The MPW Insiders Network is an online community where the biggest names in business and beyond answer timely career and leadership questions. Today’s answer for: “How do you stay motivated?” is written by Kathy Bloomgarden, CEO of Ruder Finn.
In today’s business world, you have to constantly be “on” to win. It can feel intense, and the steep hills you have to climb to get to the top can feel endless. But motivation is what drives our actions and fires our goals. It is the engine that makes us want to do something. It is the passion that urges us to reach for our aspirations. To keep on track amongst the day-to-day challenges, it helps to think about a few points that can keep you energized:
Curiosity is a great motivation driver. Motivation is really linked to wanting to learn new things, to being curious about what’s on the next page, and to wondering about the challenges ahead. As markets continue to move at an ever-accelerated pace, it’s the, “What if I could do that?” “What if this were possible?” and, “What’s next?” that is truly exciting.
See also: Staying Motivated Won’t Help Your Career
Innovate ahead of others
I’ve always had a strong, competitive spirit, but I’ve learned over time that competing with others isn’t the key. Rather, it’s watching all of the trends and changes around us, and being inventive and creative to master them faster and more intelligently than others. It’s not about being the biggest. It’s about being nimble and outpacing the competition. To fully leap ahead of others, you have to delve into your inner competitive motivation and leverage it as a guide to your day-to-day behavior.
Self-disrupt or die
There is the deeply rooted belief that you have to listen, learn, and adapt, or else you’ll gradually become irrelevant. This, of course, is true for companies in terms of developing new business models, but it’s also something we can apply to our own way of thinking. Take a hard look at how you think and execute, and have the courage to push yourself to do something different or outside the box. Transformation is key. It’s important to realize that reaching your full potential is a journey—not a goal that you reach at a point in time. You have to keep motivated to continue to raise your hand and push forward to break through the roadblocks you encounter.
In this framework, there is no room for stepping back and falling off the fast track. Just embed these few points into your DNA. Adhere to curiosity—always think about what’s next in our times of change. Keep your eye on innovating ahead of your fiercest competitors, and remember that you have to continue to adapt and disrupt yourself. Then you will be on the path to continuous motivation.