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Where Does Success Come From?

Before you run off thinking that this is going to be some sort of Anthony Robbins new age touchy, feely ┬ámotivational posting….think again. Let me state at the outset I think motivation is bullshit. To my mind you cannot motivate anyone to do anything unless you have a taser handy. Even then you might have to shock some people repeatedly. Motivation is the equivalent of giving amphetamines to a to a two year old. They run around like a chook with their head cut off for awhile and then collapse in the corner.

Every motivational seminar I have ever seen is like this. People drink the funny water, go a little bonkers, pretend to break boards, walk over hot coals and generally make dicks of themselves. They then go home and continue to be the losers they always were.

Inspiration is a different thing entirely. I think it is possible for people who have done something special to inspire others to follow in their footsteps. However, notice the subtle difference between motivation and inspiration. Motivation is about being pushed, inspiration is about following. With motivation someone drives you along whereas with inspiration you drive yourself along. As an example I have been going to the same gym for about 20 years and in that time I have seen some fascinating things. Outside of a boat ramp the most fun you can have is watch a 20 something personal trainer who has done a weekend course try and get a middle age women to stand on a Swiss ball and then throw things at her.

What I witnessed the most over these decades is that people very rarely change, they come into the gym and expect that in one hour a week their trainer will someone how miraculously change their lives. The trainer can poke, prod, cajole, abuse and generally “motivate” their client during the hour but they cannot make lasting change because their client does not have the internal drive to make the changes for themselves.

This is the central tenet of success – it is internally driven. It doesn’t come from other people. Too often over the years of watching people trade I have come across the notion that people believe that success is external to them. That it is like a jacket that someone else gives you that once you have all your troubles are over. Not so – it is something you generate yourself.

This raises the question of can an individual change their own behaviour sufficiently to overcome a lifetime of looking for someone to drive them along. My answer depends on the sort of mood I am. Get me on a shitty day when I have meet a never ending string of friggen dickheads and I will tell you once a dickhead always a dickhead. Get me on a day when I have meet that rare individual who has gotten off their arse and got going and I might tell you something different.


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