Certain people can only take action on their dreams if they have outwardly enforced accountability measures. Cancellation causes, managerial supervision, late fees, concrete goals, hard deadlines, activity monitors, digital notifications and other enforced consequences are the only constructs that prompt them to get things done. People who have motivational systems like this are not good or bad, wrong or right, better or worse, it's just how they're wired. But when you're someone who brings their own fire, someone for whom outer accountability is rarely necessary, then you have to make the empathic leap. Because it can be downright confusing and frustrating to watch someone like this struggle.
JUSTING — Create external structure to match your internal motivational system
Why can't they just join a gym? Why can't they just get up an hour earlier to work on their project? Why can't they just finish their taxes on time? Why can't they just complete this simple assignment in the allotted time? We ask ourselves these questions, but the reality is, that's a word that doesn't exist in some people's vocabulary. Just. Since motivation and discipline aren't things that come easily to them, they can't just do anything. If they could just do it, then they would have already just done it.
One of my best friends has been updating his website for eight years. He's also been working on his first book for five years. God love the guy, but neither of those projects are ever going to get across the finish line if he doesn't learn to install measures to hold his feet to the fire. It's not that he's slow or incapable or lazy or procrastinating, he simply doesn’t have the external structure to match his internal motivational system. Hopefully he'll come to terms with his own expectational orientation and find a way finish projects more consistently, and hopefully my impatience with our differences will subside. But neither of us are holding our breath.
Nike may be a successful apparel brand, but it's not a useful productivity system. For many people, there needs to be much more outer structure in place. How will you spur yourself into the kind of action that will help you thrive?
Tap into the motivational power of consequences
Overcome the procrastination of starting and finishing
Use outwardly focused accountability to spur yourself into action
Execute your projects more consistently