Motivation is the stimulus that triggers you to take positive action. Motivation comes in two types. The first is self-motivation, which comes from within ourselves. The second is motivation from external sources.
Many of us have a dream that we would love to achieve. Our dream can be something we want to accomplish in our professional life, our personal life, or even in our social life. We might aim for a better job or promotion in our current job. Perhaps we want to set up our own business, become a best-selling author, or maybe a social-media influencer.
In our personal lives, we might seek to get married, have children, or move to a better neighborhood. We might be eager to travel or enlarge our pool of friends. The list of possible goals is indeed long, and some of us yearn for more than one achievement in our lives.
Having dreams is fine, but realizing those dreams is even better. Achieving dreams requires determination, single-mindedness, courage, and commitment. We will need to work hard and not be afraid to fail. As we gain experience and knowledge, we will become more confident.
Above all, we must feel motivated to begin the journey to fulfill our dreams and remain motivated. Staying motivated can be hard, especially if you think you are being thwarted frequently. Small frustrations can take on gigantic proportions if you lose your motivation, and soon you find you have given up on your dream.
How, therefore, do we get motivated and more importantly, how do we stay motivated? A whole industry has grown up dedicated to motivating people. Motivational speakers outline their recipes for success. There are videos, books, documentaries, and online courses available to anyone seeking motivation. Just by having a dream, we are pre-disposed to being motivated to trying to achieve it successfully.
Getting going and taking the first step on the journey to success will need some persuasion, but your interest is there, and the chance to succeed will be attractive. You may need someone from the motivation industry to light the blue touchpaper in you, but you are ready to be motivated.
How, then, do we stay motivated once we have committed ourselves to action? Self-motivation requires effort, and here are ten tips to help us stay motivated.
1. Setting goals.
Our dreams are usually a bit vague and woolly. The first step to achieving a dream is to turn it into a series of goals. A long-term goal will be the ultimate dream – let’s say, setting up a new business. Short-term and medium-term goals will be the stages on the road to the final goal.
A short-term goal in our example will be to draw up a business plan and set out a timetable that we intend to follow. Medium-term goals will include raising finance, getting suitable premises, and employing staff.
Often our dreams will involve being successful in business and earning loads of money. Great. There is no harm in thinking big. However, while you are traveling the road to success, you will need to be financially secure. Being aware of a shortage of money can destroy motivation. It adds to your stress and distracts you from your next goal. Before you start on your grand plan, try to make sure that you have an emergency fund set aside for those crises that will inevitably occur.
3. Avoid Loans.
Having some money behind you before you set off on your quest for success is good. Do not, however, try to fund your life with loans and credit cards. Avoid them if you can. Worry over debt is another way of destroying self-motivation.
The only legitimate reason to borrow money is to buy a house. Real estate is generally a good investment anyway, but buying a home is a necessary outlay for most of us.
If your dream is to set up a business, keep the business finances separate from your personal finances. Do not, for example, be tempted to use your house as security for any business loans you might be arranging. This is another inevitable cause of stress.
4. Keep company with positive folk.
Positivity rubs off, and you can help keep yourself motivated by mixing with other motivated people. Their attitude is going to be optimistic and confident, and you can draw on that yourself. Negative thoughts can soon be banished if you are with people who exude positivity.
5. Have self-belief.
When you are faced with a setback, don’t just let it defeat you. Remember that you have already overcome other obstacles. Believe in yourself and your abilities. Believing in your capacity for success is a brilliant motivator. You know you can solve the problem facing you because you have done it before.
6. Mistakes are not failures.
Often we can learn more from our mistakes than we can from our successes. If a task goes well, we can congratulate ourselves, but we will then move on. If we make a mistake, then we have to analyze why.
By thinking about the error, working out what went wrong, and seeking another way of doing the task, we are learning. Every mistake should be a lesson, and we must not see failure as a bad thing. They enable us to learn, and by learning, we can avoid the mistake happening another time. Don’t let motivation slip after a failure, but be more motivated to prevent it in the future.
7. Keep your motives in mind.
Periodically, it is good to step back and take a critical look at what you are doing and why. This will help you to see whether your motives are the same as they were at the start of your venture. Motives can change, and not always for the right reasons. Doing something for the wrong motives, especially those that fall outside the law, can be a source of immense worry and certainly will lead to motivation being affected.
There is wisdom in checking that your motives and the course you are following remains with the bounds of the law. It is easy to fall foul of the law, especially in areas where the law itself is not crystal clear.
8. Avoid stress.
We are told that stress is a killer, and there is nothing worse than worrying about worrying. Motivation will suffer if you are living with anxiety 24-7. Ensure that you carry out small tasks promptly, that you are organized and that the plan and timetable you laid out at the start are still being followed.
Try to end each day with a clear desk and an empty in-tray. Don’t take worries home with you. If you work from home, then set aside time for your family and relaxation.
9. Happiness is a choice.
Don’t let problems, difficulties, or setbacks get you down. They are temporary, and with a bit of effort and organization, they will be solved. Choose to stay happy, to be contented, and motivated. Losing your self-motivation will make the problems worse, as you will be less likely to solve them. Stay cheerful, and you will be easier to work with, and others will be more likely to help you out.
Remember that happiness should not be a final goal. It must be the way you lead your life.
10. Stick to the plan.
You will already have drawn up your plan of action and the timetable for carrying it out. Keep this in mind at all times, and you will continue to be motivated. Your plan itself is a source of self-motivation. Review your progress from time to time to make sure that you are still on course for success.
It is important not to worry about losing motivation. The important thing is to tackle it as soon as you realize your motivation has gone. Think about why your self-motivation has been lost and then look at how you can bring it back. Don’t ignore it, or you will come to regret your lack of action. Work to get that self-motivation again and get back on the road to success.