Motivation has been on my mind for a while. I recently started a freelance writing career, which is worlds away from my science-based profession.
Sometimes I wonder why I started it, and what motivated me to do something so radically different from the initial trajectory of my life. That got me thinking about motivation in general.
What is Motivation?
The Business Dictionary defines motivation as:
Internal and external factors that stimulate desire and energy in people to be continually interested and committed to a job, role or subject, or to make an effort to attain a goal.
Sounds about right to me.
The definition above specifies that the factors that stimulate that drive in people could be internal or external.
Intrinsic motivation originates in the mind. People want more from life than keeping their head down and staying in line. They want to do more, be more, and you’re no different. I want to do something more than go to work in a ward coat and come home exhausted every day. I want to challenge myself to do something more, be something more.
Who doesn’t want to live better? We all would like a nice(r) car, bigger apartment, shiny toys. If there’s something we’re doing that can get us there, we’re going to wake up every day and go do that thing.
I read something on ViperChill that perfectly described this kind of motivation:
…the story of the salesman who looked out a restaurant window and noticed a snowstorm brewing. He asked his waiter, “Do you think the roads will be clear enough in the morning to travel?” The waiter replied, “Depends if you’re on salary, or commission.”
The point of the story is that if you’re on a set salary, you’ll likely phone your boss and tell him the roads are too bad to travel. If you’re on commission, you’ve got to go and make the sale. Otherwise, you don’t eat.
When you’re on fire for something, you’ll go out in a storm to get it.
You started out with a plan, with a mission to change your life and affect your environment. Then you encountered some setbacks, and you’re wondering why you got yourself into any of it, and how soon you can drop it and slink back into a quiet, stress-free life.
I wrote this for you, and for myself too. Here’s a list of what you can do.
- Focus On The Destination: Why did you start your journey? What are you trying to become, to achieve? More traffic for your blog? A published book? Financial freedom?
- Set Goals: You can know what it is you want to achieve, but breaking it down into SMART goals can be difficult. I’m still refining my goals, so I’m leery of writing them out here to live permanently, but if anyone asks, I’ll tell. 🙂
- Celebrate Your Wins: When you hit one of your milestones, drink to it! Take a breath and appreciate how far you’ve come. Don’t party too long, though. Set a new goal and jump right back in.
- Use Incentives: Sometimes, we might need inducements to get out of bed and put in work. The incentive could be the thought of the commission you’ll make on that sale, or the energy boost you’ll get by exercising. It could also be the promise of a special treat to be consumed only after getting it done.
- Play The Harder Level: So you’re putting in the work, but it doesn’t excite you. You’re bored. Spice things up! Think of new ways to challenge yourself. Set harder goals. Demand more from yourself. Change your routines so they spur you to greater heights.
I hope reading this has stimulated someone to take action in their life and their circumstances. Leave a comment below about your goals and your motivation, or contact me one-on-one. I’m excited to hear from you.
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Have a great week! Get motivated.