• SumoMe

Don't wait for inspiration to find you before you act.

One of my favorite people in the world, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, recently answered a question that I often ask people when I interview them.

In response to the question, “What can you tell a young man looking for motivation in life itself?” he replied:

The problem, often not discovered until late in life, is that when you look for things like love, meaning, motivation, it implies they are sitting behind a tree or under a rock. The most successful people recognize, that in life they create their own love, they manufacture their own meaning, they generate their own motivation.

For me, I am driven by two main philosophies, know more today about the world than I knew yesterday. And along the way, lessen the suffering of others. You’d be surprised how far that gets you.

This quote is fantastic, and reflects my own views on inspiration. I’ve always believed that many people think inspiration is something that they find (like Tyson says, behind a tree or under a rock), or something that falls in their lap–“I’d write that novel, if only I could find inspiration.” This is the wrong way to go about it. The right way to go about it is to say, “I’m going to write that novel. I don’t know what it will be about yet, but it will come together.”

Many men these days are losing this general concept: if you want do something, do it.

As I opined in Rule 14, the fear of failure is a serious issue, and it probably destroys more inspiration than laziness, inability, and neglect combined. Tyson, in his quote, touches on this very point–successful people create their own love, manufacture their own meaning, and generate their own motivation. Beautifully put.

You know what your goals are, and you know that you should go after them. Simply taking the next step and doing it is what defines a successful person. Generate your own motivation–don’t wait for it to come to you.

How do you generate your own motivation? Help others fight the lack of inspiration by sharing in the comments below.