Editorial: Motivation Isn't Helpful
"Just stay motivated!"
"Don't lose your motivation!"
"You'll get there eventually, keep motivated!"

Every new content creator will hear these terms frequently, most often after asking the question "Why aren't I growing?" 

Setting aside the fact that the question itself is flawed, the attempt to be inspirational also leads us astray. Not only is it puffery at heart, as not every creator actually will achieve their goals, it's also plainly false.

Motivation isn't helpful.

Motivation is a binary thing, you can be motivated or you can not be motivated. Since you are either one or the other, if you're not currently motivated, you are--by definition--"unmotivated". This leads to a situation where many creators find themselves saying "I'm constantly unmotivated, what do I do?" 

Additionally, motivation is such a vague ideal that many creators can't even figure out what it is that works for them, and so personal that no one else can really help. It is affected for some creators by external sources, others by internal sources, some by a mixture of a both. There is no good answer for 'How do I stay motivated,' because it is very personal and unique. 

As such, "Finding Motivation" is something that--ironically--you have to do on your own. Until you do, you're unmotivated. 

Instead, seek "Determination."

When you are determined to do something, motivation is irrelevant. Additionally, by being determined, you cannot be irresolute--they are mutually exclusive, and just because you're not achieving, or succeeding, or finding motivation does not suddenly make you "less determined." If you are determined to achieve something, you can fail without breaking your core setting. You will see those failures as stepping stones to success, learning experiences that can help guide you away from repeating the mistakes that led to failure in the first place.

Finding Determination is easier, as well, it is always internal, there are no external or mixed sources that you have to wait on. You simply decide that you will achieve, and accept that you will also fail but that you will continue. Failure becomes a friend, a teacher, and a source of your own inspiration. You failed, but you learned. You failed, but your determination will continue.

Motivation might be mistaken for determination, and certainly you can be determined while motivated, however determination and motivation are not the same thing. You need motivation only for a moment, a brief spark to start and set your determination, but you can continue to create and move forward while being determined even if you are unmotivated. It is not infrequent that I--as a creator, as a businessman, as a friend or in a relationship--am unmotivated to continue. I have nothing driving me forward in those moments when I want to quit, except that I am determined to continue. 

Motivation is a want; you want to succeed, you want to achieve, you want to create.

Determination is a need; you need to continue, you need to finish, you need to succeed.

You cannot possibly fathom that you won't continue, that you won't finish, that you won't succeed. It is beyond motivation and becomes a tenet of your very being. You are no longer waiting for something external to push you, or something internal to be ready. You will continue to move forward, even in the toughest times. 

Consider the modern wish to lose weight. Many people lack the motivation, finding it in spurts, only to quit when motivation flees them. Those who continue even in those down moments are dedicated and determined to succeed, and so they do. There is no other option once you've firmly decided that you will achieve your goal.

Once you've determined you will achieve, everything else becomes simpler. There are no priorities to set, there is what needs to be done and you will do them instead of deciding when or how they should be done. There is no fear of failure, for failure will teach and improve you. There is no need for instant gratification, you know that will succeed and achieve your goal--the ultimate gratification. You will not be held paralyzed by the past, or found enslaved to things outside your control--you must move forward, and work on what you can. Others' successes can be celebrated, you're not competing. 

Most importantly, you need never worry about impressing others, for your determination to succeed does not waver at the lack of external pressures. You will continue, regardless.

Abandon motivation. It started your path as a content creator, it gave you the impetus to move and create, it helped you set your goal. But it will not help you realize that goal, or force you to continue on your path. Only determination can do that.

Stop seeking motivation and find determination.


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