Life rarely works out as planned. There are situations and circumstances in each of our lives that are out of our control and lead to moments of anger and despair. There are times when we start a journey to make big changes in our life only to end up failing miserably.
During those times, it’s hard to even function—much less stay motivated to push forward in our lives. It feels easier to give up and hide under the covers. Those moments and that failures hurt, but offers some of life’s greatest lessons if you can just push through the pain.
I was homeless. I dropped out of high school. I lost my father and grandfather. I chased a big dream and experienced devastating failure every step of the way. I used the five ways below, to find a way to stay motivated to push forward despite wanting to give up. I hope they can motivate you as well.
Here are 5 ways to stay motivated despite wanting to give up:
1. Take a step back and put things into perspective
In that moment, you’re full of raw emotion. You’re angry, depressed, and tempted to react physically. Before you do something you’ll regret later, close your eyes and take a deep breath. Spend a few minutes breathing deeply and focus on being in that moment with a clear mind. Calm down and refocus on what would be your best way to proceed. Realize that no matter how bad it feels, you can and will recover. You’re still alive and have a chance to make things better. Ask yourself if what you’re going through will even matter five years from now?
2. Focus on the things you are grateful for in your life
It’s been proven that an attitude of gratitude and its benefits are not a myth. When you focus on what you’re grateful for, it’s hard to stay focused on the negative. You quickly see that life has blessed us, and despite what you’re feeling, you have a lot in your life that could be much worse. In that moment of frustration, start listing off three to five things you are grateful for in your life. Let the gratitude replace those other emotions.
“Gratitude opens the door to the power, the wisdom, the creativity of the universes. You open the door through gratitude.” – Deepak Chopra
3. Get lost in music you enjoy listening to
Science has shown music’s ability to calm and soothe human beings. There are songs each of us loves, and that has the power to brighten our mood. When you’re feeling frustrated or unmotivated, pull out your smartphone and find some music you enjoy. Spend 30-minutes ignoring all the things you need to do and let the music get your mind right.
4. Consume content that inspires you
We live in what is called the “Information Age.” Today, we can be inspired by podcasts, articles, books, and videos. The cool thing is that we can get all of this inspiring content through our smartphones. Your daily routine should include time to find the content that inspires you, and absorb and implement it in your life. In moments when you want to give up, go back to your favorite piece of content that inspires you.
5. Write down lessons that you can use later
As I said before, the moments that frustrate us can be times to learn. We learn valuable life lessons that only failure can teach us. If your life was perfect, and everything always went right, you wouldn’t develop the character traits you learn during hard times. After you have taken a moment of peace, and listened to music, start thinking about the lessons to be learned and avoided next time. Write down those lessons.
“If you learn from defeat, you haven’t really lost.” – Zig Ziglar
As you read this, I’ll be speaking at conferences in Spain and Morocco. I have a full schedule of travel all over the world this year. I’m working on my third traditionally published book, and I live in Maui, Hawaii. I found a way to make it through the hard times and now wake up every day living my dream life. I feel confident you can, too.
Getting and staying motivated starts with consistently doing the “inner work.” You should spend time each day and week understanding yourself better and spend time becoming the best version of yourself. By consistently working on improving yourself, you’ll have the strength to battle self-limiting beliefs.
This is your life, and you only get one of them. At that moment that seems overwhelming, you have a choice to make. You can give up or choose to get back up and do whatever it takes to reach your life goals. Too many people will choose to give up—life is too short to join them.