You wake up every morning and have a choice to make. We author the left and right limits of good and bad daily with a decision. I always say there’s a difference between being excellent and being elite. Whether good or bad, you have the power to take all aspects of your life to become an Elite Achiever. Getting motivated is easy, but sustaining that motivation requires work. Here’s a Q&A with a great friend on staying motivated.
Friend: What drives you to success?
Striving for mighty moments. Success is when you can grab the things that don’t fail, the proven things, and hold fast to them. During my time in the Navy, I strived to anchor myself down to my true self, who I was and am today. Life is about mighty moments, and through the inevitable expected (and unexpected) storms you have to hold fast to who you are and what you are about. That’s how I’ve achieved anything we could call successful.
Friend: How do you pick yourself back up when things get tough?
The best thing to do when things get rough is stay true to yourself, who you are. We have to remember our high why and our big why. Our high why is who we are in our bones … it is our personal moral ethos. Our conviction. Our big why is why we do what we do. Why we use our time, treasure, and talent the way we do. Those storms will come and go, but they’ll always pass eventually. When hard times come, you have to persist no matter how tired or withered you are. Stay true to yourself and the mighty moments will come. Decide what those mighty moments are and go after them. Expect the storms. Smooths seas never made a skilled sailor.
Friend: What is the biggest thing that gets in the way of motivation?
Us. Me. You. Them. We limit our own expectations. Or we listen to the stands, fans, sidelines, reporters, and doubters too much. You are the only factor that can hold yourself back. If you want something to happen, you have to make it happen. This isn’t easy, but personally and professionally you are capable of finding your path. When you limit yourself or your expectations, you are putting yourself on a leash. Don’t be someone who always says “someday.”
Friend: How would you encourage someone to gain motivation?
Go beyond who you think you can be, who you want to be. Strive for more than mediocrity. In many aspects of our lives, we accept the mediocre and mundane things. Promise yourself that you will never settle. Don’t be afraid to take risks, make change, or meet failure dead in the face. As you walk through your journey of life, you should always work toward the highest, best version of yourself, but not just yourself alone. Push yourself and the people around you. Bring your best to everything you encounter in life.
Friend: What’s the best way to be successful?
There’s an old navy saying from the Navy that I share often: “Rising tides raise all boats”. What this means is that when the tides rise, all boats rise with it. And we are the tide. When we make someone else’s success every bit as important as our own – the collective effect is awesome. When you succeed, others have the ability to succeed too. You’ll dig deeper for someone else than you will for yourself. Saving yourself isn’t heroism. Having a “we before me” mentality has been the most consistent characteristic of elite achievers I’ve seen on the ball field, battlefield, and boardroom.
Friend: What does it take to stay motivated?
Remembering why you started doing the hard thing. When we went through SEAL training, there were a lot of reasons other men didn’t make it. They got hurt. They couldn’t make the physical requirements, and most not through lack of amazing effort. It’s incredibly difficult. They realized this profession wasn’t for them. And, of course, some men just quit. I don’t judge men who quit SEAL training. They tried, and that’s worth respect. People quit for a lot of reasons, but the ones I know who regret it most are the ones who quit during Hell Week or another one of the crucible events. They regret it because it was like they were watching themselves quit in the 3rd person … like some other person had briefly occupied their brain and made the “quit” decision for them. This can happen when you think too much about what you have to do to get to where you say you want to go. Or you forget why you started the hard thing. The whats are many. And they’re always hard. And if you can’t reconcile them against the why … they’ll win. But if you know why you are there … what you have to do is just what you have to do. 12 of us made it straight through training because we did the work, we enjoyed some luck, and we never forgot why we were there.