Life is full of struggle. We’re destined to face pain and have everything blow up in our face. This very idea only became known to me eight weeks ago. I can’t believe I actually thought that some people never experience any major issues in their life.
We all suffer from sickness, heartbreak, death, failure and disappointment. What I’ve learned is that those who succeed accept this fact and make a decision to push through it. When things go wrong, they commit to having faith when there is no reason to do so.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably had some pretty big stuff ups. I continue to have the same and I’ve thought about quitting so many times. That was until I realized how I got where I am today. The only reason I’m still here, and breathing, is because I decided not to quit.
Quitting is the most painful form of suffering. Most of all, quitting on yourself is something you will never forgive yourself for. I know life is hard, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find an empowering way to break through all of the struggles.
Here is why I don’t want you to quit on yourself:
1. Life is not a race
We quit on ourselves because we feel like life is a race against time. We feel like we have to achieve so much by a certain age or we’re a failure. Don’t quit because of someone else’s timeframe. Life is short in one sense of the word and very long when you live in the present moment.
I’ve wanted to quit on myself many times. From a failed music career, to failed businesses, to many failed romantic relationships. Life is tough and we are guaranteed to be in constant pain.
“The way you win the race is to accept that pain is guaranteed”
Know that with every failure that comes your way, there’s a whole bunch of other people around you going through something similar. You may not know of all the pain happening around you, but it’s everywhere. Don’t quit on yourself because you didn’t reach your goal or get what you want.
Get back up again and keep trying with the newfound perspective from your past failures.
2. You’re over thinking everything
Quitting on yourself happens because you are over thinking everything that has transpired. If you give your brain enough time, it will find 101 reasons why you should quit. Quitting is your brain’s default response. It’s easier to quit on yourself than to keep going.
Everyone reading this post knows that success comes from struggle and hard work; not from taking the easy path. Stop your brain from going into meltdown and try these few suggestions:
– Every time you want to quit, repeat a metaphor that interrupts your brains pattern. Mine is, “You dodged a bullet Tim.”
– Go for a walk and listen to a story of struggle on your phone
– Get social and spend time with people you don’t know
These suggestions will help you to take your mind of quitting. The longer you try and solve a problem through thinking, the more likely you are to quit. Try taking breaks and blocking out times where you can think about a problem.
Sometimes there is no answer to a problem you are trying to solve other than trying something new. Don’t become obsessed with always trying to get a rock solid answer for every situation. We spend so much time in our heads and our constant negative thoughts form the foundation of our desire to quit on ourselves.
3. You’re so close
I’ve lost count us to how many times I’ve come so close to winning at life and then quit right at the last moment. Believe in yourself and know that every setback happens for a reason. We don’t always know why an event or situation has occurred, but we have to keep going.
“Success is always close by, but we have to earn it”
Nothing comes easily and it’s the struggle that gives us the right to succeed. I’m horrible when it comes to patience, although I’m getting better. I’m obsessed with having the answer right now and that’s why I forget how close I am to success.
Cowards quit right before they achieve greatness because they believe they deserve something when they haven’t earnt it.
4. The problem with quitting
Quitting almost always leaves you with regret about what might have happened. I find that when you see something through all the way to the end, you get the opportunity to know that there is nothing more you could have done.
If you let your regrets stack up over time, you will find that you start to feel very unfulfilled. There’s no better feeling than persisting, even when it seems like there is no reason to do so. Get comfortable we never giving up. Force yourself to pursue success in life at all costs.
5. There’s always another opportunity
I’ve wanted to quit on myself recently because I thought that I had found what I was looking for, and that because I couldn’t have it, I would have to settle for second best and the unhappiness that comes with it. After careful thought and coaching from my mentors, I reminded myself that there is always another opportunity.
What causes us to quit is the limiting belief that opportunities for success and fulfillment are not never-ending. They are. When one door closes, another door opens. What I’ve found difficult is that you never know when the next door is going to open again.
This is both annoying and awesome at the same time. When you don’t know when the next door is going to open you have to adopt the mindset of always being grateful and keeping an open mind. It adds a sense of uncertainty to our life that keeps things interesting.
6. Would your life be better if you quit?
Ask yourself this question. 99% of the time your life will never be better if you quit. Your life will be better if you keep going and push through the struggle, and pain that goes hand in hand with determination.
The feeling you get from not quitting on yourself and achieving the pinnacle of success will give you the energy to do even more incredible challenges in your life. Success breeds success.
7. The end result is worth the pain
If what you are trying to achieve in life is not worth the pain, then it’s a lousy goal in the first place. Aim for targets that make the pain worth it and light you up at the thought of winning. You’ll only quit on yourself if you go after goals you don’t really want deep down.
If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net
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.
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