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5 Things You Must Do When You Lack Inspiration

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Yes, we do feel motivated by reading quotes and watching movies like The Pursuit of Happiness and Soul Surfer. The protagonist makes you feel you are the hero as psychology would call this Experience-taking. However, sometimes these things are not enough to drive you to accomplish your goals and dreams.

Our mind and body wants peace, yet a lack of inspiration shouldn’t slow us down. We wait to be inspired and get no work done because of it.

Is inspiration  important to make us successful in our lives? Yes, because it acts as a trigger for the shotgun as it initiates the very vital ‘Beginning Process’ of which we are frightened to jump upon.

What exactly should you do when you lack the inspiration? Read the 5 points below:

1. Meditation Matters

You don’t need to do deep meditation wherein you train your mind to attain the desired state of consciousness. Meditation involves analyzing  all kinds of emotions like anger, hatred, compassion, and love. According to many psychological studies, it is revealed meditation drastically minimizes anxiety and stabilizes cognitive ability.

It not only allows you to become inspired but keeps your body physically fit. Today, people are suffering from mental illness like depression. Even when someone is stressed, it is hard to get inspired. If you are a beginner in meditation, you can still experience results. It eradicates all the hindrances that come in the way by calming us down. It is no revelation you perform better when you are relaxed and mindful.

If you are new to meditation check out the iOS app Calm and Android app Headspace. Using proven meditation and mindfulness techniques, these mobile applications train your mind for a healthier, and happier life.

“Quiet the mind, and the soul will speak.” – Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati

2. Pausing Social Media

From your smartphone to your computer, shut everything off and give yourself a needed and short break. Remember, there were no mobile devices 100 years ago so people had to find different ways of entertainment. Perhaps, talk to an old friend or ask the cute girl out in your class.

The psychology today surveyed 100 individuals of which 50 were given all the digital facilities and 50 were provided only the required devices. After the experiment, it was proved that the later group did 85% more effective work than the former. Digital Media is becoming crowded and constrained, so do not forget to stop and pause from time to time.

3. Take a Chill-pill

In our current culture, people seem to be rushing and hustling to get things done, andthey don’t take the time to give their body and brain much-needed rest. According to Phyllis Korkki, a writer for the NY Times, “Employees generally need to detach from their workspace to recharge their internal resources that provide cognitive recharging.”

According to Beth W. Orenstein of Everyday Fitness, “It is easy to get frustrated when we feel uninspired. When these moments come, it is often a good idea to take a break for a few days. Sometimes your mind just needs a break from all the noise and hustle.” We must realize if we don’t rest, our bodies and minds will have no time to recharge, and our inspiration levels will lower down.

“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.” – Jim Goodwin

4. Miracles of Music

This is a head and heart combo, because scientifically, when you listen to your favorite music the soothing effect connects your brain and conscience emphatically. Maybe all you need is a soft jazz (it’s okay if your genre is a heavy metal) to get you out of your creative funk. Music does have a large influence on your emotions. Maybe you’re having a bad day and it is affecting your working ability. Listening to your favorite song might lift your mood and thus allow you to be more productive, innovative and creative in what you will do.

5. Shout out loud

Scientists bring this factor out frequently because people today don’t share their stuff. Their mind becomes a locker room where junk is stored, yet this garbage has to be removed. This negativity can and strain can be abolished when you shout loudly (at a place far which is calm and quiet).

Next time you feel uninspired, try attempting any of the above and you will be surprised how effective it works, because as psychologists say, “Human Beings came with a manual. All you need to know is how to read it.”

What are some ways you find inspiration? Let us know by commenting below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

Motivation

How to Stay Motivated to Achieve Your Goals

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Time is the raw material of our lives. How we choose to spend it, shapes our life accordingly. So having the motivation to spend it on achieving goals is crucial to creating a life we want.

What is Motivation?

The Oxford dictionary defines motivation as the desire or willingness to do something – our drive to take action.

Scientifically, motivation has its roots in the dopamine pathways of our brains. When we do something that feels good, that’s dopamine kicking in. Our actions are driven by the desire for that reward (the good feeling).

Author Steven Pressfield describes motivation more practically. He says we hit a point where the pain of not doing something becomes greater than the pain of doing it. He sees motivation as crossing the threshold where it’s easier to take action than it is to be idle. Like choosing to feel awkward while making sales calls over feeling disappointed about a diminishing bank account.

However you choose to think about it, we all want to harness motivation to achieve our goals. 

How to Get Motivated

James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, says that most people misunderstand motivation. They think that motivation is what gets us to take action. In reality, motivation is often the result of action, not the cause of it. Once we start a task, it’s easier to continue making progress. Like Isaac Newton’s first law: objects in motion stay in motion.

This means most of the resistance when working on your goals comes right before we start. Since motivation naturally occurs after we start, we need to focus on making starting easier.

4 Ways to Make Starting Easier

1. Schedule it

One reason people can’t get started on things is that they haven’t planned when to do it. 

When things aren’t scheduled it’s easier for them to fall by the wayside. You’ll end up hoping motivation falls in your lap or hoping that you’ll muster enough willpower to get it done.

An article in the Guardian said, “If you waste resources trying to decide when or where to work, you’ll impede your capacity to do the work.”

2. Measure something

It’s easy to feel uninspired when you don’t know if you’re making progress or what you’re even working towards. That’s why you need to make your success measurable in some way. Starting is easy when you know exactly how much closer your current actions will bring you to achieving your goal.

3. Extrinsic motivation

This type of motivation is from external factors. It can be either positive or negative. Positive motivation consists of incentives like money, prizes, and grades. Negative motivation consists of deterrents like being fired, having a fight, or being fined. Extrinsic motivation doesn’t work effectively long-term, but it can work well in the short term to get you started on something.

4. Make it public

Keep yourself accountable by telling friends and family your goals, or even sharing them on social media. This makes it easier to start something because you’re pressured to not let others down.

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” – Zig Ziglar

How to Stay Motivated Long Term

When we say we want to feel motivated to do something, we don’t want to be pushed or guilted into doing a task. We want to be so attracted and drawn to the idea that we can’t resist not taking action. That’s why it’s important to build a foundation that will set you up for consistency.

These are 5 techniques that will help you do just that:

1. Stay in your goldilocks zone

The goldilocks zone is when a task is the perfect level of difficulty—not too hard and not too easy. In this zone, we reach peak motivation and focus.

For example, let’s say you’re playing a serious tennis match against a 4-year-old. On this level of difficulty, you’ll quickly become bored and not want to play. Now let’s say you’re playing a serious tennis match against Serena Williams. On this level of difficulty, you’ll quickly become demotivated because the match is too challenging. 

The Goldilocks zone is in the middle of that spectrum. You want to face someone with equal skill as you. That way you have a chance to win, but you have to focus and try for it. Adjusting your workload and goals over time to stay within your Goldilocks zone keeps you engaged and motivated long-term.

2. Pursue intrinsically motivated goals

Being intrinsically motivated to achieve a goal is when you want to achieve it for what it is. There are no external factors like a reward or the risk of being fired. The drive behind your actions is coming from within. 

For most intrinsic goals we pursue them because they will enrich our lives or bring us closer to fulfillment. That makes these goals extremely sustainable long-term because they directly affect our quality of life and the things we care about.

3. Use “chunking”

Chunking is the technique of breaking down a goal into smaller short-term targets. By doing this you achieve multiple successes in your pursuit of the main goal. This triggers the brain’s reward system and drives you to keep going.

Traditionally, you may set a goal that you expect to achieve in one year. That’s a long time to commit without seeing any results along the way. By chunking your goals into monthly or quarterly targets, you get the consistent positive reinforcement you need to stay motivated long-term.

For example, instead of trying to lose 50 pounds in one year, try to lose 4 pounds every month for 12 months.

4. Be flexible

We’re all victims of circumstance. Things happen along our journey that we can either adjust to or quit because of. That’s why it’s important to have leeway and flexibility when you’re pursuing a goal. If you expect everything to go perfectly, the inevitable failure can make you disengaged and desireless. When you plan for things to go wrong, you make sure you can keep up for the long haul.

5. Pursue your goals in a sustainable fashion

Don’t lose hope when you’re not an overnight success. Overnight successes are the 1%—for the most part, they don’t exist. What we see as an “overnight success” is actually countless hours of work behind the scenes finally hitting a tipping point. Pursuing goals is a story of patience, persistence, and unseen effort.

Don’t compare yourself to others. Comparison is a recipe for a drop in self-confidence and satisfaction. It also cultivates a mindset where you think you haven’t done enough. As a result, you may raise your expectations and put more pressure on yourself.

This is pointless because things worth achieving take time. So we obviously won’t compare to the things around us when starting.

Mastering motivation is a superpower. With that ability at your fingertips, you can accomplish your goals and shape a life you want to live in.

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Motivation

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