Motivation is a popular topic for inspirational social media posts. Quotes and memes trying to drive you into action are everywhere. Whether it’s weight loss, fitness, entrepreneurship, or saving the world, it’s all about getting fired up to go and do the thing. That kick-start is important to start moving, but motivation isn’t really what gets us to our goals, no matter what they are. As one of my friends likes to put it, dedication > motivation, and it’s the dedication part that we really need to focus on.
Dedication is a little bit different, a little bit more. Motivation is defined as “filling with courage or strength of purpose” but dedication is an “adherence to something to which one is bound.” Dedication doesn’t just get you out of the starting gate; it’s what keeps you moving down the race track and through to the finish line. It’s what makes you wake up every day and grind away even though progress seems imperceptible. It’s why you don’t stop when you seem to be sliding backwards, because you understand that long term success might require short term failures.
And here’s the thing: motivation is easy. How many unfinished projects have you started? How many hobbies have you picked up and never pursued past the first weeks? How many resolutions have you made on January 1 and let go by January 31? The hard part isn’t at the beginning. Sometimes, it’s not at the end either, when we can see our goal in sight and know that we only need a little more effort to get to where we have dreamed of being. It’s somewhere in the middle where losing our way is also easy.
The cure? Dedication. Call it grit, call it stubbornness, call it commitment, call it discipline. But whatever you call it, just keep on showing up.
You’ll get there.