It’s no secret that the more motivation you have for your goals, the faster you’ll reach them in addition to achieving substantially more success in the long term. However, the problem is the majority of people have a really hard time waking up early, working harder than everyone else, and reaching their goals much faster.
Understand, these aren’t special skills only the select few are born with. Anyone can get into a routine of getting up at 5am if they really want to. Anyone can go from an average worker to a high performer in a relatively short period of time. The problem is the majority of people don’t have that level of desire to do these difficult things.
The problem of “desire” leads us into the issue of external motivation. External motivation is you working for just money to get a car you’ve dreamed of or any kind of materialistic item you’ve set your heart on.
To clarify, I’m not saying materialism is bad. What I’m saying is it’s not wise to put external motivators as your main source of motivation for this very simple reason, it’s not a good long term source of motivation.
Once you have that car, house or financial income you wanted, then what’s next? Often times it leaves you with a feeling of emptiness because the satisfaction of getting your new car or house only lasts for a very short period of time. Then once you’ve achieved it, it becomes harder and harder to push for something new because there’s little to no inner drive to get up and achieve more.
Internal motivation changes this dynamic because the internal reward of mastery or purpose isn’t tangible. Instead it’s never ending and when something is never ending you just want to keep working more and more.
Below are the 3 different types of internal motivation you can start using today:
1. The Desire to Win
This comes from the legendary Tim Grover in his book Relentless where he talks about the unrelenting and never ending drive of his clients to win such as Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. All these guys wanted to do was win. The millions of dollars they earned were simply a bi product of their constant desire to win.
To work this hard and for this many hours requires much greater motivation than simply money. On top of which, almost every single billionaire including Donald Trump, has said they’re not motivated by the money. Money is just a way of keeping score. It’s not the actual motivator.
“The starting point of all achievement is desire.” – Napoleon Hill
This one is arguably the most important. Almost every single successful entrepreneur has some kind of bigger purpose motivating them. Take Elon Musk and Steve Jobs for example.
The main difference between these two isn’t just their work ethic but the individual purpose each one of them has to work hard. You could argue these two entrepreneurs have had the biggest impact on the world we live in.
When you find a bigger purpose for your work you’ll surprise yourself at how much you start to enjoy what you’re doing. You may get external things as a result of your success but they’re not the driving force of why you wake up early everyday and get to work.
The reason mastery of a specific craft or multiple skills is so important is because once again, it’s never ending. There isn’t a point in your journey where you can completely master something because there’s always another level to reach. This is one of the reasons video games are so popular because there’s always a higher level to get to. You don’t want to stop playing until you’ve reached that next level.
With all of the internal motivators especially mastery, it becomes difficult for other people around you to understand why you work so hard. Everyone around you is after the next pay check to buy a house or buy a new watch which they can show off to their friends.
Nonetheless, being motivated this way typically means the person has no real love for what they do because if they did love what they do, the real satisfaction would come from some internal driver like winning, getting better at their craft or working on towards their purpose every single day.
“If you want to learn something, read about it. If you want to understand something, write about it. If you want to master something, teach it.” – Yogi Bhajan
It’s very easy to see a very wealthy person and see all the cars, glamour and big houses and think, they’re materialistic. But in almost every single case, these external things were simply a bi product of their success. They weren’t the motivator to be successful in the first place.
Once you change not only your level of desire but also the kind of desire, you completely change the game of success for yourself because now you’re in a position where you actually want to work hard.
You don’t have to feel like working hard or getting up early is a chore and I guarantee once you start to find powerful internal motivators, you’ll be surprised how much and how hard you want to work towards achieving your goals.
How do you motivate yourself? Let us know in the comments below!
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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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