A lot of us struggle with motivation — especially after a personal or business failure. Not to be cold, but at some point we all have those moments when either an internal or external forces zaps our motivation. The difference with successful people is that no matter what’s going on within them or around them outside, they can still find motivation.
Want to know where extremely successful individuals find this motivation? Here are eight places where successful people find their motivation.
They start with “why.”
Highly motivated, and successful, individuals always start with their why. After all, it’s the purpose, cause, or belief that inspires them to do what they’re doing. For instance, entrepreneur and Shark Tank investor Barbara Corcoran had a pretty simple ‘why.’ She never wanted to take orders from another boss again.
“I had 22 jobs before I started my own business at the age of 23, and I didn’t want one more boss telling me what to do. So I was motivated simply because I didn’t want a boss.”
If you want to be more successful, like Corcoran, find your why by jotting down a ‘Why Statement’ which is simply one sentence that clearly expresses your unique contributionand impact.
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Know their limiting step.
“What’s your limiting step?” asks motivational public speaker and self-development author Brian Tracy. “What’s the one skill area that’s holding you back? What’s the quality? What’s the action? Ask other people. Find out what you need to become good at.”
Tracey suggests that you, “Find out what’s keeping you stuck” and identifying the “critical limiting step that’s determining your success today.”
Embracing the ‘Hacker Way.’
Despite the negative associations, hacking isn’t just a bunch of nefarious individuals doing things like stealing personal information for their own good. There’s actually plenty of ethical hackers who want to make the world just a little bit better, such as Mark Zuckerberg.
“The Hacker Way is an approach to building that involves continuous improvement and iteration. Hackers believe that something can always be better, and that nothing is ever complete. They just have to go fix it — often in the face of people who say it’s impossible or are content with the status quo.”
Zuckerberg adds, “Hackers try to build the best services over the long term by quickly releasing and learning from smaller iterations rather than trying to get everything right all at once.” In fact, to support this mentality, Facebook has the words “Done is better than perfect” painted on its walls.
Staying focused on the big picture.
As Oprah Winfrey once said, “Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life, because you become what you believe.”
Remember, there will be days when you’re frustrated, sick, or bored by repetitive tasks. It’s on those days that successful individuals stay focused on the big picture – instead of throwing in the proverbial white towel.
But, how exactly do they accomplish big-picture thinking on a regular basis? They use strategies like:
- Blocking off “thinking time” when you’re the most creative.
- Have a conversation with someone, or write down your thoughts, to keep you on-track and block your brain from other thoughts.
- Pick specific goals to tackle.
- Identify the actionable first steps that you need to take.
- Start generating ideas – James Altucher has an excellent guide on how you can become an idea machine.
Surround themselves with catalysts.
There are people, and other internal/external factors, that can either excite or drain you completely. For instance, do you think you’ll be motivated by someone who is constantly pessimistic or criticizes every move you make? Or, do you think you’ll be motivated by someone who is optimistic and supportive?
Successful people seek out and surround themselves with the people who energize them and help them find their mojo. As Richard Branson explains:
“My professional inspiration has no separation from my personal inspiration: it is people who will stop at nothing to make a positive difference to other people’s lives. I am fortunate to come across quite a few of these game-changing people, and the desire to help (and keep up with them!) is what drives me.”
More importantly, you also need to make sure that you are your own catalyst. Control your inner dialogue and practice positive self-talk so that when you stumble you don’t beat yourself up. Instead, you’ll look for ways to improve the next time around.
Catalysts can also be inspirational books, quotes, documentaries, or any other outside force that can get you going every morning.
“If you love what you do and are willing to do what it takes, it’s within your reach. Don’t worry that you can’t seem to come up with pure billion dollar winners at first. Just do projects for yourself for fun. You’ll get better and better,” Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak wrote in his autobiography iWoz.
Don’t know your passion? Do some research, talk to your nearest and dearest, brainstorm your thoughts, and make connections. And, don’t be afraid to try something new. Getting out of your comfort zone introduces you to new people, experiences, and customs that you may become passionate about.
A sense of urgency.
Let’s be honest, if you don’t move fast then you’re going to get run over. That’s why highly motivated and successful people live with a sense of urgency. Thankfully, that’s something anyone can achieve if they follow these four steps:
- Establish an inspiring vision for their future by answering questions like “What is my life’s vision?” and “What goals do I want to achieve?” However, they also don’t sugarcoat the fact that there will realistic obstacles and setbacks along the way.
- Break down your goals into parts into smaller projects and set deadlines. Make sure that you identify the knowledge, tools, skills, or support you’ll need in order to get the job done.
- Identify the reasons or benefits to move forward by knowing why specific tasks are important, how it makes you feel, and what you’ll lose out-on if you don’t complete a goal.
- Create penalties and rewards.
And, always remember, “Without a sense of urgency, desire loses its value.” – Jim Rohn
They create and stick to healthy and effective habits.
You’ve probably heard this a million times; you need to take care of yourself. Exercise, for starters, keeps you physically, mentally, and emotionally sharp since it increases levels of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine which can help reduce stress and improve your mood.
Meditation also alleviates stress and improves your mood, but it also clears your mind so that you can focus. And, of course eating a well-balanced diet and getting quality sleep each night also improves your health.
However, successful people also create effective habits like being optimistic, learning how to say ‘no,’ maintained to-do-lists, understanding how to prioritize, and practicing and improving their skills.