Because they are largely all written in such a way as to be absolute.
Do this in exactly this way to achieve this outcome. The one way, the specific thing, the exact protocol.
And it doesn’t seemingly matter if you want to be bigger, leaner, faster, smarter, better in bed, better at life… there’s always a secret, a shortcut, an easy path to whatever outcome you seek.
Here’s a little Monday morning motivation for you; six minutes and forty-nine seconds of energy-boosting, mind-blowing, soul-searching goodness. How bad do you want success?
This scene from Rocky Balboa gets me every time. Every. Single. Time.
Heck, I even have a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes as I proof-read this post!
Yes, I know it’s a movie, and sure, the words are explicitly intended to create a sense of drama and elicit an emotional response from the audience. But there are quite literally thousands (millions?) of movies, books and theatrical works that try to achieve the same result and fail. Of course, one’s reaction to any given dialog or scene is a deeply personal experience. But why is it then, that this speech from Balboa to his son stirs so much emotion in me?
When individuals fail to meet their goals, they often attribute it to not being sufficiently motivated enough to see things through. However, in my experience goals plus motivation seldom equate to success.
Consider this common scenario:
- A goal or desired outcome is conceived, usually as a result of some external influence, and motivation to move toward that goal is high.
- For a few weeks, concrete progress is made toward the goal and you start to see results.
- Then, just as everything appears to be going well, life gets in the way: Work gets busy. Events come-up. You travel. Friends and family vie for your attention. Chores need to be done. You get injured. You’re not sleeping well. The list goes on…
- Slowly but surely, motivation wanes and progress slows to a crawl or even stops completely.
So why is it then that, despite having concrete goals and good amount of motivation, you don’t accomplish your aim?