If you lack determination, don’t worry that it’s a moral issue. It means that currently you’re lacking in:
Intrinsic Motivation: This is an internal motivation, everything that lives amongst your deepest needs and desires. Without intrinsic motivation, there is no unmet goal or desire. You have nothing to move you forward towards something. You may be in a situation where you’ve been so hurt in the past that you don’t want to get motivated about anything. The thought of losing something else in some point of the future made you turn off your desire to want anything. I’ve been there, but if you’re numb to wanting anything, you’re about as close to a husk of a human being as you can possibly get without the state declaring you a vegetable.
Commitment: It’s not that you’re afraid of commitment, or that you can’t commit. The problem is that you are immobilized by options. You can’t prioritize your wants and needs because there are so many of them competing for your attention. Many writers blame Writer’s Block on the fact that you have too many ideas coming at you to isolate one and go after it. Or that you’re bombarded with so many “meh” ideas that you can’t search out a truly great one.
Will to Succeed: this originates from an outside force. Without a status quo to rebel against or a culture to respond to, nothing outside of your mind sparks the need to go forward. If you’re totally okay with things the way that they are, why change it? Chaos sometimes has to come in a stir up up, or take something away from you in order to get you going.
How do you get determination? Here’s a three-step plan:
1. Figure out your-long term goal. It should be a larger goal that this current desire is meant to contribute to. Maybe you’re starting your own business because you want to have extra money coming in to keep your family stable. Maybe there’s a math and science school that you want to earn tuition money for.
Start racking up small successes. Start with minuscule ones because even the smallest amount of momentum will get you going. You’ll be in the zone of accomplishment and your amygdala will start to crave more….more! The amygdala loves to hunt for fear, but even more than fear, that puppy loves fun. Distract it with fun and you can keep it from trying to stir up trouble by inventing things to worry about.
Honestly determine where you are right now. Make a list of every small asset that you have, and what you are lacking that you will need in order to succeed.
2. Give shape to the mission, with measurable goals and timelines. Say you want to write twelve e-books in one year. You can break the year down into what you will be doing each month, week, or day in order to get certain benchmarks met.
Write out the logistics of your plan. How will you find material for your books, find an editor, create a cover, etc… You aren’t tied to a plan, but it gives you a skeleton to hang your ideas on. I like to get the skeleton up and them improvise. If I get distracted later, I know where to go back for direction.
3. Prepare for contingencies. Personally, I think this is the most important part of the plan. A plan is not an instructional manual that has to be followed to the letter. It’s a skeleton the hang your plan on. Accept that you will have delays, obstacles, disappointments and reversals of fortune. “Man makes plans and God laughs” and all… My advice? Make a plan and say out loud “This is probably not how it will go at all.” Accept that it probably won’t go that way after all. True strength means being okay with your carefully laid plans going totally to crap in a hand basket.
I totally get it- we’ve all been shitted on by fate in the past, and sometimes we convince ourselves that it’s “best not to try.” I could spend hours telling you how many of my best-laid plans went to hell. Did I tell you about the miserable semester I spent in law school? But the truth is that the universe will shit on you whether you go after what you want or not. And I think it’s better to have the courage to go after what you want.