You’ve just read the latest Forbes Billionaires List and you’re super inspired by the rags-to-riches stories. You’re motivated to give things a good shake and start earning some serious cash. They did it, so why can’t you, right?
BAM! You’re off with a flying start, getting organized and planning all the things you need to achieve your goal. But as the hours and days go by, that motivational momentum you had seems to be slowing right down. In fact, by the end of the week it’s come to a grinding halt. Sound familiar?
I got a little something for you: you need motivational momentum to succeed in this world, and to have that, you need motivational stamina.
How to get motivational stamina
Think about elite cyclists preparing for Tour de France. They don’t just rock up and compete. They spend months doing the same thing over and over and over until they feel they have mastered it.
What these athletes endure to sit at the top of the Lycra tree isn’t easy – it’s often mindless, thankless and repetitive work with no immediate reward. So how do these athletes stay focused and driven?
Fact is, they have a reason that sits behind their motivation. A personal, internal motivator that is so strong that it keeps them moving forward when things are super tough and most people would give up.
The 1 question you must ask yourself
So what’s the key to getting motivational stamina? You need to figure out what your internal motivators are. You must ask yourself: “What are the reasons why I want to be successful?” Because your reason for wanting to become a success is going to be your strongest motivator.
Let me explain. The psychology world will tell you that motivation comes from two things: external (doing something for a physical reward) and internal (wanting to do something for a sense of achievement) motivators.
The most common external motivator is money. And, on the flip side, a common internal motivator is job satisfaction. But if you’re like most people, you probably have a mix of both external and internal motivators. Let’s say your reason for wanting to succeed is to support your family and give them the very best life possible – that’s a typical mix of external and internal motivators (money + feel-good stuff = powerful motivation).
“What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.” – Oscar Wilde
In his book, The Winning Effect, neuropsychologist Ian Robertson says, “Even in industries where financial bonuses dominate, such as investment banking or other financial services, the money rewards are seldom entirely extrinsic. There are also crucial tokens of status and success”. Yep, it’s true. Most of us want to earn the big bucks but what a lot of us haven’t realised is that it goes a little deeper than that. We also want to achieve something – whether it’s power, status or satisfaction. “This explains why many billionaires, rich beyond reason, still work feverishly to accumulate even more billions: it is no longer the extrinsic reward value of the money that motivates them – it is the need to achieve (and usually it is also a need for power),” Robertson explains. So now it’s time for you to really think about the reasons why you want to be successful. Think about the internal stuff, not just the money rewards.
3 Powerful things you can do right now
1. Write down the reasons why you want to become successful
Name it your Motivational Master Plan. And be honest with yourself. Because if you want to continue feeling motivated, you need to have a reason that resinates with your soul – it has to be something that makes you sit up and sets your heart aflutter every time you think about it. So if you write down reasons that sound good but don’t mean much to you, you’re going to fall back into the unmotivated lull all over again.
2. Print your Master Plan out and put it somewhere you’ll see it daily
Put it on your fridge, bedside table or desk. Treat it like a vision board and add images to it that help paint the picture you can see in your mind. Or create an online version so you have a visual reference to use as you progress towards your goal.
3. Remind yourself why
If you hit a snag or you start to feel uninspired as you work toward your goal, go back to your Master Plan. Remind yourself why you’re doing this – and let it inspire you.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbour, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
It’s important to give yourself a break if you start to feel unmotivated – it’s a normal human response! But with a little practice and planning you can motivate yourself when times get tough.
So start by figuring out your external and internal motivators, and use them to pull you through those slumps and plateaus you will inevitably experience on your way to your goal.