What motivates and inspires human behavior at the highest level?
I’ll give you a hint – it’s not logical and left-brained. It’s emotional and right-brained.
This is what I’m talking about anytime I do a DE.ER. keynote or workshop on the difference between SMART Goals vs. DUMB Goals.
If you’re unfamiliar, both of these are acronyms.
SMART: Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic, Timed
DUMB (a Scott Welle original): Dream Driven, Unrealistic, Meaningful, Benefits Others
Which one seems more motivating?
(if you said the latter, you get a prize!)
Of the DUMB components, I’d argue that one is probably the most important when it comes to grit and perseverance:
Everything we know about social and peak performance psychology says that we will always play harder for others than we will play for ourselves.
In other words, WE > ME.
For example, tomorrow I’m running a half marathon here in CO. On the surface this may seem like a somewhat selfish goal.
“Oh, he’s just running a 13.1 for the competition and individual accomplishment.”
If you thought that, you’re right. Both of those are definite motivators.
But you want to know what is a FAR GREATER motivator?
I can tell you with absolute certainty that training and racing a half marathon makes me a better fiance, dad, friend, speaker, coach, etc…
And on days where I don’t feel like training, thinking about the competition and individual accomplishment is not what gets me out the door.
What gets me out the door is thinking about my partner, son, friends, audience members, clients, etc.
Seeing it through this lens turns something self-ish into something self-less.
As you continuing working towards your 2023 goals, I’d encourage you to look at it the same way:
Let the benefit for others be a pull. Let the benefit for you be a push. Both can move you forward but one of them is much more rewarding and sustainable.