A few years ago, I subscribed to an email list that sent me a “daily dose of inspiration.” Each morning, I received a new quote designed to inspire and motivate me to do great things. Usually the quote was something profound. Usually it was also something that I did nothing about, except hitting the archive button. Eventually I unsubscribed from those emails because it felt more like cotton candy for the soul than chicken soup. It was momentarily sweet, but never satisfying.
You might have done something similar. We’ve all read quotes that seem to touch our hearts. We’ve all heard a speaker who was inspiring and connected directly with us. We’ve had a great idea that we really believe in. In those moments, we felt like we could change the world. And yet, we look back now and nothing really changed. Why is that?
Motivation is fleeting. It’s like a spark. It has the potential to start a fire, but it’s up to us to provide the fuel. Most sparks never start a fire. They flash quickly and disappear. Starting a fire from a spark is actually quite challenging. You have to provide kindle or wood shavings, which are just small enough to catch fire. Then as the flame grows, you add slightly larger twigs and sticks until finally you can put logs on the fire. It takes time and sustained effort to get that fire to burn hot.
I now use a simple framework to turn a spark of motivation into a fire of change and progress. It is a process that entrepreneurs, moms, dads, students, and just about anyone can use. I’ve used it to launch major change in my life, such as losing 20 lbs, launching new initiatives, and developing new skills.