For me success was always going to be a Lamborghini. But now I’ve got it, it just sits on my drive. —50 Cent
External rewards like a Lamborghini are poor motivators. For one, I’ve heard countless times about people willing to endure immense torture to stay true to their values or save their loved ones, but I’ve yet to hear a story of a person willing to die for their new Lexus.
Second, materialistic rewards give fleeting happiness and often come with more problems than benefits. Just ask any owner of a Lamborghini how much fun it is to see people constantly taking pictures of their car, how fun it is to spend thousands of dollars for a simple check-up, or how stressed-out they are in the parking lot, afraid of an envious driver of a beat-up car dinging their shiny vehicle.
Last but most definitely not least, a powerful motivator should feel like a necessity, a thing you can’t live without, and not a mere toy that displays your high status, which ultimately nobody cares about.
If you’re struggling to stick to your resolution, perhaps the only motivation you have is the extrinsic type, driven by money, fame, or prizes. This type of motivation isn’t bad per se; what’s bad is when it’s the only thing that keeps you going.
Whenever you’re setting new goals, go beyond mere external rewards. Instead, support your self-discipline with intrinsic motivators — internal rewards, such as doing something out of a need to grow as a person, achieve more independence, realize your full potential, enjoy yourself, learn, or explore.
Combine this motivation with a need to make the world a better place, and you’ll have a powerful source of inspiration that will enable you to grin and bear the difficulties that you’ll undoubtedly encounter along the way.