I don’t know if you and I have this in common, but here goes! I have ideas! I’m a dreamer and I have great ideas all the time! Mix my ideas with my entrepreneurial nature and I have 2 solid business ideas or inventions almost daily. I used to have problems staying motivated to make the ideas I choose to “run with” come to life.” I have discovered the best ways to stay motivated that work for me, perhaps they will work for you?
Lack of Motivation
The first and best step in staying motivated is to determine what causes us not to be motivated or to lose motivation in the first place? This is an important aspect to understand. Pinpointing the causes of your motivation concerns, or lack of motivation concerns is important:
- Does lack of focus shift you from one idea to the next?
- Do you get bored?
- Do you lose interest?
- Seeing what others are doing and thinking “I’ll never get there.”
- Feel like you can’t make a difference
- Not satisfied with your progress (think you should be successful already)
These are just a few. I could go on and on all day with the reasons why motivation evaporates. We are all unique. Take a minute to think of a few times in your life when motivation dried up on your journey. What are the reasons this happened?
Look closely at the reasons you come up with. There is a possibility that the goal you had, or whatever it is you set out to achieve, didn’t fit you. I had a comforting moment with this exercise because I realized that I wasn’t “failing” I was growing. I’ve lost motivation so many times in my life shortly after take-off that I considered myself a quitter or a failure because of it. The truth came out when I wrote down the reasons I lost motivation.
I began to realize that I was going in the wrong direction. I wasn’t motivated because I was going in the wrong direction! I accepted that it’s ok to go in the wrong direction. Going in the wrong direction is better than not going in any direction. I was “crossing things off my list” that needed to be crossed off my list to get me where I am today. When I go in the wrong direction, it isn’t long before I figure it out!
A major aspect of staying motivated has to do with going in the right direction. Once you pinpoint the reasons you lost motivation in the past, you will begin to realize that you are not to blame. I know, we are “suppose to take 100% responsibly” for our actions, but sometimes we are taking the wrong actions. We should be proud of ourselves for figuring that out instead of beating the shit out of ourselves because we aren’t trying to “make it happen.” When it isn’t our truth, our purpose – it isn’t going to happen. Why? We will lose our motivation!
Once you realize why you have lost motivation in the past, you will begin to realize that what you were doing, wasn’t what you were supposed to be doing. If you were going in the right direction, if you were living your meaning and purpose, the reasons you had for fizzling out wouldn’t exist.
You Do Not Lack Motivation
Ah! Now you can stop beating the shit out of yourself! You can stop thinking that you have a problem staying motivated. I am certain that you do not have a problem staying motivated. You must believe this to be true as well! If you tell yourself that you have a problem staying motivated or that you lack motivation, you will become what you say you are (an unmotivated person). Be careful what you say to yourself, your words have power!
You don’t have a problem staying motivated, trust me. You just haven’t found your path yet! You will! The important thing is to not quit trying. Does that mean that the next thing you are going to try your hand at is going to be the answer? Nope! It means you need to be kind to yourself and open to the experiences you encounter.
This Is An Incredible Perspective
Think of it this way: For every venture you’ve been on, you’ve been gathering the tools you will need when you discover your destiny. Not a single experience you encounter, good or bad, will be wasted. Not a single minute of your time or a single penny of your money will be wasted. If you look at your past with this understanding, you will not feel defeated. You will not feel “slumped” for any reason whatsoever, including because of the illusion of being an unmotivated individual. You are not.
I don’t Agree With My Research
I am not one to take a polarized viewpoint or stance for the sake of being different. It’s not me. There are times that I disagree with my research and this is one of those times. I always research the topics I am going to write about for the sake of learning other perspectives and to challenge me to dig deeper into my logic. Here are some of the things I came across concerning motivation that I don’t “buy into.”
Make it fun
Ok, here’s the deal. I don’t completely disagree with making what you are doing “fun.” It should be fun. I find myself writing silly article headlines at times because it makes the article I am about to write, fun to write! Having fun is awesome and can certainly boost your mood.
However, I think using “fun” to stay motivated is a band-aid. If you are having to make something you don’t enjoy doing “fun” to get through it, it is not sustainable. You can make something you enjoy “fun” and there is no harm in that, but if you are attempting to sugarcoat a task or a discipline necessary to achieve a goal, it won’t get you to the finish line..
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I don’t Like That
Are there going to be things you have to do in life that you don’t enjoy? Sure there are. Successes road is full of things that have to be done that you are not going to enjoy. Why not accept this fact and then use “the big picture” of what it is you are trying to accomplish as the fuel to overcome these challenges or complete these tasks.
It doesn’t have to be “fun” in my book, it does, however, have to be necessary. Accept that there are things you are going to have to do are not going to be fun. If your dreams and your goals outweigh these obstacles, you will jump over them! You don’t have to be having fun when you jump over obstacles or doing things you don’t like. What’s more important that tricking yourself to being motivated by trying to make things you don’t like doing “fun,” is being determined.
“Determination kicks the shit out of having fun” – Philip Isaac
Surrounding Yourself With People Who Support You
I am a huge proponent of surrounding yourself with people who are positive and that support you, however, whether I have people like that around me or not is not going to determine whether or not I succeed. We can’t control other people. Sure, we can control who we surround ourselves with and we shouldn’t be making things more difficult for ourselves by hanging out with negativity all day, I agree with that 100%.
What I don’t agree with is “mandatorily” hanging out with positive people. If your dreams are big enough and your reason for accomplishing your goals is powerful enough, then you’d accomplish them even if you were on a deserted island with no “supporters” insight.
These days, social media has enabled us to form tribes that are so incredibly powerful. Nobody on any of my social media platforms is spewing hatred or negativity out of their mouths. My tribe is constantly pointing my successes out to me when I fail to recognize them (I have a hard time realizing my accomplishments at times). My tribe says things to me that certainly empower me, but I would still be going in the direction I am going in without them.
My pint is this: If you create a supportive environment for yourself as I have, it is incredible. However, if you are dependent on your environment (people validating you and confirming your direction) then you have inner work to do. I’m not being mean, I’m being honest. If you would do what you are doing with nobody watching or following you, because it is “what you are supposed to be doing,” then you are going in the right direction. If motivating to continue regardless of your “following” or “success so far” is not a problem for you, you are going in the right direction.
Having supportive people in your life is nice, but it should not be a necessity.
Don’t Compare Yourself With Others
I am a human being too. I am on a Personal Development journey too and will be, just like you, for the rest of my life. This topic “Don’t compare yourself with others” is a pill I find myself continuously having to swallow.
The other day, I got a follower on Instagram who was an 11-year-old kid. This kid has thousands of followers and his posts get thousands of likes. When I saw that, I felt it in my gut. How in the living hell does this little kid have so many people hanging on his every word? WTF is he doing that I’m not doing? I had to wonder if he was making more money than me too lol?
Comparing ourselves with others is a killer. I believe this killer stops people from even getting started on their journey in the first place. Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever talked yourself out of doing something because of the competition? I’m guilty of this a time or two in my life.
We forget that we don’t have to be great to get started but we do have to get started to be great. Even when we do get started, we see other people further along on their journey than we are and we get discouraged. It happens to the best of us!
I’m not sold on “don’t compare yourselves with others.” I think it can be negative, but it can also be positive if you choose to reframe it and use it for good! I have chosen to do just that and I am about to share my secret weapon with you.
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If someone is more successful than you are, how did they get there? Great question! Did they wake up one morning and “poof” have everything they have? No, they worked hard for it. How many years have they been working hard for it? Great, now you know how long it’s going to take you! I don’t know about you, but that’s pretty encouraging and motivating to me!
If you want to take my secret weapon to another level, try this:
- Backtrack the person you want to be (not that you aren’t unique, I’m only referencing their success) and see the step they took to get there. If they had a podcast (like me for example) go back and listen to their first episode. Get a feel for how they’ve grown! Put things in perspective concerning their journey and yours! Did they start great?
- I did this with the little kid that started falling me. I looked at his first few posts. Nobody was liking him. It took him years to get the followers he has. I also found out he plays the “follow/unfollow game.” This is where you spend all your time following people and then unfollowing them once they follow you! You end up looking really popular! You have thousands of followers, but you aren’t following anyone. You must be the “shit.” This poor kid spends all his time playing this game because having followers and likes are important to him. I know he plays this game, because he unfollowed me as soon as I followed him back (I have an app for that lol). My point is this, things are not always what they seem. Don’t get too caught up in the appearance of peoples success. As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t;’t recommend concerning my self with other peoples success in the least.
I didn’t Stop There
I also backtracked this with a guy who is extremely successful in podcasting (what I do). His first episode was conducting using his cell phone. He interviewed someone over the phone. What a tremendous boost this gave me. I thought, if this guy started out interviewing people using his phone, I’ve got him beat! I have a studio, soundboard and software programs. I thought to myself, if he can get where he is now, then I can be 10X farther than he is in the same amount of time it took him!
Yes, it is a matter of perspective! If you compare yourself to someone who is further along than you are, this can be toxic. However, if you backtrack their career you will find that they too, didn’t start great. This will have you believe “if they can do it, so can I.” You will also have a gauge as to “how long it’s going to take to get there.” Pretty cool!
Use your map, and use other peoples map too! (genius)
The Best Ways To Stay Motivated
Put it in writing
Whatever your plans are, write them down. This isn’t hard, do it! Take a notebook and write down where you want to be in a year from now and who you have to become to get there. Repeat this with 5 years from now and 10. You might not know exactly where you want to be at this very moment. That’s ok!
If you are uncertain, write down where you think you’d like to be and who you will have to become3 to get there. You can work on this and fine-tune it when things come into focus as time evolves. Your goals may shift. Your desires may shift. With any luck, your goals and your dreams will get bigger! If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough.
Not relying on others to keep you positive is something I discussed earlier, but keeping yourself in a positive mindset is critical. If you are positive, always thinking of solutions rather than problems, your outlook and your success rate because of your outlook will be greatly enhanced. You are much more likely to accomplish things when you believe they are possible because you will put more effort into them.
Greater effort yields greater results. Greater results along the way speed up the process. Putting your “whole heart” into your work will greatly increase your success rate (sounds logical, because it is).
I mentioned earlier that I overlook my accomplishments at times. I am aware of this and strive not to overlook the things I have done and revel in where I am right now because of it. It often helps me to go back to the beginning of my journey.
I remember not having a blog and writing my first article. My bog was naked lol. I had nothing. Now, I have so many incredible articles that people email me about and comment on. I am reaching people. My messages are having a positive impact on people’s lives and sometimes sparking conversations which deepen my understanding of other people and their perspectives.
These are the best ways to stay motivated!
- Writing it down makes it tangible.
- Staying positive keeps your head up (a must)
We Are Growing, Something To Be Proud Of
Going back to the beginning and looking at where you are now is an incredible way to reward yourself. Some people suggest rewarding yourself with something tangible (going to the movies, having dessert, etc.). I think the greatest thing you can do to reward yourself is to look back over your work and see how far you’ve come. This encourages me! I find myself asking myself this question: “If I can come this far in 6 months, how far will I have gotten in a year.” It’s a “wow” thought.
You can get twice as far in the next six months as you can in the first! How come? You have connections now. You are more valuable to others now! People want to “hop on your train” now. In the beginning, nobody wants to be your first passenger lol. 6 months later, everyone realizes that your train is leaving the station and they want to be on it. You’ve believed in yourself so much so far that others start to believe in you too.