Standing up at a wedding. Another fairytale unfolds. I think to myself “This is what life is.”
All each of us wants is for our dreams to come alive. That dream job. That dream romantic relationship. That dream holiday. That dream that occupies your mind 24/7.
I hope you get to see that dream sunset.
At the beach on a perfect summers day, I hope you get to see the sunset. It’s a moment that will make all of your problems seems so small. You’ll realize that the galaxy is so much bigger than your small human life. That’s a dream I want you to have.
I hope you get to find the one.
Every one of us has a beautiful someone waiting for us in our dreams. I hope for each and every one of you that you get to meet that person in their real physical form. I hope you get to experience that feeling when you look into their eyes and see nothing but a sky full of stars.
For that one moment, all you can see is their soul. You can see who they are and in return, see yourself with all of your flaws. In that person’s eyes, you see your own imperfection.
Rather than ignore that imperfection, the other person makes you proud of it. That’s a dream I want you to have.
I hope you get to experience passion.
The sort of passion that comes from doing work you love. The passion that comes from doing something that you know is contributing to others – the best kind of passion that comes from giving 100% of yourself each and every day.
We all long for that dream career or business that makes us want to get up in the morning with a spring in our step. It’s possible for all of us, including you. That’s a dream I want you to have.
I hope you get to experience energy.
The energy that allows you to stay awake past your bedtime and dream of the life you’ve always wanted. The energy that allows you to live that high-intensity life until the day you die. To not have this energy goes against everything you are capable of.
You’ll need to create discipline in your life to ensure that you put things into your body that allow energy to flourish. You deserve to have energy oozing out of your body. You deserve to be able to inspire those around you with the person you’ve become. That’s a dream I want you to have.
I hope you get to experience giving up an addiction.
Our lives are full of temptation. We sacrifice so much when we give in to every carrot that is dangled in front of our face.
“The feeling you get when you give up temptation is so powerful. You feel in control and you realize that your thoughts can take you to the brightest places on Earth”
You also realize that these same thoughts can take you to the darkest places at the same time. I’ve been to those dark places and you don’t want to go there. Giving up addictions is how you get back on track. Addiction is a roadblock that is blocking the path to your greatness.
I can’t way to see what you give up next. That’s a dream I want you to have.
I hope you get to see the power of forgiveness.
We hold so much pain inside our hearts because we’re too afraid to overcome our ego and forgive someone. We all have that friend, family member or work colleague that may have wronged us. Holding onto that feeling is stopping us in our tracks.
That pain that we hold onto occupies space in our brain. Everything we do has a price including holding back forgiveness. Free your soul. Free your mind. Push past the horrible acts that people commit and give them a second chance.
If you don’t want to make it about them, then make it about you. Allow yourself to forgive someone and see another side to success. That’s a dream I want you to have.
I hope you get to experience deep vulnerability.
The kind that scares you. Where you share something that hides deep down inside of you that you don’t want to let go of. The vulnerability that comes from taking off the mask and showing your true self. It may start with one person, but my hope is it can be seen by many people.
The sort of vulnerability you get at 2 am in the morning while sitting in your car with someone you are getting to know. You both share your deepest inner conflict and realize it’s exactly the same one. For a split second, you see that our problems are not so uncommon after all.
Many of us hold the same issues inside of us. Then, when you share that vulnerable moment on that freezing cold night in your car, you feel a sense of freedom. That’s a dream I want you to have.
I hope you get to find happiness.
Not the happiness you see on those travel websites when you escape your life and go to another country. I mean the kind of happiness you get from holding a glass of warm something in your hands. I mean the simple kind of happiness that can be found in something as small as a smile.
The happiness that you get when you walk to work and realize that your life is actually pretty good. You’re alive, breathing, have food in your stomach and have today to make a change. That small change that will lead you to that big change.
The big change that will make your dreams come alive. That’s a dream I want you to have.
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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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