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Motivation

7 Important Things Nobody Tells You About Motivation

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staying motivated

Do you have 50 great ideas a day? New business plans? New blogs to start? New books to write? New courses to create? New speeches to give? New inventions to launch?

You may even start on some of these projects but lose motivation very quickly. It seems like ideas come up and fly away without you taking action on them. You’re wondering why some people can start on projects and keep pushing forward while you tend to lose interest after you start something.

Well, here’s the thing. Motivation isn’t something you’re born with. It’s not that some people are naturally motivated and others aren’t motivated at all. The big secret is that motivation can be cultivated which means that you too can do something to improve the level of motivation in your life. When you feel like scrapping the idea because you’ve lost interest, have a look at your motivation tank.

Here are 7 unspoken rules of motivation that will help you move forward to achieving your dreams:

1. Starting small helps you get motivated

If you love to bite off more than you can chew, take note of this principle. If you go after big tasks and giant goals, without breaking them down, you won’t feel very motivated. Instead of going for the kill every day, take small steps to achieving your life goals. Small steps means taking the smallest of steps. What is the very smallest action step you can break down? Take that step today. Buy the domain name. Write your first hundred words. Get the running shoes out of the closet.

 

2. Having a reason “why” helps you stay motivated

This is the biggest reason you don’t have the mojo to keep going. You start something but then suddenly feel like you have no reason to pursue it. If you’re going to go after something, get super clear on why this is important to your life. Come up with a list of reasons on why the dream is important or why the goal matters.  Keep this list at the top of your mind and look at it every day. Make sure you have emotional, psychological and purpose-filled reasons to go after whatever it is you want.

A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.Colin Powell

3. Your vision of what’s possible helps you keep going

So often, we start and stop because we can’t see the end product. We can’t see what the promise land looks like. If you want to stay motivated, you have to keep the vision of what’s possible in front of you. Spend a couple minutes envisioning achieving your goal or dream. What does that feel like? How do you view yourself after you’ve achieved it? Taste the sweetness of having done what you’re setting out to do.

 

4. Habits are the fuel for motivation

Yes, you should take small steps but not occasionally and not when you feel like it. The way to make sure you remain motivated, especially in the beginning, is to turn your dreams into actionable steps that you do consistently. Write for five minutes a day. Run for five minutes a day. Work on your business plan for five minutes a day. It’s not how long you do something as  much as how consistently you do something. Use habits to keep you moving forward.  

 

5. Acknowledging your progress is critical

You may move ahead but feel more behind. When you don’t feel like you’re progressing forward, you begin to feel like you’ve lost. The way to help you stay motivated is to regularly remind yourself of how far you’ve come along. To do that, acknowledge your progress. Track your progress and celebrate milestones. Look back and show yourself how much farther along you are.

 

6. Your inner circle impacts your motivation

If you don’t think your friends, mentor and inner circle matters, you’re wrong. You’re going to do what your circle of influence does. If your inner circle is lazing around and slacking , you’re going to do the same. If you hang around go-getters who are going after their dreams, you’re going to do so likewise. The people around you can be the sun that helps you flourish or the weeds that will cripple your progress. Add more sun in your life and cut the weeds out. Be conscious and aware of who you’re surrounding yourself with because they have a direct effect on your motivation.

Surround yourself with the dreamers and the doers, the believers and thinkers, but most of all, surround yourself with those who see the greatness within you, even when you don’t see it yourself.” – Edmund Lee

7. Failure can unleash your motivation

You might feel it’s over when you fail but that’s hardly the case. All success stories, world-changers and come-back stories share one thing in common, failure. All the greats have failed. You have to use the lessons of failure as an opportunity to spring forward. Use your failure to learn what didn’t work, then start over. Go stronger and bolder than you’ve gone before. Failure is a great motivator to get it right and to surpass previous attempts.

How do you help harness your motivation? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!
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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Paul S

    Sep 4, 2016 at 10:06 pm

    Thank you for the tips. as an older guy who has suddenly found himself in a life changing position it’s fascinating to me and somewhat scary to find myself in such a ‘self imposed’ position too. Reading sites like this help me focus on what it is I want to do, not what I was forced to do every working day. Problem for me right now is I don’t have an income as such and time is pressing where I will need to generate one, so I am writing here to let you know that I am beginning to take the small steps, beginning to grasp the nettle and do small things, trying to achieve whatever my goals … something of which I am not even sure yet!

  2. Tim Denning

    Aug 8, 2016 at 1:18 am

    Vishnu thanks for writing this article I really enjoyed it. Motivation can be tough and your tips will help anyone who is a bit lost. Your first point is the one I practice all the time. Small steps are much easier to take and it allows you to at least get started.

  3. Chris

    Aug 1, 2016 at 5:33 am

    Thanks for reconfirming some of the major points of motivation.

    I always like the acknowledgement of your progress. If anyone is feeling like they’re not getting anywhere I think its vital that you look back on past achievements to see how far you have actually come, does me the world of good.

    Thanks for the article 🙂

  4. Aanu Oyedele

    Jul 30, 2016 at 7:36 am

    I stay motivated immediately when I know what my vision is.

    • Vishnu

      Aug 1, 2016 at 3:16 am

      Excellent Aanu. Thanks for your comment and keep going!

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8 Things You Can Do Right Now to Get Your Motivation Back

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Welcome to our new normal. A time in our lives that a year ago we certainly didn’t see coming that most of us probably wouldn’t have chosen for ourselves; but here we are. As the days away from each other carry on and more and more bad news comes our way, it’s easy to lose your motivation and waste energy doing things that aren’t helpful like worrying and fighting with people on the internet instead.

Nearly half of Americans report the coronavirus crisis is harming their mental health, according to the Washington Post. While many of us had routines set up to deal with stress in the past, the stress we are facing during this time is unlike anything we’ve experienced before. It’s easy to find yourself in a downward spiral, and that’s the most challenging time to stop the momentum and turn things around. If that’s the case, keep it simple and start to reach for little things to help you feel better and climb your way out.

Here’s a reminder of a few simple things you can do right now to start getting positive momentum going your way:

1. Find someone who was in a similar place and made it to the other side

Whether you’ve been unmotivated to workout, eat healthy, make sales calls or simply do anything, you can find someone who has been there and made it to the other side. Look up some great TED talks, go on YouTube and look up people that motivate you, google them to find their websites. There are short speeches and much longer talks all over the internet, you just need to find someone who you relate to that speaks to you.

2. Do something that you love

When we’re unmotivated, it’s easy to get out of the habit of doing what we love. Sometimes just getting out of bed or away from the tv feels like a chore. Think back to a time in your life when you felt great – what were you doing? What do you absolutely love to do that if you had the time, you would do all day and not realize any time had passed at all? 

Figure out a way to do whatever that is, or a modified version of it if it is something that you aren’t able to do at the present time. Spending time doing what you love will get your mind off of anything that is wrong and allow you to find inspiration.

“If something is important enough, even if the odds are stacked against you, you should still do it.” – Elon Musk

3. Don’t overcomplicate it

Keep it simple. When we’re stuck in a rut, we’ll give ourselves every excuse to not do something. Say you’ve gained some weight; you might tell yourself you need to find the perfect trainer and wait until you have time to cook your meals from scratch each night before you do anything else. Stop trying to overcomplicate it and keep it simple by finding one thing you can do right now, however small that may be. You don’t have to wait until the timing is perfect and the stars align for you to start moving in the direction you want to go.  

4. Get up and get moving

This is probably the last thing you want to do right now, but once you are up and moving, your blood will start flowing. The hardest part is getting started. Day one, get up and do anything to get moving. This is the hardest day if you haven’t in a while because getting up is really the hardest part. Day two, do a little more. Once you start, you’ll build momentum and get back in the habit.

5. Reset your focus

It’s so easy for worry to set in and for our minds to wander to places of what we can’t control. This is not motivating or helpful and we always have a choice to redirect our attention. There is always something we can do right where we are, so bring your focus to the solution instead of the problem and figure out the next step of what you can do. 

One step at a time. Step one, take your attention away from what you can’t control and what you can’t do. Step two, ask yourself questions like “What can I do?” and see what comes to mind. Follow through with the answers you find.

6. Listen to your favorite music

Not much can lift our spirits and put us into a positive vibration more than our favorite music. Feel free to sing along. Find a song that pumps you up and make that your theme song. Put it on anytime you feel down or unmotivated.

7. Expand your knowledge

“In times of change, the learners will inherit the Earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” Quote by Eric Hoffer. In times of change, there is great loss but also great opportunity. Continually learning opens you to new opportunities and leads you to paths you may not have otherwise found.  

“Work like there is someone working twenty four hours a day to take it away from you.” – Mark Cuban

8. Meditate

If you’re already a meditator and got away from it, take some time to come back to it. If you’ve never tried, it can be as easy as setting a timer for five minutes (or less, feel free to start with one or two minutes) and focusing on your breath. Listen to the inhalations and exhalations. Silently say to yourself “in” as you inhale and “out” as you exhale. Even taking a few minutes to do this can help you to calm down and allow your mind to refocus.

When we’re unmotivated, our momentum starts moving in the other direction. Slow down that momentum by trying one of the ideas above. Once you’ve slowed down the momentum, get it moving in the right direction and you’ll be well on your way.

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