be your own motor

Be Your Own Motor

It’s been about a month since my last blog post mentioning Seth Godin, so it’s about time to bring him up again.

This blog post from August 1 of this year sums up one of the biggest casualties from our increasingly reactive environment: self-motivation.

Many things we do now put us squarely in the passenger seat, leading us around from experience to experience whether or not we care or are even paying attention. Things like social media demand that we react to them rather than allowing us the motivation to perform proactively.

Seth points out that:

The internet is the greatest self-teaching resource ever developed. But few take advantadge of it, because it doesn’t come with a motor. No tests, no certificates, no cruise control.

I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but this definitely rings true. I don’t know how many times I’ve started trying to self-teach myself something using online resources, only to fizzle out in days (or weeks) when I start getting reactive and reactionary.

Certainly one of the best moves I’ve made recently is removing Facebook from my phone, and after taking a hard look at how I spend my time when things get busier, other social media services (Twitter, Reddit) will probably get the same treatment soon.

Although this may seem a bit hyperbolic, it’s worth pointing out that as more and more people enter the job force as freelancers, it’s not enough to just have a bare minimum of skills. You’ve got to continue to grow and develop, since other people in your industry certainly will be.

As usual for Seth, his last (short) paragraph really gives you the straight truth:

Someone’s driving. It’s either you, going where you choose, or someone else, pushing you.

The choice, as always, is up to you.