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Motivation

How To Go From Unmotivated To Unstoppable In 3 Powerful Steps

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How To Go From Unmotivated To Unstoppable In 3 Powerful Steps

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.

 

Winston-Churchill

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 moneyAnd, on the flip side, a common internal motivator is job satisfactionBut 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.

 

Now it’s over to you – what are the reasons why you want to succeed? Are they purely for the money? Or do you have internal motivators too?

Emma Carmichael is the creator of www.themarvellousmind.com – a go-to guide to the most powerful gift you possess: your mind. From neuroscience and biochemistry to psychology and hypnosis, Emma explores the potential and power of the mind to help her readers improve their health, wealth and happiness. For a free eBook on How to Develop Confidence, click here.

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23 Comments

23 Comments

  1. Toby Nwazor

    Sep 8, 2015 at 4:23 am

    Wonderful article Emma, and really motivating too.

    I felt the fire from the article from the introduction. Thanks for writing this. I have a lot of goals and now I am thinking of the why behind those goals.

    One of my major motivators is actually to make a difference in people’s lives. I wish I can explain it more. But when I receive a call or an email from someone telling me that a part of their lives changed because of something I wrote or said, it fires me up to keep doing what I do no matter the obstacles I face.

    So Emma, is that external or internal?

    • Emma

      Sep 8, 2015 at 8:41 am

      Toby, thank you so much for your thoughtful feedback. I am in the same boat: I’m also driven by wanting to make a difference in people’s lives. I would say it’s an internal motivator – it doesn’t provide a tangible reward but does provide satisfaction, which comes from within. I appreciate you commenting so much. Emma

  2. Jackie de Burca

    Aug 30, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    I really enjoyed this article Emma, thanks. You’ve put the points together so clearly and succinctly. Having just come back from a trip, it is a super time to read this. Thanks again 🙂

    • Emma

      Sep 2, 2015 at 4:35 am

      I’m so glad, Jackie! Thank YOU for reading and commenting. Emma x

  3. Swapnil

    Aug 27, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    Truly inspiring article Emma! Very much inline with the new ways of getting motivated and will definitely help staying motivated. Appreciate your work, keep it up! 🙂

    Thank you!
    Swapnil

    • Emma

      Aug 28, 2015 at 10:37 am

      Hey Swapnil, thanks so much for the fab feedback. It’s so great to know that my work is appreciated. In turn, I really appreciate you taking the time to read and comment! Emma x

  4. E. Thomas

    Aug 24, 2015 at 6:23 pm

    Great Article. My comments:
    You need discipline, which is lacking in society today. (Parents, listen up!)

    Also, I am a firm believer of the statement, “You are where you are today by the decisions that you have made in the past.”

    • Emma

      Aug 25, 2015 at 6:08 am

      Hey E. Thomas! Thanks for commenting. And yep, totally agree with your comments (discipline and decisions you make) – we all should be more mindful of both!

  5. Matthew

    Aug 24, 2015 at 4:12 am

    Those that have a sense of purpose AND remind themselves of it whenever their resolve wavers are formidable forces to be reckoned with … great post!

    • Emma Carmichael

      Aug 24, 2015 at 4:30 am

      Thanks so much, Matthew! I really appreciate your feedback.

  6. Hugh H

    Aug 23, 2015 at 11:18 pm

    The opening image caught me first! Then your ideas got me again. Thanks for the article, it really got me thinking. I’m driven my money, I always want more, but I also want to move up further in my current job so I suppose status is another motivator? Hugh 🙂

  7. Sara Waddell

    Aug 23, 2015 at 11:12 pm

    I think we’d all be lying if we denied we weren’t motivated to make money. I think almost everyone wants more money. I know I do!! But Im also motivated by wanting to impress my work colleagues, my boss and even my parents to a degree, to make them proud. And I’m motivated to get job satisfaction. You hear people say “work should be something you love” and i”m not quite there yet. Cheers for the great write up. Very thought provoking.

    • Emma Carmichael

      Aug 24, 2015 at 1:21 am

      Hi Sara, thanks for the wonderful feedback. Job satisfaction does seem to be a popular motivator. And money, too, of course!

  8. Juan

    Aug 23, 2015 at 10:54 pm

    Great thoughts here. I’ve never really thought about it like that, it’s a good way to look at motivation. I’ve just joined your mailing list!! Cheers! Juan

  9. John Bishop

    Aug 23, 2015 at 9:52 pm

    Just been over and got my free e-book- thanks Emma! There’s lots more good stuff there on the website that i’m looking forward to reading. I suggest others head over and have a look too

  10. Marquita Herald

    Aug 23, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    Guess what? Tried to subscribe to your list and here’s the message i got – “Oops! It looks like there was an error: No email provider has been set for this campaign.” Kinda embarrassing isn’t it?

    • Emma

      Aug 24, 2015 at 12:54 am

      Embarrassing indeed! Thank you very much for the feedback, Marquita. I’ve had other people sign up since this article went live so it was just the one subscription box that wasn’t working. Hopefully it’s all fixed! I hope you enjoyed my article and thanks so much again. Emma

  11. Jade

    Aug 23, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    I really liked how this story dug a little deeper and talked about the reasons behind why we want things. A good read!

  12. Pippa

    Aug 23, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    Great article, its given me the “boost” that i needed!

  13. Jason

    Aug 23, 2015 at 10:37 am

    I couldn’t agree more with this article. There’s always a reason behind why we want to succeed but I think a lot of us don’t realise that or think about it.

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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.

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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

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7. Expand your knowledge

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