In this post, you will learn some important information that can teach you how to be motivated for your success journey. Motivation is the reason for people’s actions, willingness, and goals. It is the ignition system, or the spark plug that provides the energy you need to get started.
Motivation is that desire that causes you to act and move toward a goal. It is the crucial element needed to set and attain one’s objectives.
There are two kinds of motivation:
- Extrinsic: The person is inspired by forces outside themselves. These might involve rewards, social recognition, money, or praise.
- Intrinsic: The inspiration comes from within. These could include performing a complicated action just for the personal satisfaction of solving a problem.
How Do You Set A Goal?
Ask yourself why you are setting the goal and what to you want to change. Identify why the goal is important, as this knowledge will strengthen the motivation you need.
Divide your goal into small, specific tasks that you can measure. Identify specific acts you need to do to move toward the greater goal.
Because these smaller goals are easier to accomplish, reaching them will encourage you, plus you can now have the satisfaction of crossing that small part of the process off your list.
Your optimal goal should be slightly out of reach — not too hard and not too easy. This represents an attainable challenge.
Do you have a plan to reach each of these smaller goals? You need to plan your work and work your plan.
What Makes Up Motivation?
Motivation has three major components: Activation, persistence, and intensity.
- Activation: You make a decision to start a process, such as enrolling in a class you want to take
- Persistence: Your continued effort toward a goal, even though obstacles exist. It could involve a significant investment of time, energy, and resources.
- Intensity: You need concentration and vigor to pursue a goal. If you take advantage of the opportunities presented to move forward, even if they require more time and energy, you can reach your goal more easily.
What Things Motivate You To Act?
Here are three different theories meant to explain motivation:
- Instincts: Some major psychologists propose that there are a number of basic human drives that motivate our behavior. These include biological instincts important for survival, and could include fear, cleanliness and love.
- Needs and Drives: The drive theory says that people have basic biological drives, and behaviors are motivated by the need to fill these drives. These include such needs as food, water, and sleep.
- Arousal Levels: According to this theory, people are motivated to become involved with behaviors that help them maintain an optimal arousal level. For example, if you have low arousal needs, you might be satisfied with relaxing activities such as reading a book. If you are a person with high arousal needs, you might seek out exciting behaviors, such as auto racing.
Sometimes in your life’s journey, you will come to a point where you feel it easier to change than it is to stay the same. Every choice has a price, but with motivation it is easier to deal with the inconvenience of change, and it actually becomes more painful not to do the work.
Surprisingly, motivation often comes after starting a new behavior, instead of before. It is often the result of action, not the cause of it. When you start something new, even in a small way, you create a form of active inspiration that will naturally produce momentum.
Objects in motion tend to stay in motion. Once you begin a task, you will find it easier to move forward.
The hardest part of the task is often just at the beginning. Once you start, the process becomes easier. You will find that it is often easier to finish a task than it was to start it initially.
How To Get Motivated
If you want to make it easy to find needed motivation, it helps to automate the early stages of the process.
Set up a schedule. If you have a specific task to accomplish, such as writing, schedule the time when you will work on this project. Here is the difference between professionals and amateurs. Professionals set their schedule and then follow it. Amateurs wait to feel inspired.
Don’t just set a schedule, but build a ritual. If you set up a consistent schedule and perform the same routine each time you move to meet that schedule, you will be more apt to follow your plan through to completion. Make it a habit; it then becomes your ritual.
The key to a good ritual is that it removes the need to make these decisions: What do I do first? When and how should I do it? If you can fix a way to make it easy and automatic to start something new, you will find that when it becomes difficult and challenging, you will have the strength to finish.
Use These Steps To Make Motivation A Habit
- Make your first action so easy that you can’t say no. For example, when you write, start by getting a glass of water. That’s an easy start and sets the stage for a continuation.
- The routine you establish should get you moving toward your goal. Sometimes when you lack mental motivation, it is linked to a lack of physical movement. If you are physically moving and engaged, it is more likely you will feel mentally engaged and energized. Note that physical movement doesn’t have to mean exercise. If your goal is to write, bring your routine closer to the physical activity of writing.
- Follow the same pattern every time. The prime purpose of this starting routine, or ritual, is to create a series of events you always perform before engaging in a specific task. Your mind then tells you, “This is what I do before _______.” If you follow this routine often enough, it will pull you into a mental state in which you are primed to perform. You don’t need to find motivation, just start your routine.
There Are Three Rs Of Habit Formation
As it is often too much work to figure out what to do next, your starting ritual solves the problem because you know exactly what your next move will be. Here are the three Rs of habit formation:
- Reminder: Your cue or trigger that starts the habit (remember that glass of water?)
- Routine: This is the action you take; the habit itself. Now you sit down and start writing.
- Reward: This is your benefit for doing the habit. If your reward is positive, you will be more desirous of repeating the action.
We all love challenges, but only if they are within our capabilities. They must not be significantly below our current abilities, or they become boring. If beyond our current abilities, they can be discouraging.
If the task is right on the border of success or failure, we can become incredibly motivated. We love to master a skill just beyond our current abilities. This phenomenon is called The Goldilocks Rule.
This rule tells us that we experience peak motivation when we work at tasks right on the edge of where we now stand: Not too easy but not too hard, but something we can master.
Using The Goldilocks Rule, you can develop long-term motivation. Perhaps you are not motivated because you are bored, or you are experiencing great difficulty. Learn to pull tasks back to the border of your abilities. Here you can feel challenged, but capable.
Reaching Peak Motivation
When you are happy and performing at your peak, it is sometimes called “flow,” or being “in the zone.” Flow is the mental state of being so focused on the task at hand that the rest of the world disappears.
Flow can be called a state of peak motivation. In this state you will be driven to continue the task at hand.
Flow states can be linked to The Goldilocks Rule. If you are working on a challenge that is optimally difficult, you will be motivated and also happy.
Measuring your immediate process is one key to reaching a flow state. If you are facing an optimal challenge and receive immediate feedback about your progress toward mastering that challenge. you have achieved two of the most critical components of peak motivation.
Give Your Mind Suggestions
Consider all your thoughts as suggestions, not orders. For example, as I write this post, my mind is suggesting that I feel tired; perhaps I should give up, or find an easier path.
However, my mind is also suggesting that I will feel very good when I finish this task. It suggests I stick to the schedule; it suggests I have the ability to finish, even if I don’t feel like it.
Maintain your prospective. Life is good and this discomfort is temporary. Once your good work is done, you will never regret it.
Your life will lead you into constant battle over giving in to the ease of distraction or overcoming the pain of discipline. This delicate balance defines our lives. Will you fight the thousands of daily battles and tiny decisions by sticking to your plan, or by giving up?
Spend the moments in your life in a way that will make you proud.
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