I’m often asked, “What’s the best way to go about keeping my motivation for the task at hand from dwindling down on me?” — it’s an important question, and one that might be best answered by looking at the following example.
First, it’s worth considering that motivation is a state. Just as happiness is a state. Meaning, happiness is less a destination, or a place to “arrive at”, versus a feeling that one experiences in the given moment. You choose to put on that feeling!
To further illustrate, consider just about every time you remember having felt a true sense of joy in your life. It’s likely that it was around some event, or the thought of some event, happening, or experience right? That’s why we can rarely fully recapture that feeling of happiness or joy, at least to the extent we felt it originally, when we think back on, or in advance of, whatever event brings us happiness in the moment that we’re doing it.
Take a moment to pause and give thought to the ideas I just shared if need be. They are worth understanding. Now let’s put a big nice bow around this topic and delve further into exactly how it fits with creating sustainable motivation. Ready? Good let’s go!
While we are each unique and possess our own talents, gifts and life experiences, all of which have gone into making us the people we are, it’s also worth realizing that each of us has our own inner motivators — things that when triggered inspire us to some greater action.
In that respect, we can be motivated by others, sources directly outside ourselves, or something inside ourselves, a memory, or even a fear or past experience which we don’t want to see repeated, or play out in our lives.
In fact, we can go from feeling completely uninspired, to one in which we’re literally ready to take on the world! The change in how we view ourselves, and in particular our ability to achieve a thing can shift in a moment.
My point is that “staying motivated” has less to do with finding a way to remain in a constant state of inspiration, and more about realizing that inside you, you have the ability to shift from your current state, if it’s not serving to move you forward, to one filled with motivation to achieve whatever your given endeavor happens to be asking of you.
The way you begin your day counts — and it counts big time! In fact, it can literally frame what you and I take notice of through out any given day. Consider that for the most part we pretty much have a blank slate when we begin our day. With that said, the first things you do upon waking up can be critical, they can play a much larger part in how your day plays out then you might have ever considered.
What we take in and focus on at least to some degree sculpts our own thinking going forward. If you take in negative ideas and experiences, you’re going to be more aware of them as they happen (and more susceptible to the broken idea that that’s all you seem to be getting — negative experiences).
Fortunately, the opposite is also true. If you proactively begin your day taking in something of a positive nature it’s going to help you develop a positive attitude, you’re going to be more equipped to notice the good that’s around you, you’re going to even look for the good, when perhaps otherwise you may have missed it completely.
To better illustrate my point consider the wise words of Zig Ziglar, “They say motivation doesn’t last, well neither does the effects of bathing. That’s why we recommend it daily.”
As I’ve mentioned before there are countless ideas you can put into practice to maintain and build your motivational muscles. Here are a few more I recommend. As you give these a try keep in mind that personal development is a hands on project, which is to say you should adapt the ideas below so they work best for you.
Schedule regular points during your day where you refill your mind with material of a positive nature
Join or put together a group of people who share your understanding of the importance that having positive, inspiring people in their lives can play. A few such ideas might include joining a small group at your church or particular place of worship. You could also seek, or if need be, start a group where you all meet to discuss the latest personal development or audio program you all are reading or listening to.
From here on out stop with the broken idea that “this personal development and motivation stuff doesn’t work” just because you have to keep coming back for a refill every now and again.
Consider that the leading experts in any given field or industry, if they’re truly worth their salt, make the ongoing commitment to studying their craft. You just don’t attain the level of mastery without remaining plugged into and in ongoing learning mode. That holds true whether you’re talking about personal, professional or a combination of both.
And so it is with you my friend — if you want to keep your level of motivation at its peak you will need to regularly partake in whatever source you happen to choose, whether that be a book, audio program, or whatever, choose something ongoing that can regularly unleash your inner inspiration. The choice is yours!