Motivation is a tricky thing.
At times, It can be so elusive, one can only chalk the ebbs and flows of it to the gravitational pull of the moon.
Of course that is all hogwash. While there are a plethora of “new-age” thoughts out there that might try and explain to us why were are in the flow of motivation at one point and time and have it inexplicably escape us another, they need not apply here.
Why is motivation such an elusive state of being?
Why are we motivated for what only feels like some of the time. Why is it that it appears that everyone around us so motivated and we’re not?
I believe there are a multitude of reasons for this.
In my own personal experience I went from only having a few hundred dollars in my back account, living in a new city, having to sleep on friends’ floors and once sleeping under my car to get by to finding the motivation to write everyday, build the writing into a blossoming business online, work two jobs, build strong networks within those cities and through it all, stay motivated.
This wasn’t (and still isn’t an easy endeavor).
I have had my share of pitfalls and times where it seemed like I’d never get the motivation to get out of bed again let alone build a business.
The many facets that are required to build and maintain said motivation are what helped me drudge through the mud and ultimately remain above it.
1. Create a space that optimizes your motivation.
The space around you is a reflection of your consciousness.
When I was sleeping on friends’ floors I was in no space to be motivated.
I remember for 2 months I was with one friend in her studio apartment. Not only that, but there was another friend living there too. 3 people in a studio apartment, two of us sleeping on the floor.
After working my tail off to get my own place, I have kept that place like the “palace” that it is (even though I’m living with modest means).
I keep my place clean and tidy with a splash of my own personal twist. This allows me to think about the more important work that needs to be done.
2. Surround yourself with an empowering, engaging and challenging network.
In order to be motivated, you need to be enthusiastic about getting better.
You need a synergistic relationship with your friends and colleagues that foster a space of continuous improvement.
This is hard at first- especially when you see your network taking off before you. For me, jealously immediately set in. After time, however, they help pull me up with them. There are times where I return the favor. It’s cyclical in nature in fostering our motivations.
3. Budget your energy levels.
It is of dire importance to remain well rested in order to achieve your greatest levels of continuous output.
The myth of the over-night success is just that- a myth.
It will not come true. You are going to need to put in the work day in and day out. In order to do that, you must fuel your body with the proper food and get adequate rest.
4. Foster a short term memory.
This is important when it comes to setbacks.
Setbacks are going to come, this is inevitable.
When setbacks happen, there is a two route decision tree that arises with your next few mental moves:
you can follow the failure into a pit of despair. This will breed insecurities and lower self esteem. Both those states diminish motivation.
Or, you can learn from the mistake, promise yourself that you won’t make it again and move on. A failure is only a failure if you deem it so. What I mean, is a failure is perhaps the precursor to the next success.
5. Stay above water.
It’s hard to stay motivated when you’re paycheck to paycheck.
I’ve been there.
You feel you cannot focus on anything but paying the bills (and who knows sometimes if you’re going to be able to reconcile that).
I’ve worked multiple jobs at the same time. I’ve served tables and ended that shift at midnight only to turn on the Uber driver app on until 3am just to make ends meet. After building myself a nest egg and reducing some of that uncertainty, it allowed me to focus on the more important aspects of my work thus building my motivation.
6. Search deep into who you are.
Think about all the people that are “doing what they love.” Sure, they might have off days, but can’t you feel that they are in a state of optimal being?
The teacher who knew from a young age she would teach.
The Surgeon who powered through countless years of education to be at the top of her field.
The little boy who was racing kids down the street on bikes who is now an amateur dirt bike racer.
All these people made sacrifice to align their job with what excites them. This is important to stay motivated.
How can one stay motivated crunching numbers at a fluorescent lit desk making money for someone they’ll never meet?
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