I’ve been thinking about what makes people do what they do. Specifically, what makes people do great things. Difficult things. Things that are impressive. Things that make people stop and say ‘Holy Crap!’ What makes people with those big, audacious goals stay on course when the going is so rough that it amounts to torture? What is the difference between those who identify such a goal and those that achieve it?

Here’s what I think I found:

Motivation to doesn’t come from slogans and inspiration doesn’t come from posters.

Playing loud angry music might motivate you for a workout but that drumbeat won’t propel you through the thousands of right choices you need to make to become a champion.

Quests for glory don’t wake you up at 5am to train and any mission formed to seek the approval of others will ultimately run out of gas.

Curiosity can pique an interest but it won’t carry you through burnout.

Achieving great, big, wonderful things does not come easily and there are many tolls to be paid. And no external motivator will ever be enough – no matter how much you want it to be.

Do you want to succeed or do you need to succeed?

There is a difference.

Desires are not the same as needs. The ability to say ‘I want’ is not identical to the admission “I need.” The desire to achieve something great will never translate to the iron will necessary for success without an internal compulsion. Nothing but a deep-rooted need can motivate you through the grueling tasks that an ascent to the greatest heights demands.

You will never do anything great for something or someone else. The price is just too steep. If you desire to achieve great things, take a hard look inside yourself and decide if you “want” it or “need” it.

The good news is if you truly need it, there is very little that can stand in your way. Just admit your need and feed the beast without hesitation, without compromise.

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