How do some entrepreneurs overcome obstacles, maintain intense focus, exemplify ironclad discipline and create companies out of thin air? Genius? Luck? Some secret sauce of success?   Much of the answer lies in motivation. How do we define that? Psychology Today defines motivation as “the desire to do things.” An even more detailed definition explains that motivation is “the process that initiates, guides and maintains goal-oriented behaviors.” When you see a rising entrepreneur star, what you’re watching is an incredible amount of motivation — of goal-oriented behavior. Motivation is like jet power propulsion. It transforms individuals from passive participants into active leaders, maybe because they know what’s in the secret sauce.” Here are seven of those ingredients of motivation that the most successful entrepreneurs know.

1. They know what they are meant to do in life.

The motivation literature is vast and varied — and it gets complicated. Yet, as diverse as motivational theories are, there’s a single thing that unites them all: Motivation answers the why. Every human grapples with that enormous question of existence — Why am I here? What’s my purpose? Although a definitive and data-backed answer to that existential question has hardly been forthcoming in the last few millennia, we can at least choose an answer for ourselves. And, one answer, as esoteric as it may sound, is that the purpose of one’s existence is a fundamental principle of life. You’ve got to know why you’re living in order to truly live. Choose a destiny, then. Define your purpose. Chart your course. Once you answer the why, you will have unlocked the first door on the path to constant motivation.

2. They know what they’re supposed to do each day.

Motivation starts infinitely broad, but gets infinitesimally detailed. When you know what you’re supposed to do in life, you can determine what you’re supposed to do each day. That defines successful entrepreneurs. They enter each day with a defined set of tasks, goals and objectives. Leo Babauta, who writes the blog Zen Habits, calls these “big rocks.” He describes that special knowledge like this: “The big rocks are the major things you want to get done this week.”