Simple steps to fulfilling your potential.
Posted November 18, 2015
Over the last 20 years, I’ve asked thousands of people what motivates them and the reply – more often than not – is surprisingly vague. I find this curious because understanding motivations is a requirement for anyone who wants to be fulfilled and effective in their professional and personal life.
Take the example of Ravi who ran one of the most successful business units in his organization. His team’s sales figures were at a record high but he wanted to leave his job, and he couldn’t understand why. He thought he may be burnt out or depressed, but as we reviewed the times in his career when he’d been most passionate about his work, a different picture emerged. Ravi’s most fulfilling roles had always involved solving technical challenges and yet he was now expected to focus all his time and energy on managing others.
As we looked further, there was more. Ravi was well paid in his current role and grateful for the personal benefits this brought, but he didn’t find the money particularly satisfying. When he looked back through his working life, he realized that feeling appreciated was worth more to him than financial gain. I hardly needed to ask if he felt thanked by his boss – the answer was no. The picture became clearer still when Ravi identified that, whenever he wasn’t learning new skills, he’d always wanted to move on to a new job. And yet, in his current role, he could deliver his targets with his eyes closed.
So, in a matter of minutes, it became clear that three of Ravi’s top motivations were technical challenges, being thanked for his work and learning new skills, none of which were being met in his job. Somehow this hadn’t been fully evident to him, and his manager was certainly oblivious to it, because they’d never talked about it.
We’re not all the same
The first thing to recognize is that other people’s motivations may be very different to yours. Your top motivation may be the success of your team, while the person at the desk next to you thrives on independence. You may love variety and constant change, but your partner longs for stability and structure. You may be motivated by internal recognition – based on your personal assessment of whether you’ve done a good job – while your teenager desperately wants external recognition.
So how can you get a handle on motivations?
Step 1: Figure out your own motivations
- Think about the times when you’ve been highly motivated and the times when you’ve felt most demoralized. These will both point you to the same set of motivations. For example, in the jobs I’ve loved, I’ve experienced a sense of freedom. In the ones I hated, I felt trapped and suffocated, which is an absence of freedom. You can discover your motivations by reviewing the bad times as well as the good ones.
- Now conduct a personal experiment. As you go through your week, notice what’s motivating and demotivating you. If you come home and say you’ve had a good day, why was it good? Just as important, what made your day bad? You may think it’s just because ‘stuff happened’ or ‘stuff didn’t happen’, but there’s usually a link to motivations.
- Create a list of motivations and then rank them in order of priority. This is a subjective process. For example, here is my list of motivations when I’m at work:
- Having a sense of freedom
- Taking on impossible challenges
- Working in partnership with people I trust and respect
- Feeling that my contribution is making a difference
- Expressing my creative spirit
- Being fully in communication with others
- Feeling trusted, valued and acknowledged
- Having variety in my work
- Learning new skills that stretch me
- Being competitive and winning.
When my motivations are being met, I love every minute of my work. When they’re not, I get itchy feet or I become miserable. Now I understand what to look for. If I can’t see a big challenge, or don’t feel able to make a difference, I know I’ll be better off going elsewhere. If there isn’t room for my creative expression, I’ll feel constrained and frustrated.
- Test your list as you go about your everyday life. While it may change slightly according to your life circumstances, many of our motivations remain remarkably stable over time.
Step 2: Ask people about their motivations
- If you manage a team, schedule time with each person and follow the same process of identifying when they’ve been motivated and demotivated; you’ll learn so much about them. If Ravi’s boss had taken the time to do this, he could have prevented a situation where Ravi walked out of the door with 30 years of experience.
- You can do the same exercise as a parent. My teenage son has little interest in academic studies but loves social interaction, wants to feel stimulated by a subject, and enjoys variety. This gives a huge clue to how he learns best. When he has an exam, his revision is more motivating and productive when he conducts it as a conversation with a friend or family member, and when he switches regularly between topics. When we remember to set it up this way, he’s more motivated to study. This approach beats moralistic lectures and nagging complaints, which will only be met with grudging compliance or outright resistance.
Step 3: Talk about motivations
- It’s not enough to notice motivations: what’s important is to discuss them. If you manage people, make sure your one-to-one meetings aren’t just about goals and objectives. For example, if you know that one of your team members is highly motivated by career progression, make sure you periodically review the route-map to a promotion. And if you can’t see opportunities for them to progress soon, be aware that they may leave if a better offer comes up.
- Rather than waiting for your manager to instigate a conversation about motivations, tell your manager what you need from them. They’re not mind readers, so you need to tell them how you operate at your best. The same is true in your relationships and with your family.
There won’t always be a perfect fit between your motivations and the situation you find yourself in, but if you understand how you operate at your best, and discuss this with the people around you, you have a better chance of creating the circumstances that match your motivations. What’s more, if you understand other people’s motivations, you can help them fly.
My book is Blamestorming: Why Conversations Go Wrong and How to Fix Them, published by Watkins.
All great tasks test our motivation. It’s easy to court ideas over beers and change the world with napkin sketches, but like most things taken home from bars, new challenges arise the next day. It’s in the morning light when work begins, and grand ideas (or last call choices) lose their luster. To do interesting things requires work and it’s no surprise we abandon demanding passions for simpler, easier, more predictable things.
Although we like to talk of talent, it can’t do anything for us if it’s locked in the basement by our ever-flighty motivations. To achieve demands discovering personal motivations and learning to use them. The masters in all fields are foremost great self-manipulators, orchestrating their will to achieve what the rest of us can not. However, since our minds are the only ones we see from the inside out, there can be no true handbook for motivation: only a treasure map of landmarks and a handful of bones to roll.
The 8 big motivations
These are mine, but there are others. If these hit home, I hope they take you the distance. But if they fail you, ask what’s missing and you’ll be on your way to sorting out a motivation for yourself.
What enrages you? What is wrong in the world, in the arts, in your workplace, in your family and what are you going to do about it? Or will you just sit there and pretend, for another week, another year, like those others do, that it’s ok? When are you going to use your feelings of frustration as fuel for doing something, anything, that brings the world a little closer to right? And don’t just vent: convert rage into wonder. Use exhaust from one system to drive another. Recycle negative energy, even if it comes from your own heart, and shape into something of unmistakable goodness.
Necessity / Suck it up
All great ideas have grunt work. Van Gogh mixed his own paints. Michelangelo cut his own stone. If you chicken out because you have to get your hands dirty, know that you are putting yourself in not very great company. Sometimes the only way to learn, to grow, to make something great is through learning the basic, the trivial, the mundane: sufficient repetition grants mastery of anything. Learning to draw, sing, or dance grows slowly from tiny, trivial, seeds of skill. Boring task X might be required to attempt cool challenge Y. Beethoven and Mozart practiced scales just like everyone else, so don’t cry when it comes time to do yours. Or get clever: find a partner willing to be paid for the grunt work you hate, or who desires to witness the wrangling of big ideas that you love.
Crazy necessity & Irreverence
Deliberately put yourself in situations where you have no way out but through. Sign a book deal, quit your job to make that film, buy a one-way ticket to somewhere no one you know has ever gone. While it’s not advisable to gamble your life if you have dependents (families, children, or your loving cat Blinky), you’d be surprised how much support you can get for crazy necessity if you enlist support from loved ones, especially if you’ve been willing to do it for them. If you don’t ask, or never get crazy in any way, at any time, you’re the only one to blame: no one else can pull the pin out of the grenade in your soul.
Prove people wrong. They say it can’t be done? Do it. They tell you it’s a waste of time? Waste away. Never let anyone define for you how to be, how to use your time, or what you or anyone else is capable of. Turn that naysayer into a competitive guidepost, recasting every doubting Thomas into a secret twisted cheerleader. However, be careful not to fall into spite: don’t center on them, they’re just ammunition. Take their judgment, harness it next to your pride, and ride them past the fools, over the hills, and towards a dream. Have no critics? Set a goal for yourself you’re not sure you can meet. Write it down, sign it, post it on your bedroom wall, showing it to friends and family so there’s no way to sneak out the back door.
If you want the most mileage out of this lifetime then behave as if one is all you get. Henry Rollins said we have infinite potential but finite time: you can’t do everything, but if you choose wisely, you can do any one thing you want. Perhaps that thing won’t be done as well as you’d like or earn you a living, but it can be yours in some form if you’re motivated to have it before you die. Trick: Imagine yourself on your deathbed once a week (It can be fun: think Mexican Day of the dead). Ask, what will I regret not having done if knew I was going to die today? Make a list and get to work. Otherwise you deserve all your dying regrets: you knew death was coming all along.
Know what you like. Follow what makes you laugh so hard you have to hold your ribs to breathe. It can take a lifetime to sort this out because:
- It changes as we age.
- It’s hard to separate what we think we’re supposed to like from we actually enjoy (I like running naked through parks, and I’ll burn in hell I’m sure).
- Other people, especially adults, rarely approve of the good stuff.
Take time to listen to the little voice, the voice of your 8-year-old self, the voice adults, including yourself, interrupt and speak over, and you’ll discover what you love. You might need long walks alone, or solo travel, long stretches of time where you make every single decision for 144 hours, before you’ll hear it, but it’s there. If you know how to have fun (by yourself if necessary) you’ll always be motivated to do something.
The crazy friend
Cultivate friends that say yes. Yes to midnight road-trips. Yes to co-writing bad screenplays. Yes to brainstorming world domination strategies over lunch. We’ve all known crazy friends but after college they fade when careers, families, and other mature pursuits, take center stage. Yet when motivation wanes, seek out your crazy friends. They’re the ones best likely to get what you’re talking about, why you care so much about something few others do, and will rally behind you, increasing the odds you’ll get it done. Use the buddy system: you be their crazy friend if they’ll be yours.
Paul Simon said we always have something to say if we’re willing to work to find it. Motivations wait for us inside and we can uncover them if we’re willing to dig. Dig through fear, dig through sadness, dig through ambivalence. The discipline of motivation isn’t militarism: don’t play drill sergeant (although at times, that might work). Instead, whenever you find yourself unmotivated, run the list of feelings and questions of likely motivations and see which ones get your heart rate going. It takes discipline to seek motivation when feeling unmotivated, but that’s the difference between commitment to a craft, and beer-fueled fantasies. And for that purpose, I hope this essay leaves you on your way back to whatever great thing you need to do.
“Artists don’t get down to work until the pain of working is exceeded by the pain of not working.” – Stephen DeStaebler
[Pubished May 23, 2007, edited and featured image added 5/1/2018]
As a Run Faster Coach, it’s my job to help my clients stay motivated. They all come to me wanting to run faster for a specific event. Some of them want to prepare for a 5K race or a marathon, and some of them want to train for a military or law-enforcement fitness test. Other clients simply want to become better athletes in their sport. But no matter what their reasons are, one thing is constant—it’s important to them.
Now even though I don’t know what your goals and dreams are, I know that they’re important to you too. I also know that without action, that’s all they’ll ever be—another goal and another dream. But action doesn’t just happen. It takes motivation.
When we first set out on a goal, we’re usually excited about it. We start imagining how great it will be when we accomplish it…and then all of a sudden, our life-changing project gets put on the back burner. This is an all too common phenomenon with common results.
Mistake #1: Little to No Commitment
Having a life-changing goal doesn’t mean much if you’re not committed to seeing it through. How many times have you started something and never finished it? Odds are, you give up because you don’t have any skin in the game. If there’s nothing to lose, it’s easy to just walk away.
Step Forward: Increase Your Level of Commitment
Commitment is a measure of motivation. Therefore, the higher your level of commitment, the more motivated you are to make it happen. One of the most powerful ways to raise your engagement level is to invest in a growth program. Once you’ve spent money, you’re more inclined to stay engaged.
Another effective way to increase your commitment is to share it with the world. The more people you tell, the more motivated you will be to achieve it. This is an important step, because your natural desire to look good boosts your motivation.
Mistake #2: Going from Zero to 100
Have you ever jumped into a new activity or lifestyle that required an enormous amount of self-discipline or self-deprivation? Of course you have. We’ve all done it. And it usually doesn’t end well.
Making extreme changes in your behavior over a short period of time is hard to sustain. Willpower will only get you so far. It takes way too much effort. It’s your habits that will take you the farthest. They require the least amount of thought and effort.
Step Forward: Stay Consistent
Consistency is key to building new habits. You don’t just get up one day and run a marathon. You train for it—consistently—for months. You start off slow and gradually increase your mileage. Then suddenly, what you once thought was impossible becomes possible. Consistency will get you wins. And every win will build your confidence and motivation, as you take forward, consistent steps towards your goal.
Mistake #3: Doing It Alone
Even the most self-motivated person can lose momentum during the ups and downs of pursuing a goal. The pressure to perform and complexity of the project can be overwhelming. This is one of the most common motivation mistakes.
Step Forward: Stay in Community
It’s important to stay in community, because community skyrockets your motivation. Your family is your immediate community; but sometimes you gotta seek out people who actually understand you. You want a community that gets why you want to run 26.2 miles, despite your perfectly running motor vehicle. You also want to be around people who’ve been where you’ve been and are now way ahead of you. Their knowledge base and experiences are invaluable.
That’s the magic of community: it multiples your motivation. Not only do you receive support and energy from the group, you also get to serve and pump up the other members. And let me tell you, one of the best energizers in life is the rush you get from helping other people achieve their goals. It’s like their wins are your wins too : )
Mistake #4: No Guidance
If you’re on your way to a destination and you don’t know where you’re going, you tend to get lost. And if you don’t have a map or GPS, you’ll waste a lot of time and energy trying to find your way. After a while, you’ll start to feel stuck. Until eventually, frustration and hopelessness sets in and you lose all desire to get to your original destination.
Step Forward: Stay Coached
There’s a reason why all professional athletes have coaches. Having a coach is the best way to stay motivated and at the top of your game. Their trained eyes can immediately identify inefficiencies and opportunities that can boost your results.
A coach is also your accountability partner, so your excuses have no place to hide. He/she will push you towards your goals by keeping you out of your comfort zone. The only way to get faster results is to get into your growth zone.
Mistake #5: You Stop Believing
This is the biggest mistake of them all. Belief creates motivation. If you don’t believe in something, you’re not going to fight for it. You’re not going to take a stand and invest your time, money or energy in it. That would be foolish. It’s not easy to believe in something you can’t see. That’s why it’s called faith. You’re never going to know the exact outcome of your journey. And that’s okay. That’s part of the fun.
It’s so easy to lose our beliefs the minute something goes wrong. Fear is usually the elephant in the room. Don’t let fear deter you from your greatness. It can convince you that you’re not good enough and that things will never work out.
Step Forward: Run a Self-Belief Campaign
Your actions are based on your self-belief. So if you want to stay motivated and crush some BIG goals, you need a self-belief campaign.
Here are the campaign components:
Clarity supercharges your belief. It’s a total game changer. The clearer you are about your mission and how you’re going to achieve it, the easier and faster everything else becomes. Your actions come from a place of power and confidence instead of fear and weakness.
Tow the party line
If you keep telling yourself something over and over again, whether it’s true or not, eventually you will believe it. It becomes your story. If your story is that you never finish things and you’re not good enough, then you will always have a way out the moment things get tough. I challenge you to transform your story. Keep telling yourself how powerful and unstoppable are, and you’ll find ways to breakthrough any obstacle.
Drink the Kool-Aid
Every day, for the rest of your life, read books and listen to speakers who tell you how great you are—AND BELIEVE THEM!
So what’s your motivation? Leave your old stories and excuses in the past. You’re the only one who can take control of your future. What forward steps are you going to take, today, to turn your aspirations into achievement?
By Suzanne Gerber, Next Avenue Contributor
Sustaining motivation can be tough under the best of circumstances. So how can you stay motivated when your to-do list runs to four pages, you just got another rejection letter, your adult child announced his plans to move back home, the car and washing machine went on the fritz at the same time and you can’t find time in the day to work on your own personal projects?
We know those pop-psych directives to put a photo of you at your most fit on the fridge or write yourself a check for $1 million and tape it to your computer monitor or plaster your mirrors with affirmations, like “I attract my perfect soul mate.”
Motivation is not magic. It does not come in a bottle. There is no little blue pill for it. But it’s something you can tap into by design then harness. Every inspirational author, speaker and life coach has his own tips (and DVDs and seminars), but over my decades of observing super-successful, high-achieving people, I’ve come up with a list of seven things that are fundamental to sustaining motivation, whether you’re trying to finish a 10,000-piece jigsaw puzzle or climb Kilimanjaro.
Seven Steps to Staying Motivated
1. Set a goal and visualize it down to the most minute detail. See it, feel it, hear the sounds that accompany the end result (wind rushing through your hair, applause). Elite athletes visualize their performance ahead of time — right down to the smell of the sweat dripping down their face as they cross the finish line.
2. Make a list of the reasons you want to accomplish the goal. In our busy, distracting world, it’s easy to get blown off course. This is why you need to ground yourself in your goal. For extra “success insurance,” write your list with a pen. Studies show that when we write by hand and connect the letters manually, we engage the brain more actively in the process. Because typing is an automatic function that involves merely selecting letters, there’s less of a mental connection.
3. Break the goal down into smaller pieces and set intermediary targets — and rewards. I’ve called this “chunking” long before there was a Wikipedia to explain that there are eight variations of the concept. To me it’s the best non-pharmaceutical antidote to ADHD. Tony Robbins, arguably the foremost motivational speaker and personal development coach, says: “A major source of stress in our lives comes from the feeling that we have an impossible number of things to do. If you take on a project and try to do the whole thing all at once, you’re going to be overwhelmed.”
Enter chunking. My system involves chipping away at a project. Break it down into the smallest realistic steps and only do one at a time. Neuroscience tells us that each small success triggers the brain’s reward center, releasing feel-good chemical dopamine. This helps focus our concentration and inspires us to take another similar step. Try this with your bête noire, whether organizing your papers and bills or setting out to find a new job.
4. Have a strategy, but be prepared to change course. Let Thomas Edison inspire you in this department: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up.” “The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”
5. Get the help you need. It doesn’t necessarily take a village, but even if you could theoretically accomplish your objective alone, there’s inherent value in sharing your plan. It’s why people get married in front of witnesses. Announcing your intentions sends a strong message to the world and, more important, to your unconscious mind, which can sometimes sabotage our best efforts. Also, we often overestimate our abilities. The flip side is being highly selective about whom you tell and ask for help. It’s akin to the builder’s rule to always get “the right tool for the right job.”
6. Pre-determine how you will deal with flagging motivation. This is not defeatist thinking. On the contrary! It’s (almost) inevitable that at some point along the way, whether because of temporary setbacks or sheer exhaustion, you will need a little boost. When that happens, I think of what others have endured to reach their targets and to quash even the beginning of a pity party, I invoke the most hard-core endurance models I can think of: friends fighting serious diseases and Holocaust survivors.
Winston Churchill is particularly inspirational on this front. After London endured 57 consecutive bombings by the Germans during World War II (the Blitzkrieg), he was invited to address a group of students. In that speech, he uttered his immortal line “Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, give up.”
7. Continually check in with your reasons for carrying on. Despite his all-too-human flaws, Steve Jobs embodied this brilliantly. He once told an interviewer: “I think most people that are able to make a sustained contribution over time — rather than just a peak — are very internally driven. You have to be. Because, in the ebb and tide of people’s opinions and of fads, there are going to be times when you are criticized, and criticism’s very difficult. And so when you’re criticized, you learn to pull back a little and listen to your own drummer. And to some extent, that isolates you from the praise, if you eventually get it, too. The praise becomes a little less important to you and the criticism becomes a little less important to you, in the same measure. And you become more internally driven.”
See the Big Picture
There’s also a more meta, “Why are we here?” way to think about motivation. The great Jewish Rabbi Hillel (alive around the time of Jesus), famously said, “If not you, then who? If not now, when?” If you truly let those words sink in, it’s hard to be slacker.
But perhaps my favorite “put it all in perspective” commentary comes from the Dalai Lama. When asked what surprised him most about humanity, he answered, “Man.” Why?
“Because,” said His Holiness, “he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never to die, and then dies having never really lived.”
So what keeps you motivated? We’d love to hear from you.
Suzanne Gerber is the editor of the Living & Learning channel for Next Avenue. Follow Suzanne on Twitter @gerbersuzanne.
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Achieving our goals is seldom easy. It’s why knowing how to stay motivated is so incredibly important when it comes to getting what we want in the long term. And in a world with more distractions than ever before вЂ” from non-stop web access to constant texting вЂ” it can be all the harder to stay focused and productive and not just give in to what’s easier in the moment.
I’ve often struggled with motivation, whether it’s been related to my career, my health, or just getting better at a hobby I enjoy. And while it’s not always the biggest deal (it’s not really all that vital that I learn to play my favorite song on the ukulele by my birthday), sometimes it really worries me. I don’t want to be filled with regret at some point down the line because I didn’t follow through on something I really wanted, and I also don’t want to feel like I failed at achieving the things that are important to me, all because I couldn’t figure out how to stay motivated.
Because this is a topic that matters to me, I delved into some pretty serious online research, as well as checked in with an expert, to find the absolute best ways to stay motivated in life. If you’re looking for ways to help yourself achieve your goals, here are 11 tips that should help.
1. Don’t Assume Money Will Motivate You
In an interview with Bustle over email, motivational trainer (plus business and life coach) Karen Strunks says, “Many people think money alone will be enough to motivate them, and whilst that may do so initially, it’s very hard to sustain financial motivation if the work you are doing actually drags. If you do that type of work for long enough you will find that no amount of money is worth swapping parts of your life in activities that aren’t aligned with who you are and what truly is your passion and mission in life.” So first things first, be true to yourself when it comes to setting goals!
2. Make Sure They’re Your Goals
And on that note, Strunks also says that, “One of the biggest challenges in staying motivated and sticking to our goals is in making sure that the goals we have set our ones we really want to attain.” She went on to note, “Sometimes we set goals based on what we think we ‘should’ do. Or we base them on what other people say.” Make sure you’re going after something that you want and that makes you happy вЂ” it can make all the difference.
3. Visualize The Results
According to a piece featured on Forbes about staying motivated, it’s important to visualize the end result and what it will feel like when you’ve achieved your end goal. This means visualizing the sweat on your back, the feeling of relief, the utter excitement вЂ” this is what will fuel you on days when you don’t feel like working.
4. Break The Goal Down Into Smaller Pieces
The same Forbes compilation piece recommended breaking your goals down into smaller, more task-oriented goals вЂ” and set target deadline for those tasks. For example. if your goal is “re-organize my entire closet,” start by saying, “First I’m going to tackle the shoes, then the belts, then the winter coats in the back,” etc. This method can make even the biggest task feel more manageable.
5. Tap Into Other People’s Energy
In a piece for Inc, small business advisor Marla Tabaka stressed the importance of surrounding yourself with positive thinkers who emanate positive energy. “Do you have people in your life who can engage in stimulating conversation about business or the other things that you’re passionate about? As human beings we give and receive energy and inspiration. Make sure you are receiving as much, or more, than you are handing out,” Tabaka wrote.
6. Get Organized
Tabaka also recommended taking time to sit down and organize your thoughts. “When I’m working on a big project, nothing zaps my energy more than an over-stimulated, cluttered mind,” she wrote. So instead, sit down and move the process from your head to an actual organized list, or talk out what you’re thinking with a trusted friend (or both). Then schedule specific times to complete each task. This is key to getting what you want.
7. Keep The Big Picture In Mind
One of my favorite YouTube personalities, Tessa Violet, stressed the importance of keeping your “top tier” goal in mind at all times, even when doing the less pleasant, more menial tasks related to it. That way, she said, “If you’re having a week where you feel like [you’re’] not motivated to do the work, you remember, ‘My goal isn’t about finishing the work. My goal is about something bigger.'”
8. Don’t Worry About What You Can’t Control
In a piece for The Huffington Post, life coach Stacia Pierce said to “take control of what you can, and don’t worry about what you can’t.” So if you often find yourself paralyzed with the “what ifs” (as in, “What if I write this and no one reads it,” “What if I don’t get accepted into the program,” etc, etc) let it go and just focus on turning out quality work.
9. Seek Out Positive Information
Pierce also recommended reading or listening to positive information every single day. “If you fill your mind with uplifting and inspiring information, it will keep you motivated. Go to the bookstore or library today and find at least one book on a positive topic that will give you a boost. You need constant reminders telling you that you are capable of achievement,” she wrote.
10. Remind Yourself Why You Set The Goal
In a piece for Tiny Buddha, integrated channeler Maria Moraca said that when things feel overwhelming, just take a few moments to sit back and remind yourself why you chose your path in the first place. Was it to help people? Was it because you knew your end goal would lead to long term happiness, even if it was short term work? This can always help you find clarity in the worst moments.
11. Be Consistent
And finally, Strunks also stressed the importance of being consistent with your work, writing, “take consistent action every single day.” This means that even if you’re totally not in the mood, do one small proactive thing that will move you towards your ultimate goal вЂ” even if it’s just a tweet.
Staying motivated is absolutely within your reach вЂ” it’s often just about keeping your end goal in mind and breaking down the larger end result into manageable smaller steps. Remember вЂ” you can do it!
This article was originally published on July 20, 2016
Each one of us is motivated by different things. A great insight into what motivates us can make a difference between our success and failure. Accomplishing our goal is not easy. It is never easy! That’s why it is very significant to know how to stay motivated in life.
Let’s face it, there are more distractions in our world today more than ever, and staying motivated is harder than usual. We need to learn how to stay focused and productive and not just give in to what’s easy at the moment so we can achieve our long term goals.
I, for one, am procrastinating at the moment with blogging since my son’s birthday is coming, and we can’t travel to celebrate it. Now that is a bummer! We never really give him gifts for his birthday because traveling is our way of showing him what life is with different experiences. I think it is the best gift you can give to anyone.
Okay, enough about my sentiments at the moment! So, I decided to write about motivation because I need to stay in my game and look far ahead.
So, I ask myself, how much do I want to achieve my goals? I think that’s the question we all need to ask ourselves! Are you motivated enough to keep on pushing, are you willing to sacrifice to get to where you want to be? Are your goals worth it that even when the times seem grim and ghastly and hope is hazy?
Motivation is not the full formula to success, but a huge part of success rests on it. Regardless of what goals we have set, if we can’t find the motivation to do it, to be consistent, then success is fading swiftly. But, when we stay motivated in life and follow through our daily tasks, goals to be exact, we break bad habits, then we can achieve anything. Do not let a hiccup hold you back from anything!
I do struggle with motivation, I have bouts of missteps, problems, and disappointments. Through it all, I learned how to stay committed, to be positive, to be motivated in life, and not just give up. I’m always ready for a comeback! I have my reason, I know my WHY. Do you?
So, I have compiled motivational quotes to help you stay motivated in life. Reading something inspiring will always move me, I hope it will move you too.
When you contemplate life, is there something you desire you could change? Is there something you’ve always wanted to do but have to put a pause on it? Why the delay? Isn’t it a dream worth realizing? And if it’s something so important to you, no one or nothing should stop you. So, don’t lose focus and just forget about the dream, carry on. When you take action, it becomes a compelling engine of fixation, and you’ll then realize that you’re beginning to see productive results.
What encourages us to stay motivated in life as an individual is by knowing who we are. Each one of us is different, and so our motivation must cater to our needs. Your motivational approach should resonate with you. Always.
Did I help you get motivated? Are you stoked to start your day? Then go ahead and get started!
When it comes to stopping drinking and staying motivated, one of the best action steps you can take is to figure out your WHY.
Because let’s be real here – sobriety ain’t no walk in the park. There will always be ups and downs, challenges and times when you think ‘I can’t be bothered with this.’
In those moments when you’re close to giving up, knowing your ‘why’ can give you the extra push you need to keep going.
Most people think they’re stopping drinking because they’re fed up of feeling hungover. Or they want to be healthier or save money.
And those are all great reasons for quitting, but they’re probably not the real reason you’re doing this. Your real ‘why’ goes much deeper than that – and this is exactly what you need to tap in to.
Here are 3 steps to help you do just that:
Get a pen and paper.
Write down why you want to stop drinking, so you can see your reasons in black and white. Just thinking about them isn’t the same – your thoughts will come and go, sometimes they get jumbled up and sometimes we just forget. You can write your reasons on your phone or laptop if you like, but experts have found that we’re more engaged when we write things out by hand.
Set a timer for 20 minutes and keep writing.
You want to write down as much as you can, as soon as it comes into your head. Once you’ve written down everything you can think of, go back to each reason and ask ‘but why?’. Keep doing this over and over again, until you get to the heart behind what’s really motivating you.
I want to stop drinking because I hate not being able to recall what happened the night before.
Because I keep having conversations I can’t remember.
Because I hate the way my children sigh when I start telling them something I’ve already said.
Because I want to set a good example for my kids. I want to look after them and protect them.
I want to stop drinking because I hate how hungover I am the next day.
Because when I feel hungover I’m so lethargic, I never seem to get anything done.
Because I’m falling behind at work and I’m scared my boss will notice.
Because I know I’m not living up to my potential – I’m drifting through life.
I want to stop drinking because I keep saying things I regret.
I’m fed up of being that woman – the one who always makes a fool of herself.
Because I want to be in control of myself. I want to be happy and calm.
I want to stop drinking because I’m scared of people finding out how much I really drink.
Because I’m tired of hiding my drinking. All the covering up is exhausting me.
Because I don’t want to have any secrets from my family.
Because I want my loved ones to be proud of me.
Do you see how when you dig deeper, you uncover reasons you hadn’t thought of, or perhaps hadn’t acknowledged?
These reasons are far more powerful than just ‘I want to stop drinking for the sake of my health.’ Of course, health is important, but it’s also quite vague. You should always get specific; what is it about your health that concerns you exactly? Have you put on weight? Is it something your doctor said at your last check up? Drill down to the nitty gritty.
Put this list somewhere you can see it daily.
Tuck it into your purse or diary. You could photograph it and keep a copy on your phone. Just make sure you can come back to it easily. This is going to be your motivation. This is what’s going to power you through those doubts and wobbles. Don’t be scared of looking at this list and don’t forget about it. This is why you’re doing this. This is why you want to change.
So, what’s your why?
I’d love to hear what’s motivating you to stop drinking. Be very, very specific!
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Motivation is such a force, it gives us the courage to move forward, achieve our goals, work hard, and achieve dreams. Although motivation helps us to stay focused on our goal, it is also very important to know how we stay motivated?
The fact is that when you plan your goal, you are full of zeal and enthusiasm. But it’s hard to keep your head up with each passing day. and finally, it ends soon. So here we are discussing how to motivate ourselves. And what are the ways to stay motivated?
Success stories and inspiration that connect us
When you read an inspiring story that you feel connected to, you read it more attentively and put yourself in character. Sometimes it happens that we find a particular success story very close to us, as it coincides with our own struggle. But are we really ready to act to get success? leave the comfort and work hard to get what we want? Unless we turn our motivation into action, we will not achieve what we want.
Motivation lies in action, not in comfort. Whenever you read motivational books about successful people or watch inspirational videos, it will keep you stuck for a few hours or maybe a few days. But with each passing day, when your intensity to fuel motivation decreases, you finally find yourself where you started from.
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” – Neale Donald Walsch
Motivation is like something that adds a spark to fuel.
Sometimes you need motivation every now and then to get started, however, the motivation will never last long, it will fade in the next few days. Motivation is a continuous process to keep going.
“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going”
You become demotivated by setting the wrong goals
You become discouraged when you set unattainable goals. For example, Jack wants to become an astronaut, however, he is not good at studies. But he promised to work hard in his studies. With each passing day, his self-motivation diminishes as he discovers that he has more and more skills to lean. And even after doing all of that, only a few lucky people can get a chance to go into space. After only focusing on how difficult it is to get to space, his attention shifted and he realized that he had set a goal that is unreasonable and even if he studies hard, there is no guarantee that he will be lucky enough to get to space. then he gives up.
be passionate about your goal, but always be willing to work hard to achieve it. And most importantly, set a goal that tests your ability and is achievable. You cannot set a goal that a human being can’t achieve. so be practical.
Few key points to help stay motivated
There are some key points which help an individual to stay focused and motivated
- Set your goal. When you’re inspired enough to do great things in life but don’t know what you want to do in life, never let yourself be successful. Start with simple short-term goals and then work your way up to longer-term goals. Remember to make your goals realistic and achievable. It’s easy to get frustrated and give up if your goals are too ambitious. find what you want to achieve. This will help you establish a connection with your goal.
“Stay focused, go after your dreams and keep moving towards your goal” – JJ Cool J
- Never afraid of Failures.when we try to achieve things, sometimes we don’t get it. it happens when you don’t get what you want. But never be afraid of owning failure. always take it as a learning and an attempt that always teaches you something. Don’t stop at failure, just accept it as human fact and keep working towards your goals.
“Don’t be afraid to fail, Be afraid not to try” – Michael Jordan
- Keep yourself in better surroundings. It is not always in our right to make the environment around us inspiring, but it is in us to motivate ourselves. Reading good and inspirational books, watching inspirational articles or blogs, watching motivational films are some of the ways we can keep ourselves always motivated. This is the environment we choose.
“There is no friend as loyal as a Book” – Ernest Hemingway
- Track the progress. Sometimes we lost our way even after so many commitments we made towards our goal. The best way to stay focused and motivated is to stick with your goals by maintaining weekly checkpoints. when you see you are on track or even excelling every time you check your progress, you will be motivated and happy to have gotten there. If you see that you are falling behind in your goals. it may be the reminder you need to help you get back on the right track.
“A little progress each day adds up to Big Results”
It’s our choice and effort that builds our ecosystem around us. And motivation plays an important role in what we want to become?
As stated above, motivation works as the fuel that brings sparks that can lighten your path. Motivation gives you a reason to bring changes in your life.
Ending this article with this Motivational Line, which will surely leave you motivated.
Very nicely done Michael. You are a model of persistence!
Here is my story of savings paying off and following my dream to get into real estate.
I work for state government in Alaska. We have much higher gross than net salary because so much goes into retirement. I always hoped all the money in retirement would pay off someday. That someday is here hopefully.
If all goes according to plan, my husband and I can use our retirement accounts here to buy a 4-plex. Our offer has already been accepted. When buying a multi-unit property you can (for some loans) use the income from rents to qualify for the mortgage loan. You may need to have 6 months worth of mortgage payments available on your own however in case of vacancies. In our case that is over $20,000! Our retirement accounts meet that need on paper. We will not touch them but they are there and will let the lender know we are “good’ for the payments no matter what. The units are already rented so there is no danger of having them all vacant but this assures the lender we will not fail.
So, our retirement accounts are paying off big time right now even without touching them! My husband would get so frustrated feeling like we were broke and worrying that the stock market would crash or something would happen and that money would not do us any good. I kept telling him it would and that we would be successful one day.