What’s Your Why?

“You need to have a why for what you do!” – Eric Thomas

What drives you? What are your motivations? What is it that gets you out of bed every morning?

Motivation may be defined as the reason(s) that generate specific actions and/or behaviors. Motivation can be intrinsic or extrinsic in nature. Intrinsic motivation refers to engagement in behaviors, actions, and/or activities because they are inherently rewarding, whereas extrinsic motivation is derived from the external rewards, demands and/or obligations associated with the behavior. In other words, intrinsically motivated individuals ‘love the process’ and extrinsically motivated individuals ‘love the prize.’However, it is possible to be influenced by both intrinsic and extrinsic factors simultaneously. So, is it better to be intrinsically or extrinsically motivated? Actually, in order to be successful, it is essential that you be driven by both intrinsic and extrinsic stimuli.

In 2015, when speaking to the NC State Football team, Eric Thomas said, “You’ve got to love the process as much as you love the prize!” The significance of this statement cannot be overstated. In the absence of emotion, passion, and love for your craft, success will remain uncharted territory. This concept is applicable to all aspects of life. If you do not have a ‘why,’ regardless if it is intrinsic or extrinsic in nature, you will not have the determination and dedication necessary to achieve whatever it is you’re working toward.

When questioned, most people are able to describe their dreams and state their goals. Though fewer, many of these same individuals can explain the necessary steps to turn these dreams into realities. Yet, the majority remains stagnant. Why? Les Brown once said, “Most people die at age 25 and don’t get buried until they are 65. Make an effort to live your life to the fullest.” How many family members, friends, and/or colleagues do you know that fall into this category? Too many people have fallen victim to the societal norms placed upon us. Though common, it is not necessary to follow the monotonous and redundant path that the masses have chosen: college, possibly graduate school, then work the nine-to-five for the next 25–30 years. If that is your dream, great! Pursue it with relentless passion! However, if you are currently in that situation, or your decisions and actions are directed toward that destination, ask yourself: Am I thriving, or just surviving? If you are only surviving, it is time to take a step back and reevaluate the situation.

“Don’t make a habit of choosing what feels good over what’s actually good for you.”– Eric Thomas

Tony Robbins once said, “Using the power of decision gives you the capacity to get past any excuse to change any and every part of your life in an instant.” So what decisions need to be made in order to transform your dreams into realities? What are you willing to sacrifice? How bad do you want it?

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