It’s not what you say to everyone else that determines your life – it’s what you whisper to yourself that has the greatest power.
The most common problem with motivation, often not understood until later in life, is that when we say we’re looking for motivation, it implies that our motivation is somehow hiding behind a bush or under a rock somewhere. But that’s far from the truth.
The truth is, our motivation comes from doing the right things. When our efforts have meaning behind them it motivates us to take the next step. For me – and we’re all different – I am motivated primarily by two core ambitions:
- Knowing more today than I knew yesterday, especially as doing so relates to meaningful projects and desires
- Easing the pain of others
Living by these two core ambitions on a daily basis, and regularly reflecting on the progress I’m making, invigorates me, personally and professionally.
That’s really the most important aspect of generating long-term motivation: knowing what your core ambitions are (figuring out what truly drives you) and living by them. Think about it: Underneath all the things you say you have to do, at the end of each day, what is the meaning and value you hope to create?
Once you’ve got that down, and you’re on a meaningful path, a pertinent question remains:
What’s the easiest way to motivate yourself through life’s inevitable moments of negativity and discouragement?
Truth be told, in the near-term there will always be little stumbles along the way – those bad days when you’re tripping over a rocky road, and all you need is a quick pick-me-up to re-center your mind and regain your footing. It’s really important to be prepared for these situations too. Because, as human beings, we tend to be generous with our own nonsense and pessimism. And while it may seem logical, or just easier, to feed our inner negativity, please remember that the diet we need to be on is a mindful and positive one. Be cautious with what you feed your mind and soul – watch your self-talk. Fuel yourself with sensible thoughts and let that fuel propel you into positive action.
When you’re feeling dispirited, and lacking the mindset you need to step forward, reflect on the mantras below. Over the years, Angel and I have worked with hundreds of course students who have successfully used these mantras to fuel their positivity and motivation on the toughest of days. So pick one (or more) that’s relevant to your present life situation, and repeat it in your mind until it sinks in…
- Learn to value yourself, which means: fight for your happiness and peace of mind. Tell yourself, “I am ENOUGH!” anytime you begin to feel like you aren’t. What we do in life ultimately comes out of who we believe we are. [Read more…]