The one and ultimate motivation for everything I do in my life, every hardship I encounter, every boulder that needs to be pushed up a cliff, is the endless, unrelenting need to prove my own abilities to myself.
Mindset alone isn’t enough to motivate men.
Motivation is a muddy and unreliable thing. It can push you out of a state of mental and physical inertia, but it can also serve as an addiction to self-improvement messages that keeps you from actually doing the self-improvement that needs to be done. Many people find motivation is places where there is little true value to be found.
Instagram posts about “grinding” and “hustling” can get you pumped at that moment, maybe even push you to get something done in your life. But that motivation is short-lived and ultimately meaningless. Because it does not draw from your life and your life experiences.
Other people find motivation in achieving a certain goal.
They see a mountaintop they wish to reach, and then work on their discipline and mental and physical abilities. They keep pushing until they reach it. This is a standard type of motivation for men. We evolved to be seekers, always looking for a new challenge to overcome, a barrier to destroy, a dragon to kill and a princess to save. Yet, this kind of motivation, while being natural and productive, is also very short-lived.
Even when there is an infinite amount of mountaintops, not all of them will be as beautiful and desirable to a man. While a man might give all of himself to reach one of those mountaintops, he might make it– the other mountaintop might not be as motivating to reach. Thus, this kind of motivation inconsistent and lacking in many ways.
There is yet, a third kind of motivation for a man.
Some of us are motivated by proving other people wrong.
A sentiment and mindset well-encompassed in the phrase:
“Let them mock, let them laugh, let them doubt and disbelieve and let them watch as you prove them wrong.”
This is a strong message and a strong and masculine mindset to adopt. Many men have accomplished great things with this mindset motivating them to give all of themselves to the fight.
The thing I dislike about this mindset as a source for motivation is that, even though this is an internal source of motivation, it is still focused on the opinions and perceptions of other people.
I am a firm believer that, to a good man, opinions of people who are not his family or his tribe, should not matter at all. This is a mindset mostly adopted by people who were bullied or harassed in their younger years, having faced oppression from people who had physical or metaphorical power over them. This is why this mindset brings such a powerful motivating force to a man’s work, because it stems from his experiences and overcoming not a challenge in front of him but a challenge inside of him.
Prove it to yourself
The motivation that I personally use is similar to the previous one I’ve discussed. The motivational mindset of “Proving it to yourself.”
This is also rooted in a man’s personal experience of life. But, instead of a focus on the beliefs and opinions of other people, it’s focused on striving to achieve a state of confidence and certainty in one’s own masculine ability to accomplish what one said he will accomplish.
Doing what you say you will do is a strong form of masculine integrity. To have a mindset of proving to yourself that you indeed have that integrity and that ability to do the things that need to be done well and without procrastination will lead to the development of your sense of duty to your own life and confidence and self-esteem in your interactions with other.