- October 29, 2019
- Leila Johnston
- Creativity, Motivation
- Comments Off on Motivate yourself like a high achiever
There are many mysterious, hand-wavy things about creativity. A lot of it is hard to explain and justify, and some people will never understand why you choose to do the things you do. That’s fine; not fixable, and not your problem anyway. But one thing is consistently true:
If you don’t behave as if you’re 100% in, you’ll struggle to get serious support when you need it.
Maybe you just do this stuff as a hobby; it might be something you’re seeing if you like — perhaps building up, gradually. That’s fine. But even if you’re just messing around now, if you’re serious about it and have big visions for what it’ll do for you, you can’t go in by halves.
Years ago (for another podcast) I interviewed a lovely man called Reiner Knizia. He is a very famous, prolific and award-winning board game designer and you’ll see pieces of his brain every time you scan the game shelves of your local supermarket or toy shop.
Reiner Knizia (it feels wrong to just call him by his first name) is probably the most self-motivated person I have ever met. He creates new dozens of new games every year. And when we probed him for the secret to his success, he told us he gets up every morning (very early, but we’ll put that to one side for now), puts on a suit and tie, and walks down the landing to his office where he puts in a full day of work.
I also know someone who invented an amazing thing which has successfully taken hold around the global tech community. It took him years to develop it, I remember when it was just a silly ‘back of a beer mat’ idea. It seemed utterly impossible that one person could create something that would have success at that scale. But he never gave up.
I was at his house with some friends once, for dinner, and he suddenly said:
“Right, I’m sorry if this rude, but I don’t really care. Time for my run.”
And off he went on his daily evening jog!
People who achieve unusual things live in unusual ways.
For these individuals, their lifestyle choices are as non-negotiable as going to school, or work. Their choice becomes their boss. We might not all be gifted with the mindsets of these super self motivated types, but there are things we can do to improve…
- Make yourself accountable to someone or something. Use sticker charts or apps; tell people on social media what you’re going to do.
- Get it into a different category of importance than all the other things you could take or leave. Sacrifice other things to do it. Never apologise for it or play down its importance to you, even in your own head.
- Get comfortable with being two people simultaneously. You’re the boss who tells you to get on with it, and the reluctant tired worker. That’s fine. It’s a dialogue. Really start to enjoy getting into the boss role.
- Set the scene for your activity, really role-play it. Put your tie on and walk down the landing to your office. If you’re really in it, this kind of thing is exactly how you prove it to yourself. Sooner or later, your subconscious gets the message.
I have a short Hack Circus ‘Creativity Clinic’ podcast you can listen to about this sort of thing. Here it is!
What one thing can you do today to make yourself accountable to your creative goals?