Motivation Requires Direction

Motivation Requires Direction

As a child, I often read quotes and short poems about ships lost at sea or stuck in the harbor. These stories drew parallels between the journeys of ships and the complexities of life, its turmoil's, and pain. Let me attempt a similar parallel, exploring motivation as the wind behind our sails and the direction as the guiding force determined by the will of the captain.

If you've delved into self-improvement or entrepreneurship literature, you've likely encountered the ubiquitous term 'motivation.' For our discussion, let's define motivation as the reason behind an action, a force that propels us forward.

Leaders often get asked about their motivation—what drives them, their 'why.' But mere motivation isn't enough; it must be coupled with direction.

Imagine an old ship at sea, the wind serving as its motivation to move. Yet, its direction is shaped by the sails, ultimately guided by the captain's will. In our lives, motivations surround us, urging us to pursue various endeavors. However, like a ship without direction, our motivations can lead us astray.

2018 marked a year of change, growth, and commitment for me. Work expanded, time dwindled, and sleep became a distant acquaintance. The sails of my ship seemed steady, progress apparent, and motivation soared—or so it seemed.

Yet, after years of relentless work, the ship started showing signs of wear. The sails tipped, and the ship listed amid turbulent waters. My relationships suffered, and my home became a mere pitstop between work hours.

Motivation alone couldn't mend the mess I'd made. The sails needed straightening as I redirected my priorities. Adding more motivation would have steered my ship into the rocks faster. Changing course became essential for my family's survival.

Over the next eight weeks, I'll delve deeper into how this discovery transformed my life, family, and work.

- DH

Originally published and sent as my newsletter on Feb 12th, 2024.

Photo by Joseph Barrientos on Unsplash