Commitment vs Motivation: The Important Distinction

Commitment vs Motivation: The Important Distinction

Sports psychologist Professor Steve Peters, creator of the famous chimp management model, says plainly: “I don’t deal in motivation. I deal in commitment.” On the face of it, that statement might leave you scratching your head wondering what’s the difference, but once explained, the sentiment has the potential to be life changing.

The Problem With Motivation

The unfortunate fact about motivation is that it’s an emotion or a feeling. It comes and goes as and when your mood changes. 

If you only worked when you felt a powerful drive to do so then you’d likely spend a lot of time sitting around not doing much. When it comes to exercise, there are probably many times you’d rather stay in bed a little longer than go for your early morning workout. Or crash in front of the sofa rather than venturing out into a dark winter’s night.

You have to acknowledge that you’re not always going to feel motivated to move towards your goals in life - whatever they may be.

The key is choosing to put the work in anyway.

The Power Of A Committed Mind

By making an active choice to take steps towards accomplishing a goal on a daily basis, we set ourselves up to achieve and be successful.

The key is rationalising your thought processes when feeling demotivated, and making a decision to get the job done anyway. When it’s exercise that you’re getting done, you’ll often return feeling better and more positive than you had done thanks to an endorphin kick.

Of course, it’s important to make sure you’re really chasing the right goal and that there’s motivation there at least some of the time by asking yourself if you actually want to commit. If the answer is no, then you’ll have some soul searching to do about whether you’re pursuing the right path.

But if it’s a yes, it’s simply a case of reframing your thinking next time you feel a pang of demotivation.