You may be searching for motivation, but that’s not where you should be looking.
No matter who you are or what your job is, consistent output is important. You may even say it’s crucial to success. The challenge, however, is that it doesn’t always come easy!
I wish someone would give me $1 for every time I have lacked motivation. I’d be sitting on a beach with a cocktail and a personal chef! Like most people, I spent a good period of my life thinking I was fighting for motivation. That “lack of motivation” was the root of my problems. But through a tremendous amount of hard work (and, funny enough, personal motivation), I have put a great deal of effort into managing and mastering my mindset. Through that work, I discovered the importance of finding sources of motivation. You see, it wasn’t the motivation I was lacking – – it was a source for the motivation.
When we are committing to something, anything really, it is crucial to understand why you want to do this thing or take that action. Tapping into the source and desire for completing said task or project is what provides motivation.
I want to produce valuable content for my readers, clients, conference attendees, and listeners. But why do I want to produce valuable content? It’s not just to say I have done it. It’s not for praise or completion. I want to produce the content because I know once it’s out there, it can help people. If something I produce connects with just one person and gives them an idea or inspiration then I am doing my job. If what I produce allows someone to feel less alone or part of something greater, then I am doing my job. Providing relatable content is one of the aspects of my business that I love, and my clients and listeners deserve it.
So why the struggle to stay consistent?
It wasn’t until I realized that motivation comes from within that I truly started to change my mindset. Sure, there are plenty of things you can do to kick-start that feeling – listen to inspirational podcasts (Malcolm Gladwell’s, “Revisionist History” is one of my favorites), find a really great pump-up song (P!NK’s “Raise Your Glass”, anyone?), read a book that totally gets you jazzed (Shonda Rhimes “Year of Yes” comes to mind)– but those things don’t give you the motivation you need. You have to dig down deep and cultivate it within yourself.
Always ask yourself “Why.”
If you are a parent you have, undoubtedly, listened to your children ask “but why?” over and over again until you want to scream and run away. Trust me, I’ve been there – – but these kids are on to something. Wanting to truly and deeply understand why something needs to be done or not done is important. Connecting with the why of the matter changes everything it touches. It takes something from an “I need to do this” to an “I want to do this.”
Last week, I was on a coaching call with a client; he was telling me how he “really should” be making more sales calls. I get it. If you have something to sell, it’s necessary to get out there and do the selling. But people don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. (Thank you Simon Sinek.) Making a sales call without understanding what you want from that call, and why it’s worth it, is an act of futile frustration.
Ask yourself this: What is the want behind everything I think I “need” or “should” do? What is the desired result you will achieve from having done the thing? That, my friend, is what will motivate you.
I suggest turning your wants into positive affirmations. These can be tools used on the path to motivation. Staying aware of your thoughts and mindset and intentionally using affirmations or language to remind you of why you are pushing through a difficult (or even boring) task can mean the difference between doing something or not. With constant repetition, these thoughts and mindsets become part of the universe and they manifest for you.
If you consistently work on your internal motivation, you will soon see changes in your everyday life. Like a muscle, your mind needs conditioning to grow.