Keep your eye on the prize: How Motivation Works

Motivation works if you work on it. If you want to reach your destination you have to keep driving. Keep the flame burning bright. If the fire dies out, it’ll turn dark, cold and sullen. You’ll feel small, helpless and worthless.
What’s more difficult is getting back up. And reigniting the life in you. But don’t lose hope. You have to assess where you are in your life. Accept what’s lost and don’t dwell in the past.
“You have screwed up in the past. You will screw up again. Everyone is born with the ability to make spectacular mistakes.” -Jen Sincero in her book: You are a Badass
You’re not doing yourself or anyone a favor by feeling bad or sorry. You’ve sulked long enough, so stop dragging yourself around feeling guilty. It’s unhealthy.
Get over it. Forgive yourself.
Take the first step, recognize that you have a problem. And get up from that bed.

Motivation is a habit

To stay motivated, you have to remind yourself of your goals every day. Consistently. Every time you wake up is an opportunity to improve and be your best self. So from that moment on, you should be prepared to take on anything. Start by getting up, then stretch. Then make your coffee or have a cold shower, or shower first then coffee. And then exercise, go for a jog. Walk your dog. Do some strength training. Whichever you prefer.
Create a routine of welcoming the day. Prepared to finish tasks and reach your goals. It won’t always be a sunny day and it’ll be gloomy. You can’t control the weather, but you can control your activities. A good example of a person with great work ethic: Kobe Bryant. He said this on one of his interviews: “If your dream is to be the best basketball player, you should start working out early and put in the hours to your craft. You’ll catch up to your older competitors and the newcomers won’t catch up to you. Because you’ve trained more hours than they have. You start early in the morning. Rest. Train in the afternoon and again in the evening. Eat. Sleep. And do it again the next day. And again on the next days to come.” Or to that effect.
If you want to hear his words watch this short video Kobe Bryant on Workout Motivation
Also, if you’re planning to replace a bad habit with a more productive one. It’s best you stay consistent and do the activity at the same time every day. Because it’s easier to create a new habit that way. I’ve read this in the meditation app that I downloaded on my phone called Headspace. It’s a good app if you’re a newbie on meditation and want to try it out.
However, there’s a myth that you’ll be able to create a new habit in 21 days. The truth is it’s gonna take longer than that. For you to be able to create a new habit, it has to become a part of you. Which takes me to my next point.

Motivation should come from within

A good friend of mine said, “The problem with watching motivational videos is you feel like you already have achieved something. Thus, you feel good about yourself and you end up doing nothing.”
Motivation should be intrinsic. It should be fuelled by your desire to do better. Your own need to achieve your goals. Your motivation should have a great depth and meaning in your life.
If you’re friends and family urges you to push forward. Have inspirational talks with you, that’s great. They are your support system, they’ll be there if you need a hand. But if they have to carry you and remind you every now and then, what will happen if you need to tread your life journey, on your own? What happens if they’re not around? No one’s watching. No one’s cheering.
Another extrinsic motivation is superficial things. You’ll work hard to earn money because you want to buy new clothes, the latest gadgets, and luxurious cars. Or you’ll become a gym rat because you want to look sexy. What happens then, if you’ve worn your new clothes and have bought the new iPhone. There should be a bigger picture. Becoming rich, because you want to donate to charity and help those in need. Or you’re looking out for your health that’s why you regularly exercise.
And yes, I’ve inserted a link to a motivational video but watching it won’t suffice. And it shouldn’t end there. They’re motivational for a reason. We can relate experiences of these successful people with ours. And we become inspired by their words and the idea that if he/she can do it, so can you. Which is true, but you have to act on it. These videos serve as the spark. You need to get the fire going.
Photo by Joshua Newton on Unsplash

Motivation is hard work in itself

You can’t say that you’ll only start working hard on your goals if you find the motivation to do it. Because you need to exert effort to get motivated. And more to sustain it. Successful people don’t wait for an inspiration to come before they act on their goals. Rather, they are motivated right from the beginning. They start working, learning along the way, and then comes a eureka moment.
Keeping yourself motivated is tough. It requires focus, patience and more. Focused as to not lose sight of your goals by jumping to the future. Staying in the present and doing something more with what you can control, rather than with what you can’t. Because if your mind is not in the present and you’re worried about the future, you end up doing less.

So, be patient with the results and with yourself. Nothing worth it is easy.
You’ll need to endure stressful and painful situations. These are all necessary because once you get to know more about yourself, and what you do. Things will become more pleasant.

Once it starts rolling…

Starting anything is difficult. Imagine yourself stuck in an alleyway and there’s no other exit but the one in front of you. No ladders, no windows, and behind you is a tall plain wall. And a huge boulder is in front of you blocking the way. Why? and How? I don’t know, just to support what I’m trying to say here. So the only way to get out is to push the boulder out of the way. You can’t climb the boulder because it’ll only roll towards you and you’ll get crushed by it against the wall. You can’t crawl under the spaces between the boulder and the wall. There’s no other way, OK? All you can do is push.

Due to the size of this boulder, it would require you a tremendous amount of strength and perseverance to budge it. You will suffer from




But don’t give up, keep at it. Because once you get that boulder rolling and gain momentum. Pushing forward won’t be as hard. All that’s left to do is continue and soon you’ll get out and reach your destination. And the keyword there is momentum, everything will work smoothly once you gain momentum.

Here’s a BONUS point.

Your hard work will be all for naught if you can’t enjoy it. What’s the use of becoming successful, if you’re not strong and healthy enough to reap the benefits of your hard work? Everything is just as important as your health. It is your greatest asset.
Furthermore, having a healthy mind and body is crucial to staying motivated. If you are healthy, it improves your mood, thus, making it easier to muster that energy to get up. Driven to be your best self.
So, if you’re planning to quit smoking, I say do it. You know it’s what’s best for you. There’s only so much our bodies can do so don’t limit it anymore. If there’s a fire that should stay lit, it’s not from your lighter and cigarette. But the one inside of you.

Let’s get started, but first.

It’s time to get up. 
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