A couple days ago, because of a specific project I was working on, I said to my wife, “I really wish I knew more motivated young men.”
Then I thought about it a while and, realizing I know quite a few motivated young men, I said, “No, more motivated and responsible young men.”
Because it occurred to me: There’s a huge difference in the two qualities of motivated and responsible, and neither means you have the other.
I’ve meditated on this quite a bit the last few days.
See, many of us (I’m speaking both genders, now) can be very motivated in any given season. This happens sometimes for very selfish reasons such as, “If I work with them on this, it’ll make me famous” and then sometimes for more honorable reasons such as, “I could actually help with this and make a big difference in something that really matters!”
But then the real work sets in.
It gets hard. It takes a long time. It takes a lot of thinking and strategy. It takes commitment and sacrifices. It doesn’t produce the imagined results that initially motivated us. We’re not instantly famous, wealthy, or much less even praised or noticed much.
This is when people tend to embody one or the other of two characteristic responses to work which fail to create a successful worker whether employer, employee, or entrepreneur.
(1) For some, their default is to resolve to “be responsible, no matter what!”
You can always expect this person to complete any task you give them or request you make of them and perhaps even to do it fairly well. You appreciate them because they’re dependable when you need them… but that’s about it.
They don’t take initiative. They likely complain about others and especially if others make their own work harder or take time and energy. They may get the job done day in and day out but they’ll soon become outdated or irrelevant as things change.
They also tend to quietly build up resentment that they’re not living the dream life they “deserve” while taking shortcuts on everything that comes their way.
(2) For some people, they resolve – consciously or not – to always “be motivated, no matter what!”
You can always expect this person to be excited and supportive. They’ll likely love your ideas and especially their ideas. They’ll tell you things are great and possible. That they want to help and that “you can do it!” They have great energy and make you feel good… but that’s about it.
They may brainstorm with you all night and even begin working with you right away, but once you look away, or a little time goes by, they’ll fizzle out and get distracted by the next shiny thing. They don’t have much follow through, or what there is, is done poorly.
They also tend to quietly build resentment that their ideas aren’t the ones succeeding or that their flurry of efforts don’t seem to get the attention and success that other people’s work does (even though other people have been at work for ten steady years).
No matter which way you cut the pie of success, you’ll find it’s made of equal parts staying motivated and taking responsibility.
You have to resolve that you will always take initiative and look to maximize possibilities. You have to resolve to be the one who sees to it that things are done with excellency and the one to stay with something for the long haul.
If you ever want to see any fruit from your ideas and your labors, this is the reality. This is true in EVERY SINGLE AREA OF LIFE that anything good comes from. If you think you have any example otherwise, it’s likely only that you’re actually reaping the benefits of someone else’s motivated, responsible, hard work.
This kind of person and organization will always outlast and outdo any competition because others will miss great and innovative ideas or not sustain what they have and quit doing things with excellence. This kind of person, will always have work.
So, please, be this kind of person. Help me to be this kind of person. We’ll all be glad… in the long run.