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Motivation

This Can Be Your Life If You Choose It.

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I was sitting down last week with a friend for lemongrass and ginger teas — because that’s how we roll in Melbourne.

My friend was telling me his recent life challenges and why he’d stopped replying to everybody’s messages.

I’ll get to the point: he’d got stuck in the daily grind.

Your life is not this:

  • Wake up
  • Eat breakfast
  • Go to work
  • Have lunch
  • Come home
  • Ask your partner how their day was
  • Play with kids (if you have them)
  • Look forward to the weekend
  • Go to bed
  • Rinse and repeat

If this is how your life is, chances are you’re going to have challenges. Not because these daily activities are a problem but because there’s so much more to life.

When every day is the same, and you don’t know why, you become lost.


What do I mean by lost?

You go back to old ways. In my friend’s case, his mental health issues kicked in again. He started feeling sorry for himself. He lost his way.

For me, getting lost looks like going back to a state of negativity. A state where the world is against me and everything feels impossible.


Your life can be different if you choose it to be.

This is not hyperbole. Your life can be different.

How?

By not getting stuck in the daily grind. The way you do this is by being present. Noticing right now instead of looking down at your phone.

You can also break your routine. Don’t do the same thing every dayAdd some small twists and turns to how you do things.

Your life doesn’t have to be boring and full of routines. Habits are good to have as long as they don’t become 99.9% of your day. Having nothing but habits takes the variety out of your day.

You end up thinking the same way day in and day out. This stops you from seeing the endless opportunities that are available to you if you can only see them.


There has to be meaning.

No matter how big or how small, meaning gives you a reason to wake up outside of just following some pre-defined routine.

My friend that was going through issues last week didn’t have a meaning. He’d forgotten why he came to work. To shake up his reality, I told him about the day before where I’d volunteered at the local homeless shelter.

He asked me why I did it.

I told him It gets you out of your head. It makes you think and feel completely different. You stop feeling sorry for yourself. It reminds you of what it’s like to have a meaning.


We make the mistake of thinking everyone’s life is perfect except ours.

“I get this all the time. People think I live some rockstar blogging lifestyle full of free lunches, endless high-fives, smiles and opportunities. The reality couldn’t be further from this fake idea”

I have the same battles and challenges.
I get stuck in routines too.
I sometimes chase productivity over meaning as well.

No one has a straight flush of perfect days where all their hopes and dreams come true. Rejection, punches to the face, and disappointment affect us all.

The way you choose the good life is to acknowledge and push through the difficult parts of life.

As hard as I try, some days just suck. Some days I don’t feel like writing or my career is in the dumps.

The only difference is what you choose.

For me, I choose to keep moving forward. I choose optimism even when nothing makes sense and all the chips are stacked against me.

There’s no secret hack other than choosing to not settle for a life of routine and one that contains no variety.

You get to make that choice. That’s the difference.

The life you want is your choice. It’s not made for you.

Choose to change things up.

<<<>>>

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

Aussie Blogger with 500M+ views — Writer for CNBC & Business Insider. Inspiring the world through Personal Development and EntrepreneurshipYou can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.com

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

What Is Dark Motivation and How Can I Use It to My Advantage?

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The Killer Morning Routine to Boost Motivation

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Motivation

Why “No Pain, No Gain” Is More Powerful Than You Realize

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