He spent 27 years behind bars.
He lived through 18 years of tough labour by day and a prison cell without a bed or plumbing by night.
He never got to raise his children.
He was denied the right to bury both his eldest son and mother.
He changed the course of history for an entire Nation.
His name is Nelson Mandela.
How did he defy the odds? How did he end the apartheid? How did he become South Africa’s first black president? Nelson Mandela was clear on two things:
He knew where he was going and why.
Find your “Why”
Do you remember your time at school? If you do, you will recall those students who seemed to excel.
They did well. Most people wrote them off as gifted? That’s why they seem to be able to push through anything, always studying, always achieving. I mean, if they’re gifted, what can we do?
It turns out that people’s natural intelligence plays only a minor role in success. The research found that the top students all have this in common. They have a clear why. Top students know why they are studying. Their why is their higher purpose – the reason that drives them to keep pushing through the books when they’re tired. It is their inexhaustible well of motivation.
Find your own why, and use it to keep you moving when times are hard. When you find your why, you’re no longer studying. Instead, you are taking action towards your beliefs and goals – your why.
Find your “Where”
Do you sometimes watch TV or aimlessly scroll through social media? It’s mostly an enjoyable and relaxing experience. But what if you had an assignment due the next day? Would it still be enjoyable?
This is the power of direction. You gain a new ability when you know where you need to go and what you need to do – the ability to see when you are going in the wrong direction. To find your direction in life, you must set goals.
Goals give you a clear path to focus on, guarding you against distractions. They help you hold the course when more pleasurable things are insight. As you achieve your goals, they will drive you to achieve more. Dopamine will reinforce this loop – feeding you a steady trickle of motivation.
Remember, learning is just a necessary part of your journey to achieve your why. When you know where you’re going and why the motivation will find you.Published in