Posts Tagged motivation

Finally, I’ve Discovered the Secret to Motivation!

18 June 2012

I have changed a lot in the last few months. I had a year vacation that I’ve only just returned from. A year of sex, drugs, and rock’n'roll- debauchery unending. The year was amazing, I had a total blast and learned a lot about myself as a person. But learning who you are is not quite the same as growing into someone new. Just knowing who you are isn’t enough to make you a better person- you have to DO something with that knowledge. After a year of introspection without action, I returned home and resumed my personal development. Within weeks I’d changed so much about myself I don’t even want to write it down because no one would believe me. I hope in this and future posts I can capture some of the metamorphosis I’ve undergone.

Let’s kick this off with my most evasive opponent, my oldest foe, the patriarch of all productivity- Motivation. For years I thought motivation was the thing I lacked and the reason I never accomplished anything. Instead of taking RESPONSIBILITY for my procrastination I took the VICTIM stance and blamed my ineffectiveness on my utter lack of motivation. “Well I’m not motivated, so I don’t do what I’m supposed to.” See that? That’s a victim statement, which I’ll talk about later. Just keep it in mind.

So by blaming motivation for many of my failures, both personal and professional, I attributed a cause that I thought I could ‘fix’. If I could just figure out what motivated me I could accomplish so much! If I could find that one thing to drive me throughout life I’d be unstoppable! I cannot tell you how many things I tried, how many books I read and how many excuses I made on my journey to become a motivated individual. I decided money didn’t motivate me, because offers of money didn’t make me work harder. I decided objects don’t motivate me, because I’m not really a materialistic person. (Which I am, but ‘stuff’ doesn’t sound like its worth working for.) My journey went on, I’ll spare you the details.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but I’d discovered and perfected a new form of procrastination! I call it, “Discovering the Cure for Procrastination.” I now know that instead of working like I was supposed to I was looking for an external reason for my laziness. An unrealistic and imaginary ‘cure’ for an ‘affliction’ I had diagnosed myself with. Then, only just a few weeks ago I was reading a personal development book. It wasn’t geared towards motivation, it wasn’t supposed to help specifically with procrastination, it was just something on my Mom’s bookshelf called “Failing Forward” by Danielle Laporte. Within this book held the answer I’d searched for during the last five years. YEARS I have been blaming my lack of motivation for failures.

Within the pages of this unassuming book was the holy grail of advice: “Motivation comes AFTER you begin.”

Just that. Sounds simple. Danielle writes that motivation is a trap we set for ourselves- you spend all your time looking or waiting for motivation as an excuse to not have to do the things you don’t want to do. The way to become motivated.. is to start a task BEFORE you’re motivated. After you meet some success or realize it just isn’t as hard as you made it out to be in your head, the motivation to complete the project will set in. I don’t know if this hits home with anyone else or not but I felt like I was hit in the pit of my stomach with a hammer as I realized my procrastination is my fault. Of course I always told others that I only had myself to blame for procrastinating but deep, deep down I knew it was not my fault. It was ‘Motivation’s fault, I’m just the victim here.

If you struggle with procrastination or lack of motivation as I did, I encourage you to really take this post to heart. Don’t let yourself play victim to your struggles and remember in order to be motivated you only have to start! ‘Motivation comes AFTER you begin!’

Become Absolutely Positive

15 April 2010

“Absolute” is a term used to describe something that will never change, or Vodka. Being Absolutely Positive doesn’t mean you look at things on the bright side, or that your cup is half full, or that when it rains you can still play in the puddles. It means regardless of what happens to you on a day to day basis, you feel as though you can still accomplish anything. If you have to rationalize in your head “well that sucks, but at least I’m not dead” (or something similar) then you don’t qualify in my opinion. I don’t profess to be Absolutely Positive but I think I’m getting close. To me, Absolutely Positive means that regardless of what happens to you (dog gets hit by a car, stub your toe, fail a test), negativity doesn’t even cross your mind. You can walk around all day feeling good and at any time be able to say “man, I love my life” with sincerity. I’m not saying you have to be heartless about your dog being hit, but it’s unproductive and unnecessary to “why me” yourself to a depression. Obviously, this is the Extreme, and if anybody actually accomplished this they’d likely be annoying to be around. However, trying to get there won’t hurt. Nobody is more productive than someone who is feeling positive and good about themselves and their life.

Here is a secret– once you start enjoying life for itself, and not what it can give you, things happen. It sounds cheesy when people say “I became positive and landed the career I love, the woman of my dreams, and am continually happy” but I’m starting to figure out that ridiculous fairy tale is totally true. I started by trying to be positive about the little things, like high fiving people for small things like when I take out the trash, or doing a little dance after I complete a project. Sure, it felt dorky at the time, but now I’m constantly dancing around the gym or on my way to the dumpster or skipping in circles on the way to my car.

When someone says just being positive landed them their job, there is a little more to the process than that. Future employers and colleagues might have watched your growth over the last few months from someone who was just like everyone else, to the person everyone wants to be. “Man, I wish I was that happy.” I hear that a lot, from my boss, from my peers, from the girl who makes my sandwich at Subway. Although you may not feel like you’re being productive with your attitude, you build rapport with everyone you interact with subconsciously.

Unfortunately I’m still working on the “girl-of-my-dreams” thing, but even that is going remarkably well. Turns out the girl I’ve liked for the last year and a half or so has had a crush on me too. Who knew. I asked her what started her crush, and she said it was “the vibe” I give off. After talking about it a little more it turns out just being positive and truly enjoying my life without expecting life to go out of its way to hand me something is attractive. You learn something new every day.

Well class is almost out so I gotta wrap this up… BE ALL YOU CAN BE. Every day. No exceptions. And don’t run with the scissors. No good can come of it.



5 January 2010

Man, I’m wired. Sorry I haven’t been posting for the last week, but I’m having trouble managing my time it would seem (remind me to write about time management later) and when I do happen to have some spare time, like now right before work, I have trouble thinking up something to write about. Somehow I got myself in the mindset that I have to write about something in the same general category of self improvement while writing about some aspect that I havent covered yet, and while this criteria is true, thinking that much about it gave me writers block. This morning while driving to work I was trying to figure out how I could fix my schedule to have more time for writing, and suddenly I realized I should stop trying to think up self improvement subjects and use the ones I think about every day. It’s obvious now but for some reason half an hour ago this idea was flying under the radar. That being said, I want to write about Motivation today.

Motivation is that stuff that gets us going when we give a project to ourselves, and helps us accomplish tasks. If you’re like me you might struggle with motivation from time to time, depending on the activity. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve googled “motivation” or “motivate myself” with the intention of getting fired up about homework, only to stare at motivational posters for the next three hours. Trying to get motivated is fine, but I think there are certain ways to go about it that are better than others. While I haven’t unlocked the secret to motivation, I do have some tips that may help a little.

1. If inspiration strikes you, don’t hesitate to get something done. If for whatever reason you suddenly feel incredibly motivated or energized, use that burst of enthusiasm to get something done that you’ve been putting off. If you can get that one thing done that has been on your to-do list for a month, terrific. If you can’t, use that mental high to get SOMETHING accomplished. You not only won’t be wasting that precious motivation, but using it in a way that benefits you will visible results may motivate you further.

2. If something triggers your motivation, write it down. Oh, how I wish I knew what motivated me. If I ever get a hint of that you can be sure I’m going to seal that secret away in a safe somewhere so I never, ever forget.

3. Stay away from the internet. If you’ve found surfing the web helps, or it is relevant to your activity, knock yourself out. However, if you stumbled across this blog while looking for motivation tips because you’ve lost your momentum, you may see what I mean. I’ve never found the internet to be anything but a distraction and I know it’s incredibly hard, but finish this post and then close your browser.

4. Put on some music. I’m so much more successful at everything when I’ve got a steady beat to zone out to- I can get into any activity no matter how boring as long as I’ve got an interesting place to zone out to. Some music may work better than others, my personal favorite artist that I’ve discovered recently is “Mt. Eden”, an almost techno-pop genre called dubstep. Harsh or fast paced music may not be helpful, and songs with lyrics you love to sing along to may be a bit distracting as well. Obviously if you find these kinds of music help you, by all means continue!

Becoming motivated is easy for some, and hard for others. I know I struggle with it at times, but when I suddenly get on a roll like I’ve been on the last fifteen minutes, I make sure I get things done. Now, if you’re currently looking for motivation, get off the internet and go have some coffee.

Happy 2010 by the way.

Next Page »