As Zig Ziglar once said, “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing. That’s why we recommend it daily.”
Motivation is often misunderstood. It isn’t a mentor who tells you what to do. It isn’t a coach who wakes you up and makes you practice. Motivation is a selfish, individual frame of mind. It doesn’t care about the person next to you. It doesn’t care what you should be doing or what your friends, parents or spouse want you to do. It’s about what you want. And in the end, if you don’t really want it, then you will not be motivated.
There’s nothing I can say that is going to get someone out of bed and make them work harder. There are no words or phrases that I can tell you that will be so profound that they will force you to do what you need to do to get to the next level.
It took me years to really get motivated — to stop thinking about doing something and start getting it done. But it doesn’t have to take you as long as it took me. Here are what I call the six methods of motivation that have helped keep me going:
1. Make yourself a deal.
This is a great method to use when you’re working on something that you don’t feel like working on. During the daily tasks I’m required to do that aren’t necessarily the most interesting, I make a deal with myself. I convince myself that, if I finish this one task or this one chore, I will reward myself with doing something that I do enjoy. It’s a simple, reward-based concept in psychology, but it works wonders.
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2. Fake it until you make it.
I have disagreed with this thought process in some respects, but “faking it until you make it” can get you through some very difficult situations. On days when you really don’t want to do what you need to do, just do it anyway. Do it with a smile, and do it to the best of your ability. Sometimes, faking it until you make it is all you can really do. On days in which I am not in the mood to go to the office, I tell myself, “Do it now. Act like you want to. It’ll pay off later.” So far, I have been correct. This tip also works on smaller scales, such as getting yourself prepared to handle a task that you may not enjoy.
3. Have a positive morning.
I attribute much of my success to my process. A major part of your process, be it professional or personal, is the introduction. How you introduce yourself to the day is crucial. To get motivated, you have to get started. So, wake up early. Get your clothes ready the night before. Don’t wait until you get to the office to be prepared. Listen to a positive podcast, meditate, read a book, listen to peaceful music, eat a good breakfast and do whatever you need to do to get yourself into a positive frame of mind. Your attitude and mindset are everything.
4. Set big goals.
Small goals aren’t worth writing down. Dream big. Set goals worth working toward — goals that will not discourage you but motivate you to work harder and get better. Keep your goals in front of you. Put a picture of that new car or house or of your kids on your desk. Write down what you want to accomplish, and hold yourself accountable to those goals.
5. Start with the hardest task.
This method differs slightly from making yourself a deal but is similar. Start with the task that you dislike the most. Once you have accomplished this goal, you’re more likely to have a more positive outlook for the rest of your day. Don’t dread an upcoming task that you can do now. Don’t put it off, either, or you might never get it done.
6. Don’t fear failure.
Stop being afraid of failure. It’s OK to fail — and often. Just make sure that when you do, you are failing forward. Stop viewing failure as a setback. View it as feedback. Analyze, attempt, fail and then get up again. Failure is a natural part of life; accept it.
The point of these six methods for motivation is to find ways in which you can maximize your motivation. When you maximize your motivation, you can maximize your potential. This is the elimination of procrastination, the production of progress, and the manifestation of motivation.