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Motivation

5 Unusual Ways To Maintain Your Motivation

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5 Unusual Ways To Maintain Your Motivation

There are any number of posts, books and videos that will talk to you about motivation and offer all sorts of advice. Some of that advice can be useful, and some not so much, but what I want to talk to you about today are five motivational techniques that can be highly effective, but rarely get talked about.

Here are the 5 creative ways to maintain your motivation:

 

1. Understanding your core values

If you dont understand what your personal core values are, then you dont understand yourself. Values will drive your actions, define you as a person, and can be incredibly motivational. If used correctly that is.

Imagine you have a core value of freedom. To you, that means reaching the position of earning enough money so that you can become location independent. To achieve that requires some hard work and it may mean you have to get up a couple of hours earlier in the morning before going to your current job.

One morning your alarm goes off at 5.30am in the middle of January. Its bitterly cold and your heating has quit on you. You immediately focus on what you dont want to do, which is to leave your nice cosy, warm bed to start work.

And therein lies the problem. You are focusing on what you dont want. What if you brought that core value of freedom to your mind? What if you reminded yourself of its importance and how badly you want to be working from Bali, Italy or Thailand?

Suddenly you are exponentially more likely to get yourself out of bed and do the work because the importance is now front and center in your brain giving you a burst of well needed motivation.

 

Roy-Disney--Values
 

2. Visualization

You may be thinking, well visualization is hardly unusual Timand you would be rightup to a point.

Most people who employ visualization get it all wrong. They think of what they want and then zoom in on it with a laser like focus. Unfortunately, this has two huge drawbacks.

Firstly, for some people it can send the message to the brain that the goal has already been hit. Sadly, this can lead to a very subtle and often imperceptible reduction in motivation.

Secondly, people have a tendency not to visualize the potential (and inevitable) problems they are likely to encounter. If you are doing something really worthwhile, then its probably not going to be easy – life doesnt work like that. Ask Joel if he got this site to be where it is now without any stumbling blocks, making any mistakes or working hard?

If you visualize yourself breezing through to your goal easily, then when you do encounter difficulties your motivation will drop. Definitely employ visualization because its scientifically proven to help and can be very powerful, but when youre doing so, anticipate the potential problems too. See yourself dealing with them efficiently and effectively to make that far more likely.

“I visualize things in my mind before I have to do them. It’s like having a mental workshop.” – Jack Youngblood

3. Keep your blood sugar levels up

Your brain needs two things to create energy: oxygen and glucose. Unfortunately glucose depletes through the day and you start to become less effective as that happens. Your willpower dips massively, as does your ability to motivate yourself to do the work rather than taking the easy and more appealing option of chilling out in front of the TV.

You can boost your energy levels by drinking a high energy, high sugar drink or even eating some candy, but this is a last resort tactic and not something I would recommend.

You will indeed get a boost of energy as the sugar is turned into glucose quickly, but you will then get a crash between an hour and 90 minutes later causing a dip in motivation and a craving for more sugar to maintain the high.

So apart from the long-term negative health benefits of adopting this approach, its also not really effective as a long-term strategy for maintaining motivation.

The best way to maintain blood sugar levels it to adopt a low glycemic index diet. By doing this your body metabolizes the food into glucose at a much slower rate delivering it to your brain consistently, rather than in spurts. This way you avoid those surges of energy followed by huge crashes and the desire to just quit or binge eat.

 

4. Take regular breaks

On average your brain can stay engaged on one task for between 90 and 120 minutes before it starts to lose focus and thus motivation. When people push past this they start to get into the law of diminishing returns and their performance suffers – often without them even realizing.

Every 90 minutes or so incorporate a 10 to 15 minute break. Taking a walk or doing some light exercise is cool, as is doing a mini-meditation or even having a power nap. As long as whatever it is, takes you away from your task, you are going to return fresher, more motivated, and perform to a higher standard.

 

5. Get enough sleep

You may think that working into the small hours is a great idea. Especially if youre not an early riser and have a big goal or plan you are working on.

However, if that means you are only getting 5 or 6 hours sleep then its highly probable that over time you will see a drop off in your performance with the resulting dip in motivation.

A lot of people think they can exist on such little sleep, but very few can for anything other than short periods. Your brain needs time to reenergize itself. There is a growing amount of research that too little sleep can have long-term implications for cognitive ability and to stay motivated and on task. So get enough sleep.

“Sleep is the best meditation.” – Dalai Lama

I’m sure you have your own tricks for staying motivated and I’d love for you to share them in the comments below!

Tim Brownson is a Certified Life Coach, Life Coach Trainer, NLP Master Practitioner and International Best-Selling Author. If you would like a copy of his book 70 Amazing Facts About Your Brain and The Greatest 50 Motivational Quotes of All Time, as well as 2 others, click here.

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17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. Let Us Post

    Sep 15, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    Insight post here… I can’t wait to implement these new discoveries

  2. Leanne Regalla

    Sep 10, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    Timely post, Tim – I was just thinking about my core values yesterday, before reading this – although not in those direct terms ;).

    It’s good to revisit what drives us occasionally. Not that our core values change all that frequently but I think it’s good to remind ourselves of them every year or so… important things can sometimes get lost in the day-to-day details.

    • Tim Brownson

      Sep 11, 2015 at 12:00 pm

      Your right as we get older our core values tend to remain the same, although obviously they can change and they can be situational.

      I used to do mine about every 6 months, but I have done the process so many times with hundreds of clients that I drive myself nuts second guessing now, so I don’t bother!

  3. Keith Clarke

    Sep 10, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    I really like the idea of incorporating dealing with difficulties into the visualisation.

    I suppose the quote, “Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect” goes for visualisation too. If you haven’t considered the obstacles, it isn’t a perfect practice 🙂

    • Tim Brownson

      Sep 11, 2015 at 11:58 am

      Never heard that before mate, nice one!

  4. Lynn

    Sep 10, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    Hi Tim,

    Great idea to include point #3 about keeping your blood sugar levels up. Definitely an overlooked factor for many of us. But you’re so right, makes a tremendous difference!

    • Tim Brownson

      Sep 11, 2015 at 11:57 am

      Absolutely Lynn (says the man who is sat drinking coffee!!!!)

  5. Jay

    Sep 10, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    Cool stuff, Tim. I’ve been thinking about the blood sugar-point for a long time, being an energy drink-addict. The days I do manage to stay out of the gunk and focus on natural foods it’s always a more steady motivation throughout the day.

    • Tim Brownson

      Sep 11, 2015 at 11:57 am

      I used to drink those too Jay, they do work, but the crash is horrible. I also found the residual effect messed with my sleep.

  6. Steven

    Sep 10, 2015 at 9:27 am

    Point 1 is very important to know. Knowing why you are doing what you are doing and having a firms grasp of awareness about that, thats key.

    • Tim Brownson

      Sep 10, 2015 at 1:31 pm

      Yep, I couldn’t agree more Steve, we need meaning!

  7. Elena

    Sep 10, 2015 at 7:15 am

    Excellent advice, Tim! I never thought about sugar connection. Chocolate and coffee seem to the trick for me 😀

    • Tim Brownson

      Sep 10, 2015 at 1:31 pm

      Chocolate also releases dopamine, but I really shouldn’t be encouraging you 😉

  8. Elle

    Sep 10, 2015 at 1:56 am

    The regular breaks really resonated Tim – I somehow get brain freeze if I simply keep going. Even though moving into the laundry room to put laundry on doesn’t seem much of a break, it seems a good place to get some new thoughts…lol. Better a mini-meditation, but sometimes chores do call my name!

    • Tim Brownson

      Sep 10, 2015 at 1:32 pm

      I go remarkably deaf when chores start calling me. Not sure if I should mention it to my doctor 🙂

  9. Mark Reagan

    Sep 10, 2015 at 12:17 am

    The point about visualization is huge. It’s so easy to just imagine the result and set up huge expectations (I know I do it know and again). Great points, Tim.

    • Tim Brownson

      Sep 10, 2015 at 1:33 pm

      Yep, no doubt some Law of Attraction supporters are going ‘noooooooo’, but I’ll stick with science!

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Motivation

Sometimes We Have To Eat Garbage For A While Before We Can Rise Up Again.

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A month ago, I received an email titled “I am giving up” from a young woman. She was an aspiring life coach and had a huge money problem she was dealing with.

The young lady tried everything to get out of the situation and was even prepared to sleep in her car. There was one problem though: she had a daughter.

Things got so bad that she was even considering becoming a stripper to make some money fast but it was eating away at her on the inside because this very idea went against her ethics and values.

She felt she could never be a life coach again if she became a stripper, because the thought of helping other women after she had put her ass in lots of guys’ faces (this is what she actually said) was far too painful for her.

Becoming a stripper to fix her money problem would simultaneously kill her dream of becoming a life coach.

After she told me this story, she wanted my advice. ‘What should I do Tim?” she said to me in the email.

I really wanted to help her.

I gave her this advice even though it sounds brutal and somewhat harsh:

I told her “Sometimes We Have To Eat Garbage For A While Before We Can Rise Up Again.”

Here’s how to eat garbage for a while so that you can rise up again:


Take a job you may not love.

Life is not all rainbows and butterflies (forgot who said that but it’s true). There will be times when your life goes off track and you could lose your job, all your money or even your partner. It’s messed up and we all go through it.

The answer is not to go against all of your values, so you feel even more worthless. The advice I gave though goes against every self-help book and motivational quote you’ve ever read including #LoveYourWork

If you fall down, sometimes you have to eat garbage for a while and if it’s a financial crisis, then that could mean doing a job or work you hate.

When my business dreams collapsed in 2011, I took a call center job that I hated with every bone in my body. I took the job because it rebuilt my confidence and taught me how to sell again.

I learned how the big bad corporate world worked and I became incredibly disciplined. I even learned how to love a woman again which sounds corny, but it’s true.

I ate the worst kind of garbage you could possibly eat and I tried to enjoy every moment of it. I then saved up enough money to attend a Tony Robbins event and that was the catalyst for my transformation.

Superman didn’t come and save me like you see in the movies. I had to save myself and that involved doing something I didn’t like. There are more lessons in the stuff you hate than you may realize. Embrace it.


Work on a side hustle at the same time.

The first point is horribly wrong unless you couple it with a side hustle. Eating garbage and having no way out of it is putting yourself through unnecessary torture that you may not recover from.

The rope marks could scar you for life without a side hustle.

My side hustle started out as personal development which eventually led me to begin blogging. Without this side hustle, the time where I had to eat garbage would have been unbearable.

Every day while I worked a job I hated, I looked forward to the small amounts of spare time I had so that I could work on my side hustle. In the first week of this difficult job, I outsold the other staff and hit 200% of my sales target.

“I achieved 200% of my sales target because I was determined to outperform so I could gain the privileges that came with it — more time and more freedom”

Instead of being micromanaged, I got the chance to watch Ted Talks with my people leader and strategize about the future of the business.

The side hustle then became much bigger later on and now it fuels everything I do. I’m obsessed with everyone finding a side hustle, so they have something to motivate them at least some of the time.


Eating garbage is where GRIT is built.

I never used to have an “anything is possible” mindset. The grit I have was built from having to eat garbage for a while.

“I knew that if I could make it through the muddy waters of not following my passion, I could do anything”

The harsh part of life taught me how to fend for myself and overcome my own demons, so I could rise up again out of the ashes. Grit does not come from your comfort zone.

Grit is found in the biggest and boldest of challenges where you have to use every ounce of your strength to come out alive.

The young woman that emailed me is working on developing the same personality trait. This work is what will make her an exceptional life coach.


You’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do.

Eating garbage is short term and if you have a financial problem or something that just won’t go away, you’ve got to tackle it head on. Complaining about your situation and telling yourself the odds are stacked against you won’t help.

When you see eating garbage as short term, you develop the mindset that will help you break through.

There’s no magic cure.

I told the young lady that emailed me to eat garbage for a while (I was nicer than that, don’t worry) and do what she has to do to earn some money (without breaking her values). This battle is short-term and that’s how we all have to see it.


Think about a situation that is worse than yours.

Speaking of eating garbage, one of my mentors reached out to me and told me they had been demoted. They no longer had people underneath them and they were forced into something they didn’t love as much.

I told my mentor the same thing: we all have to eat garbage sometimes.

That advice was then followed up with my story of going from business owner to a call center operator. I then told him the story of a mutual friend who had gone from a high flying job to a nobody that was ignored.

He put up with that for three years and then eventually someone saw what I saw in him, and he was given a very senior role in another company.

Your situation may suck big time but getting some perspective and hearing about others who’ve had to eat garbage is a refreshing way (refreshing and brown stuff in the same sentence?) to overcome the negativity you’ll experience .


Understand that no one stays at the top of anything forever.

You could be the richest person in the world today. Eventually, you’ll be knocked off the top spot.

You could be the fastest 100m sprinter in the world. Tomorrow, or eventually, someone will be faster than you. The simple fact is that no one is permanently at the top of their game.

“All of us will fall from grace at some point”

What I’ve learned is that falling from grace and eating garbage for a while is how you rise up again. You can’t rise up if you haven’t fallen down before.

The deep, dark problem you think you’re facing will pass- it always does eventually. This is not the time to make a dumb decision, ask for sympathy or complain.

It’s time to eat garbage for a while and put in the work. Earn the right to get what you want by starting again at the bottom. That’s how you rise up again.

<<<>>>

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Motivation

5 Daily Habits to Remain Highly Motivated

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While some of us can naturally maintain a relatively high constant level of motivation, others find it more difficult. This is actually a normal fact of life. After all, the beauty and richness of life is in our attempt to reconcile and manage our different states.

Here are a few simple things you can use to motivate yourself on a daily basis:

1. The habit of accomplishing one single task once you get out of bed

This may sound trivial but it can have tremendous impact on your energy level. Right when you wake up, one simple task such as making your bed, exercising or cooking breakfast can get you energized for the rest of the day.

Getting something done first thing in the morning will give you a sense of achievement which will, in turn impact the rest of your day. The little things do count. How will you ever find the motivation to accomplish a big task when you can’t even finish a small one? A journey of a thousand miles begin with a single step…in the right direction!

2. Connect your small tasks to your values

In the first step, you may get something done, but if it is not in alignment with your values or beliefs you are less likely to feel empowered. Whatever the task you get done, frame it in relation to something that is important to you. You can apply this in your personal life, professional or spiritual life. Doing a task you know relates to something meaningful to you will give you the required energy to carry it until completion.

People who engage in routine jobs may find it very hard to remain motivated. Frame your job into something greater than yourself. For instance, a bus driver may say: “I am glad I can contribute to the future of our society by bringing children to school.” Framing the routine job that way will give you a sense of contribution. Knowing that you are making a difference will give you a sense of pride that will in return motivate you.

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” – Steve Jobs

3. The habit of crossing out tasks on your to-do list

You will feel more energized if you put your tasks on a sheet of paper because nothing is more motivating than crossing tasks off your to-do lists. This is a clear signal to your brain that you have been able to accomplish a particular task. That will generate a snowball effect since a single task accomplished and crossed out can have widespread effect on other tasks. Due to this, take up the habit of crossing out tasks on your to-do list.

4. The habit of being self-compassionate

We tend to be nice to other people. It is amazing to see how someone can be so empathetic and motivate another even when they are feeling down themselves. Paradoxically, instead of giving themselves a positive pep talk, they will go on a guilt trip. We are not trying to achieve perfection here, we are simply trying to do what we were born to do grow!

It is okay if you did not finish a specific task today. Instead of complaining or blaming, make the decision right now, that you will complete this task tomorrow. Talk to yourself as you would to a good friend. Give yourself a second chance. Don’t engage in self-deprecating talk. Remember, no one or nothing can motivate you if you are not willing to give yourself a chance.

“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” – Dalai Lama

5. The habit of taking responsibility

It is amazing how much taking responsibility for our results can change our perspective. I have had the chance to work with small teams, and in my experience, I’ve learned that people get more motivated when they know they are responsible for the outcome of their tasks. Don’t wait for the situation to be agreeable to get motivated. Take responsibility for your task and see how much energy you will put into it. While hygiene factors can help motivate you, only when you know you are really responsible for the results of a particular task will you build motivation that lasts.

As humans we have unlimited psychic power. Just as you would pay more for natural and organic food and beverages, you need to harness your natural source of motivation rather than expecting outside factors to motivate you. May that same motivation level that attracted you to this article keep you motivated in a more consistent manner.

How do you stay motivated from day to day? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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Motivation

5 Ways You Can Develop Unbreakable Mental Resilience

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Building unbreakable mental strength was my ultimate goal for many years. Even as a girl, I knew that with emotional toughness in place, nothing can permanently break me. I set myself up for a task. My mission was to find ways and tools which I can use to become mentally and emotionally strong, in control and ready to face anything. If you think that’s easier said than done, that’s two of us.

In the beginning, I experienced lots of failures and errors since I didn’t understand that being tough or looking tough are two different powers. I was trying to build this image of a “street fighter” which wasn’t working because it didn’t come from within. My second task was to share my experience with anyone I met. I understood that with proper tools and perspective, we all could build ourselves into resilient and strong individuals.

That’s why I want to share with you 5 ways you can develop unbreakable mental resilience and gain control of your life:

1. Increase your tolerance for pain

If you want to effectively train your mind in becoming resilient, you need to increase your tolerance for pain. You do it by letting go of how things should be and accept what is. No expectations, no feeling of entitlement.

It’s a perspective matter. When you feel entitled to something better or easier in life, you are putting yourself in a position where your expectations don’t have to be met. This situation causes hurt and loss of control.

When you are at peace with the ups and downs of life, knowing that some fights are involved, you are gaining more control over how you feel and think. Your tolerance for adversity increases since you are focused more on a solution than on the presence of your pain.

“You can waste your lives drawing lines. Or you can live your life crossing them.” – Shonda Rhimes

2. Create a powerful support system

Most of my life, I believed that I can handle everything on my own. I wanted to become the strongest among all my friends and family, always independent, never needing help. Soon, I found out that this was a terrible idea while trying to develop emotional resilience. The truth is that we need each other, we need our support network

Part of developing mental resilience is knowing when to ask for help and bury the ego. There is strength in admitting that you feel vulnerable and need someone’s hand. Feeling love and support is the best medicine while dealing with hardships. Your role is to choose who you let close to you and who you can trust. Based on my experience, it isn’t hard to figure it out.

3. Take responsibility for your feelings

You and I know that blaming is easy. It takes a weight off your shoulders, it eases the pain and it creates excuses. But it doesn’t build mental resilience. You need to learn how to take responsibility for your feelings when someone else hurts them.

There is a difference between those who are at fault and those who are responsible. Let’s say that your partner cheated on you which broke your heart and caused you pain. It’s your partner’s fault, but it’s your responsibility to deal with it. I know, it may sound unfair, but this is the only way you can build your emotional toughness on a feeling which scares you the most and that’s pain.

4. Learn to be alone

Some of us are pretty scared of being alone. That’s why we keep the TV on even when we don’t watch it, scroll through our feed 45 times a day or always seek some company just to maintain the noise. Spending some time alone allows you to think clearly, without distractions and on a much deeper level.

I am not suggesting that you isolate yourself from others, but time alone, combined with only 5 minutes of meditation, will help you in gaining better control of your feelings and overall mental state. Schedule your alone time. Reserve 1 hour, twice a week just for yourself, your thoughts and feelings. If you haven’t tried meditation, there are tons of videos online which will teach you the basics.  

“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.” – Vince Lombardi

5. Love those who hurt you

Two weeks ago, I read an article about letting go. According to Buddha’s teachings, the best way to let go is by loving those who hurt us. At first, it pissed me off. I thought to myself, “This is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever read in my entire life.” Then I took a deep breath, stepped out of my ego and admitted that it made sense.

Think about it this way, when you truly let go, when you forgive, you are gaining more control over your feelings and mindset. And that’s one of the most important things in building mental resilience. You take away the power of someone else who gained it through hurting you. Once you overcome the feeling of anger and the need for retaliation, the action of the other person won’t control you.

Conclusion

Having the right perspective on pain, surrounding yourself with people you can trust and taking responsibilities for your feelings are basic components of your inner toughness. The best thing about it is that even when you fail, you will manage to recover pretty quickly because you are built this way.

Don’t focus on your ego, it’s one of the most common reasons which stops you from growing. Have faith and accept the fact the everything in your life has a purpose. It’s how you choose to use it which defines who you are.

How do you build mental strength? Comment below!

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Motivation

12 Tips to Propel Your Self-Motivation to Its Highest Peak

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Motivation plays a significant role in your performance as well as the success of your career. There are many ways for you to get the motivation to do your job well and achieve the goals you have set for yourself. People derive motivation to work well from diverse sources including fear, rewards, growth, and development as well as from social influences.
Nonetheless, the best incentive to perform your duties comes from within you. Self-motivation is the drive to achieve goals without the supervision and the influence of other people. When it comes to meeting your desired results motivation and ability are paramount. They make things happen.

Use the following 12 tips to keep yourself motivated:

1. Set high but real goals

Set a real goal, dentify what you want to achieve and determine ways to go about attaining it. Divide your goal into various subgoals to make it easier for you. Setting personal goals keeps you focused on what you want to achieve both in the long-term and short-term. Whenever you face challenges, remind yourself why you are doing that task in the first place. Understand your abilities and do not set unrealistically high goals as doing so will set you up for failure and demoralize you. Clearly defined real goals are easier to focus on and monitor. They make it easier for you to measure your achievements as well as progress.

2. Seek feedback

Be open to any feedback, whether positive or negative as it is right for your motivation. Positive feedback makes you want to keep up with the excellent performance and even causes you to have the incentive to work even harder. Negative feedback might lead you to stress. And if it happens on a regular basis it most likely will lead to a depression. The key is how you treat your stress and depression. Take it as your best advisors to go forward. Take the negative feedback positively and let it give you the drive to want to improve your performance and surpass the expectations of your reviewer.

3. Get rid of unnecessary habits

Quite often you will find yourself doing things that get in the way of you achieving your goals. Maybe you have the habit of going to work with a hangover on Monday mornings after partying during the weekend. If you know that is what gets you down and makes you unmotivated, get rid of that habit. Minimize the things that distract you from working in top condition. Whenever you find yourself craving that beer, drink a glass of water instead. It is good for your health.

“Never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.” – Winston Churchill

4. Continue learning

Just because you are out of school does not mean you stop learning and adding to your knowledge. Surf the internet or take courses that can increase your expertise. The more informed you are, the more you boost the development of your brain. You are exposed to new ideas, gain new skills and you can reason better based on facts. Consider setbacks as an opportunity to learn. Never stop learning.

5. Celebrate all your achievements

Winning, no matter how small, deserves to be rewarded. Whenever you achieve your desired aim, get yourself a present. It could be that beautiful new dress you have been salivating for at the mall or even something big like a car. Rewarding yourself keeps you motivated to achieve the next big thing.

6. Take risks

You can never achieve something extraordinary if you stay in your comfort zone or keep doing regular stuff and not taking risks. Fear of taking chances limits your potential for growth and the rewards you could get by doing so. Not being sure what will happen next keeps you motivated to work on the task to achieve your desired results. Taking risks involves evaluating the rewards and losses you might encounter by taking on a particular challenge.

7. Take regular breaks

You are not superhuman. The only way for you to perform at the top of your game is to take a moment and rest. Studies have shown that working continuously with no rest may result in a decline in your productivity. Take a vacation and enjoy yourself without the pressure of work every once in a while. When you go back to the office you will come with renewed enthusiasm for work.

8. Treat yourself gently

Your friend bought that new house and you are still living in a rental. So what? Don’t compare your achievements with other people’s. We all have different goals and priorities. Accept the notion that there are people who are more affluent or smarter than you are. People are different. Accepting leaves you the space to explore other opportunities that are suited for you and focus on yourself.

9. Deal with your setbacks

Success is not a smooth path. On your journey to achieve your goals, it is nearly impossible not to encounter failure or other setbacks. Develop resilience. Resilience is the ability to bounce back from unfavorable situations. Develop the skill to cope with challenges. Admitting your failures help you keep motivated to rise above the challenge.

“All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.” – Michael John Bobak

10. Set deadlines

Self-imposed deadlines keep you focused on your goals. You need to set realistic timeframes for each subgoal to push yourself to focus and achieve it without becoming overwhelmed. Once you accomplish a subgoal, you get even more motivated to meet your larger goal. Set dates to complete tasks and stick to them.

11. Procrastination is a motivation killer

Distractions and fear of failure are the main reasons we procrastinate. Face your challenges head-on. By putting things off until later, you might be delaying your success. Keep yourself motivated by doing things in time.

12. Impress yourself

You know who is the hardest to impress? Yourself. There are times when you doubt your ability to meet a particular objective. But with the right mentality and attitude, you can do things that can leave you wondering how you did it. Love what you do and have the passion for achieving your goals that does not depend on the bar set by other people. Doing impressive things builds your self-confidence and motivates you to do even greater things.

A self-motivated person is a good performer at his/her job. The above tips will help you focus on your work and stay motivated to be more productive at what you do and in so doing enable you to earn that promotion you have been yearning to get.

How do you motivate yourself? Comment below!

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How to 10X the Likelihood of Completing Your Next Big Project

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According to Bob Proctor, you have a 95% chance of making personal change happen if you make a plan and set a specific time to share your progress with someone. At the opposite end of the spectrum, you only have a 10% chance of making a change if you say “that’s a good idea” to your next inspirational brain wave without doing anything else. (more…)

McVal Osborne is the author of Start Up your Life: Why we don’t know what we want, and how to set goals that really matter. McVal writes about motivation, decision making, and strategic thinking. He graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 2011 with a degree in Spanish, and has since worked as a market researcher and business consultant in Washington D.C., New York City and London. You can reach him on Twitter @mcval or on IG @mcvaliant.

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17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. Let Us Post

    Sep 15, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    Insight post here… I can’t wait to implement these new discoveries

  2. Leanne Regalla

    Sep 10, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    Timely post, Tim – I was just thinking about my core values yesterday, before reading this – although not in those direct terms ;).

    It’s good to revisit what drives us occasionally. Not that our core values change all that frequently but I think it’s good to remind ourselves of them every year or so… important things can sometimes get lost in the day-to-day details.

    • Tim Brownson

      Sep 11, 2015 at 12:00 pm

      Your right as we get older our core values tend to remain the same, although obviously they can change and they can be situational.

      I used to do mine about every 6 months, but I have done the process so many times with hundreds of clients that I drive myself nuts second guessing now, so I don’t bother!

  3. Keith Clarke

    Sep 10, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    I really like the idea of incorporating dealing with difficulties into the visualisation.

    I suppose the quote, “Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect” goes for visualisation too. If you haven’t considered the obstacles, it isn’t a perfect practice 🙂

    • Tim Brownson

      Sep 11, 2015 at 11:58 am

      Never heard that before mate, nice one!

  4. Lynn

    Sep 10, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    Hi Tim,

    Great idea to include point #3 about keeping your blood sugar levels up. Definitely an overlooked factor for many of us. But you’re so right, makes a tremendous difference!

    • Tim Brownson

      Sep 11, 2015 at 11:57 am

      Absolutely Lynn (says the man who is sat drinking coffee!!!!)

  5. Jay

    Sep 10, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    Cool stuff, Tim. I’ve been thinking about the blood sugar-point for a long time, being an energy drink-addict. The days I do manage to stay out of the gunk and focus on natural foods it’s always a more steady motivation throughout the day.

    • Tim Brownson

      Sep 11, 2015 at 11:57 am

      I used to drink those too Jay, they do work, but the crash is horrible. I also found the residual effect messed with my sleep.

  6. Steven

    Sep 10, 2015 at 9:27 am

    Point 1 is very important to know. Knowing why you are doing what you are doing and having a firms grasp of awareness about that, thats key.

    • Tim Brownson

      Sep 10, 2015 at 1:31 pm

      Yep, I couldn’t agree more Steve, we need meaning!

  7. Elena

    Sep 10, 2015 at 7:15 am

    Excellent advice, Tim! I never thought about sugar connection. Chocolate and coffee seem to the trick for me 😀

    • Tim Brownson

      Sep 10, 2015 at 1:31 pm

      Chocolate also releases dopamine, but I really shouldn’t be encouraging you 😉

  8. Elle

    Sep 10, 2015 at 1:56 am

    The regular breaks really resonated Tim – I somehow get brain freeze if I simply keep going. Even though moving into the laundry room to put laundry on doesn’t seem much of a break, it seems a good place to get some new thoughts…lol. Better a mini-meditation, but sometimes chores do call my name!

    • Tim Brownson

      Sep 10, 2015 at 1:32 pm

      I go remarkably deaf when chores start calling me. Not sure if I should mention it to my doctor 🙂

  9. Mark Reagan

    Sep 10, 2015 at 12:17 am

    The point about visualization is huge. It’s so easy to just imagine the result and set up huge expectations (I know I do it know and again). Great points, Tim.

    • Tim Brownson

      Sep 10, 2015 at 1:33 pm

      Yep, no doubt some Law of Attraction supporters are going ‘noooooooo’, but I’ll stick with science!

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Motivation

Sometimes We Have To Eat Garbage For A While Before We Can Rise Up Again.

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A month ago, I received an email titled “I am giving up” from a young woman. She was an aspiring life coach and had a huge money problem she was dealing with.

The young lady tried everything to get out of the situation and was even prepared to sleep in her car. There was one problem though: she had a daughter.

Things got so bad that she was even considering becoming a stripper to make some money fast but it was eating away at her on the inside because this very idea went against her ethics and values.

She felt she could never be a life coach again if she became a stripper, because the thought of helping other women after she had put her ass in lots of guys’ faces (this is what she actually said) was far too painful for her.

Becoming a stripper to fix her money problem would simultaneously kill her dream of becoming a life coach.

After she told me this story, she wanted my advice. ‘What should I do Tim?” she said to me in the email.

I really wanted to help her.

I gave her this advice even though it sounds brutal and somewhat harsh:

I told her “Sometimes We Have To Eat Garbage For A While Before We Can Rise Up Again.”

Here’s how to eat garbage for a while so that you can rise up again:


Take a job you may not love.

Life is not all rainbows and butterflies (forgot who said that but it’s true). There will be times when your life goes off track and you could lose your job, all your money or even your partner. It’s messed up and we all go through it.

The answer is not to go against all of your values, so you feel even more worthless. The advice I gave though goes against every self-help book and motivational quote you’ve ever read including #LoveYourWork

If you fall down, sometimes you have to eat garbage for a while and if it’s a financial crisis, then that could mean doing a job or work you hate.

When my business dreams collapsed in 2011, I took a call center job that I hated with every bone in my body. I took the job because it rebuilt my confidence and taught me how to sell again.

I learned how the big bad corporate world worked and I became incredibly disciplined. I even learned how to love a woman again which sounds corny, but it’s true.

I ate the worst kind of garbage you could possibly eat and I tried to enjoy every moment of it. I then saved up enough money to attend a Tony Robbins event and that was the catalyst for my transformation.

Superman didn’t come and save me like you see in the movies. I had to save myself and that involved doing something I didn’t like. There are more lessons in the stuff you hate than you may realize. Embrace it.


Work on a side hustle at the same time.

The first point is horribly wrong unless you couple it with a side hustle. Eating garbage and having no way out of it is putting yourself through unnecessary torture that you may not recover from.

The rope marks could scar you for life without a side hustle.

My side hustle started out as personal development which eventually led me to begin blogging. Without this side hustle, the time where I had to eat garbage would have been unbearable.

Every day while I worked a job I hated, I looked forward to the small amounts of spare time I had so that I could work on my side hustle. In the first week of this difficult job, I outsold the other staff and hit 200% of my sales target.

“I achieved 200% of my sales target because I was determined to outperform so I could gain the privileges that came with it — more time and more freedom”

Instead of being micromanaged, I got the chance to watch Ted Talks with my people leader and strategize about the future of the business.

The side hustle then became much bigger later on and now it fuels everything I do. I’m obsessed with everyone finding a side hustle, so they have something to motivate them at least some of the time.


Eating garbage is where GRIT is built.

I never used to have an “anything is possible” mindset. The grit I have was built from having to eat garbage for a while.

“I knew that if I could make it through the muddy waters of not following my passion, I could do anything”

The harsh part of life taught me how to fend for myself and overcome my own demons, so I could rise up again out of the ashes. Grit does not come from your comfort zone.

Grit is found in the biggest and boldest of challenges where you have to use every ounce of your strength to come out alive.

The young woman that emailed me is working on developing the same personality trait. This work is what will make her an exceptional life coach.


You’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do.

Eating garbage is short term and if you have a financial problem or something that just won’t go away, you’ve got to tackle it head on. Complaining about your situation and telling yourself the odds are stacked against you won’t help.

When you see eating garbage as short term, you develop the mindset that will help you break through.

There’s no magic cure.

I told the young lady that emailed me to eat garbage for a while (I was nicer than that, don’t worry) and do what she has to do to earn some money (without breaking her values). This battle is short-term and that’s how we all have to see it.


Think about a situation that is worse than yours.

Speaking of eating garbage, one of my mentors reached out to me and told me they had been demoted. They no longer had people underneath them and they were forced into something they didn’t love as much.

I told my mentor the same thing: we all have to eat garbage sometimes.

That advice was then followed up with my story of going from business owner to a call center operator. I then told him the story of a mutual friend who had gone from a high flying job to a nobody that was ignored.

He put up with that for three years and then eventually someone saw what I saw in him, and he was given a very senior role in another company.

Your situation may suck big time but getting some perspective and hearing about others who’ve had to eat garbage is a refreshing way (refreshing and brown stuff in the same sentence?) to overcome the negativity you’ll experience .


Understand that no one stays at the top of anything forever.

You could be the richest person in the world today. Eventually, you’ll be knocked off the top spot.

You could be the fastest 100m sprinter in the world. Tomorrow, or eventually, someone will be faster than you. The simple fact is that no one is permanently at the top of their game.

“All of us will fall from grace at some point”

What I’ve learned is that falling from grace and eating garbage for a while is how you rise up again. You can’t rise up if you haven’t fallen down before.

The deep, dark problem you think you’re facing will pass- it always does eventually. This is not the time to make a dumb decision, ask for sympathy or complain.

It’s time to eat garbage for a while and put in the work. Earn the right to get what you want by starting again at the bottom. That’s how you rise up again.

<<<>>>

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Motivation

5 Daily Habits to Remain Highly Motivated

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While some of us can naturally maintain a relatively high constant level of motivation, others find it more difficult. This is actually a normal fact of life. After all, the beauty and richness of life is in our attempt to reconcile and manage our different states.

Here are a few simple things you can use to motivate yourself on a daily basis:

1. The habit of accomplishing one single task once you get out of bed

This may sound trivial but it can have tremendous impact on your energy level. Right when you wake up, one simple task such as making your bed, exercising or cooking breakfast can get you energized for the rest of the day.

Getting something done first thing in the morning will give you a sense of achievement which will, in turn impact the rest of your day. The little things do count. How will you ever find the motivation to accomplish a big task when you can’t even finish a small one? A journey of a thousand miles begin with a single step…in the right direction!

2. Connect your small tasks to your values

In the first step, you may get something done, but if it is not in alignment with your values or beliefs you are less likely to feel empowered. Whatever the task you get done, frame it in relation to something that is important to you. You can apply this in your personal life, professional or spiritual life. Doing a task you know relates to something meaningful to you will give you the required energy to carry it until completion.

People who engage in routine jobs may find it very hard to remain motivated. Frame your job into something greater than yourself. For instance, a bus driver may say: “I am glad I can contribute to the future of our society by bringing children to school.” Framing the routine job that way will give you a sense of contribution. Knowing that you are making a difference will give you a sense of pride that will in return motivate you.

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” – Steve Jobs

3. The habit of crossing out tasks on your to-do list

You will feel more energized if you put your tasks on a sheet of paper because nothing is more motivating than crossing tasks off your to-do lists. This is a clear signal to your brain that you have been able to accomplish a particular task. That will generate a snowball effect since a single task accomplished and crossed out can have widespread effect on other tasks. Due to this, take up the habit of crossing out tasks on your to-do list.

4. The habit of being self-compassionate

We tend to be nice to other people. It is amazing to see how someone can be so empathetic and motivate another even when they are feeling down themselves. Paradoxically, instead of giving themselves a positive pep talk, they will go on a guilt trip. We are not trying to achieve perfection here, we are simply trying to do what we were born to do grow!

It is okay if you did not finish a specific task today. Instead of complaining or blaming, make the decision right now, that you will complete this task tomorrow. Talk to yourself as you would to a good friend. Give yourself a second chance. Don’t engage in self-deprecating talk. Remember, no one or nothing can motivate you if you are not willing to give yourself a chance.

“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” – Dalai Lama

5. The habit of taking responsibility

It is amazing how much taking responsibility for our results can change our perspective. I have had the chance to work with small teams, and in my experience, I’ve learned that people get more motivated when they know they are responsible for the outcome of their tasks. Don’t wait for the situation to be agreeable to get motivated. Take responsibility for your task and see how much energy you will put into it. While hygiene factors can help motivate you, only when you know you are really responsible for the results of a particular task will you build motivation that lasts.

As humans we have unlimited psychic power. Just as you would pay more for natural and organic food and beverages, you need to harness your natural source of motivation rather than expecting outside factors to motivate you. May that same motivation level that attracted you to this article keep you motivated in a more consistent manner.

How do you stay motivated from day to day? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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Motivation

5 Ways You Can Develop Unbreakable Mental Resilience

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Building unbreakable mental strength was my ultimate goal for many years. Even as a girl, I knew that with emotional toughness in place, nothing can permanently break me. I set myself up for a task. My mission was to find ways and tools which I can use to become mentally and emotionally strong, in control and ready to face anything. If you think that’s easier said than done, that’s two of us.

In the beginning, I experienced lots of failures and errors since I didn’t understand that being tough or looking tough are two different powers. I was trying to build this image of a “street fighter” which wasn’t working because it didn’t come from within. My second task was to share my experience with anyone I met. I understood that with proper tools and perspective, we all could build ourselves into resilient and strong individuals.

That’s why I want to share with you 5 ways you can develop unbreakable mental resilience and gain control of your life:

1. Increase your tolerance for pain

If you want to effectively train your mind in becoming resilient, you need to increase your tolerance for pain. You do it by letting go of how things should be and accept what is. No expectations, no feeling of entitlement.

It’s a perspective matter. When you feel entitled to something better or easier in life, you are putting yourself in a position where your expectations don’t have to be met. This situation causes hurt and loss of control.

When you are at peace with the ups and downs of life, knowing that some fights are involved, you are gaining more control over how you feel and think. Your tolerance for adversity increases since you are focused more on a solution than on the presence of your pain.

“You can waste your lives drawing lines. Or you can live your life crossing them.” – Shonda Rhimes

2. Create a powerful support system

Most of my life, I believed that I can handle everything on my own. I wanted to become the strongest among all my friends and family, always independent, never needing help. Soon, I found out that this was a terrible idea while trying to develop emotional resilience. The truth is that we need each other, we need our support network

Part of developing mental resilience is knowing when to ask for help and bury the ego. There is strength in admitting that you feel vulnerable and need someone’s hand. Feeling love and support is the best medicine while dealing with hardships. Your role is to choose who you let close to you and who you can trust. Based on my experience, it isn’t hard to figure it out.

3. Take responsibility for your feelings

You and I know that blaming is easy. It takes a weight off your shoulders, it eases the pain and it creates excuses. But it doesn’t build mental resilience. You need to learn how to take responsibility for your feelings when someone else hurts them.

There is a difference between those who are at fault and those who are responsible. Let’s say that your partner cheated on you which broke your heart and caused you pain. It’s your partner’s fault, but it’s your responsibility to deal with it. I know, it may sound unfair, but this is the only way you can build your emotional toughness on a feeling which scares you the most and that’s pain.

4. Learn to be alone

Some of us are pretty scared of being alone. That’s why we keep the TV on even when we don’t watch it, scroll through our feed 45 times a day or always seek some company just to maintain the noise. Spending some time alone allows you to think clearly, without distractions and on a much deeper level.

I am not suggesting that you isolate yourself from others, but time alone, combined with only 5 minutes of meditation, will help you in gaining better control of your feelings and overall mental state. Schedule your alone time. Reserve 1 hour, twice a week just for yourself, your thoughts and feelings. If you haven’t tried meditation, there are tons of videos online which will teach you the basics.  

“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.” – Vince Lombardi

5. Love those who hurt you

Two weeks ago, I read an article about letting go. According to Buddha’s teachings, the best way to let go is by loving those who hurt us. At first, it pissed me off. I thought to myself, “This is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever read in my entire life.” Then I took a deep breath, stepped out of my ego and admitted that it made sense.

Think about it this way, when you truly let go, when you forgive, you are gaining more control over your feelings and mindset. And that’s one of the most important things in building mental resilience. You take away the power of someone else who gained it through hurting you. Once you overcome the feeling of anger and the need for retaliation, the action of the other person won’t control you.

Conclusion

Having the right perspective on pain, surrounding yourself with people you can trust and taking responsibilities for your feelings are basic components of your inner toughness. The best thing about it is that even when you fail, you will manage to recover pretty quickly because you are built this way.

Don’t focus on your ego, it’s one of the most common reasons which stops you from growing. Have faith and accept the fact the everything in your life has a purpose. It’s how you choose to use it which defines who you are.

How do you build mental strength? Comment below!

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Motivation

12 Tips to Propel Your Self-Motivation to Its Highest Peak

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Motivation plays a significant role in your performance as well as the success of your career. There are many ways for you to get the motivation to do your job well and achieve the goals you have set for yourself. People derive motivation to work well from diverse sources including fear, rewards, growth, and development as well as from social influences.
Nonetheless, the best incentive to perform your duties comes from within you. Self-motivation is the drive to achieve goals without the supervision and the influence of other people. When it comes to meeting your desired results motivation and ability are paramount. They make things happen.

Use the following 12 tips to keep yourself motivated:

1. Set high but real goals

Set a real goal, dentify what you want to achieve and determine ways to go about attaining it. Divide your goal into various subgoals to make it easier for you. Setting personal goals keeps you focused on what you want to achieve both in the long-term and short-term. Whenever you face challenges, remind yourself why you are doing that task in the first place. Understand your abilities and do not set unrealistically high goals as doing so will set you up for failure and demoralize you. Clearly defined real goals are easier to focus on and monitor. They make it easier for you to measure your achievements as well as progress.

2. Seek feedback

Be open to any feedback, whether positive or negative as it is right for your motivation. Positive feedback makes you want to keep up with the excellent performance and even causes you to have the incentive to work even harder. Negative feedback might lead you to stress. And if it happens on a regular basis it most likely will lead to a depression. The key is how you treat your stress and depression. Take it as your best advisors to go forward. Take the negative feedback positively and let it give you the drive to want to improve your performance and surpass the expectations of your reviewer.

3. Get rid of unnecessary habits

Quite often you will find yourself doing things that get in the way of you achieving your goals. Maybe you have the habit of going to work with a hangover on Monday mornings after partying during the weekend. If you know that is what gets you down and makes you unmotivated, get rid of that habit. Minimize the things that distract you from working in top condition. Whenever you find yourself craving that beer, drink a glass of water instead. It is good for your health.

“Never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.” – Winston Churchill

4. Continue learning

Just because you are out of school does not mean you stop learning and adding to your knowledge. Surf the internet or take courses that can increase your expertise. The more informed you are, the more you boost the development of your brain. You are exposed to new ideas, gain new skills and you can reason better based on facts. Consider setbacks as an opportunity to learn. Never stop learning.

5. Celebrate all your achievements

Winning, no matter how small, deserves to be rewarded. Whenever you achieve your desired aim, get yourself a present. It could be that beautiful new dress you have been salivating for at the mall or even something big like a car. Rewarding yourself keeps you motivated to achieve the next big thing.

6. Take risks

You can never achieve something extraordinary if you stay in your comfort zone or keep doing regular stuff and not taking risks. Fear of taking chances limits your potential for growth and the rewards you could get by doing so. Not being sure what will happen next keeps you motivated to work on the task to achieve your desired results. Taking risks involves evaluating the rewards and losses you might encounter by taking on a particular challenge.

7. Take regular breaks

You are not superhuman. The only way for you to perform at the top of your game is to take a moment and rest. Studies have shown that working continuously with no rest may result in a decline in your productivity. Take a vacation and enjoy yourself without the pressure of work every once in a while. When you go back to the office you will come with renewed enthusiasm for work.

8. Treat yourself gently

Your friend bought that new house and you are still living in a rental. So what? Don’t compare your achievements with other people’s. We all have different goals and priorities. Accept the notion that there are people who are more affluent or smarter than you are. People are different. Accepting leaves you the space to explore other opportunities that are suited for you and focus on yourself.

9. Deal with your setbacks

Success is not a smooth path. On your journey to achieve your goals, it is nearly impossible not to encounter failure or other setbacks. Develop resilience. Resilience is the ability to bounce back from unfavorable situations. Develop the skill to cope with challenges. Admitting your failures help you keep motivated to rise above the challenge.

“All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.” – Michael John Bobak

10. Set deadlines

Self-imposed deadlines keep you focused on your goals. You need to set realistic timeframes for each subgoal to push yourself to focus and achieve it without becoming overwhelmed. Once you accomplish a subgoal, you get even more motivated to meet your larger goal. Set dates to complete tasks and stick to them.

11. Procrastination is a motivation killer

Distractions and fear of failure are the main reasons we procrastinate. Face your challenges head-on. By putting things off until later, you might be delaying your success. Keep yourself motivated by doing things in time.

12. Impress yourself

You know who is the hardest to impress? Yourself. There are times when you doubt your ability to meet a particular objective. But with the right mentality and attitude, you can do things that can leave you wondering how you did it. Love what you do and have the passion for achieving your goals that does not depend on the bar set by other people. Doing impressive things builds your self-confidence and motivates you to do even greater things.

A self-motivated person is a good performer at his/her job. The above tips will help you focus on your work and stay motivated to be more productive at what you do and in so doing enable you to earn that promotion you have been yearning to get.

How do you motivate yourself? Comment below!

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