By Amy Schillinger, Performance Coach
How do great leaders, innovators, athletes, entrepreneurs cultivate their seemingly impossible success while the rest of us inch toward it?
Are they smarter? Get lucky? Have a solid foundation to begin with while the rest of us were dealt difficult cards in life?
The answer is no. It boils down to really a few things: For the purpose of this article, we’re going to talk about one:
Motivation – People that are successful move away from extrinsic motivation and move into intrinsic motivation. We all have both right? Extrinsic motivations are things like fame, money, status, which psychologically and biologically derive from our basic needs of food, clothing, shelter. But what happens when those needs are met?
A study referenced on this article from VeryWellMind.com says that $75,000 per year is what is needed to feel secure. And you may scoff at that and say “that’s nothing” but think about a STABLE salary of $75,000 per year for one person.
(Note: A person trying to live in the San Francisco Bay area, or Manhattan has a much higher cost of living then someone that lives in a rural area of our country.)
In most communities, that income allows you to have your basic needs pretty-well met. You probably have a modest car that runs well, stable housing, and you don’t think about how you are going to put food on your table. Heck, you may even have play money to eat at restaurants or travel a little or indulge in a decent wardrobe!
But when we, as humans, meet or exceed that $75,000 per year salary, “things” surprisingly become LESS motivating. Because we have our basic needs met.
This is the time we start searching for more meaning in our lives. We look around us and what we’ve created and think “huh, so that’s it?” We start evaluating our life’s purpose again if it got lost somehow along the way. “We’ve done it! We did the thing! We’ve gotten past that desperate and unstable environment where we’re always feeling threatened by the next bill.”
So then what? We have this big life shift. People call this many things. Most popular is the mid-life crisis. And depending on how successful you were at “doing the thing,” this doesn’t necessarily actually mean that it happens mid-life. In fact, it’s happening to people that are younger and younger.
So when this shift happens we have two choices.
- Keep on swimming. Keep grinding away at whatever you’re doing because you “make good money and it’s stable,” but you have this aching feeling that you’re not really happy or fulfilled and the world is kind of foggy and grey.
Sometimes in this phase people do stupid and uncharacteristic things to MAKE their life more exciting. Like buy a sports car or cheat on their spouse.
- Tap into your creativity and start to invent a new life. Using your current knowledge, resources, and network to dream up something new. Something fulfilling for a non-monetary reason.
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This is not an easy task. In fact, sometimes it seems IMPOSSIBLE. People often dismiss this because of the disruption it would potentially cause in their ecosystem.
“Would my spouse allow it? Would they pick up the slack in time or financially while I go after my ‘impossible dream?’”
“Would anyone support me?”
“What if I spend my time and my resources and I fail?”
“Is this idea/dream crazy?”
“Would anyone else understand it?”
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But then the thoughts creep in that are the opposite.
“But what if I don’t?”
“What if I ACTUALLY have the best business idea ever?”
“What if it brings me immeasurable joy and success and I DON’T go for it?”
This is the fork in the road. Where you have to choose.
It becomes a Matter of Mindset.
The VERY FIRST STEP is putting your own damn mask on and choosing yourself.
And then BELIEVING that you HAVE THE POWER to achieve the impossible dream.
And then FINDING the HELPERS, CHEERLEADERS, the BELIEVERS who have no other pleasure than watching you succeed.
You find your tribe. Oftentimes in other entrepreneurs, business owners, people you look up to that achieved the impossible dream that GET IT.
And you let go of people that DON’T.
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You make a decision TODAY that you will no longer drag people through life with you that don’t want to be dragged.
That don’t WANT to grow.
That have a negative mindset.
And you scoop up all of the energy and good vibes from the people living the dream.
Don’t worry, it becomes reciprocal and someday you will be the mentor, not the mentored.
But for now learn from the best.
And those nagging fears and voices will quiet.
You have to WALK THROUGH the storm to get through it.
Find your Tribe.