie faced 5 years of continual rejections and J K Rowling’s Harry Potter manuscript was rejected by 12 publishing houses. By contrast in terms of activity and time frame you might remember the resilience displayed by Kerri Strugg in the 1996 Olympics. If you don’t here’s the clip
I could go on with examples from the battlefield or the world of startups but you get the picture. It is rare for there to be gain without pain.
There is a debate amongst experts as to what is extent people are born resilient, how much is developed during childhood and what can be learned and developed. While the debate continues, what remains clear is that with effort and a willingness to experiment you can increase your resilience.
Whether it’s incorporating a daily practice of stepping out of your comfort zone, upgrading your mindset or using brain entrainment technologies there are plenty of options. One size doesn’t fit all hence my reference to a willingness to experiment.
At the end of the day, whether your planning to put a ding in the universe or want to provide a good lifestyle for your family, give as much thought to becoming resilient as you do to motivation and habits and your chances of crossing the finish line will increase dramatically.
Martin Soorjoo works with individuals and teams to improve their Performance, Focus and Pressure Management