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Your Idol Is Making You Idle

Image by Adam Ellison

There is something magical about witnessing someone at the peak of their craft. But it can quickly become demotivating as it illustrates the gulf between where you are and where you want to be. So, instead, give yourself more achievable stepping stones to your inspiration.

Create Your Motivator Map

  1. Find a piece of paper and on the righthand side, write the name of a person, group or company that you aspire to.
  2. On the lefthand side write your name.
  3. Draw a long line connecting the two names.
  4. In the middle of this line write the name of a lesser idol that’s half as successful as your ultimate inspiration. This could be based on the amount of money they make, the amount of fans/audience they have, level of respect etc. Whatever measure feels right to you.
  5. Now repeat this process – plot another name in between you and the middle point.
  6. Repeat once more, this time writing the name of a person, group or company just one step on from you. They could be in the next role/position you hope to be in, or be a business with a slightly bigger audience, or be one step further along the process you’re in, such as a job search.
  7. Finally, under your name, write a person, group or company that is a peer. They are equal and focused on the same/similar challenges as you.


Your Motivator Map

This is your motivator map. Start using it by reaching out to your peers and then those next along the line. Maybe you can learn by looking at what they share online, or maybe you could ask to meet up for a coffee and learn firsthand. They will become your community and over time you’ll find more and more useful and valuable motivators who you can add to this map and will progress you along your journey.

Meanwhile, it’s important to remember two things about your ultimate inspiration:

They Struggle Too

They have their own set of challenges and hurdles. To truly learn from them, find the moments they share their failures, errors and confusions. I recently listened to a frank interview with one of my idols, André 3000, where he spoke with Rick Rubin about feeling depressed while at the height of his success. I found it inspiring and motivating to hear someone so successful, from my perspective, talk about his struggles in such a relatable way.

They Might Not Be The Right Inspiration For You (Right Now)

Are you tackling the same challenges? Do you have access to the same tools, knowledge, money and time as they do? The answer is most likely no. They are at a different position in their development to where you are, with access to different resources, so aren’t necessarily the best to learn from at this point in your journey.

Use your motivator map to find the people that are.

Adam Ellison

Adam Ellison

The founder and course mentor at The Monday Morning Club

This article was updated on March 9, 2023