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Motivation

The 5 Step Process to Develop Life Long Motivation

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motivation for life

Motivation is often cited as the magical answer to everything you want. If you were motivated you would lose that weight, write that book, start the business and so on.

So how do we develop the habits and mind power needed to stay motivated on a daily basis?

Here is my 5 Step Process to Develop Life Long Motivation.

 

But, here’s a question:

What if motivation never strikes?

What are you going to do then?

 

Is Motivation The Solution?

I often hear people say “if I could just find the motivation to…

Within these words are an implication. The implication is that motivation is the solution to your problems.

If you were motivated you would pay off that debt, find a new job, and go back to school.

But what if that’s not the case?

What if motivation isn’t the solution?

What if motivation is a consequence of the actions you take?

 

What Came First: The Motivation or The Action?

I believe that there is a dance between motivation and action. The two of them work together to ignite each other.

Who makes the first move?

The first step?

Who leads the dance? 

 

Let’s get practical: What is easier to do in the next five minutes: find incredible motivation or take action?

Motivation isn’t something that can be summoned upon demand. But action… that’s a different beast.

Right now, can you take step 1 to get what you want in your life?

In case you don’t know the answer: It’s “yes”. You can take action right now.

Want to write a book? Write page 1.

Want to lose weight? Go on a run.

Want to find a new job? Send out your resume.

So we know that action is easier to take than to find motivation.

 

But within all of this another questions looms:

Is motivation a consequence of your actions, or are your actions a consequence of your motivation?

 

The Misunderstanding of Motivation

The unfortunate misunderstanding of motivation is that you must be motivated to achieve what you want.

Yes, motivation is wonderful. It feels good and gets us excited. But motivation can be fickle. It’s here one day and gone the next.

 

Dont-Give-Up-Motivation-Picture-Quote

 

I believe there are 2 types of motivation: 

There is short term motivation and long term motivation.

Short term motivation is shallow, fickle, and vulnerable to the ebbs and sways of daily life.

Long term motivation is not fickle nor shallow. It’s not vulnerable to the economy, the news, the “experts”, or anything in the outside world.

It’s a deep lasting motivation. It’s internal. You feel it deep in your soul.

I call this life long motivation.

 

Which brings us to a question:

How can you develop life long motivation?

 

 

The 5 Step Process to Develop Life Long Motivation

Below I share with you the 5 step process to develop life long motivation.

 

Step 1: Identify and Write Down Exactly What You Want

Above all else you must identify your purpose. You must know why you were put on this earth.

When you know exactly where you want to go, it plants the seed for life long motivation.

Here’s a great exercise to start gaining clarity on where you want to go in your life:

Take out a piece of paper and get ready to write. Imagine 5 years have passed. Everything you have wanted to accomplish has happened.

What is your day like?

What activities do you do?

What relationships do you have?

How do you make money?

How much money do you make?

How do you feel?

What are your hobbies? 

Write. Write. And write some more.

 

Step 2: Write Down Why You Want It

Knowing what you want is the first step, but knowing why you want it feeds your motivation.

Basically you’re establishing a purpose for your purpose.

So look over your 5 year vision. Then write down your response to this question:

Why do you want to achieve this vision? What impact will it have on your life if you fulfill this vision?

 

Step 3: Develop The Step by Step Plan

A killer of motivation is ambiguity, or a lack of knowledge.

Therefore to nurture motivation you need to gain knowledge and establish clarity.

A critical part of gaining clarity is to identify the specific steps you must take to fulfill your vision.

Look at your 5 year vision. Begin to write out the specific steps that you will need to take to fulfill that vision. Don’t make this difficult. You aren’t going to know all the steps. But you will know some of them.

Develop the plan. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it’s got to be something.

By creating this plan you have created a map to start working with.

 

Step 4: Take Action on Step 1

So you have put together the plan to fulfill your vision. Now is when the rubber hits the road.

You need to take action on step 1.

You have identified exactly where you want to go, why the vision matters, and the plan to fulfill the vision.

Now, take the first step to make it happen.

This brings an alignment between your daily actions and where you want to go over the longterm.

This brings meaning and purpose to each day… Which is fuel for lifelong motivation.

 

Step 5: Reflect Then Adjust

Motivation-and-Pride-Picture-QuoteAfter about 1 week take a look at the actions you have taken. Reflection allows you to learn from your experiences and to increase the rate at which you achieve what you want.

Basically, this allows you to constantly learn and grow as you move forward. As you learn and grow you will become the person you need to be to fulfill your vision.

Look at the actions you took over the course of the previous week and answer these 3 questions:

What actions are moving you towards your 5 year vision? Keep doing those.

What actions are preventing you from achieving your 5 year vision? Stop doing those.

 

What is 1 action you can start taking this week to accelerate you towards achieving your vision? Immediately implement this.

Remember: a huge killer of motivation is a lack of knowledge. When you feel like your just running on a treadmill it kills your motivation. By taking the time to step back and assess your actions and plans you are providing fuel for your motivation.

 

Above All Else Take Action

Here’s the simple reality, you can spend a lifetime waiting for motivation to strike… and it might never happen.

But right now, this moment, you can take action.

As you can see with the steps above when you take action, you give yourself the opportunity to gain motivation.

I’ll end this with a quote:

“You are much more likely to act your way into feeling, rather than feel your way into acting”.

 

Head over to The 30 Year Old Ninja to learn the critical mindset, steps, and principles to turn your dream into a reality. Izzy coaches people one on one and runs an online course to help you Achieve The Impossible. You can also follow him on Facebook to get daily inspiration.

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18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Joey Tawadrous

    Oct 27, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    This post is incredibly motivational, words cannot describe. I’m always trying my best to find ways to keep motivated, but this post really does hit the nail on the head.

    Thanks you so much!

    – Joey

  2. Mia

    Oct 24, 2013 at 9:30 am

    a lifetime to master

  3. Nilishia

    Oct 18, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    Purpose- Sounds amazing , as if it makes u LIVE.. but how to find that thing you want so bad?? especially for people like me who find passion in everything(almost)?? thus making it impossible to decide THE purpose!!

  4. Shivam Pandey

    Sep 28, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    i really want to do great in life and no matter how many plans i make , i tend to overlook them after some days although i dont want to. the motivation is there but there is lack of perseverance. could you help me?

    • Colin

      Sep 28, 2013 at 11:29 pm

      Surround yourself in the environment of your goals. If it’s a business, put yourself around business people. If it’s welding, take welding classes. Most of all put yourself around the kind of people you want to be like or who are doing the same thing as you want to do. Perseverance is hard when your starving of the ideas you need. those people offer you the knowledge you need to keep you going.

  5. Sergey

    Sep 26, 2013 at 6:21 am

    Friends, the short term motivation is Hope, the long term motivation is Trust.

  6. Margarita Rara

    Sep 7, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    That’s a good one, thanks for reminding. I believe most of the people do some prep work but taking Action some times get difficult so, last point “Take Action” is most important.

  7. Praktikos

    Sep 6, 2013 at 4:43 am

    simple, easy , practical steps towards achieving greatness…NOW is the only time we have and ever will have, bless

  8. Onyeka Nchege

    Sep 4, 2013 at 2:16 am

    Great post Izzy. Absolutely agree with all…..especially step 2. You have to be crystal clear about why you are doing what you do because there will come a time when the going gets tough and you will need to remind yourself why you started down the path in the first place.

    Thanks for sharing.

  9. Donne Roma

    Sep 2, 2013 at 8:03 am

    Great article, and great advices!

  10. Ade

    Sep 2, 2013 at 1:48 am

    Just a question:
    How do I develop my own vision? Because right now I’m kinda working in line with my Dad’s vision (though awesome, cos he seems to know me even better than I know myself) and I’m also in tune with an Uncle who I have taken as my role model. Sometimes I feeling that I’m not autonomous in any way when it comes to career decisions especially. How do I overcome this and begin developing my own vision?
    Thank you.

    • Mohan Embar

      Sep 2, 2013 at 8:50 pm

      Hi Ade – for me the answer to that is to make sure that whatever path you’re taking is one you’re passionate about. My grandfather wanted me to become a doctor and offered to pay my full university tuition if I did that. The idea of becoming a doctor didn’t appeal to me at all, though.

      • Garry

        Sep 7, 2013 at 2:40 pm

        What if you find, while quickly moving through middle age, that you tend to merely like many things but are unable to pinpoint a passion?

        • Prashasti

          Sep 20, 2013 at 8:02 am

          It can be difficult, but if I was in your position I would probably list them down and evaluate on the basis of passion level, practicality and finance required. Hopefully, I’d get something which works in all ways for me. The idea needs to work in all spheres (at least, that’s what I think) 😉
          P.S : ‘liking’ things won’t be enough, you’ll need to be dying to do it 😛 come whatever may..

  11. Mohan Embar

    Sep 1, 2013 at 7:45 am

    Hi Izzy – first off, I totally agree with you that way too many people think that motivation is a prerequisite to achieving their lofty goals, despite Edison’s remark about genius being 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration. I’m tired of the Rah-Rah attitude that people think they need, so your article resonated with me. One additional point to consider is that successful people rarely go it completely alone. Sometimes a team, group, mentor, or buddy can inspire you in ways that simply willing yourself to take action can’t. (Just my $0.02 🙂 )

  12. Dionne

    Sep 1, 2013 at 6:53 am

    Motivation means nothing. It is temporary. You need to make doing the things that are going to make you succesful a habit.

  13. keithclarkeKeith

    Aug 31, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    Hey Izzy,

    Another excellent post, and… very motivating. The key thing that catches most of us is the sense of overwhelm we can encounter, so your line “Don’t make this difficult. You aren’t going to know all the steps. But you will know some of them.” is key 🙂 The only thing you haven’t mentioned is fear, which can stop the majority of us even acting on Step 1. So, I will end with a quote too, 😉

    “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”
    Dale Carnegie

  14. Monet Diamante

    Aug 31, 2013 at 4:41 am

    I like the list. I like to write down the goal and work backwards. Sometimes it’s easier for me to determine the first step when I have developed what the rest of the path will look like, as well as a “reasonable” time frame. Similarly to my short term goals–if I have somewhere to be at 6 pm, I work backwards: shower by 4:30, gym by 3, so on and so forth. Thanks for this article!

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Motivation

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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.

Nearly half of Americans report the coronavirus crisis is harming their mental health, according to the Washington Post. While many of us had routines set up to deal with stress in the past, the stress we are facing during this time is unlike anything we’ve experienced before. It’s easy to find yourself in a downward spiral, and that’s the most challenging time to stop the momentum and turn things around. If that’s the case, keep it simple and start to reach for little things to help you feel better and climb your way out.

Here’s a reminder of a few simple things you can do right now to start getting positive momentum going your way:

1. Find someone who was in a similar place and made it to the other side

Whether you’ve been unmotivated to workout, eat healthy, make sales calls or simply do anything, you can find someone who has been there and made it to the other side. Look up some great TED talks, go on YouTube and look up people that motivate you, google them to find their websites. There are short speeches and much longer talks all over the internet, you just need to find someone who you relate to that speaks to you.

2. Do something that you love

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

Not much can lift our spirits and put us into a positive vibration more than our favorite music. Feel free to sing along. Find a song that pumps you up and make that your theme song. Put it on anytime you feel down or unmotivated.

7. Expand your knowledge

“In times of change, the learners will inherit the Earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” Quote by Eric Hoffer. In times of change, there is great loss but also great opportunity. Continually learning opens you to new opportunities and leads you to paths you may not have otherwise found.  

“Work like there is someone working twenty four hours a day to take it away from you.” – Mark Cuban

8. Meditate

If you’re already a meditator and got away from it, take some time to come back to it. If you’ve never tried, it can be as easy as setting a timer for five minutes (or less, feel free to start with one or two minutes) and focusing on your breath. Listen to the inhalations and exhalations. Silently say to yourself “in” as you inhale and “out” as you exhale. Even taking a few minutes to do this can help you to calm down and allow your mind to refocus.

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