Now, this is weird. You came here to find another source of motivation to keep going, and you’re being told that you shouldn’t. Hang on, because I have valid reasons for this, and I hope you will agree with me at least on something.
You see, motivation is a slippery topic. As we are all different individuals, what works for one person doesn’t really do the same miracle for another, and it’s pretty easy to fall into accusations of laziness from that spot.
Here are 4 reasons why you should stop reading motivational books:
1. Our mind doesn’t differentiate fiction and real life
Well, of course, not on a massive scale – though some religions and conspiracy theories suggest that we are all delusional and the real life is different. However, psychological experiments confirm that our minds can’t really tell whether the thing is actually happening or we are just watching or reading about it. This is why we get so entrenched by a fascinating movie or a good book. Generally, it’s a good thing, but it can turn on you when it comes to motivation.
It turns out for me that the more I read and visualize my success, the less motivated I feel. I get this sugary state of dreaminess and numbness, which, I guess, appears due to the fact my brain thinks that I am already there.
2. These books create a dangerous illusion
The illusion we all like to play is named “I’m doing something good with my life,” and it probably has its roots in the first point. I bet you know the feeling you get when you start eating healthier or doing sports just to drop that the next day. You will feel guilty, sure, but you still get that “I’m doing something good with my life” feeling.
This feeling is addictive, because it gives us a sense of change and improvement without the actual strain of change and improvement (because we aren’t doing much in reality).
And somehow reading articles on how to eat healthier and become more organized has the exact same impact on me – they trick me into feeling I’m doing something useful. Yes, reading is good, but I’m not doing anything that moves me towards my goal.
3. There’s nothing new to say
Okay, the Internet is the place where information is repeated over and over and over again. It is also probably an essential part of human nature, since useful information was the key to survival a long time ago. But now reading 15 articles on the same topic isn’t likely to spike your chances of success, because at least half of them will contain the exact same advice.
Do you know what to do with the time you have now? Do the actual thing you intend to work on or want to start! We are all motivation junkies, so let yourself occasionally read an article or two, and publish your favorite quote once a week. This will help you both save time and stay on the verge of your emotional state.
“The best career advice I’ve gotten is to stay focused, keep moving forward.” – Tyga
4. No one can do that for you
This is one of my personal favorites, because I am the kind of person who thinks that if you aren’t enjoying something, you shouldn’t do it. Don’t get me wrong, I have this on a scale a human being should not have – all in all, we all have things we don’t like doing, and they are unlikely to end. Raised by parents with a “you must” mindset, I once made up my mind to not do a single thing I didn’t like, and that didn’t turn out so well.
The good thing about motivational books and a motivation-friendly attitude is that you can learn a lot about yourself, your likes and dislikes. The bad thing is that it leaves the feeling that I can find just the right motivational method, and success will be easy (at least, that is true for me). Sadly – no, you can’t take the actual work out of the work by clever motivational techniques and habit-creating strategies.
Quitting the almost-compulsive reading of motivational articles is a good thing on its own, but as you probably know, you need to do something else to fill the void and make the habit stick.
Here are 3 things to do instead:
1. Take time to find your passion
Yes, this is another boring piece of advice you’ve heard a gazillion times. At least I thought so before I actually stumbled upon my passion. Do you know what you need to do? Try things, and one of them will inevitably attract your attention. What do you need to have to try things? Time. Reading motivational articles also requires time. I’ll leave you to do the math on your own.
2. Don’t stress out about moving too slowly
This is another personal favorite, because I am always not fast enough, not epic enough and not successful enough. Motivational articles, if consumed in the wrong way and in amounts I used to consume them, can do more harm than good in such case. You read how other people become successful, compare their lives to yours, and find out you are doing badly so the vicious cycle continues. In general, try not to do anything that makes you feel a twitch of doubt about yourself. This includes watching your friend’s cool vacation photos, cyber stalking your ex and crying over some girl’s Instagram photo with a thousand-roses bouquet.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – H. Jackson Brown Jr.
3. Explore other things that motivate you
Now when I feel down or useless I go to people who love me and ask them to say something nice. I often have a look at my published articles and other things I’m proud of. It can be anything from a bubble bath to talking to your significant other, as long as it gives you a boost in confidence and helps get back on track. Of course, at first it will be difficult and you will crave reading articles, but soon you will find that life has a lot more motivational things to offer you.
What kind of bad impact can motivational articles have on our strive for success? Share your opinions and then we can move towards our ultimate goals together!
Image courtesy of Twenty20.com
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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