No Inspiration like a Gun to the Head

Do you have large scale visions? Is there something you are just dying to accomplish but you lack the inspiration, the motivation to accomplish that goal? If so, I recommend you find your proverbial gun to the head. Of course, we are speaking about the proverbial “gun”.

The proverbial gun forces you to accomplish your goals. It gives you no “way out”, but victory. It is nothing short of the Greek army generals of old who would burn their own soldiers’ boats upon reaching the enemies’ shores. Why did they do so? They wanted their soldiers to be properly motivated. They needed them to win and needed the soldiers themselves to know that they HAD to win. When you have to win, you likely will.

Does this seem like an extreme perspective? I do not think so, for I have seen time and time again that if people give themselves a “fall back plan”, when times get tough, they will simply fall back.

If you commit to a new endeavor, times will get tough, for you will receive push-back in equal measure to your ambition. Knowing that you have a proverbial gun to the head, which can be anything that creates a certain self-imposed unrelenting pressure, you will find motivation. No doubt you will find stress as well, but stress, if properly channeled, can, of course, quicken the mind, sharpen the senses and instincts and, most importantly, motivate.

One such gun might be a bank loan. The bank will be unforgiving if you do not pay your bills. Knowing this, you will find inspiration to figure out a success strategy. Or perhaps you decide to quit your “survival job”, necessitating that you generate an income in your new pursuit. The proverbial gun can be anything that creates a real pressure in your life. We all need motivation and having to win is a really good one.

Jim Hart is the Director of Arts Entrepreneurship at Southern Methodist University, SMU.

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