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Saturday, May 19, 2007

Motivate Yourself!

Table Mountain, Cape Town, as seen from Robben Island
What drives you? How do you get yourself revved up? How do you start a task that may seem daunting and long, that almost defeats you just by thinking about it? Where do you find the inner energy to get going on something in order to accomplish something else that hinges on you doing the first thing?

The true answer to all of the above lies in the middle of the last sentence – accomplish something else - is the key to motivation. In other words, when there is something to be done it typically is being done for something else to be accomplished. There is a bigger picture that needs to be kept in mind at all times! Here are some common examples:

  • Sitting down to write a daily number of pages, in order to have a complete manuscript after the course of a year, in order to sell it to a publisher in order to have a book out on the market
  • Going to the gym every morning in order to have a toned body
  • Sketching something every day in order to perfect your skills as an artist, in order to have the chance to have an art exhibition
  • Regularly writing vocabulary of a foreign language that you do not yet fully understand into a notebook, along with the definitions, as you read a book or magazine in that language, in order to be able to speak it in due time
  • Practicing the piano every day in order to be able to become a concert pianist
  • Cooking a healthy meal (as opposed to ordering out for fast food) in order to have a healthy body, in order to have a slim body
  • Practicing tennis twice a week in order to become a good player
  • Taking photographs on a regular basis, along with reading about techniques, in order to become an excellent photographer
  • Building a website bit by bit, day by day, in order to have a comprehensive website to suit your particular requirements in order to attract clients towards your products or services in order to have a successful business
  • Organizing clutter in a closet in order to have a “peaceful” room and home
  • Mopping the floor in order to have a clean kitchen

You will have noticed that the first part of each of the examples above has to do with the more onerous aspect of something, and the latter part of each of the examples has to do with the accomplishment of some challenge, dream, or goal.

The goal is where you find the motivation, but in order for that to work, the thought of that goal already being a reality in your life must create some excitement in you. Obviously the kind of excitement a clean kitchen or organized room or house can generate is quite different in quality from the kind of excitement having your book published will generate, or the kind of excitement you may find in thinking about having a toned body, or a successful business. However, each of these goals has it in them – if you are interested in achieving them – to generate a strong sense of motivation in you.

Imagine how it would be if you had already accomplished whatever it is you are after – no matter how small and insignificant it may seem – or how huge and impossible it may seem. Simply imagine the results as if they had already been attained, and how you would feel if that were the case. Generate the feelings you would have if that were so. Connect to the part of you that wants this, and hence, that feels excitement about this. Generally this will bring a sensation of excitement into your solar plexus, or your heart will pound more rapidly. Again, some goals will create much more excitement than others, but in order to find the motivation, you need to find the excitement related to that goal.

Because this is so important, it is in fact better to begin with larger, major goals, that truly generate excitement in you (read also my June 2006 Newsletter Finding a Meaning for Your Life) in order to better understand the process of how to find these goals. Once you have connected to the type of excitement I am referring to (which literally means connecting to yourself), you will find it much easier to connect to the same excitement for smaller, less apparently important goals. And there you can find motivation. Go for it.

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