I’ve been thinking recently about the crisis that is unfolding in my career. I’m likely to be out of a job soon and this very idea is causing me to take for granted what I already have.
I live in a country where there is endless opportunity, no war, hardly any violence, beautiful beaches and really healthy food.
Sometimes we need to take a long hard look at ourselves and realize what we have instead of being lost in thoughts of what we don’t have.
Let’s use my own situation to analyze what I have. I have:
– Some really good storytelling skills
– Great insight into social media
– Excellent sales skills
– A history of successful entrepreneurship
– An income generating side business
– Some evolving public speaking skills
– Phenomenal health
Now think about your own situation. When you think long and hard, what do you have?
We are actually very lucky.
Yes, you’ve heard it before but I’m going to say it again. The odds of you being born are massively not in your favor. Here’s the fact from my friend Google:
“The probability of you existing at all comes out to 1 in 10 2,685,000”
Just by being born you are already lucky. There’s no need to feel sorry for yourself because you’ve already won.
When you go through a rough time like I am with my career right now, the way you maintain your mindset is realizing how lucky you are.
All of us are already lucky and by remembering that in the tough times, it gives us the energy to stop ourselves from giving it all up and throwing in the towel.
During moments of chaos, you must remember how lucky you already are.
Someone may not see your talent but that doesn’t mean you’re not lucky.
That’s what I am telling myself today. People in my career right now are not seeing my real talent but that doesn’t mean I don’t have any or that I’m not lucky to be alive.
Sometimes the reality is the opposite of what you think. Sometimes the fact someone can’t see your talent has more to do with their weaknesses. Maybe that person who doesn’t believe in you is just very average and hasn’t developed any greatness of their own (yet).
Rejection often has nothing to do with you at all.
That’s why right now I’m not personally having a bar of it. I encourage you to say the following lines to yourself:
“I can be extraordinary regardless of outside opinions.”
“I will not let rejection blind me from my true talents.”
“Everything happens for a reason and this moment will appear lucky later on.”
The concept of luck.
My idea of luck is pretty extreme. I believe that the more good you do and the more you help others, the luckier you get. Becoming lucky has nothing to do with luck at all.
You can generate perceived luck by following this formula.
You can’t even start though unless you begin to see you’re lucky first.
“That’s because scarcity blinds you from the abundance that each of us has access to”
Put things into perspective.
Things could be tough right now but they could be even worse. That very idea should cheer you up right now.
There are highs and lows in our career and unless you can embrace both sides of this reality, you’ll get lost in a negative reality that forces you to think you’re not already lucky.
I’m guilty of that too – especially today.
What we must remember is so cliché: we have air in our lungs and are alive. This means we are already luckier than most things that exist in the universe.
Focus on how you can get to where you want to go rather than being lost in what you’re lacking. By doing this, you’ll realize how lucky you have it.
The job loss, divorce, sickness, startup failure – whatever – will serve you so much more when you realize how lucky you are with or without those challenges.
If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net
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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