The Secret to Motivating Yourself

Have you ever thought…

“I really need to start working out.”

“I’d love to start my own business.”

“I really need to make a career change.”

“I’d like to go back to school to finish my degree.”

Well, if so, you are likely to find many different articles about how to motivate yourself, and of course that’s ok because in truth, there are many different theories behind what motivates someone to do something.

However, there is only one secret that will truly make you want to act on your goals.  That is, your goals must be accompanied by an emotion which will force you into action.

The core motivators for action are pain and/or love.

You will either be drawn in by love in the form of pleasure, happiness, and joy; or the motivation to run from fear – all that you would be afraid to experience.

You find that some studies will favor love and others will favor fear.  Then you might ask yourself, “If this is the case, then which one works better?”

Well, they both work, but the question is which one will work more effectively with your personality?

Whether you’re looking to make a career change to do what you love, going to the gym to lose weight, or going back to school to finish your education…maybe it would be worth your time observing whether you’re too comfortable where you are?  Maybe there is no push to make a change because there is no true threat in your life, or no inspiration to go beyond what you already have because you are already secure.

If this is your situation, then damn…what do you do?

You can motivate yourself by applying one of the following:

Love

You need to find reasons that will inspire you and drive you to what you want.  Some people wish to make goals because they feel it will make their family happy, or because the feel that their goal will bring financial freedom and the pleasure of working from home or working from their laptop anywhere around the world.

According to Professor Ron Siegel of Harvard University, you need to find more reasons of joy than unpleasantness to motivate yourself.  He states to write two columns.  One for “Jolts” and one for “Joys,” then call up the feelings you experienced for each emotion, and imagine those experiences and feelings of when you felt joy.

Fear

From what I observe of others’ lives (as well as my own) there is only one way I completely agree with the most. The one thing that will make you – push you to be motivated – to motivate yourself to do whatever it is you want to do in your life…and that is to make yourself uncomfortable.

You can make this happen by imagining what would happen if you didn’t start going after what wanted.

For example, if you been wanting to start your own solopreneur adventure, you could tell yourself you’ll be stuck forever making someone else’s dream happen and having to ask permission for vacation to spend time with your family.

Another example could be if you don’t make “x,y,z” happen you could end up homeless or have nothing in your retirement account by the age of x…or whatever reason that would put you in fear of what could happen if things remained the same.

The truth is, there can be traces of danger and uncertainty in this method, but we are wired to get ourselves out of it.  According to Siegel, “Our modern brains are still wired up for the ancient evolutionary purpose of surviving in a dangerous environment. Over a million years or so, we developed specialized neural structures that selectively tuned in to danger signals. The prospect of getting attacked necessarily outranked all other neurological priorities.”

Now does this mean jumping into a river if you don’t know how to swim? Does this mean putting yourself in front of a bear with chances of being mulled? Of course not!

It simply means make yourself uncomfortable about how life would be if you didn’t take action so that you are likely to get you’re tush in gear!

On a Personal Note I’m sharing with you…

I have always been motivated out of fear. In the beginning, almost everything I pursued was because I was afraid of the consequences – of how life would look like if I didn’t make the amount of money I wanted; would this mean living in my car again or always having roommates in Los Angeles?

I made myself afraid – angry with the alternatives, but then you get to a place where taking action becomes a habit and you find yourself no longer having to find reasons to motivate yourself.

Just remember that motivation will always come from within.  You can look to others for inspiration, but not for motivation.  If you can learn to implement ways to motivate yourself, then you are definitely on your way to reaching the ultimate freedom… and a happiness greater than you’d ever known.

REFERENCES:

Siegel, Ronald. “The Science of Mindfulness: A Research-Based Path to Well-Being.” The Great Courses, 2015. http://www.TheGreatCourses.com.