The secret of motivation is that it begins between your ears. Motivation is like a puzzle and you have to see how the pieces fit together before you can get the full picture. How you view the world, beginning with your mind and attitude, will hinder or help you on the path to getting and staying motivated.
I can’t say this enough. Motivation does not come from external sources. On the contrary, it’s all driven from your internal resources. In my experience, some of the pieces to this puzzle can be found in the following life principles:
- Change Your Attitude: Attitude is at the foundation of motivation. Success and even how you deal with failure and challenges will depend very much on your attitude, first and foremost. Everything that happens to you has to be viewed through a certain lens. That lens is either positive or negative attitude and motivation. A friend of mine was told years ago that he had less than a year to live. He spent the rest of his days focusing on the 10 percent chance the doctors had given him. His final days were positive.
- Take Ownership: You own your life. No one else does. Your boss, your spouse, your job, etc. are not the owners of your life. No one can “make” you feel happy, sad, overwhelmed, motivated or whatever else. Only you can make yourself do that. It is you who wholly owns your life. You are where you are because of your own actions or inactions. When you assume ownership, it empowers you and gives you control. And, that control helps provide you motivation.
- Erase “I Can’t” and the Excuses: When my daughter was young, I taught her early that she should not use the word “can’t.” To be motivated, you have to believe in your potential and opportunity. Saying, “I can’t make money,” or, “I can’t find a new job,” is defeatist. All you’re doing to yourself mentally is providing excuses. To recharge your motivation, erase the “I can’t” and dispose of the excuses. Life is not easy. We all have challenges, but your chances of success increase exponentially if you get out of your own way.
- Get Off the Couch: Newton’s First Law of Motion is absolutely correct: An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion. Motivation comes when you are moving forward. If you’re looking to get and stay motivated, you have to move. One of the easiest things you can do for yourself to help you nurture your motivation is to get out and connect with nature. Move. Exercise. If you live in a concrete jungle, then join a group and connect with others. But, whatever you do, don’t sit on the couch and watch the world pass by.
- Commit: Motivation comes by committing to something. In other words, making a decision. And, when you’ve made the decision and the challenges arise, stay committed to what you decided to do. Anything worth having will become a challenge, which is always an opportunity to reaffirm your commitment. This is how we all grow as human beings. Commit to a decision, stay the course and you will see your motivation increase.
- Do the Work: Sustained motivation takes consistency and the only way to place fuel on the fire is to do the work. Big goals take time to achieve. It’s important to spend a little bit of time each and every day working on it–even if it’s only 15 minutes. A friend of mine is looking to begin his own business; however, he has to work at a job and cannot afford at this time to work on his own. He wakes up 2 hours before so he can work on his products and then when he returns from work at night he makes phone calls and has networking meetings. He does this every business day.
- Accept the Consequences: Finally, accepting responsibility for consequences is actually an opportunity to stay empowered and motivated. Again, you are the owner of your life and you have control. Take responsibilities for mistakes you’ve made along the way. This is an opportunity to learn and master your goals, with the mistakes that will occur along the way. And once you accept the consequences and learn from them, move on.
Wayne Elsey is the founder and CEO of Elsey Enterprises (EE). Among his various independent brands, he is also the founder and CEO of Funds2Orgs, which is a social enterprise that enables nonprofits, individuals and organizations to raise funds while helping to support micro-enterprise opportunities in developing nations.