One of my favorite movies of all time is The Social Network. My favorite movie of all time is Gladiator. They are complete opposite in terms of history and action but in both various characters must over come life circumstances to achieve goals beyond what they originally had planned for their life or what other people may think their life was going in. In The Social Network you have everyone from Mark Zuckerberg doing things for attention and launching “The Facebook” , to Eduardo Saverin never imaging that his friend Mark would partner with Sean Parker to run Facebook and try to cut him out of Facebook. Even the Winklevoss twins, they thought they were on to something big and despite winning court cases in real life they are still trying to sue Facebook/Mark Zuckerberg for more money (if you want to merge movie and the real world). Also look at Sean Parker, in the movie his passion for wanting to give the VC firms the middle finger because they kicked him out of a company. Everyone from Mark, Sean, Eduardo and yes the Winklevoss had to overcome startup troubles, friendships, promises, life obstacles to still achieve success or at least try to gain success and happiness.
As for Gladiator, sometimes it’s not success but revenge that may drive you. Maximus, played by Russell Crowe after being betrayed by Commodus the son of the Emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Learned after betrayal that his family killed and he was left for dead. Only to survive to slay his arch enemy to set things right in Rome. But Maximus had to become a Gladiator, fighting less skilled fighters and over coming the odds to do so.
In both movies the characters had to overcome mental and physical odds to survive. As for Mark Zuckerberg or even Eduardo Saverin in The Social Network it was more mental and having the right people around them than physical and for Maximus it was a mix of mental, physical and having a good team around him. Regardless there are days as an entrepreneur where things may not go your way. The Winklevoss thought Mark was building their platform, Eduardo probably never thought he would have to sue his friend Mark to keep his name as a cofounder on Facebook and as for Zuck.. only Zuck knows what he was doing. Maximus was ready to retire as general in the war and the next thing you know he was the enemy to Rome.
There are days where you don’t want to wake up in the morning, days where you look in the mirror and ask your self why are you doing what you’re doing. You know you’re more than a 9 to 5 and that project you always wanted to do will never get done unless you stop everything and focus on that one thing. You launch projects, companies, spend endless hours and days writing, designing, sending emails only a few months later to shut things down and start something new. You fail, fail fast and fail again. You work countless hours, you network, you pick friends and partners only to ask why those friends and partners. You want change, you want success, you want the world to be using your product, website or app. Being an entrepreneur is hard. Yet you continue. Something drives you to keep moving forward. Something says never give up or give in. Something says, wait your turn and the ideas keep coming, new people come in your life and you never look back but only forward and the rest of the world may think you’re crazy but you know something special is on the way. You know when the time is right and if you keep working things will work out. It’s there, so close, you just can’t stop. Something or someone keeps you motivated …
As for me… staying motivated comes in various ways. Here are five ways I try to stay motivated.
1. Always have a fun / simple project to complete. Once you complete it, it gives you joy encouraging you to tackle something bigger.
2. Workout and stay healthy. I’ve been focusing more on this in the last few months. It works.
3. Have real close friends who will always be honest and upfront with you and give you good advice without hidden agendas.
4. Learn something new. It could be cooking a new dish to learning a new program language. Keep learning, it will keep you motivated.
5. Take trips and walks aways from problem areas. Get up from the computer and go on a long walk and/or take a trip and get away from things to free your mind.
Good luck and in the words of Steve Jobs. “Stay hungry and stay foolish“
Also keep this in mind, as the saying goes: “If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.”