Day 616: Motivation Versus Self Movement

But if you ask people, why didn't you achieve something? Somebody who's working for you, you know, or a partner, or even yourself. When you fail to achieve a goal, what's the reason people say they fail to achieve? What do they tell you? Don't have the -- didn't know enough, didn't have the -- knowledge. Didn't have the -- money. Didn't have the -- time. Didn't have the -- technology. You know, I didn't have the right manager. Didn't have the ... 
Al Gore: Supreme Court. (Laughter)
TR: And -- (Applause) and -- (Applause) -- what do all those, including the Supreme Court, have in common? (Laughter) They are a claim to you missing resources, and they may be accurate. You may not have the money; you may not have the Supreme Court; but that is not the defining factor. (Applause) And you correct me if I'm wrong. The defining factor is never resources; it's resourcefulness. And what I mean specifically, rather than just some phrase, is if you have emotion, human emotion, something that I experienced from you a day before yesterday at a level that is as profound as I've ever experienced, and if you'd communicated with that emotion I believe you would have beat his ass and won. (Applause) 
But, how easy for me to tell him what he should do. (Laughter) Idiot, Robbins. But I know when we watched the debate at that time, there were emotions that blocked people's ability to get this man's intellect and capacity. And the way that it came across to some people on that day -- because I know people that wanted to vote in your direction and didn't, and I was upset. But there was emotion that was there. How many know what I'm talking about here? Say, "Aye." 
Audience: Aye.
TR: So, emotion is it. And if we get the right emotion, we can get ourselves to do anything. We can get through it. If you're creative enough, playful enough, fun enough, can you get through to anybody? Yes or no? - Tony Robbins    

This was definitely an interesting Talk to watch - BUT - there is one major point that I disagree on: The belief that we require emotion to drive us. Yes, you can use emotion and yes, it has shaped many people's lives and the outcomes of their lives - but, if you are using emotion to be your motivator then you are always going to be dependent on it. If the emotion is missing, you suddenly won't feel the urge to do whatever it is you were going to do. Now of course there are people who can use emotions very effectively for their entire lives, often these people went through a very big experience that had a very big impact on them, but not always. The problem is, like with so much in our lives, that what works well for some people doesn't always work so well for others. The key is that as long as you are depending on something to move you then you are going to be at the mercy of that thing. Say you use anger, or compassion, or a powerful belief that no one should experience what you experienced - now we all know that things can change very quickly in this life - and especially within us - so it is entirely possible that whatever it is that you're using to drive you may simply not be there the next moment if something were to happen. Of course this is true in any situation or circumstance - but I do propose that there is a more effective way to move yourself in your life and to achieve the goals you set for yourself.

The second point I'd like to bring in before continuing is that I disagree with Tony on the view that purpose, or meaning, should be uncovered. Purpose is something that you have to create - BUT - in this world it is far more common that people live a purpose because of a series of events that led them to believe that this was the path that was 'meant' for them. How though, can you call that purpose your own, when you are not the one who chose it?  Is that not then the product of your programming, so to speak, rather than a conscious and purposeful choice?

A problem is that we rely on this idea of 'motivation' as if we need to be experiencing some kind of feeling or something before we are capable of acting. So many people are eternally waiting for something to move them, not realising that the 'power' is in their hands. The difference between doing something and not doing something is you. The missing ingredient in your action pie is you.

There are very few people in this world who develop a real understanding and drive within responsibility. There are very few people who develop self discipline to the extent that they can trust that they will always do what they commit to doing. These unfortunate facts make it that much more difficult for most people to grasp - and truly understand - the concept that you have to develop your discipline and move yourself. There is this illusion that something magical will happen and that there will be this extremely pretty and happy happy ending to any situation and that all you have to do is wait for it to happen - even though you know that this is unlikely you will still believe it. Even though you can see how irrational the belief in fairytale endings is, you still spend a disproportionate amount of time thinking about and imagining all the different ways your life could be great.

The only way that you will truly be the director of your life is if you create your purpose and develop your discipline to actually fulfill that purpose. Unfortunately, and there have been numerous studies confirming this (The Milgram experiment... to name only one), most people are only too happy to play follow the leader - there are very few leaders in this world. Obviously we have the ability and power to change this simply by changing ourselves to become the directors of our lives.