Your productivity shouldn’t relate to your enthusiasm.
Yes, I am a believer in the thought that you do your best work when properly excited and enthused about it. However, that’s not a realistic place to live in. We’re not always going to be happy and pumped.
There’s a difference between not pushing through when you’re deliriously tired and simply giving up because you lost motivation. You have to keep working through that and get your motivation back. Letting yourself off the hook and simply shifting your attention to something else doesn’t help you build emotional intelligence nor does it do anything to help our society that’s sorely lacking the ability to focus.
Sometimes our enthusiasm wanes when we start to feel like we can’t make our dreams come true; in other words, when our self-confidence slips, so does our enthusiasm.
That’s ok, and it’s normal! We all have high and low seasons. However, you don’t have to let it affect your productivity, and here are three reasons why:
Reason #1: Your goals and daily tasks don’t depend on your feelings.
A few weeks ago I did a blog called, Self Confidence V.S. Goal Setting: Who Wins? where I proposed that if you set goals and decide to stick to them no matter what, then your emotions should never come into play. Our enthusiasm is an emotion. If you don’t feel like working on your goals that day, sorry Charlie! If you decide to skip them for a day, or two, or week, or month, then you’re going to fall behind and all the plans you made will get totally off track. And nobody wants to see that happen.
Reason #2: Letting yourself off the hook doesn’t build character.
As I’ve mentioned many times (probably too many times), I’m a big fan of building character and living life by the no-pain-no-gain mentality. Not to the extreme that some people would, but I also don’t think accommodating your every lazy mood is a good idea. I even did a blog post about how struggling through the discomfort builds your emotional intelligence.
If dreamers and business owners need anything, it’s that! So even if you’re not totally pumped at the start of each day to work on your dream or business, do it anyway. Sure, if you sit down to work on something and have zero ideas and zero GAF about it, then you can try something else for a while. Do something that really truly invigorates or inspires you. Then come back to your dreams and make them come to life!
Reason #3: The most common cause of failure is quitting.
People fail not because they’re not talented enough, or gifted enough, or bold enough, or rich enough, or anything enough (see my blog Ignite Your Self Confidence: 7 Insidious Lies That Are Probably Holding You Back). It’s simply because they give up.
Ever heard the story about the guy who quit mining when he was only three feet away from gold? I haven’t heard it in a while, but it goes something like this: he set out to mine gold, fought through many obstacles and challenges. Finally, when he was coming up empty again and again and again, he gave up. He packed up all his stuff and went home defeated. New people came in and to mine the same spot, and discovered a mega load of gold. The most that area has ever seen! And guess what? The guy who quit had only been THREE FEET away from it! Imagine how different his life would have been if he had just kept going and not let his emotions sway him from his goal!
For the last three years or more, I’ve had this phrase written on a whiteboard in my office: “The only thing that separates the accomplished from the mediocre is DEDICATION!!! Lost hope? Keep going! Feels impossible? Keep going! Forgot the dream? KEEP GOING!”
We’ve moved four times since then, and every time those words get a little smudged or erased. Every time I rewrite them. At times I’ve considered erasing them completely so that I could have a totally blank board to work with. I just can’t bring myself to do it though. Know why? Because I’ve hit some major slumps in my business, and each time I’ve brought my eyes up to that board and remembered their truth, and they helped me keep going.
Whatever you do, don’t let an emotional slump turn into a real problem. Our feelings are fickle things, and are often NOT the best compass for your life, despite the popular mantra that says they should be our only guide. If you do that, you will likely find your emotional intelligence suffering, as well as your dreams and goals.
Next time you’re in a slump, come back to this blog post (or take notes of the three reasons) and remind yourself of why your level of productivity should have nothing to do with your level of enthusiasm. Also, if you haven’t already ready it, check out the episode called Self Confidence V.S. Goal Setting: Who Wins?.
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Remember to post a comment below to join the conversation, especially if you had any ah-ha moments or if you have any questions!