Motivation is a mysterious bird – one that seems to fly in and out of our lives on a whim. Taming your motivation and making it do your bidding is actually not as hard as it sounds. 

The reason motivation seems hard to capture lies in the word itself. Motivation as a word doesn’t include instructions. In fact, as a word, it doesn’t even help to describe what motivation actually is. Look it up:  motivation

Archer - The tension of the bow creates the action of the arrow.
image courtesy zsbenko at

So, if the words don’t describe it, then what are all these “motivational speakers” doing? What is this business of motivation and motive all about? They can’t tell you. They answer the question with nonsense. “I help motivate people to achieve their goals.” How? Inevitably the answer is some kind of system or nonsense answer like “I inspire them” (whatever that means).

What’s actually happening – and the magic behind the scenes –  is pretty simple.

Human beings do “stuff” when there is TENSION in their lives.

Tension is the origin of action. Without it, you wouldn’t wake up, sleep, eat, move, sit, etc. Without tension, there is no potential. All happenings in the world are a result of the resolution of tension of some kind.

Comedians are experts at creating tension – and when it is resolved, you laugh. Writers create and resolve tension all the time. When you purchase something, you are resolving a tension between having and not having. People create their own tension when they set goals or define their future. Think about how we solve tensions between people.

Sit with that for a minute. Tension as a dynamic behind everything you do.

Consider then, creating tension in your life as a method for activating – you.

Create tensions between today and tomorrow. Create tension between who you are now, and who you want to be; or what you have now, and what you want to have later.

Are you struggling to get things done? Is there enough tension to make it happen? Can you rephrase the consequences to increase tension? Over the next series of articles we will be discussing several techniques and tools to increase tension and make achievement inevitable.