Scene 1: You are driving home from work. Tired. Really Really Tired. Your boss calls you. “Hey, that client presentation I asked you to finish. It’s too long. Do it again, pronto.” You reach home, and shout at the kids, scowl at the wife, eat dinner in silence and go to bed grumbling.
Scene 2: You are driving home from work. Tired. Really Really Tired. Your boss calls you. “Hey, you did really good this year, I’m considering you for a fast track promotion” You reach home, you hug the kids and the wife, take them out to a nice dinner and come back home and watch a movie.
Notice how the tiredness (something physical) vanished completely, as soon as there was something good to look forward to (something emotional)?
We think we are incapable of many things. But the reality is that we are capable of anything. More often than not though, we are not incentivised enough for going the extra mile. This prevents us from giving our best and limits our potential.
We can stay motivated and incentivized forever though, if instead of waiting for praise (that rarely comes) from others, we give ourselves a few pats on our backs. It is self-fulfilling in nature – because being happy with ourselves, will make others happy with us. And the cycle will propagate.