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

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It’s Thursday, 8 PM. I’m relaxing at home, doing normal things, and scrolling social media. Tomorrow is a big day. There are lots of things to do with moving pieces of furniture because I’m moving to another city. On top of that, a repairman is coming to my house at 8AM, so I’ll have to get up early.

I plan to relax, buy some chips, and watch Netflix. After all, there’s lots to be done tomorrow. When scrolling social media, I notice a post from a girl I used to date back in time. The post contained her having a great time with a boy, who seemed to be her new boyfriend.

Suddenly, I didn’t feel like buying snacks and watching Netflix. I felt an exciting feeling of both motivation and melancholy. This caused me to set an alarm at 5:40 on the next morning, and storm through different tasks. This phenomenon is something I call “dark motivation”. Today, I’d like to explain what it is, and how you can use it to your advantage.

What is dark motivation?

Dark motivation is a form of motivation that is based on a certain urge to complete tasks and improve yourself in any way possible. It’s caused by different feelings that are negative, but very powerful. It’s natural for a human being to feel jealousy, insecurity, and the urge to compare. Although it’s good to let go of those feelings, they can sometimes be a great resource.

When I saw that post, I felt like I wanted to make progress. My subconscious wanted me to feel good because seeing that girl with another boy caused some negative emotions. And one of the best ways for me to feel good is to improve myself somehow. 

Dark motivation is a very powerful way to motivate you to step out of your comfort zone and push yourself towards your goals. The pain of sitting at home and doing nothing urged me to exit that situation by taking action. Even when I ended up getting too little sleep.

“We Generate Fears While We Sit. We Overcome Them By Action.” – Dr. Henry Link

Examples of dark motivation

Dark motivation can be caused by pretty much any negative emotion. These emotions include jealousy, insecurity, anxiety, discomfort, and anything like that.

When you see someone you dislike being in incredible shape, you’ll probably feel motivated to work out. When you get fired from a job, you’ll feel motivated to seek a high-paying job and advance in your career. Or you may be motivated to improve your social skills after a break-up.

Dark motivation relies entirely on negative emotions. Some people could even say they’re immature and childish. However, they’re natural for us and you can definitely use them to your advantage.

See, when you improve your career after getting fired, some part of your mind wants to get revenge on your boss and make them regret their decision. When you date people after a break-up, some part of your mind wants to make your ex jealous and prove that you’re better without them.

These forms of motivation are usually more powerful than motivation in normal situations. An urge to move away from pain is way stronger than a desire to move towards pleasure.

How to use dark motivation to your advantage

Spicing up your motivation with these feelings is like adding a strong supplement to your workout routine. It will be very effective, but it can be harmful if you use it too much. See, if you constantly compare yourself and let jealousy and insecurity take over, you’ll probably face problems with your mental health.

My advice is this. Remember that you don’t need to compare yourself to other people, and achievements don’t make anyone a better human being. True confidence comes from inside, and you don’t have to prove yourself to anyone.

However, dark motivation is very beneficial if you use it every now and then. When you know there’s something you should do but you don’t feel like doing it, try to add some dark motivation and see how you feel.

Next time you know you should work out or complete a task, dig deep into your mind. See if there’s a certain feeling of insecurity or jealousness that can motivate you. And once you’ve completed the task, let it go. It may feel uncomfortable for a while, but nothing great in life comes without effort.

We all have some insecurities and underlying emotions that can be used as dark motivation, so why not use them to your advantage? Learn to control them in a way that they don’t bother you in your everyday life, but you can expose them when you need to. This is the best way to use dark motivation to your advantage.

This was my guide about dark motivation. It’s possible that you know this phenomenon by a different name, but the principles are the same. With a little bit of practice, you can channel your negative emotions into bursts of motivation and eventually be grateful for having them!

Use dark motivation with caution though. I guess you want to be a happy person in general. Apply it in a way that doesn’t harm the overall quality of your life, but is just enough to keep you improving yourself constantly!

Veikko Arvonen is a blogger with a burning passion for self-development. He's the author of Maxed Out 20s, a blog where he shares how he turned himself from an insecure, heartbroken teenager to a confident, ambitious blogger with a plan to become a successful online entrepreneur. With years of experience, he wants to help you to become happier, more confident, attractive, and respected by sharing everything he has learned during his journey. Be sure to check out his blog and get your FREE ebook about confidence.

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Change Your Mindset

5 Ways To Achieve Your Goals (With Examples)

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Setting goals is a crucial first step, whether you’re striving to reach personal or professional milestones. However, achieving those goals requires planning, determination, and focus. In this post, we’ll discuss five actionable strategies that can help you achieve your goals in 2023, and we’ll provide real-life examples to inspire and motivate you. By implementing these tips, you can train your brain to achieve your goals and make meaningful progress toward your aspirations.

1. Write Down Your Goals

The first thing needed to achieve a goal is to have one. A goal becomes very clear and precise once you have written it down most simply and easily to remember.

Here are some examples:

  • I am the world’s best dancer!
  • I am the greatest athlete!
  • I have created the world’s most innovative tech company!

They are all written with the belief that these things have already happened. Once you start believing it has already happened, other people too can sense your confidence and things start happening.

“If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy and inspires your hopes.” — Andrew Carnegie

2. The One Page Plan

A simple one-page plan to accompany your goal is much more powerful than a detailed 30-page plan. After you have written your clear goal – write down all the things you will have to do to achieve it. Make it as simple and direct as possible so that you can refer to it every day and take action. A simple plan is easier to follow and keep up with.

3. Get The Right Skills

Once you have a clear goal that has been inked into your mind, and a clear plan in place, it is very important to invest in the skills you need to achieve your goal.

So for example, if you want to become a movie star, you should immediately start developing your acting skills. Observe how other actors perform, join an acting class, read about acting, and most importantly, start honing your craft by joining a local theatre group and going for as many auditions as you can. Practice is very important for mastering any skill.

Struggling To Achieve Your Goals? Here Are 9 Possible Reasons Why! 

4. Surround Yourself With The Best People

The best way to achieve our goals is to make sure we have the best people supporting us. People who succeed are always those who understand the power of people.

So let’s say your goal is to be an entrepreneur and you have developed your entrepreneurial skills, the next step would be to get the best people to join your team to help you achieve your goal. These would be people who you consider to be the best marketers capable of getting you the best customers and investors.

Once you have the best people supporting you, it becomes much easier and faster to achieve your goals.

“It takes tremendous discipline to control the influence, the power you have over other people’s lives.” – Clint Eastwood

5. Power of Faith

Nothing beats the power of faith and belief. Sometimes you might face challenges, sometimes things might not be going your way, and you might feel like giving up – these are the times when faith and belief will keep you going.

So many people give up, just a few inches away from victory. I am sure you are not one of them since you are investing time into self-development which gives the highest returns! Now go out there and start achieving your goals!

Need more motivation? Read our blogs on motivation and become your best self now!

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Change Your Mindset

5 Easy Ways to Find Motivation When You’re Feeling Stuck

One of the easiest and most beneficial ways to get motivated is to get up and get active

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We’ve all had those days when we feel like we just can’t get motivated to do anything. Whether it’s an important task that needs to be done or something we just don’t feel like doing, it can be hard to get going. (more…)

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Change Your Mindset

7 of The Best Motivational Speeches of All Time

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What could we possibly achieve by listening to motivational speeches? Isn’t that a waste of time? It’s not. A great motivational speech can be a trigger to action. It inspires you to do something. Powerful speeches make you realize you’re not just a useless individual in this world. Everyone matters. You matter, too. (more…)

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Change Your Mindset

Motivational Advice You Never Hear From Elon Musk

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Elon Musk is the hottest entrepreneur on the planet right now. From launching an electric car into space, buying Twitter, and tunneling holes throughout the country, his unconventional ventures are inspiring millions. (more…)

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