Determination vs Motivation

Two very synonymous seeming words that actually have two totally different meanings. Let’s take a look at understanding the difference between the two, and how we can utilize both to help us achieve our goals.

Determination. A firmness of purpose; resoluteness. In our lives there may be a lot of things we are determined to do—finish college, start a new business, or even make it through traffic without road rage. To be determined about your purpose is to stay on course no matter what life throws at you. Determination is the strength within yourself to carry on. This is something you must find within yourself. But sometimes that internal strength starts to burn out. And that is where motivation comes in play.

Motivation. The reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.

When you have motivation, you are more driven to stay on your determined course. I believe motivation is extremely temporary. And for most (including myself) is a fleeting feeling. A lot of stuff can motivate you when it hits your heart strings just right. Motivation can change your mood and give you a sense of fearlessness. Determination is the spark and motivation is the fuel that turns that spark into a raging fire.

Although they may seem very similar, as you can see, determination and motivation are two totally different things. Determination is setting a personal choice on reaching a desired goal. While motivation is outside forces that help you stay focused to achieve said goal.

Here are five tips to help you stay motivated.

1. Surround yourself with the same energy.

Whether online or in real life, finding your “tribe” is important in keeping you motivated. Constantly surrounding yourself with like-minded people will help keep you motivated because you have a shared sense of energy and purpose. And when you start feeling drained, you will have plenty of energy to feed off of within your group.

2. Make sure the goals you set are YOUR goals.

If your goals are not goals that you want to do, as opposed to something we should do, it can get extremely easy to give up. We were not put on this earth to be the same, but sometimes society tells you the exact opposite. Breaking out from the mold and setting a goal that YOU want to do will help you stay motivated to complete it. 

3. Visualize the end results.

This is a tip that I actually utilize a lot. I daydream and think about what it feels like to have finally completed a goal. When I feel myself becoming burnt out from working toward my goals, I’ll sit back and daydream about what it would be like when the goal is finished. Doing this little exercise keeps me motivated to stay on course.

4. Organize your thoughts.

Writing down and journaling how you will achieve your goals are extremely helpful. Decluttering your mind and knowing where and how your thought process is takes a lot of stress out of figuring out the task at hand. When we take the time to write down the steps to accomplish our goals, it opens up more time to figure out a plan of action.

5. Don’t focus on what you can’t control.

Sometimes it can get extremely easy thinking about the “what ifs”.  What if I fail? What if nobody likes the end result? What if it’s not as big of a reception as I want? When we start thinking of things we have no control over, we start to build up fear. That fear will make you hesitant to keep going, so it is best to not focus on it at all.

Determination is the mindset that no matter what changes, you will find a way. Determination says, “I don’t care if I’m not making progress now, I know what I’m doing will pay off.” But alas, hard work is exactly that—hard work. And when you start getting burnt out from working hard and need a pick-me-up, revisit that motivation, and start the process all over again.