What Motivates You To Succeed? 2 Significant Factors For Success

by Anil Mer­chant

I’m in a cross­fit gym, absolute­ly drenched in sweat and gasp­ing for air, with a train­er breath­ing down my neck yelling at me to push hard­er. Oth­ers around me have already given up, with just a few remain­ing sur­vivors. At this point, I have two options:

1) I drop what I’m doing and tell the train­er: “The heck with this! I’m pay­ing you, I’ll go at my own pace!”

2) I suck it up, some­how muster up some more ener­gy, give it all I got and push hard­er.

I chose option two.

Why did I choose option two? My body was telling me oth­er­wise. My mind was telling me oth­er­wise. All nat­ur­al rea­son­ing point­ed to giv­ing it a rest. Yet I chose to con­tin­ue on. Why? What is it that moti­vates peo­ple to go above and beyond. Why is it that, given a group of say 10 peo­ple of sim­i­lar abil­i­ty, one per­son will come out on top? In short, what is it that moti­vates peo­ple to suc­ceed?

I’ve ana­lyzed the above moment over and over again and have extract­ed two con­cepts that drive me. Two con­cepts that moti­vate me to suc­ceed in all areas, whether it be phys­i­cal fit­ness or my career. And while I cer­tain­ly can’t speak for every­one, I’d like to share these two ideas here. So, with­out fur­ther ado:

1) Com­pet­i­tive­ness – the desire to come out on top

In the above exam­ple, there were a group of 15 of us in that par­tic­u­lar cross­fit ses­sion. Although this wasn’t a direct com­pe­ti­tion, it was clear in each per­son’s eyes that every man or woman want­ed to last longer than the other. I want­ed to win and this desire alone allowed me to mask out all other feel­ings and con­tin­ue going. It is sim­ply the com­pet­i­tive nature of Human Beings. How­ev­er, some are more com­pet­i­tive than oth­ers and strive hard­er to prove so. Larry Elli­son, when dis­cussing yacht rac­ing, once said: “I’m addict­ed to win­ning. The more you win, the more you want to win.” And this seems to be a shared tes­ta­ment amongst all those who are most suc­cess­ful at what­ev­er it is they may do. It is well known that Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were incred­i­bly com­pet­i­tive and drove each other to inno­vate and suc­ceed. Like­wise, sev­er­al mem­bers of the Forbes ‘World’s Bil­lion­aires list’ have stat­ed repeat­ed­ly that they strong­ly desire to con­tin­ue to move up the rank­ings and will con­tin­ue to pur­sue the top spot for as long as they are able. These peo­ple have more money than most peo­ple can ever fath­om, yet are dri­ven by just the hand­ful of peo­ple that are finan­cial­ly ahead of them. Com­pe­ti­tion from oth­ers is a great force in moti­vat­ing peo­ple to push hard­er to suc­ceed.

2) Know­ing deep down that this is for my own ben­e­fit

This one may be a bit more per­son­al. Let me again ref­er­ence the above exam­ple. When given the choice whether to stop or con­tin­ue, I had a split sec­ond to make my deci­sion. I’ve real­ized that with­in that short peri­od of time, I remind­ed myself that I was in fact doing this for my own good. The hard­er I train (with­out push­ing myself to injury of course), the more I ben­e­fit. Sure, I had already com­plet­ed a vig­or­ous work­out and could’ve eas­i­ly stopped at that point, but I had one final push in me and I knew that by choos­ing to con­tin­ue, I would reap the ben­e­fits. Con­stant­ly remind­ing myself that the hard­er I train, the hard­er I work, and the hard­er I try will ben­e­fit me in the long run, moti­vates me to keep going until I’m able to attain the level of suc­cess I desire.

Moti­va­tion, it’s a curi­ous thing. I don’t nec­es­sar­i­ly believe that the above two items are uni­ver­sal moti­vat­ing fac­tors for all peo­ple, but I do know that they drive me to reach lev­els I once deemed impos­si­ble and I strong­ly believe that each and every per­son has his or her own moti­vat­ing forces some­where with­in them­selves.

What moti­vates you to suc­ceed?

Anil Mer­chant is a Soft­ware Engi­neer by day and founder at Ent­fu­sion by night, where he also main­tains a per­son­al blog Ent­fu­sion is a social plat­form aimed to help con­nect cus­tomers search­ing for enter­tain­ment ven­dors and vice-versa. In his spare time, he enjoys stay­ing active through weight-lifting and box­ing. Con­nect with Anil on Twit­ter!