Julien Smith had an interesting and provocative blog post the other day discussing why a lack of motivation may be holding you back (NSFW language). Unfortunately, he missed two key ingredients that go along with motivation (or lack thereof) for achievement.

Horatio Caine from WikipediaIn the world of police detective stories from Sherlock Holmes to CSI, criminals need three things to accomplish a crime: means, motive, and opportunity.

Means. Do you have the capability to commit the crime? Is it within your ability to do so, and do you have the resources needed?

Motive. Do you have the motivation to commit the crime? Do you have a good reason to do it?

Opportunity. Is there an opportunity to leverage your means, powered by your motives, to commit the crime, or is there no chance of it occurring?

Apply these to nearly any endeavor. You may have the motive to become a famous photographer, and you certainly have the opportunity with the ubiquity of photo sharing, but if you don’t own a camera – the means – the chances of you becoming a famous photographer are virtually impossible. Obviously, your motivation can power you to find the means, but if you don’t have a camera in your possession, you don’t have a camera in your possession.

You may, as Julien uses in his explanations, have the means and the opportunity to achieve your goals, but without motivation, they’ll be nothing but daydreams and unharvested fields.

You may want to be President of the United States and may have the vast fortune and political base to do so as well as the burning motivation, but the opportunity only really comes once every four years, so the opportunity isn’t there at this very moment. (assuming you’re not reading this in a Presidential election year)

Accomplishment isn’t driven solely by motivation alone. Understanding which of the three areas of means, motive, and opportunity you’re weakest in first will guide you as to what you need to do to accomplish your goals. Simply saying “just do it” takes a lot for granted and presumes that the only gap in your lack of accomplishment is lack of motive and motivation when there may be deficiencies in all three areas. Address what’s most deficient first to move closer towards achieving your goals.

It’s easy to call someone a pussy, but to truly understand and help them figure out what they need the most to succeed… that’s the cat’s meow. /sunglasses


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