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The Motivation Behind 5 of the Most Successful People Ever

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Do you wonder what motivates and drives some of the most successful people in the world? Often, the answer to the above question is one of the following: Power, money, or fame. Maybe those are motivators for some people, but not for the most successful.  

The factors that keep successful people going are much deeper. We can learn valuable lessons from these people and how they are able to achieve sustained success.

Here is the motivation behind 5 of the most successful people! Share this video!

1. Michael Jordan – Failure

Michael Jordan is arguably the greatest basketball player of all time.  He became one of the best by using failure as motivation. Jordan was quoted saying, “failure makes me work even harder.”

When Jordan was in high school, he failed to make the varsity team his sophomore year. The day he found out he wasn’t on the team, he went home, locked his room, and cried himself to sleep. At that point, he could have given up. Instead, he went to work.

He spent hours practicing basketball and once said when he got tired on the court he would visualize the varsity basketball list without his name.  That would give him the motivation to start going again.

The next year, Jordan made the varsity team and averaged more than 20 points per game. His senior year he averaged a triple-double.

He could have become complacent, but he continued to work hard. His work ethic combined with failure as his motivation, helped him win six NBA championships, earn six NBA MVP awards, six-time NBA Finals MVPs, and much more.

“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” – Michael Jordan

2. Oprah Winfrey – Taking Responsibility for Your Life

Oprah Winfrey didn’t grow up privileged. She was poor, abused, and a minority in the 1950’s. The odds were not in her favor. Though most people would have used her background as an excuse, she did not.

Oprah once said on the Larry King Show, “Basically the message of The Secret is the message I have been trying to share with the world on my show for the past 21 years. The message is that you are really responsible for your life. You are responsible for your life.” She also said, “the way you think creates reality for yourself.”

Oprah’s motivation was understanding she could accomplish big things in her life by owning her outcomes. Instead of using her horrible past as a crutch, Winfrey took responsibility for her life.

Some of her accomplishments include a top-rated talk show, the OWN television network, an estimated net worth of $3 billion, and numerous philanthropy projects where she has given away hundreds of millions of dollars.

3. Steve Jobs – Mortality

There is no doubt Steve Jobs changed the lives of millions of people. He was brilliant. The motivation behind some of his biggest accomplishments was death.

Jobs said in a commencement speech at Stanford,” Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.  Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.”

During that speech, he also said, “for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”

To Jobs, there was no bigger motivator than death. Knowing he would eventually die helped him accomplish outlandish goals. It was even used as a motivator to create some of his boldest inventions including the iPhone and iPad.

4. Walt Disney – Curiosity

Most of Walt Disney’s early life was checkered with failure.  He even filed bankruptcy in his early 20s after the failure of a cartoon series in Kansas City. Luckily, for millions of children and adults, his curiosity to do big things kept him going.

Disney said,If you dream it, you can do it.  We keep moving forward, opening new doors and doing new things because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.  All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.”

This thirst for curiosity helped him produce Mickey Mouse, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and several more Disney characters.  Additionally, curiosity led him to purchase swamp land in Florida for the future of the most well-known theme park in the world – Walt Disney World.

“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” – Walt Disney

5. Tony Robbins – Hunger

According to Tony Robbin’s website, he is the nation’s #1 Life and Business Strategist.  He has helped more than 50 million people worldwide through his audio, video, and life training programs.  

Jillian Knox Finley wrote on MyDomaine.com, “We asked Robbins what he believed to be the single most significant gap standing between mediocrity and greatness.  His response: hunger.”

According to Finley, Robbins said,”I think the most common thing is hunger.  If you look at the people who are most successful on the face of the earth, they don’t just have hunger for a while.  They have hunger for a lifetime.”

Robbins, himself, has hunger to help people.  His hunger is how he has been able to help so many people over the past 38 plus years.

The most successful people aren’t successful because they were chasing money, power, or fame.  They are successful because they have something deep within motivating them to succeed.  

What is the motivation that keeps you going? Please leave your thoughts below!

Travis Scott, most importantly, is a husband and father of four in Ohio. In 2011, after losing a child and spending nearly a decade as a financial advisor, he decided a change was needed. Since then he found a career he loves, sold an app business, and learned what was most important in life. He also started StuffParentsLike.com where he provides tools to lead a happier & richer life for parents and teaches how he makes over $1k a month selling on Amazon part-time. You can follow Travis on Twitter @StufParentsLike.

Motivation

How to Stay Motivated to Achieve Your Goals

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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.

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” – Zig Ziglar

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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Motivation

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