Stop Thinking: Conation, not Cognition.
Conation is one of the 1,000 most obscure English words and yet the most important business word you’ve never heard. Want to know if you’re doing well and going where you want? Filter everything through the word conation:
Conation – the will to succeed that manifests itself in single-minded pursuit of a goal.
Or my definition:
Committed Movement in a Purposeful Direction
It’s nuts that this word has been buried in the lexicon, but there was too much “doing” in it for the academics to feel comfortable, so they let the word drift into obscurity. These Thinker/Cognaters love cognition because it allows them to justify sitting around thinking things to death without taking any action. Conation is scary to them because it requires action and metrics of success, not just pontificating.
But if you bring Conation back into your life and business as your main filter, and use cognition as a faithful servant of your Conation, you’re going to be a lot more successful. Conation is way more important to your success than cognition.
The Conative Filter
- Commitment – Affection/Passion – are you sold out to what you’re doing? Willing to go down with the ship? Do you have “quiet resolve” to succeed no matter what? If not, your chances for success are low. Commitment, utter abandonment to the cause is the foundation of success.
- Movement – Activation – Doing – are you sitting around cognating (thinking) about what great things might happen if you ever did something? Or are you moving forward and figuring it out as you go? Doers get things done while Thinkers are thinking about doing something someday.
- Purpose – Cognition – Discipline/Plan – Do you have a plan for the highest and best use of your time (Yield per Hour)? Cognition is ONE of the things you need to be doing to be successful. It’s a faithful servant of conation.
- Direction – Vision – Just because you’re going flat out doesn’t mean you’re going the right direction. Do you have utter clarity about where you want to end up, exactly what it looks like, and when you want to be there? You get what you intend, not what you hope for.
Conation is all four, not just two or three. Direction, Purposeful, and Movement without Commitment will not sustain you. Commitment, Purpose, and Direction are useless without Movement. Movement, Commitment and Direction are of no value without Purpose (a plan to get there).
Want to know whether you’ll be successful, or why you’re not? Use the conative filter to see if you’ve got all four attributes going at once. If not, shore up the one that needs your attention. You’ll make more money in less time and make a bigger splash in the world around you.
People with committed movement in a purposeful direction make history. Cognating dreamers write about them later.