Welcome to the rest of my story, and the first installment in the Myths of Personal Productivity series. Let’s get started.
There’s a massive myth floating around that almost everyone I talk with on Academy Success struggles with.
When each reader joins the community, I provide the opportunity to answer a survey which asks a few basic questions – one of which is “what are you currently struggling with?”
More than 90% of respondents have answered the exact same thing – they struggle with motivation.
This post is going to address that struggle, and give you a solid strategy to never have to worry about it again.
Motivation is a Funny Thing
There’s a myth that high achieving individuals just possess this naturally high level of motivation, that it’s something you are born with, that either you have it or you don’t.
Honestly, this couldn’t be further from the truth, but still – it holds a lot of people back.
Because of this myth, a lot of would-be high achievers go through life believing they just “aren’t meant to be” high achievers, and they just accept that as the way things are and will always be.
That mindset is crippling, because if you believe something, in your mind it’s true.
Well let me cut you in on a secret. Motivation can be achieved at any point through the power of your mind and the way you see the world around you.
Here’s my own experience with busting this myth.
My Story of Much Needed Motivation
Not that long ago, I was at a point in my life I was in a pretty rough spot.
I was unemployed, I was constantly in a poor mindset, and I was heading down a pretty destructive road.
If it went on too much longer I don’t know what would have happened, but I certainly wouldn’t be writing this to you today.
What saved me was my desire to achieve, to be something better, and the positive influences that existed in my life.
I wasn’t motivated at all. I was doing almost nothing to improve myself… but I still had a need to not be mediocre. I also had a need to be better for other people as well – people that were very important to me, and still are.
- So I made myself get up and hit the pavement every day
- I made myself read self-improvement books
- I made myself smile
- I made myself socialize
- And I made myself keep improving and learning
Even though there wasn’t much tangible telling me it would be, I had faith it would all be OK.
Even though it was an uphill battle, I knew the mind was a powerful entity, and the only way out of my funk was to get control of it.
The Creation of Motivation
I soon realized that motivation isn’t something that just happens out of the blue. It has to be coaxed, manufactured even.
Eventually I learned to create motivation, and I learned to conquer the demons that were holding me back.
From there I clawed my way back into the workforce, completed my MBA, learned tons of new skills, hopped up the corporate ladder, found a great lady and married her, and started all kinds of new things.
While that’s a simplification of what went on throughout those years, what kept me motivated through all of it was my vision of what I wanted to be and achieve, the short term goals I needed to accomplish along the way to get there, and the inspiration I deliberately kept in my life as a reinforcer.
I wasn’t ‘naturally’ motivated at all, but I was able to manufacture the motivation I needed through harnessing the power of my mind and continuing to look for inspirations in my life.
The more I visualized how I wanted my life to be, the more I brainstormed and planned, the more real everything became, and the more excited I got about it what I could achieve.
And you can do the exact same thing.
If you find yourself in a demotivated state, first come to grips with the fact that you can change that state at any point, then take action to build your own motivational system to keep you going.
Truthfully, there are a plethora of ways to motivate yourself – dozens.
Here are three that are all pretty high impact techniques that I use in my every day life, and that you can begin to use right away as well.
1. Find Inspirations
Inspiration is extraordinarily powerful for motivation, because it hits you on a deep emotional level. The more inspiration you can bring into your life, the more motivated you will be through these emotional catalysts.
Movies, mentors, stories, biographies, quotes, personal contacts, communities, friends, family – anything that can make you feel good and want to achieve, make sure these are a constant presence in your life.
It’s a known fact in the business world that morale is directly correlated with productivity, and this is the same for any situation. The better you feel about what you’re doing, but more likely you are to achieve.
My wife is a constant source of inspiration for me. She makes me want to be better.
2. Motivational Inertia
Take advantage of momentum when you have it. If you’re up and moving and kicking butt, stay up and moving and kicking butt. If you’re sitting on the couch, get up and get your blood flowing.
Get excited. Get your mind churning, and keep that motivation alive.
It’s far easier to stay moving when you’re already moving – Issac Newton himself taught us that, and it’s true for motivation as well.
3. Visualize your success
See yourself in 5 years, 10 years, 15 years – What’s that picture of what you want to be in the future?
Do you have a huge pool in your backyard? Are you traveling the world? Are you relaxing in your beach house every weekend? How have you grown?
Whatever it is, you have to believe it will happen without a doubt. See it being the reality.
Even go as far as to brainstorm how you’re going to get there on a daily basis. The more you do that, the more tangible that picture will become in your mind, and it will become a part of you.
This will inherently drive you to achieve your goals. This is very powerful for building up your level of thinking. You’ll go from wondering how to make $10 an hour, to planning how to make $200 an hour, and more.
The higher you set your sights and believe you will achieve, the more your internal success mechanisms will guide you and figure out ways for you to get there.
Now, Your Call to Action
Make these three things an every day part of your life.
Motivation is not something that you either have or you don’t. It can be created at any point by any person. Tweet this
My story above is a perfect example of that, and yours can be too. So consider that Myth 1 busted.
Myth 2 builds on Myth 1 to examine another misunderstood aspect of highly productive individuals.
HINT: They don’t work as hard as you might think.
Keep an eye on your inbox for this one in the next couple of days. I’ll be teaching you a strategy you can use to work less, and achieve a higher level of output.
All of the big dogs use this one every day of their lives.
See you then.
PS: I’d love to hear your goals. What’s your picture of yourself in 5 years? Do you see it happening?
Toss me a reply and let me know how you’re going to get there (this in itself will help you stay motivated).