A person that is motivated tends to stay motivated.
Getting older has forced me to understand a couple of fundamentally true things about others that are also true about myself:
1. Humans are essentially lazy
2. Humans are easily distracted
I have seen these laws in effect time after time. I am essentially lazy. Laziness is so common that we virtually canonize people who have overcome it, like Martha Stewart or Bill Gates.
The entire business of advertising would not exist without Law Number 2, because we would only buy what we needed for ourselves and our family’s survival instead of all the other stuff that supposedly completes us. Law Number 2 is the reason most self-proclaimed writers will never actually write a book and why 50% of businesses fail within one year and 95% fail within five years.
From everything I have seen so far, the first step in doing what you want to do for a living seems to reside in admitting both laws are true. Only then can they be dealt with.
Law No. 1 is easier to deal with once you admit it. Most people have no problem getting over laziness when they are told expressly what to do, for instance by the corporation that employs them and works them to death. It’s the remaining “free” time that gets flushed down the toilet: no strategy is formed in order to escape being told what to on the downtime.
Law No. 2 is FAR more insidious. One of the hardest things in life is to pick what you love out of the buffet presented and put a huge part of yourself into making it happen.
Even if you are a super-producer, nobody is superhuman with infinite time to realize dreams, but plenty think they are. I’m saddened when I see people struggling with no real shot at breaking out because they just can’t pick a single project and chase it. The whopping majority spend a lifetime of weekends drinking or (yes, I’m going to go here in 3, 2,1) popping out more children the world doesn’t need, eager to either blow off their dreams constantly or burden themselves with so much responsibility that achieving dreams become impossible.
This is where much of my contempt for other people and their pet projects comes from, I believe. Big plans, big dreams, and too lazy or distracted to even have a snowball’s chance of attaining them. Sure, I see my own laziness and tendency to be distracted by shiny objects clearly reflected. I also see a world of opportunity being wasted by a bunch of whiners.