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6 Tips That Will Help You Achieve Massive Success

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6 Tips That Will Help You Reach Massive Success

In the book, Mastery by Robert Greene, he talks about how some people are born with higher IQ’s and have a lot more natural talent than others.

They are usually out-shined by someone who has a lower IQ and a lot less natural talent.

Examples of this phenomenon can be Charles Darwin and Sir Francis Galton. Galton had an exceptionally high IQ and was a child prodigy in science, while Darwin admitted to be an ordinary person. Yet, Darwin is now more widely known and accepted as the more prestigious, superior scientist.

We can also see this in other examples with Bill Gates and other people who were not the best in their class, but became more successful. What are their secrets and how can you reach this massive level of success?

Below I am going to share with you 6 things that will help you reach a massive level of success.

 

1. Follow your passion and turn it into a dream

We all have similar brains, but we all have different personalities. This observation lets us realize that our brains may react to certain stimuli in a different way, and that we all think differently. Because our brains react to different stimuli, we are ultimately attracted to different things in life.

Certain things spark up our brain and we become fascinated. Those things we become fascinated by in life are the things we were meant to do. We lose our sense of those fascinations and what we are passionate about because we force ourselves to conform to getting a job we don’t like in order to have financial stability.

This is the wrong path to follow if you want to achieve massive amounts of success,  you must re-find those things that fascinate you and master them. Mastering a subject you are passionate about will take you to new heights because you will find enough determination and persistence to know more than anyone else.

This will make you successful because you will have more to offer than anyone else. Begin to take this and dream of the life you want to live by following your passions and the things that excite you.

“There is no greater thing you can do with your life and your work than follow your passions in a way that serves the world and you.” – Richard Branson

2. Have a sense of realization

Once you start to work on your craft and develop a sense of how you want your life to be, you must come to realize that this process will not happen overnight. Mastering a craft and becoming successful takes a lot of hard work and patience. You have to do something every day that will help you achieve success.

This will require dedication, willpower, and sacrifice. You must have this type of realization because if you constantly believe that you can become an overnight success, you will be disappointed, and this will hinder your journey in achieving success.

 

3. Improve yourself

Not only do you want to master your craft to be successful, but you also want to master yourself. Lao Tzu once said that “Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power.” The most successful people in the world, and the people who rise in the career field, work on themselves more than they work on their craft. You must constantly find ways to improve and stay healthy.

“Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change” – Jim Rohn

4. Take small steps

You cannot leap into success. Take small steps and start from the bottom, building a foundation of knowledge. Start on the smallest projects and do them to the best of your ability. Excellence is a habit, so you must make it a priority to do everything with excellence and work your way up the ladder.

Taking on too much at a time will drain you. Start small and put your 100% focus into that. Remember, massive success is achieved through the sum of small efforts.

 

5. Enjoy the ride

Achieving success is a journey. We all want to reach success rapidly because we believe that the destination will be the best part of our lives. We believe that the best part is the end. Well, not so much. Yes, reaching success will be fantastic, but we must also enjoy the process and develop our character as much as possible.

Enjoy everything you learn and every person you meet along the way. It is critical to build your character on the road to success, because the person you become, will determine if you stay successful. There will be failures on the road, but enjoy them. Know that every failure and mistake has made you stronger.

6 Tips That Will Help You Reach Massive Success

6. Stay focused

There are so many distractions in the world. You have to find a sense of discipline and perseverance. Distractions are the enemy to success and the enemy to opportunities. Organize yourself, your thoughts, and when it is time to work, stay focused. Turn off all electronics and stay away from all social media.

Clear your life of unnecessary clutter. You will feel a lot better about yourself and have clarity in your goals. We must remember that our ability to focus is an evolutionary trait that helped us become one of the most powerful species on the planet. Once we realize this and put it to use, we realize just how powerful we are. You can get so much done in such a short amount of time if you focus.


I hope these tips will help you on your journey. What tips would you add to this list?

Lawrence Berry is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, speaker, and the founder of Dreams Are 4 Real. As a graduate from Michigan State University, for the past 4 years he has dedicated his life to personal development, studying what it takes to become successful, understanding psychology, and how to stay motivated in order to achieve anything in life. He most certainly has a passion for reaching his full potential, and wants to inspire others to do the same. You can email him here: Lawrenceb07@ymail.com

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19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Steliyan Borisov

    Aug 14, 2015 at 8:10 am

    Great article and tips, I love it. 🙂

  2. sami

    Jun 23, 2015 at 9:37 pm

    What if you find out that you don’t have a dream because you are so much occupied with supporting your family? Or that your dreams will live only when you have opportunity. Because you cannot wait for the opportunity will ultimately lead you to forgetting about your dreams.

  3. Steve Faber

    Jun 14, 2015 at 5:36 am

    Lawrence,

    “Stay Focused” That’s the biggie. There’s a reason why organization and detail oriented are two very common traits of successful individuals. It is so easy to let shiny objects distract you from your goals and mission. The key is balancing your life outside of your venture with the focus needed to ensure its success. I’ll let you know when I manage it!
    Thanks for the post!
    Steve

  4. Hannah

    Jun 10, 2015 at 1:46 am

    Hi there Lawrence! Thanks for sharing your tips, it’s very motivating.. To be successful, patience is a must.

  5. Candice

    Jun 8, 2015 at 8:14 am

    Thanks for this post, I set daily goals and make sure I reward myself at the end of the week for my efforts. Never give up on your dream.

  6. Mandy

    Jun 6, 2015 at 10:15 am

    Thank you Lawrence for your excellent and insightful article. It’s a great guide for anyone on a journey of self improvement and success.

  7. Christian LS

    Jun 6, 2015 at 9:06 am

    Lawrence,

    This goes with staying focused, cutting out distractions, and turning off your cellphone… cut out the negativity in you’re life – your haters.

    As you mentioned before there are some people born with a higher IQ and of course naturally we believe they have a higher aptitude for success.
    For those not fortunate enough to have the smarts,… times are tough…

    As some one was seen as the under dog when I first met my group of friends, I can attest to the fact that once you find you’re passions, move on up, and find out what you really want, what’s you purpose in the world, their true feels about you will start to rise and rear it’s ugly head.

    They’ll despise you for becoming what you we’re meant to become, and then they feel insecure about themselves and try to drag you back down to the initial person they know you as.

    Basically when you go from YOU.1.0 to YOU.2.0, they won’t easily adapt and accept the new YOU, and they’ll try as they can to downgrade you back to the old.

    Cut them out.

    And not even just them,…

    Another lesson I’ve learned in my entrepreneurial journey is to tolerate no BS/negativity.

    Seriously, it goes a long way.

    Christian Lavarias
    NitroSalesTeam

    • Lawrence Berry

      Jun 6, 2015 at 7:55 pm

      Yes, I was recently listening to a motivational piece and the person said that the road to success would be a lonely, less traveled road where your friends won’t be around. Well, you have to find friends who are just as ambitious as you are. If they start to hate on who you have become and the success you have obtained, they were never your friends in the first place. Yes, you correct you cannot tolerate negativity, it will only weigh you down.

  8. Lawrence Berry

    Jun 6, 2015 at 12:10 am

    Yes, take small steps and do the little things with excellence. This is the true key to success and of course, as you said, to have patience. Nothing worth having will come fast, so you must have patience. If your dreams came fast and easy, would it really be considered a dream? Just keep striving, for the greater the challenge, the sweeter the victory.

  9. Sija Mafu

    Jun 5, 2015 at 9:24 am

    Hey Lawrence

    Thank you for sharing. It does take time and patience, sometimes feels like you may never achieve success. I’ve learned to persevere through all kinds of challenges..

    • Lawrence Berry

      Jun 5, 2015 at 11:47 pm

      Hi,

      Yes, it does take time and patience to reach whatever you want to achieve in life. Nothing worth having will come fast and easy!

  10. Gabriel DoCarmo

    Jun 2, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    Wow!!! What an awesome article…Thanks for sharing this Lawrence. Really appreciate it

    Love #1. We must all find our passion and purpose in life. Once we do that, life truly becomes LIFE

    • Lawrence Berry

      Jun 5, 2015 at 11:48 pm

      I am glad that you enjoyed the article. Yes, you must find what truly attracts you in life and pursue it. In this way you will master that in a way no one has or ever will.

  11. David

    Jun 2, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    Lawrence, this is a phenomenal article! In fact one of the best that I’ve read on Addicted2Success.com. There are some timeless concepts that you share in here that everyone should read, reread and memorize. I plan to do the same! Thanks for sharing this wealth of information with us!

    • Lawrence Berry

      Jun 5, 2015 at 11:51 pm

      I truly appreciate that you have taken the time to read the article and share your thoughts!

  12. Iggy

    Jun 2, 2015 at 6:23 am

    @ Pat and Lawrence – I read these articles and dream and hope that I become better in many aspects of my life. Without action, reading becomes futile and without productive habits we are doomed for a destiny full of regret. I battle every day with self mastery. And I am conciously unskilled in the area of self mastery. But my realisation that I should be battling with small things rather than big things makes hope brighter for this journey I undertook of self master. And yes, I would like the power that Lao Tzu is referring to.

    Thank you for sharing and let us keep striving for success but above all for self mastery.

    “We shall overcome”

    • Lawrence Berry

      Jun 6, 2015 at 12:08 am

      Hi Iggy,

      Self-mastery is something that we all struggle with but the true way to overcome yourself is to build habits through repetition. What you have to do is find a strong purpose for why you want to obtain self-mastery and this purpose has to be bigger than your own self-interests. Do you have kids? Or parents? Or a vision to change the world in some way? Find out what inspires you and wake up to that everyday. Create dream board and look at it and repeat your purpose and dreams every morning. This will help change your thoughts in ways you can’t imagine. I really want you to succeed and reach your full potential. I have a personal coaching service that you can take a look at on my website. I will offer it at a discount because I truly appreciate your comment and want to help take your life to the next level.

  13. Pat

    Jun 2, 2015 at 2:51 am

    A wonderful post Lawrence.

    A real important key to success, as you mentioned, is taking small steps. In today’s modern world, where technology dominates, I think many of us are looking for the quick results but it is important to remember that the best results come with patience, doing the little things well everyday and setting up a strong foundation for long-term success.

    • Lawrence Berry

      Jun 6, 2015 at 7:49 pm

      Yes, take small steps and do the little things with excellence. This is the true key to success and of course, as you said, to have patience. Nothing worth having will come fast, so you must have patience. If your dreams came fast and easy, would it really be considered a dream? Just keep striving, for the greater the challenge, the sweeter the victory.

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Motivation

The Real Hack Is In The Doing.

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I had a coaching call with a client recently and it was a trainwreck. I’m trying to get them to create content and they keep peering into the future. Instead of creating content they’re obsessed with:

  • Sales Funnels
  • When to monetize
  • How to convert inquiries into customers
  • What camera to use when filming videos
  • Writing a whitepaper

I told them this:

“Screw all of that. The key to success is in the doing.”

 

Your Ideas change over time.

When I first started blogging in 2014, I was doing interviews with entrepreneurs and turning them into blog posts. I had no idea what I was doing or even why I was doing it.

The blog posts sucked and sounded like press releases.

I hated the process.

None of the blog posts got any engagement at all. Hearing entrepreneurs talk about raising money and selling widgets was boring to me.

Then, one night at around 8 pm I wrote a blog post about changing my life. It was all the lessons I learned from studying personal development and it was nothing more than a brain fart.

It took about 45 minutes to write and was published with spelling and grammar errors all the way through it. This post got shared 84,000 times on Facebook alone.

All of a sudden, through focusing on the doing, I found something I liked.

“What starts as an idea changes over time and you’ll never predict where things will end up. Trust in the process”

 

Your beliefs change too.

I told my coaching client that his beliefs would change too. What he believes right now will change in the future. This will shape his creative side and his content most of all.

“Trying to predict where you’ll be in the future is like trying to predict when you’re going to die - it’s impossible to know”

My beliefs initially about what I was doing came from a very self-centered view of the world that was all about the cliché version of success.

I thought the nice car, suit, house and bikini babe was what mattered. Pretty quickly, as I produced lots of content and began reading, after not touching a book for more than ten years, I saw a different side.

My beliefs about the world changed and the idea of money went to last place. Add on a couple of near-death experiences like a cancer scare and my beliefs are now completely different.

I’m no longer trying to figure out how to suck out as much value from the world as I can for my own benefit. What I do daily is about a purpose far bigger than myself.

I told my coaching client this story because I believed the same was true for him. He’s trying to impact people’s lives by getting them to fall in love with the work they do.

Whenever he starts talking about this topic, I feel inspired. I told him that I say no to so many clients because I don’t believe in what they do.

I believe in what he does and that’s why I’m obsessed with getting him to focus on the doing.

 

You learn as you go.

People have this obsession with the idea that you have to do a course, be mentored, study for years (insert excuse) before you can start doing what you love.

This is a ridiculous idea and I challenge you to a duel if you think this way. As you continue the doing aspect of what you love, you’ll learn at the same time.

Even if you’re not conscious about the learning side, the doing will reveal way more than waiting for accreditation, permission or a mentor’s approval to proceed ever will.

Everything I know about social media, blogging, inspiring people and entrepreneurship came from the doing. Yes, there was deliberate learning along the way but that was always a distant second to the doing itself.

 

Consuming vs. creating.

My coaching client also suffered from the battle that is consuming vs. creating. He spent too much time watching what everyone else was doing and he didn’t spend enough time creating his own art.

He’s currently posting one video a week and I told him that’s not enough. He has it within him to do at least one video a day if he quits consuming everybody else’s content.

He also told me that he feels the need to respond to every comment he gets on social media. I told him this is nuts!!!

You cannot respond to every comment or email you get online. This time is better spent creating than it is pumping up your ego with “thank you’s” and “yes I know I’m so smart.”

 

The tools change.

I started blogging on WordPress and now I do most things on Medium and LinkedIn. If I’d become too obsessed with the tools, then I would have wasted the time I could have been spending refining my craft.

All the tools you use to execute on doing what you love will change, so treat them secondary to creating your unique art.

 

You can’t preplan the doing 9 times out of 10.

Your best work is often done when you’re spontaneous. For example, today is a public holiday in Australia and I wouldn’t normally write on a Wednesday.

I felt inspired this morning though, so I decided to jump on the computer and do some creating. Some of my best work (if I look at the stats) has been done on public days and times when I didn’t plan to create anything.

Over planning is a trap you need to avoid if you want to get down to the doing which produces results.

 

The doing is the hardest part.

The reason why many of you reading this are so obsessed with mentors, education, online courses and consuming someone else’s content is because all of these things are easy.

The doing is the hardest part. Being creative takes up all of your energy and putting your work out there to be judged is hard on your ego.

“Creating truly inspiring work takes every ounce of your emotions. You need flow states, time, resources and the belief that you’re enough to do the doing”

What stops us from the doing is either procrastination or fear. These two evils prevent you from the doing without you often realizing.

My coaching client wants to make a massive impact and he’s scared that he doesn’t have the ability. As his coach, I know he does and I’ve seen it.

The battle that exists in your mind daily is whether you should be doing the doing or settling for something easier (often this looks like the same thing but it’s not!).

Spending time doing the very thing that is hard, is how you leapfrog everyone else that never gets what they want and never lives a fulfilled life.

 

How do you win so frequently?

That’s what my coaching client asked me. He wanted to know how I produce so much content and have so many people watching online.

I told him the truth: I just spend as much time as I can doing the doing.

Everything else seems to take care of itself when I embrace this simple hack. You must become obsessed with the doing.

Spend a disproportionate amount of time doing the doing and you’ll produce the results that are 10X of what you think you’re capable of.

Are you ready to win?

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Motivation

How To See What You’re Truly Capable Of Becoming And Then Becoming It.

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I have an opportunity right now to do something that will propel my life and career to a whole new level. It will take me from behind the keyboard and into the spotlight of critics, people with a lot of power, people I admire and the masses.

It’s a dangerous crossroads in a lot of ways. There’s a lot that could go wrong. Normally I am full of belief, but in the last few days, I’ve had my doubts.

Maybe I shouldn’t aim so high so quickly. Maybe I will get distracted from what I really love doing. Maybe I don’t have the skills just yet.

What you’re hearing here is the thoughts of a stock standard, off the shelf, pink brain that was designed hundreds of years ago for a different purpose.

None of these thoughts are valid unless I accept they are.

Seeing what you are capable of becoming requires a few key steps. Then becoming it is the hardest part.

Here’s how to see what you can become and then actually become it:

 

Believe first.

“This is not gospel talk. I didn’t pull this one out of the pages of a hymn book. Until you can see what you are able to become, no one else can see it”

There’s an element of visualization required here. Ask yourself the question “What if there were no barriers and I could achieve anything?”

I want you to assume this is the case. To see what you are able to become you must see it first without barriers, negative thinking and outside opinions.

Once you can see what you can become, you then have to start believing. That requires you to see a positive outcome and have the courage to dare to do something phenomenal.

Believing first requires a degree of ignorance. In a way, I suppose you are ignoring logic. You are being somewhat irrational and not using common sense. You’re using belief to see a future version of yourself that achieves something meaningful to you, and to those who are inspired by your work.

 

Make it really big.

The next step is to dream really big. Our mind often constrains us and forces us to focus on what we’ve done in the past as the basis for what we can become in the future.

The stupid thing is that past results don’t necessarily predict the future. If that were true, we’d all bet on the stock market based on what has happened before and we’d be millionaires sipping mojitos off the bar of our luxury yachts.

Making your dream really big is an art. Your imagination that has been mostly switched off since you were a child and the creativity that has been sucked out of you by society needs to be reignited for the dreaming element of your mind to be turned on again and lit on fire baby!

If you aim really high and think you can deliver a speech in front of 50,000 people and then you fall short and deliver an inspiring speech in front of 2000 people, have you really failed?

The obvious answer is no. At least you got out of your warm bed and took a chance. Maybe there were a lot of seats empty but you at least influenced one person in a positive way.

“Giving it a shot is half the game of life”

 

Disconnect from the result.

Being fixated on the result stops you from ever taking the first step. I’ve been so focused in the last week on whether I can deliver and whether I have the experience to do something audaciously big that I didn’t take action.

I was blindsided by fear even though I know fear better than my own body.

Fear has been the thing that nearly ruined my life and prevented me from typing these very words. In some ways, it’s because I can smell the perfume of fear and see it a mile away with my Superman eyes, that I’m able to see what’s really going on, not only in my life, but the lives of others.

Never giving it a go is a far bigger failure than trying something and not succeeding. Not taking a chance and not risking it all for the person you’ve always wanted to become is something you’ll regret for the rest of your life.

Right up until the day of your death you’ll regret not knowing what could have happened if you saw what you were capable off, took a moon-shot opportunity and became that person.

“Regret is far worse than failure will ever be”

 

Be okay with not knowing a hell of a lot.

Part of the battle of seeing what you can become and then becoming it is that there is a lot you won’t know. The person I want to become in the coming weeks and months, and the opportunity I’m scared to say yes to has a lot to do with the core issue: I have no idea whether I can deliver on my promise.

I have no clue if I am this person that people think I am on the internet. Do I really inspire people? Or do I get inspired by other people and use that as fuel to pass it on?

We’ll never know the answers to these questions. We all have doubts and pieces to the puzzle of life that we can’t figure out.

In the end, there’s only a few harsh truths:

–    You must say yes to big opportunities

–    You must not overthink every decision

–    You must not try to have all the answers

–    You must not continually play out every scenario in your head thus draining your energy

All you can do is have guts, believe in yourself, have the courage and become who you’re truly capable of becoming through relentless action.

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Motivation

You Can’t Be 100% Motivated And On Fire All The Time So Stop Trying To Be.

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Right now, I’m not feeling that motivated. In fact, I haven’t felt very inspired or motivated all week. Given that motivating and inspiring others is my passion and it’s what I do every day, you’d think my career was over. You’d think maybe I have no more positivity left in me.

Even the most inspirational people in the world have times when nothing happens.

I recently watched Gary Vaynerchuk give advice to a young teenager. The teenager said:

“Gary, my girlfriend broke up with me and a relative just died. The last two weeks are hell.”

Gary took a few deep breaths and you just knew he was going to say something epic – and he did.

He said to the boy “Two weeks of lows doesn’t define the rest of your life.”

 

We’re all entitled to be down for a bit.

What I learned from Gary is that we are all going to have times during our life where nothing sticks. In the last few weeks, I’ve missed several great career opportunities, had a lot of rejection, seen a slump in shares/likes on some social media platforms and had some personal challenges.

All of this is normal.

 

What’s not normal is what you see online.

That’s the real point here. What is normal has been overshadowed by all the self-help, success talk that happens online 24/7. We’re being bombarded by it and we think we have to be motivated 100% of the time.

If we have a day when we’re not inspired, we think something is wrong. In my case, given my profession, it’s even harder. There’s this stigma that I have to be some perfect human being to do what I do. That’s BS.

It’s normal for anyone you admire and even your heroes to have low points or long periods of nothing – that’s the actual norm. The highlight reel you see online of the people you follow is what’s not normal. No one lives life like how we see people living online.

The cameras are only with these people of influence some of the time. What you didn’t see was them taking a dump or having an argument with their partner.

All you saw was a highly edited success reel of what they wanted you to see so they could send you to a landing page, put up a payment wall and monetize you. That’s what being motivated 100% of the time told them to do.

You can’t blame them entirely.

What the internet really needs is more of the truth. That is, more people talking about what goes wrong, more people documenting what’s really happening.

In simple terms, the internet needs less perceived perfection and success, and more of what’s real like disappointment, f*ck ups and challenges.

 

Not being motivated is where it all happens.

The opposite of what we’re led to believe is true. It’s during the moments of zero inspiration, bugger all motivation and low points that we discover who we are. It’s in our weakest moments that our strength, resilience and courage is built.

What I’ve learned during my recent low moments is that if I can handle this sh*t, then I can handle anything.

“Motivation comes from eating crap for dinner every day of the week and still persisting with your goals”

I’m writing these words today and not really feeling like it. It’s the art of doing even through the tough times that allows me to have a 60-second highlight reel on social media that makes me look like a freaking god that goes viral all over the internet hourly.

My success highlight reel looks very impressive and it sounds fantastic during one of the speeches I give. In job interviews, it really helps. When I pitch for business, it gives me credibility.

Our success highlight reels look freaking phenomenal but it’s 0.99% of the actual story.

If humans are motivated by storytelling, then let’s start telling the real story.

We’re not f*cking motivated 100% of the time so let’s stop pretending we are. Cheers to the moments when we feel like dirt and keep going.

 

Then everything changes.

What do I mean? This week I have no motivation but I already sense that next week is shaping up to be a big one. I find out about a number of life-changing opportunities. Knowing I could get through a tough week and be cool to keep inspiring gives me hope. That hope translates into strength.

Next week could be a disaster and these so-called life-changing opportunities could all amount to a mound of dust and broken dreams. But because I survived the tough times I know I can excel during times when I plateau, go backwards or even experience massive growth.

“It only takes one moment for everything to change and before you know it you’re 100 steps ahead of where you thought you’d be”

 

Quit the game.

The game of endless success. The rat race that is showing how perfect you are.

Show up with your best self. If that best self is 1% motivated or 100% motivated it doesn’t matter. The fact you showed up and got through the quicksand of life is all that counts. Sometimes that struggle will look like winning an Oscar and other times that struggle will look like pissing your pants.

Take a step back and see the bigger picture.

No one (including me) needs to, or is, motivated 100% of the time.

You don’t need to be either.

<<<>>>

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Motivation

2 Things You Need to Know: How to Hack Motivation With Avoidance and Approach Goals

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how to hack motivation

Motivation is a sneaky beast. It can hide in plain sight, and it can express itself when we least expect it. Motivation (and its frequent companion inspiration) can often elude us for days, weeks or years, only to jump out at in an instant with such force that we drop everything in order to capture it before we lose the moment.

Often times, these random “attacks of motivation” happen with little warning, when we are least prepared to take advantage of them. For instance, how many of you have had a moment of clarity or have felt motivated to act on some idea while in the shower? How many of you have perhaps had a similar feeling when going for a run or driving to work? Motivation can come at any time and in any way. Unfortunately, the very randomness keeps us from being able to act effectively to get more done. So what do we do to take hold of our lives and guide our own sources of motivation?

To get more done in less time, we need to understand the power of two types of motivation. Once we explore each of these types of motivation, we must learn to set goals around both to create positive feedback loops. This will make it easier for us to develop stronger motivational habits and take control of what motivates us.

While there are many ways to define motivation, today I will focus on two types: avoidance and approach motivation. The way we will define both types of motivation provides an in-depth look into how we see the world, and ultimately how successful we will be in it.

1. What is avoidance motivation?

Avoidance motivation is part of what makes us human, and it is integral to our survival. This type of motivation helps us avoid negative experiences across psychological, physical, and social boundaries. It’s what told us to run away from saber-toothed tigers or to not dive into shark infested waters looking for food. Clearly, avoidance is a good way of staying safe in a world of unknowns. Unsure about what your boss thinks about your last project? It’s best not to ask to avoid disappointment or emotional trauma. Considering whether to apply for a job in another country? Best to avoid it in case you like the culture.

Unfortunately, avoidance motivation often has negative consequences. It makes us more likely to avoid tasks that we know rationally will be positive experiences for us. It makes us avoid going for that big promotion we aren’t necessarily qualified for. It makes us not get on that airplane to travel to that new new country and experience that new culture.

“Press forward. Do not stop, do not linger in your journey, but strive for the mark set before you.” — George Whitefield

2. What is approach motivation?

Approach motivation is any type of motivation that drives action and forward progress towards a certain outcome or activity. It’s what pushes the nerdy high school kid to talk to their crush in the hallway. It’s what drives the explorer to see what the view looks like from the top of the tallest mountain. It’s the itch the traveller gets when they go too long without taking a trip. It’s what inspired humans to explore outer space. Rather than avoiding certain activities, approach motivation drives individuals to explore and become more productive in their day-to-day existence.

When we consider approach motivation, the most often cited examples relate to feelings of opportunity, fulfilment and exploration. When you see an opportunity to achieve some goal that falls along Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, you are more likely to take action. When you see the opportunity to grow your pool of resources, that may motivate you to take action (strengthening your ability to provide food and shelter to yourself and your family). Similarly, you may see the opportunity to gain recognition or acclaim through appearing on television or writing a blog post. This feeds your ability to achieve self-fulfilment, belonging and perhaps even self-actualisation.

“Don’t watch the clock; do what it does. Keep going.” — Sam Levenson

So how do we take this information and action it? How do we make it useful on a day-to-day basis?

The best way to leverage the lessons of approach and avoidance motivation is to set goals that align with each type of motivation. Take the following approach to help guide you on the path to taking control of what motivates you:

First, understand the difference between avoidance and approach goals. Most people will find that they tend to avoid activities that are unpleasant to them, all the while approaching those activities that are most enjoyable or fulfilling. Let’s think of approach goals as positive (i.e. finishing a project ahead of schedule, finding a new job) and avoidance goals as negative (i.e. avoiding drinking too much, avoiding talking in public).

Avoidance goals are goals for reducing, avoiding or eliminating undesired outcomes. While these goals are powerful, they are often harder to accomplish. You may want to cut down the number of sweets you eat each day, the number of cigarettes you smoke, the total time you spend watching Netflix. These types of goals work, sometimes, but they are much more likely to stick if you spin them to an approach goal with a positive spin.

Approach goals aim to guide someone to reach or maintain a desired outcome. People are more likely to commit to completing tasks and taking part in activities that are positioned in a positive light. Approach goals become more potent motivational goals because they focus on action and activity around what can be done to reach a goal.

If you want to get better at setting and following through on your personal and career goals, make a point of creating both approach and avoid goals and being aware of the subtle differences between both.

Do you have any approach or avoidance goals that have been particularly challenging to reach? Would love to hear about them!

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Success Advice

3 Important Principles You Need to Know That All Billionaires Have in Common

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billionaires
Image Credit: Twenty20.com

I’ve always been highly interested in the similarities amongst the world’s wealthiest. Their habits, successes, mindset, and failures have fascinated me. The journey to great prosperity can seem overwhelming, but if you apply success principles to any endeavor you can quickly and efficiently overcome challenges and expand. (more…)

Rob Fajardo is 23 year old Thought Leader from NJ. He founded a brand called Leave Normal Behind, a content, community, and events hub for purpose driven people. The mission of LNB is to bring together purpose driven people and inspire them to become the best versions of themselves by creating things that matter and encouraging others to do the same. He is also the viral marketing mastermind behind fidget spinners (check @fidget360 on IG) and helped Gerard Adams, Co-Founder of Elite Daily, establish the executive team at Fownders responsible for building the Seed-2-Scale program there. If you want to get connect with Rob you can email him rob@leavenormalbehind.com.

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19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Steliyan Borisov

    Aug 14, 2015 at 8:10 am

    Great article and tips, I love it. 🙂

  2. sami

    Jun 23, 2015 at 9:37 pm

    What if you find out that you don’t have a dream because you are so much occupied with supporting your family? Or that your dreams will live only when you have opportunity. Because you cannot wait for the opportunity will ultimately lead you to forgetting about your dreams.

  3. Steve Faber

    Jun 14, 2015 at 5:36 am

    Lawrence,

    “Stay Focused” That’s the biggie. There’s a reason why organization and detail oriented are two very common traits of successful individuals. It is so easy to let shiny objects distract you from your goals and mission. The key is balancing your life outside of your venture with the focus needed to ensure its success. I’ll let you know when I manage it!
    Thanks for the post!
    Steve

  4. Hannah

    Jun 10, 2015 at 1:46 am

    Hi there Lawrence! Thanks for sharing your tips, it’s very motivating.. To be successful, patience is a must.

  5. Candice

    Jun 8, 2015 at 8:14 am

    Thanks for this post, I set daily goals and make sure I reward myself at the end of the week for my efforts. Never give up on your dream.

  6. Mandy

    Jun 6, 2015 at 10:15 am

    Thank you Lawrence for your excellent and insightful article. It’s a great guide for anyone on a journey of self improvement and success.

  7. Christian LS

    Jun 6, 2015 at 9:06 am

    Lawrence,

    This goes with staying focused, cutting out distractions, and turning off your cellphone… cut out the negativity in you’re life – your haters.

    As you mentioned before there are some people born with a higher IQ and of course naturally we believe they have a higher aptitude for success.
    For those not fortunate enough to have the smarts,… times are tough…

    As some one was seen as the under dog when I first met my group of friends, I can attest to the fact that once you find you’re passions, move on up, and find out what you really want, what’s you purpose in the world, their true feels about you will start to rise and rear it’s ugly head.

    They’ll despise you for becoming what you we’re meant to become, and then they feel insecure about themselves and try to drag you back down to the initial person they know you as.

    Basically when you go from YOU.1.0 to YOU.2.0, they won’t easily adapt and accept the new YOU, and they’ll try as they can to downgrade you back to the old.

    Cut them out.

    And not even just them,…

    Another lesson I’ve learned in my entrepreneurial journey is to tolerate no BS/negativity.

    Seriously, it goes a long way.

    Christian Lavarias
    NitroSalesTeam

    • Lawrence Berry

      Jun 6, 2015 at 7:55 pm

      Yes, I was recently listening to a motivational piece and the person said that the road to success would be a lonely, less traveled road where your friends won’t be around. Well, you have to find friends who are just as ambitious as you are. If they start to hate on who you have become and the success you have obtained, they were never your friends in the first place. Yes, you correct you cannot tolerate negativity, it will only weigh you down.

  8. Lawrence Berry

    Jun 6, 2015 at 12:10 am

    Yes, take small steps and do the little things with excellence. This is the true key to success and of course, as you said, to have patience. Nothing worth having will come fast, so you must have patience. If your dreams came fast and easy, would it really be considered a dream? Just keep striving, for the greater the challenge, the sweeter the victory.

  9. Sija Mafu

    Jun 5, 2015 at 9:24 am

    Hey Lawrence

    Thank you for sharing. It does take time and patience, sometimes feels like you may never achieve success. I’ve learned to persevere through all kinds of challenges..

    • Lawrence Berry

      Jun 5, 2015 at 11:47 pm

      Hi,

      Yes, it does take time and patience to reach whatever you want to achieve in life. Nothing worth having will come fast and easy!

  10. Gabriel DoCarmo

    Jun 2, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    Wow!!! What an awesome article…Thanks for sharing this Lawrence. Really appreciate it

    Love #1. We must all find our passion and purpose in life. Once we do that, life truly becomes LIFE

    • Lawrence Berry

      Jun 5, 2015 at 11:48 pm

      I am glad that you enjoyed the article. Yes, you must find what truly attracts you in life and pursue it. In this way you will master that in a way no one has or ever will.

  11. David

    Jun 2, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    Lawrence, this is a phenomenal article! In fact one of the best that I’ve read on Addicted2Success.com. There are some timeless concepts that you share in here that everyone should read, reread and memorize. I plan to do the same! Thanks for sharing this wealth of information with us!

    • Lawrence Berry

      Jun 5, 2015 at 11:51 pm

      I truly appreciate that you have taken the time to read the article and share your thoughts!

  12. Iggy

    Jun 2, 2015 at 6:23 am

    @ Pat and Lawrence – I read these articles and dream and hope that I become better in many aspects of my life. Without action, reading becomes futile and without productive habits we are doomed for a destiny full of regret. I battle every day with self mastery. And I am conciously unskilled in the area of self mastery. But my realisation that I should be battling with small things rather than big things makes hope brighter for this journey I undertook of self master. And yes, I would like the power that Lao Tzu is referring to.

    Thank you for sharing and let us keep striving for success but above all for self mastery.

    “We shall overcome”

    • Lawrence Berry

      Jun 6, 2015 at 12:08 am

      Hi Iggy,

      Self-mastery is something that we all struggle with but the true way to overcome yourself is to build habits through repetition. What you have to do is find a strong purpose for why you want to obtain self-mastery and this purpose has to be bigger than your own self-interests. Do you have kids? Or parents? Or a vision to change the world in some way? Find out what inspires you and wake up to that everyday. Create dream board and look at it and repeat your purpose and dreams every morning. This will help change your thoughts in ways you can’t imagine. I really want you to succeed and reach your full potential. I have a personal coaching service that you can take a look at on my website. I will offer it at a discount because I truly appreciate your comment and want to help take your life to the next level.

  13. Pat

    Jun 2, 2015 at 2:51 am

    A wonderful post Lawrence.

    A real important key to success, as you mentioned, is taking small steps. In today’s modern world, where technology dominates, I think many of us are looking for the quick results but it is important to remember that the best results come with patience, doing the little things well everyday and setting up a strong foundation for long-term success.

    • Lawrence Berry

      Jun 6, 2015 at 7:49 pm

      Yes, take small steps and do the little things with excellence. This is the true key to success and of course, as you said, to have patience. Nothing worth having will come fast, so you must have patience. If your dreams came fast and easy, would it really be considered a dream? Just keep striving, for the greater the challenge, the sweeter the victory.

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Motivation

The Real Hack Is In The Doing.

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I had a coaching call with a client recently and it was a trainwreck. I’m trying to get them to create content and they keep peering into the future. Instead of creating content they’re obsessed with:

  • Sales Funnels
  • When to monetize
  • How to convert inquiries into customers
  • What camera to use when filming videos
  • Writing a whitepaper

I told them this:

“Screw all of that. The key to success is in the doing.”

 

Your Ideas change over time.

When I first started blogging in 2014, I was doing interviews with entrepreneurs and turning them into blog posts. I had no idea what I was doing or even why I was doing it.

The blog posts sucked and sounded like press releases.

I hated the process.

None of the blog posts got any engagement at all. Hearing entrepreneurs talk about raising money and selling widgets was boring to me.

Then, one night at around 8 pm I wrote a blog post about changing my life. It was all the lessons I learned from studying personal development and it was nothing more than a brain fart.

It took about 45 minutes to write and was published with spelling and grammar errors all the way through it. This post got shared 84,000 times on Facebook alone.

All of a sudden, through focusing on the doing, I found something I liked.

“What starts as an idea changes over time and you’ll never predict where things will end up. Trust in the process”

 

Your beliefs change too.

I told my coaching client that his beliefs would change too. What he believes right now will change in the future. This will shape his creative side and his content most of all.

“Trying to predict where you’ll be in the future is like trying to predict when you’re going to die - it’s impossible to know”

My beliefs initially about what I was doing came from a very self-centered view of the world that was all about the cliché version of success.

I thought the nice car, suit, house and bikini babe was what mattered. Pretty quickly, as I produced lots of content and began reading, after not touching a book for more than ten years, I saw a different side.

My beliefs about the world changed and the idea of money went to last place. Add on a couple of near-death experiences like a cancer scare and my beliefs are now completely different.

I’m no longer trying to figure out how to suck out as much value from the world as I can for my own benefit. What I do daily is about a purpose far bigger than myself.

I told my coaching client this story because I believed the same was true for him. He’s trying to impact people’s lives by getting them to fall in love with the work they do.

Whenever he starts talking about this topic, I feel inspired. I told him that I say no to so many clients because I don’t believe in what they do.

I believe in what he does and that’s why I’m obsessed with getting him to focus on the doing.

 

You learn as you go.

People have this obsession with the idea that you have to do a course, be mentored, study for years (insert excuse) before you can start doing what you love.

This is a ridiculous idea and I challenge you to a duel if you think this way. As you continue the doing aspect of what you love, you’ll learn at the same time.

Even if you’re not conscious about the learning side, the doing will reveal way more than waiting for accreditation, permission or a mentor’s approval to proceed ever will.

Everything I know about social media, blogging, inspiring people and entrepreneurship came from the doing. Yes, there was deliberate learning along the way but that was always a distant second to the doing itself.

 

Consuming vs. creating.

My coaching client also suffered from the battle that is consuming vs. creating. He spent too much time watching what everyone else was doing and he didn’t spend enough time creating his own art.

He’s currently posting one video a week and I told him that’s not enough. He has it within him to do at least one video a day if he quits consuming everybody else’s content.

He also told me that he feels the need to respond to every comment he gets on social media. I told him this is nuts!!!

You cannot respond to every comment or email you get online. This time is better spent creating than it is pumping up your ego with “thank you’s” and “yes I know I’m so smart.”

 

The tools change.

I started blogging on WordPress and now I do most things on Medium and LinkedIn. If I’d become too obsessed with the tools, then I would have wasted the time I could have been spending refining my craft.

All the tools you use to execute on doing what you love will change, so treat them secondary to creating your unique art.

 

You can’t preplan the doing 9 times out of 10.

Your best work is often done when you’re spontaneous. For example, today is a public holiday in Australia and I wouldn’t normally write on a Wednesday.

I felt inspired this morning though, so I decided to jump on the computer and do some creating. Some of my best work (if I look at the stats) has been done on public days and times when I didn’t plan to create anything.

Over planning is a trap you need to avoid if you want to get down to the doing which produces results.

 

The doing is the hardest part.

The reason why many of you reading this are so obsessed with mentors, education, online courses and consuming someone else’s content is because all of these things are easy.

The doing is the hardest part. Being creative takes up all of your energy and putting your work out there to be judged is hard on your ego.

“Creating truly inspiring work takes every ounce of your emotions. You need flow states, time, resources and the belief that you’re enough to do the doing”

What stops us from the doing is either procrastination or fear. These two evils prevent you from the doing without you often realizing.

My coaching client wants to make a massive impact and he’s scared that he doesn’t have the ability. As his coach, I know he does and I’ve seen it.

The battle that exists in your mind daily is whether you should be doing the doing or settling for something easier (often this looks like the same thing but it’s not!).

Spending time doing the very thing that is hard, is how you leapfrog everyone else that never gets what they want and never lives a fulfilled life.

 

How do you win so frequently?

That’s what my coaching client asked me. He wanted to know how I produce so much content and have so many people watching online.

I told him the truth: I just spend as much time as I can doing the doing.

Everything else seems to take care of itself when I embrace this simple hack. You must become obsessed with the doing.

Spend a disproportionate amount of time doing the doing and you’ll produce the results that are 10X of what you think you’re capable of.

Are you ready to win?

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

How To See What You’re Truly Capable Of Becoming And Then Becoming It.

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I have an opportunity right now to do something that will propel my life and career to a whole new level. It will take me from behind the keyboard and into the spotlight of critics, people with a lot of power, people I admire and the masses.

It’s a dangerous crossroads in a lot of ways. There’s a lot that could go wrong. Normally I am full of belief, but in the last few days, I’ve had my doubts.

Maybe I shouldn’t aim so high so quickly. Maybe I will get distracted from what I really love doing. Maybe I don’t have the skills just yet.

What you’re hearing here is the thoughts of a stock standard, off the shelf, pink brain that was designed hundreds of years ago for a different purpose.

None of these thoughts are valid unless I accept they are.

Seeing what you are capable of becoming requires a few key steps. Then becoming it is the hardest part.

Here’s how to see what you can become and then actually become it:

 

Believe first.

“This is not gospel talk. I didn’t pull this one out of the pages of a hymn book. Until you can see what you are able to become, no one else can see it”

There’s an element of visualization required here. Ask yourself the question “What if there were no barriers and I could achieve anything?”

I want you to assume this is the case. To see what you are able to become you must see it first without barriers, negative thinking and outside opinions.

Once you can see what you can become, you then have to start believing. That requires you to see a positive outcome and have the courage to dare to do something phenomenal.

Believing first requires a degree of ignorance. In a way, I suppose you are ignoring logic. You are being somewhat irrational and not using common sense. You’re using belief to see a future version of yourself that achieves something meaningful to you, and to those who are inspired by your work.

 

Make it really big.

The next step is to dream really big. Our mind often constrains us and forces us to focus on what we’ve done in the past as the basis for what we can become in the future.

The stupid thing is that past results don’t necessarily predict the future. If that were true, we’d all bet on the stock market based on what has happened before and we’d be millionaires sipping mojitos off the bar of our luxury yachts.

Making your dream really big is an art. Your imagination that has been mostly switched off since you were a child and the creativity that has been sucked out of you by society needs to be reignited for the dreaming element of your mind to be turned on again and lit on fire baby!

If you aim really high and think you can deliver a speech in front of 50,000 people and then you fall short and deliver an inspiring speech in front of 2000 people, have you really failed?

The obvious answer is no. At least you got out of your warm bed and took a chance. Maybe there were a lot of seats empty but you at least influenced one person in a positive way.

“Giving it a shot is half the game of life”

 

Disconnect from the result.

Being fixated on the result stops you from ever taking the first step. I’ve been so focused in the last week on whether I can deliver and whether I have the experience to do something audaciously big that I didn’t take action.

I was blindsided by fear even though I know fear better than my own body.

Fear has been the thing that nearly ruined my life and prevented me from typing these very words. In some ways, it’s because I can smell the perfume of fear and see it a mile away with my Superman eyes, that I’m able to see what’s really going on, not only in my life, but the lives of others.

Never giving it a go is a far bigger failure than trying something and not succeeding. Not taking a chance and not risking it all for the person you’ve always wanted to become is something you’ll regret for the rest of your life.

Right up until the day of your death you’ll regret not knowing what could have happened if you saw what you were capable off, took a moon-shot opportunity and became that person.

“Regret is far worse than failure will ever be”

 

Be okay with not knowing a hell of a lot.

Part of the battle of seeing what you can become and then becoming it is that there is a lot you won’t know. The person I want to become in the coming weeks and months, and the opportunity I’m scared to say yes to has a lot to do with the core issue: I have no idea whether I can deliver on my promise.

I have no clue if I am this person that people think I am on the internet. Do I really inspire people? Or do I get inspired by other people and use that as fuel to pass it on?

We’ll never know the answers to these questions. We all have doubts and pieces to the puzzle of life that we can’t figure out.

In the end, there’s only a few harsh truths:

–    You must say yes to big opportunities

–    You must not overthink every decision

–    You must not try to have all the answers

–    You must not continually play out every scenario in your head thus draining your energy

All you can do is have guts, believe in yourself, have the courage and become who you’re truly capable of becoming through relentless action.

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

You Can’t Be 100% Motivated And On Fire All The Time So Stop Trying To Be.

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Right now, I’m not feeling that motivated. In fact, I haven’t felt very inspired or motivated all week. Given that motivating and inspiring others is my passion and it’s what I do every day, you’d think my career was over. You’d think maybe I have no more positivity left in me.

Even the most inspirational people in the world have times when nothing happens.

I recently watched Gary Vaynerchuk give advice to a young teenager. The teenager said:

“Gary, my girlfriend broke up with me and a relative just died. The last two weeks are hell.”

Gary took a few deep breaths and you just knew he was going to say something epic – and he did.

He said to the boy “Two weeks of lows doesn’t define the rest of your life.”

 

We’re all entitled to be down for a bit.

What I learned from Gary is that we are all going to have times during our life where nothing sticks. In the last few weeks, I’ve missed several great career opportunities, had a lot of rejection, seen a slump in shares/likes on some social media platforms and had some personal challenges.

All of this is normal.

 

What’s not normal is what you see online.

That’s the real point here. What is normal has been overshadowed by all the self-help, success talk that happens online 24/7. We’re being bombarded by it and we think we have to be motivated 100% of the time.

If we have a day when we’re not inspired, we think something is wrong. In my case, given my profession, it’s even harder. There’s this stigma that I have to be some perfect human being to do what I do. That’s BS.

It’s normal for anyone you admire and even your heroes to have low points or long periods of nothing – that’s the actual norm. The highlight reel you see online of the people you follow is what’s not normal. No one lives life like how we see people living online.

The cameras are only with these people of influence some of the time. What you didn’t see was them taking a dump or having an argument with their partner.

All you saw was a highly edited success reel of what they wanted you to see so they could send you to a landing page, put up a payment wall and monetize you. That’s what being motivated 100% of the time told them to do.

You can’t blame them entirely.

What the internet really needs is more of the truth. That is, more people talking about what goes wrong, more people documenting what’s really happening.

In simple terms, the internet needs less perceived perfection and success, and more of what’s real like disappointment, f*ck ups and challenges.

 

Not being motivated is where it all happens.

The opposite of what we’re led to believe is true. It’s during the moments of zero inspiration, bugger all motivation and low points that we discover who we are. It’s in our weakest moments that our strength, resilience and courage is built.

What I’ve learned during my recent low moments is that if I can handle this sh*t, then I can handle anything.

“Motivation comes from eating crap for dinner every day of the week and still persisting with your goals”

I’m writing these words today and not really feeling like it. It’s the art of doing even through the tough times that allows me to have a 60-second highlight reel on social media that makes me look like a freaking god that goes viral all over the internet hourly.

My success highlight reel looks very impressive and it sounds fantastic during one of the speeches I give. In job interviews, it really helps. When I pitch for business, it gives me credibility.

Our success highlight reels look freaking phenomenal but it’s 0.99% of the actual story.

If humans are motivated by storytelling, then let’s start telling the real story.

We’re not f*cking motivated 100% of the time so let’s stop pretending we are. Cheers to the moments when we feel like dirt and keep going.

 

Then everything changes.

What do I mean? This week I have no motivation but I already sense that next week is shaping up to be a big one. I find out about a number of life-changing opportunities. Knowing I could get through a tough week and be cool to keep inspiring gives me hope. That hope translates into strength.

Next week could be a disaster and these so-called life-changing opportunities could all amount to a mound of dust and broken dreams. But because I survived the tough times I know I can excel during times when I plateau, go backwards or even experience massive growth.

“It only takes one moment for everything to change and before you know it you’re 100 steps ahead of where you thought you’d be”

 

Quit the game.

The game of endless success. The rat race that is showing how perfect you are.

Show up with your best self. If that best self is 1% motivated or 100% motivated it doesn’t matter. The fact you showed up and got through the quicksand of life is all that counts. Sometimes that struggle will look like winning an Oscar and other times that struggle will look like pissing your pants.

Take a step back and see the bigger picture.

No one (including me) needs to, or is, motivated 100% of the time.

You don’t need to be either.

<<<>>>

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Motivation

2 Things You Need to Know: How to Hack Motivation With Avoidance and Approach Goals

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Motivation is a sneaky beast. It can hide in plain sight, and it can express itself when we least expect it. Motivation (and its frequent companion inspiration) can often elude us for days, weeks or years, only to jump out at in an instant with such force that we drop everything in order to capture it before we lose the moment.

Often times, these random “attacks of motivation” happen with little warning, when we are least prepared to take advantage of them. For instance, how many of you have had a moment of clarity or have felt motivated to act on some idea while in the shower? How many of you have perhaps had a similar feeling when going for a run or driving to work? Motivation can come at any time and in any way. Unfortunately, the very randomness keeps us from being able to act effectively to get more done. So what do we do to take hold of our lives and guide our own sources of motivation?

To get more done in less time, we need to understand the power of two types of motivation. Once we explore each of these types of motivation, we must learn to set goals around both to create positive feedback loops. This will make it easier for us to develop stronger motivational habits and take control of what motivates us.

While there are many ways to define motivation, today I will focus on two types: avoidance and approach motivation. The way we will define both types of motivation provides an in-depth look into how we see the world, and ultimately how successful we will be in it.

1. What is avoidance motivation?

Avoidance motivation is part of what makes us human, and it is integral to our survival. This type of motivation helps us avoid negative experiences across psychological, physical, and social boundaries. It’s what told us to run away from saber-toothed tigers or to not dive into shark infested waters looking for food. Clearly, avoidance is a good way of staying safe in a world of unknowns. Unsure about what your boss thinks about your last project? It’s best not to ask to avoid disappointment or emotional trauma. Considering whether to apply for a job in another country? Best to avoid it in case you like the culture.

Unfortunately, avoidance motivation often has negative consequences. It makes us more likely to avoid tasks that we know rationally will be positive experiences for us. It makes us avoid going for that big promotion we aren’t necessarily qualified for. It makes us not get on that airplane to travel to that new new country and experience that new culture.

“Press forward. Do not stop, do not linger in your journey, but strive for the mark set before you.” — George Whitefield

2. What is approach motivation?

Approach motivation is any type of motivation that drives action and forward progress towards a certain outcome or activity. It’s what pushes the nerdy high school kid to talk to their crush in the hallway. It’s what drives the explorer to see what the view looks like from the top of the tallest mountain. It’s the itch the traveller gets when they go too long without taking a trip. It’s what inspired humans to explore outer space. Rather than avoiding certain activities, approach motivation drives individuals to explore and become more productive in their day-to-day existence.

When we consider approach motivation, the most often cited examples relate to feelings of opportunity, fulfilment and exploration. When you see an opportunity to achieve some goal that falls along Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, you are more likely to take action. When you see the opportunity to grow your pool of resources, that may motivate you to take action (strengthening your ability to provide food and shelter to yourself and your family). Similarly, you may see the opportunity to gain recognition or acclaim through appearing on television or writing a blog post. This feeds your ability to achieve self-fulfilment, belonging and perhaps even self-actualisation.

“Don’t watch the clock; do what it does. Keep going.” — Sam Levenson

So how do we take this information and action it? How do we make it useful on a day-to-day basis?

The best way to leverage the lessons of approach and avoidance motivation is to set goals that align with each type of motivation. Take the following approach to help guide you on the path to taking control of what motivates you:

First, understand the difference between avoidance and approach goals. Most people will find that they tend to avoid activities that are unpleasant to them, all the while approaching those activities that are most enjoyable or fulfilling. Let’s think of approach goals as positive (i.e. finishing a project ahead of schedule, finding a new job) and avoidance goals as negative (i.e. avoiding drinking too much, avoiding talking in public).

Avoidance goals are goals for reducing, avoiding or eliminating undesired outcomes. While these goals are powerful, they are often harder to accomplish. You may want to cut down the number of sweets you eat each day, the number of cigarettes you smoke, the total time you spend watching Netflix. These types of goals work, sometimes, but they are much more likely to stick if you spin them to an approach goal with a positive spin.

Approach goals aim to guide someone to reach or maintain a desired outcome. People are more likely to commit to completing tasks and taking part in activities that are positioned in a positive light. Approach goals become more potent motivational goals because they focus on action and activity around what can be done to reach a goal.

If you want to get better at setting and following through on your personal and career goals, make a point of creating both approach and avoid goals and being aware of the subtle differences between both.

Do you have any approach or avoidance goals that have been particularly challenging to reach? Would love to hear about them!

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