Entering the field of security is a long journey, with no shortcuts other than to keep moving forward. This means that you will have to maintain motivation over a long period of time, especially when things get hard.

An interesting way to describe motivation is that it comes from when "At some point, the pain of not doing it becomes greater than the pain of doing it." This means that you should focus on making it is easier to work at your end goal than it is to sit around and sleep.

The easiest way for us to increase our motivation on an assignment or project is to sit around for as long as we can until procrastination endangers our ability to complete the task. Unfortunately, that doesn't work for learning this knowledge, because the times when you will be tested in daily life will be minimal. The only times that you will recognize the pain will be at job interviews, or in the course of your daily work when you are outside of your comfort zone.

So what do we need to do to increase your motivation naturally? Luckily science gives us some answers.

In the previous section, you completed one of the most commonly recommended actions: Verbalizing your Desired End State.

Later in the course I will have you set small, measurable goals for how you will achieve your larger goal of completing this curriculum.

For a third proven way to increase your motivation, look over the goals you wrote down in the first section and find a place to write them that will be visible to you, if you haven't already. My goals, both short and long term, are always written on a whiteboard above my desk.

For a fourth, and perhaps the best way to motivate yourself, is to commit to your goals. The easiest way to do this is to pay for something, so you feel bad if you don't use it. I used to offer a paid instructor-led version of this course, but I don't anymore, so I've got nothing to shill.

Another way to do the same thing is to make a public commitment that you will do it. Instead of spending money, now you spend social capital and are publicly committed to self-improvement. The reason this is most effective is that it adds external pressure (pain) on you to complete what you have started. When your friends, family, and random internet strangers are out there cheering you on, you are much less likely to want to give up. If you think posting about your goals and what you are up to will help you stay motivated, do that. When I started this site, I told all my friends and family about it to force myself to stay motivated and work all the way to completion. I also Tweet about my activity building the site, so I can keep myself honest about my progress.

On the exact opposite side, there has also been research that has found that making a public commitment actually decreases your motivation because saying you'll do something feels better than doing it. So perhaps talking about your goals is actually bad????

Alright, this was confusing. Turns out humans are way more complicated than computers.

The goal of this course (also life) is to learn yourself and figure out what works for you. Try different techniques and see what works.

Just remember, there are no shortcuts or ways to force yourself to do this. Don't talk about it, be about it. See what motivation techniques help you out, but at the end of the day, you need to put the time in.

Last modified: Tuesday, 30 March 2021, 12:24 PM