Recently, I wrote a post about the importance of determination vs motivation in getting things done in life. As I said, motivation is often short-lived; people get fired up and motivated all the time, but the enthusiasm evaporates the minute they encounter pain, frustration, or failure. During those times, they need determination to carry them through.
This morning, I read an excellent article that takes it a step further in time. Cal Newport takes an even longer view (and expresses it much better than I did), with his focus on diligence, which is about sticking to a pursuit for years at a time. As he says:
We’ve created this fantasy world where everyone is just 30 days of courage boosting exercises and life hacks away from living an amazing life.
But when you study people like (Steve) Martin, who really do live remarkable lives, you almost always encounter stretches of years and years dedicated to honing craft.
Motivation is short term; it gets you started and chooses the goal. Determination gets you through the rough patches in the medium term. Diligence keeps you at it long enough to make a real difference in your life.
Want to be a great speaker, a great salesperson, or great _______? It’s simple: Do the work, learn all you can all the time, and stick with it for a long, long time.
I urge you to read Cal’s article yourself, and if you’re interested in a deep and thoughtful perspective on what it takes to succeed, follow his excellent blog, Study Hacks.