Written by 8:00 am Pursue Greatness

Motivation vs. Mission – What’s the Difference?

I know you don’t actually believe you can do everything without motivation.

Motivational speaker (and upcoming podcast guest) Ben Newman challenged me with that phrase when we sat down to record his episode in March. I had recently shared a post about why we didn’t need to wait on or require motivation – we instead had to be Competitors who just took action.

After we discussed it further, and how we both saw motivation, I felt it was important to share some takeaways on motivation versus mission, and why both are necessary, but only one is required every day of the journey.

Mission and motivation are both components of our journey when we choose to forsake average in the pursuit of greatness. They’re both become part of our life when we decide we want to be a winner.


Our mission is the reason we pursue a goal. It’s our why that lights the original, lasting fire in our souls to compete for that goal. Think of your mission as the bigger “WHY” reason you set out for it.

  • You want to be the first person in your family to accomplish ‘x.’
  • You desire to show up for others as the person you wish you’d had when you were in their spot.
  • You believe you were created to help others overcome ‘x’ challenge.

Whatever your “why” is, it’s part of your mission and the initial motivation to kickstart your journey. It’s not a feeling, but a purpose to pursue.


I talk a lot of about motivation on this blog. The majority of my work when discussing motivation is in relation to the active feeling of motivation – not the internal, bigger drive. We all need an internal drive in order to reach our goals, but we don’t need to actively feel motivated every day in order to.

Many people make the mistake (or excuse) of believing they need to feel motivated before they can take action. They waste the majority of their time waiting for a feeling that’s as fleeting and fickle instead of simply committing to do the work.

This is where it can get tricky.

You need the internal clarity on your mission that some call their motivation to start after your goal, but you don’t need the active feeling of “I’m motivated” today to continue after it.

Your mission becomes your greater purpose and internal driving force to pursue a meaningful victory. Your motivation is the active feeling of energy, enthusiasm, and confidence that can fuel you one day, but disappear the next.

The way to reach a meaningful goals is to clearly identify your mission and commit to making progress each day – whether you feel motivated or not.

Surprisingly, it’s on the days you don’t feel motivated, that you learn to lean into the importance of your mission, and after having made progress forward, find yourself feeling motivated. Forward momentum can help build that motivated feeling, while zero movement forward will continue to keep that feeling from showing up.

Your choice to compete every day for a bigger goal isn’t a quick one. It’s arduous journey that will require a strong mission for the days you lack the motivation. But the more you press forward on the days you lack motivation, the more you’ll discover that you tend to find that feeling, along with confidence and pride.

Both Mission + Motivation will be part of your journey to success, but learn to only lean heavily on one of them with action to get there. I’m cheering for you.

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