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Why Is It So Hard to Be Intentional?

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Motivation is what gets us going in the morning, and what keeps us going all day long. But we all lose focus. So why is it so hard to stay on task?

Just recently I attended an event called Get Motivated Indy. I enjoyed the day, the speakers, the messages, the offers. But yet, I found myself thinking about why it is so hard to stay motivated, and intentional with our actions. The speakers had everyone energized, excited, and ready to take action. Of course, we know that talking about action is easier than taking action.

Talk, as they say, is cheap.

Climbing a Wall with Intention

© Flickr user mathiasbaert

I am curious about how many people will follow through with their intentions after this excellent program. From my experience the percentage is very small. Change is a process, not an event. We can gain inspiration from the moment that we feel connected, but that rarely turns into the motivation to make changes in our life. We often lack the persistence to stick with it. We fail to do the work. We fail to change our ideas into actions.

“Don’t be distracted by criticism. Remember: the only taste of success some people have is when they take a bite out of you.” – Zig Ziglar

One of my mastermind groups just finished a 15 week study on growing through failure. Our final discussion was about how difficult it is to embrace failure and take risks, even when we know we must. We know risk is the path to success. We know growth happens outside the comfort zone. But yet, it is still hard.

Success is not easy. People want easy. What is going to motivate you to take action? What is going to motivate you through failure? What is going to give you the perseverance to learn from your mistakes?

“When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures bristling with prejudice and motivated by pride and vanity.” – Dale Carnegie

These are questions that we should continually be asking ourselves. I know this much. It comes from within. You can’t find motivation from a speaker, a book, or an event. You can find knowledge. You can find inspiration. But you will not gain motivation. Motivation must come from within.

From that event, I discovered some actions and ideas that I want to pursue. Actions I want to be intentional about accomplishing. But the motivation to follow through must come from me.

“It’s not that some people have willpower and some don’t… It’s that some people are ready to change and others are not.” – James Gordon

Why is this important to understand? We are bombarded by motivational messages. They are helpful only when they touch us in a way that we have a desire to respond. If we are impacted by them, we need to search within ourselves for the motivation to act and be persistent.

And what’s worse, sometimes motivational messages can have the opposite effect. We can feel distraught by how much we aren’t accomplishing. People who try and encourage us can sometimes be the catalysts of depression.

How does that happen? I think our motivation is strongest when we have clarity about our purpose, our passion, our goals, our values, and our desired legacy. When we find ourselves inspired and it is aligned with what we want and who we are, we become empowered. Many people fail to become clear on what it is they want to achieve, and why they want to achieve it. Unfortunately, this prevents people from becoming highly motivated.

When you find yourself lacking motivation, what helps you get back on track?

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Mark S. Brown
Mark S. Brown is an executive coach who is passionate about personal development. He works to make a difference in people's lives by empowering them with skills and knowledge that will improve their lives, the lives of their families, and the communities they live in. Mark has been coached, mentored, and certified by John Maxwell and his team. This coaching certification allows Mark to successfully coach and train individuals, groups, organizations, and companies.
Mark S. Brown


Executive and Business Coach at New Roads Leadership. A founding partner of the John Maxwell Team. We coach for your personal success!
Mark S. Brown
Mark S. Brown

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