Motivation is the ability to act to achieve your goal.
Successful people have the ability to motivate themselves, but why can they motivate themselves in one area of their life, but can’t motivate themselves in other areas?
Is there a secret set of rules for motivation?
I was recently working with a client who was highly motivated and successful in his career; he would happily sell himself during a job interview, he was motivated to meet deadlines and enthused to make everything he did count, but unmotivated when it came to his health. He wouldn’t exercise, diet or drink enough water, even though his goal was to lose weight!!
What is the secret to motivation? How do you motivate yourself to take action, to be more successful and to keep going when the going gets tough?
These 3 rules for motivation will change the way you approach task and goals, creating instant motivation that will kill Mr. Procrastination and bring alive Mr. Action:
Rule #1: Win the fight – Mr. Procrastination vs Mr. Action
We live each day with 2 invisible buddies, Mr. Procrastination and Mr. Action. These twin brothers have the power to motivate or demotivate you, but with great power comes great reasonability. The only weakness Mr. Procrastination and Mr. Action both possess is that only one can be in the room at the same time. The room of course is in your head! In the fight to get into the brain-room, how is the winner chosen? The winner is chosen by what you focus on
“I know for sure that what we dwell on is who we become”. – Oprah Winfrey
In work, my client would focus on the challenge of the task, the enjoyment of the outcome of his project, the ability to use his skills and knowledge to make a difference to the business. He would also focus on building his career reputation as a professional problem solver
Rarely did he think about potential mistakes, getting it wrong or what others may say about his work. This is Mr. Action at his best – think positive and create action
When thinking about dieting the clients focus changed. Instead of thinking about the challenge of dieting, the enjoyment of the outcome of his new health regime, his health, fitness and longer life, he would instead think about the negatives.
Mr Procrastination relishes the negative thoughts. My client couldn’t take action as his focus was on the pain of dieting; being hungry, not enjoying soggy old lettuce and the bland boring taste from a cold weltering salad dish.
Rule 1: Change Your Focus To Win The Motivational Fight
Rule #2: Make Mr. procrastination work for you
Mr. Procrastination isn’t evil. He is a superhero or protector, keeping you away from danger. He can predict future problems, potential pain and hard work. This foresight stops you taking action on something that you wouldn’t, in the short term, enjoy. Procrastinations kryptonite is his attention to detail. Once focused, Mr. Procrastination can’t let go. One problem leads to another. Pain equals more pain. Once caught in Procrastinations trap, it’s hard to escape.
“Vision without action is daydream. Action without vision is nightmare”. – Japanese Proverb
All superheroes carry out their duties for the better good. Whisper in Procrastinations ear and he will work for you. When you want to diet, focus on what problems you will have if you don’t diet and allow Mr. Procrastination to get carried away with himself; bad diet = bad health, bad health= clogged arteries, clogged arteries = heart attack…
Rule 2: Focus on The Pain of Not Taking Action To take Action
Rule #3: Mr. Action always chases the carrot
Procrastination gets your engines running. We are highly motivated to get away from pain. Imagine this scenario; You have recently been diagnosed with a curable illness, you simply need to choose which medication to take. The doctor explains that medicine one has a 65% success rate with few side effects and medicine two has a 35% failure rate with few side effects. Which would you choose?
Most people would choose medicine one with a 65% success rate, even though the odds for both of the medicines success rate are the same, because we are more motivated to move away from pain.
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world”. – Mahatma Gandhi
Pleasure is also motivational – the donkey will chase the carrot. Mr. action thrives when chasing his carrot, creating lots of motivation for you to take action.
Mr. action will motivate you by getting you to focus on the outcome(s) of taking action. My Clients Mr. Action told him “When you eat salad and exercise you will feel good about yourself; your own self worth will increase, you will perceive that others will find you more attractive and research shows that attractiveness plays on unconscious part in the success of a job interview outcome, which can only help your career…”
Rule 3: The More Pleasure You Associate to Your Goal The More Mr. action Will Kick In
My client already had a strategy for success. He simply needed to use his career success formula – focusing on the pleasure of completing task and the pain of not taking action, with dieting by focusing on the positives of exercise and good food (becoming more healthy, living longer) and the pain of eating takeaways (being unhealthy and dying at an early age).
When you feel stuck, change your focus and follow the 3 rules for motivation. Think of the pain of not completing the steps towards your goal and pleasure of achieving your outcomes and let Mr. Procrastination and Mr. Action work for you, rather than against you.
Thank you for reading my article! I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below!
It’s What You Do On A ‘Bad Day’ That Matters.
Last Friday was a bad day for me. I woke up late, missed the gym and didn’t meditate.
None of this was intentional.
I then turned my computer on to do what I do every day: blog. I was not prepared for the whirlwind that followed.
As I opened up my social media channels, there were a lot more than usual, direct messages. I started reading each one and they were from colleagues and friends who wanted to warn me that I had a large amount of hate-fuelled comments on social media. I’m usually pretty good at dealing with hate comments. Not on that day, though — I was having a ‘bad day.’
I turned off the computer and didn’t respond to anybody. In the same week, I’d been told I was now a LinkedIn Top Voice for 2018.
I should have been celebrating and I didn’t because I didn’t feel worthy. If anything, I wanted to give up there and then. Luckily I didn’t follow through with any of these ideas. I knew it was just noise in my awful day.
I went away to sit on the couch and think about what I’d just read. Without really thinking about what I was going to do for the rest of the day, I began thinking about my team at work. There were several leadership challenges that I had to solve.
One was from a customer that was being abusive to female staff. Another was a rejection I had to deliver to someone that wanted to work with us. The hardest part about delivering the rejection was that I’d already said yes.
Despite the day being bad, I made a fundamental decision — to keep doing what I do and not stop. I said to myself “How can I inspire people while simultaneously solving both these challenges?”
I’m a big believer that it’s not what you say that matters; it’s what you do. Talk is cheap. I came up with a bold plan to address both challenges.
I was going to do something that made me see the good in the people involved.
Even if the people in both situations had let me down, I was going to assume they were still good.
I concocted a plan to help both people and try and show them a more positive way to move forward. If I break down the plan, it was about being an inspiration in both situations.
I didn’t feel like being inspiring.
It was not the day to be inspiring.
But it was the only way I could motivate myself to finish off this bad day and wake up the next morning fresh. It’s funny how a good nights sleep takes away all the pain and negativity from the day before.
So, by the end of the day, I enabled both plans. I set out to release inspiration in both scenarios and that was my only focus. I didn’t look at anymore hate fuelled comments or go near social media.
On that bad day last Friday, my actions helped me keep moving forward and not give up.
It’s not about necessarily seeing the good in your bad day.
I’ve read this sort of advice heaps, but it requires a lot of willpower.
“Using your actions to make the day better rather than trying to think your way out of your bad day seems to be a lot easier to implement”
It’s not about the bad day.
Bad days will happen.
It’s what you do on a bad day that determines if you’ll feel the full effect of all the negativity that can potentially knock you out like a Tsunami that comes your way when all you wanted to do was lay on the beach and soak up some sun.
I’ve learned to find situations during a day that’s not working out well for me, to do something good, and often that’s not something that benefits me. If I was to look at it another way it would be “How do I not focus on my own bad day?”
Trying to make someone else’s day good distracts you from your own bad day.
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This Is How An Ordinary Person Can Make Their Country Better.
Someone asked on the internet how they can make their country better.
They considered themselves ordinary and felt that they had to be someone special to make a difference in their country, India.
Their question made me feel a bit emotional because I can relate. I too have also dreamt of making my country better.
The most common answer to this question is to get involved in politics.
Many of you reading this find politics really boring including me. I’ve learned through my own experience that politics is not the only way you can make your country better.
Here’s how you can make your country better:
Use your voice
When I was faced with the question “How do I make my country better?” I decided to use my voice.
It was this decision that changed everything. I spent every day using my voice to stand for something. I wanted to inspire the world through entrepreneurship and personal development.
So, I started using my voice by posting on LinkedIn. I used my voice and transcribed it into words to tell the citizens of my country what I think they needed to hear.
Using your voice is incredibly scary at first. As soon as you start sharing your thoughts, many people will say nothing. You’ll get almost no feedback. As your voice starts to get louder over time (probably years) the opposite will happen and you’ll attract trolls and critics.
The hardest part about using your voice is having the courage every day to use it and not being obsessed with the outcome.
By using my voice online through blogging and LinkedIn, I managed to get a 35,000 person bank to start talking about my ideas with staff and customers, and I was voted LinkedIn Australia’s Top Voice that year.
Using the power of your voice is the number one way you can change your country.
It’s in your experiences, ideas and thoughts that you can find what it is that can help your country.
In my country, Australia, we are quite well off, but we still lack a positive mindset. Some of us work jobs we hate and we like things that only money can buy. There’s a competition to get the biggest house or the most expensive car.
It’s not a problem everyone in Australia suffers from, but it’s widespread. I believe by using my own voice to inspire people to seek alternatives, I can change my country.
The results thus far suggest I’m well on the way to changing my country.
Changing your country seems like a huge task. It sounds like something only a Nelson Mandela sort of fella can achieve. That’s not true.
A simple understanding of the power of kindness can change your country.
There was this guy I read about online that changed his country by giving out free hugs because he couldn’t run in the local marathon. He embraced his kind nature and ended up impacting millions of people in his country.
Being kind is infectious because we’re wired to do it. When we see one person be kind, we want to do the same.
The problem in my country (and many others) is that we’ve sacrificed kindness for greed.
We’ve let our country’s economy become the most important factor instead of measuring the way we treat people and the ability of a country’s nation to overcome adversity together.
Kindness is so important because every one of our countries will face adversity, and kindness is the solution to that inevitable problem.
Pick up the trash
This one seems even smaller in impact. It’s not.
I found that by picking up the rubbish I saw in places like my apartment lobby, I was able to show myself that I care about my country.
When we care about our country, we choose to make it look beautiful so others can enjoy it. Something simple like picking up the trash can take you a long way towards helping your country.
Every country has an environmental problem and picking up rubbish can help solve it. If we all picked up one piece of trash, then each of our country’s would be a hell of a lot cleaner.
Don’t think you can’t make your country better
A lot of what I’ve learned, by trying to make my own country better, has come from the belief that I can have an impact.
There are so many people who want to do nothing more than complain which wastes time and energy and doesn’t make anyone’s country better.
The way you make your country better is by believing you can and taking one or two small actions to start the process.
The people that change their country believe they can.
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