I was talking to someone I know about their dating experiences. Dating was something that she always had as a goal, but for a long time, she has been single.
She got frustrated when I shared what has worked for me and my experience. I wanted to understand why she hadn’t got to her goal. “I mean if you want something bad enough then what’s stopping you?” I thought to myself.
Dreaming is not enough.
She knew what she wanted and she fantasized about it but she had already made a decision not to take action. Thinking about how nice it would be to sit on the beach with the love of your life will not make you happy.
If you want a business do it.
If you want to find love, then do it.
If you want to travel then do it.
If you want to inspire people, then do it.
What’s the point of having a goal if it never becomes a reality? Making a decision is the first step to any goal and then taking action without knowing the result is the next step. Analytical thinking can often distract you from getting started. Having a crystal clear plan is almost never necessary. I wish I could tell you what the love of your life looks like. I can’t.
Exaggerating combined with excuses doesn’t work.
This girl I knew exaggerated every aspect of dating. She would say:
“There are no good guys left.”
“People are so harsh these days.”
“Guys are lazy.”
“Online dating doesn’t work.”
“Excuses are like cancer running through your body. It’s easy to find everything that is wrong with the goal you want to achieve”
Of course, stuff is hard….life is hard. What you’ll learn though is that when you do the hard stuff towards your goal, you get the results and feel awesome about it at the same time.
Tell the world why you are going to achieve your goal – don’t tell us why you won’t. What you tell us about your goal ends up becoming the result.
Drunk on comparing.
Next, she told me all about how her friends all got the man they wanted and how it was so easy for them. Nothing is easy for any of us. When we commit to putting in the work, we get closer to our goal. The universe doesn’t owe you jack so forget about serendipity, luck and anything that is not based on you getting off your ass and working.
Getting drunk on comparing only distracts you from your own challenge. Everyone’s life story is different and there are no absolutes. The life you think everyone else has that is so wonderful is all an illusion. You don’t see these people you idolize 24 hours a day.
If you did, what you’d see is all the parts of their life they hate. We are all carrying huge problems on our shoulders. My advice to you would be to not focus on these problems. Focus on what you can do to move forward and spend zero time thinking about everyone else who tells you how happy they are.
Lacking energy and motivation.
She tells me she is uninspired and lacking energy. My view is that if you avoid your goal and put it off, you’ll end up feeling this way. To say something is a goal and then say it’s okay if you never achieve it is going to guarantee you failure. That’s exactly what she did.
She told me that she is prepared to face the fact she will never find a man. The moment there is a Plan B, you start telling yourself it’s okay. It’s not okay. If you want this goal, then go after it and never give up. Yes, it will take many tough decision and risks to get to your “Happy Place, ” but it’s worth every bit of pain.
The lack of motivation you face is often tied to your goals.
“When you don’t make progress towards your goal, you start to lose sight of the meaning for your life”
It’s not the end of the world though because you can always change your ways and get back on track.
The energy you need to feel alive again is inside of you. All you need is to feel bad enough about your situation to decide change is a must. When achieving your goal is non-negotiable, and nothing else matters, things start to change in your favor.
Of course you will feel lonely if you don’t work towards your goal. Being sad and depressed is not a state of mind that will attract people into your life. No one wants to be around this type of person for a long time.
If you don’t like being lonely, then do something about it! You’re lonely because you’re obsessed with yourself and your selfish desires. Move out of that place and into a place of abundance and caring, and your circumstances will change.
The girl in my story is lonely because she doesn’t have a man. She refuses to do something about it and so she get’s what she settles for. There are billions of people on this planet so it’s nearly impossible to be lonely if you decide you don’t want to be.
When you suffer negative feelings, you can decide to make a stand. You can always decide that enough is enough and you’re going to break the pattern of your own limiting thoughts. It’s your thoughts that are limiting you not the world around you.
Assumptions are a curse.
The last thing this girl did was assume until she’d left no space to make anything happen. Assumptions make you think you have all the answers and there’s no more research required. Assumptions tell you that you’re very smart when in fact you’re acting like an idiot.
Not trying something because you think you know the outcome is the ultimate failure. You can’t possibly know how every experiment will turn out beforehand so stop trying to. Don’t sit there and tell me that you’ve tried everything to achieve your goal because you damn well haven’t.
You’ve decided to be a sook and let this negative world win because you’re hoping some third party is going to save the day.
You’re hoping that someone else is going to do the work for you and solve all your problems. You’re hoping that someone will feel sorry for you.
Only you can save yourself. The rest of us are trying to save ourselves from our own problems and challenges. This leaves the entitled person out in the cold searching for answers that don’t exist.
There is hope for you.
There are answers within you if you look for them.
Try Self Improvement. Read a few books.
Stop falling in love with the curse that is “assumptions.”
When I hear stories like the one I’ve just shared, I often wonder whether people really want their goals. I think that goals have become a form of convenience to romanticise about something that will probably never happen.
If you really want your goal then take action. Throw your assumptions and excuses in the bin.
Stop settling for second best. Make a decision today to go after that thing you want so badly. Give yourself time to get the results. Most of all, help others in the process.
That’s how you get your goal ladies and gentleman. Ask yourself again: “Do I really want this goal?”
If so, get to work.
If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net
A Step by Step Process That Will Help You Make the Impossible, Possible
We have all been there, looking at something and wishing we had it. The girl, the car, the money, the family, the lifestyle…but then we tell ourselves “Yeah, but that’s not me”. The people who get that are cut from a different cloth and we keep telling ourselves that until it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. We waste the wings we got believing the entire time that we can’t fly and that it’s impossible for us. We don’t even see our wings most of the time. (more…)
How to Stay Motivated to Achieve Your Goals
Time is the raw material of our lives. How we choose to spend it, shapes our life accordingly. So having the motivation to spend it on achieving goals is crucial to creating a life we want.
What is Motivation?
The Oxford dictionary defines motivation as the desire or willingness to do something – our drive to take action.
Scientifically, motivation has its roots in the dopamine pathways of our brains. When we do something that feels good, that’s dopamine kicking in. Our actions are driven by the desire for that reward (the good feeling).
Author Steven Pressfield describes motivation more practically. He says we hit a point where the pain of not doing something becomes greater than the pain of doing it. He sees motivation as crossing the threshold where it’s easier to take action than it is to be idle. Like choosing to feel awkward while making sales calls over feeling disappointed about a diminishing bank account.
However you choose to think about it, we all want to harness motivation to achieve our goals.
How to Get Motivated
James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, says that most people misunderstand motivation. They think that motivation is what gets us to take action. In reality, motivation is often the result of action, not the cause of it. Once we start a task, it’s easier to continue making progress. Like Isaac Newton’s first law: objects in motion stay in motion.
This means most of the resistance when working on your goals comes right before we start. Since motivation naturally occurs after we start, we need to focus on making starting easier.
4 Ways to Make Starting Easier
1. Schedule it
One reason people can’t get started on things is that they haven’t planned when to do it.
When things aren’t scheduled it’s easier for them to fall by the wayside. You’ll end up hoping motivation falls in your lap or hoping that you’ll muster enough willpower to get it done.
An article in the Guardian said, “If you waste resources trying to decide when or where to work, you’ll impede your capacity to do the work.”
2. Measure something
It’s easy to feel uninspired when you don’t know if you’re making progress or what you’re even working towards. That’s why you need to make your success measurable in some way. Starting is easy when you know exactly how much closer your current actions will bring you to achieving your goal.
3. Extrinsic motivation
This type of motivation is from external factors. It can be either positive or negative. Positive motivation consists of incentives like money, prizes, and grades. Negative motivation consists of deterrents like being fired, having a fight, or being fined. Extrinsic motivation doesn’t work effectively long-term, but it can work well in the short term to get you started on something.
4. Make it public
Keep yourself accountable by telling friends and family your goals, or even sharing them on social media. This makes it easier to start something because you’re pressured to not let others down.
How to Stay Motivated Long Term
When we say we want to feel motivated to do something, we don’t want to be pushed or guilted into doing a task. We want to be so attracted and drawn to the idea that we can’t resist not taking action. That’s why it’s important to build a foundation that will set you up for consistency.
These are 5 techniques that will help you do just that:
1. Stay in your goldilocks zone
The goldilocks zone is when a task is the perfect level of difficulty—not too hard and not too easy. In this zone, we reach peak motivation and focus.
For example, let’s say you’re playing a serious tennis match against a 4-year-old. On this level of difficulty, you’ll quickly become bored and not want to play. Now let’s say you’re playing a serious tennis match against Serena Williams. On this level of difficulty, you’ll quickly become demotivated because the match is too challenging.
The Goldilocks zone is in the middle of that spectrum. You want to face someone with equal skill as you. That way you have a chance to win, but you have to focus and try for it. Adjusting your workload and goals over time to stay within your Goldilocks zone keeps you engaged and motivated long-term.
2. Pursue intrinsically motivated goals
Being intrinsically motivated to achieve a goal is when you want to achieve it for what it is. There are no external factors like a reward or the risk of being fired. The drive behind your actions is coming from within.
For most intrinsic goals we pursue them because they will enrich our lives or bring us closer to fulfillment. That makes these goals extremely sustainable long-term because they directly affect our quality of life and the things we care about.
3. Use “chunking”
Chunking is the technique of breaking down a goal into smaller short-term targets. By doing this you achieve multiple successes in your pursuit of the main goal. This triggers the brain’s reward system and drives you to keep going.
Traditionally, you may set a goal that you expect to achieve in one year. That’s a long time to commit without seeing any results along the way. By chunking your goals into monthly or quarterly targets, you get the consistent positive reinforcement you need to stay motivated long-term.
For example, instead of trying to lose 50 pounds in one year, try to lose 4 pounds every month for 12 months.
4. Be flexible
We’re all victims of circumstance. Things happen along our journey that we can either adjust to or quit because of. That’s why it’s important to have leeway and flexibility when you’re pursuing a goal. If you expect everything to go perfectly, the inevitable failure can make you disengaged and desireless. When you plan for things to go wrong, you make sure you can keep up for the long haul.
5. Pursue your goals in a sustainable fashion
Don’t lose hope when you’re not an overnight success. Overnight successes are the 1%—for the most part, they don’t exist. What we see as an “overnight success” is actually countless hours of work behind the scenes finally hitting a tipping point. Pursuing goals is a story of patience, persistence, and unseen effort.
Don’t compare yourself to others. Comparison is a recipe for a drop in self-confidence and satisfaction. It also cultivates a mindset where you think you haven’t done enough. As a result, you may raise your expectations and put more pressure on yourself.
This is pointless because things worth achieving take time. So we obviously won’t compare to the things around us when starting.
Mastering motivation is a superpower. With that ability at your fingertips, you can accomplish your goals and shape a life you want to live in.
What Is Dark Motivation and How Can I Use It to My Advantage?
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