Habit-Forming and Motivation

Habit-Forming and Motivation

Motivation is a fickle creature; incredibly hard to tame and, once captured, hard to keep. It comes in many different forms; you’re motivated to get up and work, but are you motivated to be creative in your workspace? You’re motivated to be creative in your workspace, but are you motivated to follow through on your ideas to make them happen? Getting members of your organization motivated is one of the greatest feats a leader can accomplish because by its very nature motivation is internal; it’s what drives an individual to do what they do, and it’s unlikely to thrive at the end of a whip.

One way of creating motivation is by habit forming. Once we’re in a habit, it’s harder to break out of it than it is to see it through, so we’re motivated to keep our habits up. That means if you’re trying to start a healthy habit, the hardest part is at the beginning; the more you do it, the more difficult it becomes to stop. Think of the laws of inertia; it takes a lot more energy to get something moving, but once it’s at full-speed, energy is required to stop it. This can be used to your advantage when you’re trying to cultivate a particular mindset.

For proof, look at the daily rituals of famous creatives; for the most part, they wake up early and adhere to several micro rituals in order to keep their days on track. For whatever reason, these individuals found that these habits helped them create some of the greatest works of all time. Some of them have quite a bit of logic to them; waking up before anyone else and making a coffee is probably a great way to get some writing done in the wee hours, and the not-to-be-recommended use of amphetamines probably helped when energy was running low. Other rituals, like a long walk or a bowl of whipped sour milk and strawberries, seem more tailored to how the individual creative mind works.

Another key facet of being motivated is to find other people who have succeeded, and try to emulate their path. That’s why it’s interesting to look at Beethoven’s daily ritual; waking up at dawn with a perfect cup of coffee followed by work then a long walk might seem quite pleasant, even inspiring. The understanding that the greats are humans too, and have simply developed mechanisms that set them up for success; that understanding can be the difference between being motivated to create change and being trapped by bad habit inertia.

Event speakers, then, are a great way of motivating your organization; the proof is in the pudding, as they say. Our great speakers come from all walks of life, so it’s easy to find someone who will resonate with your members and your message. They’re all pioneers in their field, and we know pioneering doesn’t come easy; they’ve broken bad habit inertia and created rituals and patterns that keep them motivated. You can too.