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What They Don’t Tell You About Motivation

By Marcus Clarke

It’s no secret, there is a ton of information out there about motivation. Blogs, articles, books, magazines, self-help gurus and of course audio programs all aim to help us increase our levels of motivation – whether to improve our work life or personal life.

And while the majority of available information is useful, often based on scientific principles and created with the best intentions, it’s fair to say that in some cases the fundamentals of the journey towards motivation are often omitted.

Bearing these few fundamental motivation basics in mind throughout your path towards increased motivation should help you stay on track.

1.  Motivation is not a constant state

Just because you want to be motivated, does not mean it will be a smooth ride from A to B. There will be days where you don’t feel as motivated as you did before. Sometimes you would rather play Pokeman Go than get on with your to-do list.

And that’s totally fine and normal.Achieving your goals shouldn’t be easy; if it’s easy then you’ve probably aimed too low.

The truth is that top athletes, actors, musicians and successful business people all run into hard times. Whether it’s a long period of feeling uninspired, or struggling to juggle their day jobs with career goals.

obstacles to motivation
Public Domain from pixabay

When you decide you want to accomplish something, life doesn’t stop and clear the way. There will always be obstacles to face that will challenge you. But the good thing about these obstacles is that they are there to make you stronger and you will even look back on them as valuable experiences.

The feeling of motivation isn’t what brings you to success, it’s your commitment to strive for success no matter what happens along the way.

2.  It’s hard work

Motivation doesn’t come from a magical tonic you drink and presto, it requires continued willpower and determination over a sustained period of time.

It’s hard work. You may have heard people say that their hard work brought them to where they are today, not talent, luck or good looks (although those don’t hurt). And these people tend to be the most dedicated, humble and passionate ones in their field once they do achieve their goals.

But what are they talking about when they say hard work?

It takes dedication and effort to remind yourself everyday of your goals. Some people journal or repeat affirmations, or they are always on the lookout for opportunities and potential projects. The state of motivation is not a state at all, it’s an active direction that you must constantly and consciously move towards.

It’s important to remind yourself everyday why you’re doing what you’re doing. As well as doing something everyday that will get you one step closer to success.

3. It’s different for everyone

Everyone is born into different circumstances whether that be class, location, gender or genetics. We each have different tools available to us in our tool belts which can be used to our advantage, or disadvantage.

The truth is, there is no point in comparing yourself to anyone, because a lot of successful people you see have had leverage some way or another whether it’s financially, knowing the right people, or being in the right place at the right time.

Even motivational gurus have most likely run into some luck. It’s best to focus on your own journey than get caught up in others and wonder why you aren’t there yet.

That alone takes time away from you working towards your goals. So be kind to yourself and focus on what you are doing without comparing to others.

Those who have reached ‘success’ often attribute their gains to one particular moment, mindset change or tool, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can replicate their gains with the same technique, its important to recognize that everyone is different, particularly when it comes to finding your motivation.

4. You have to be flexible

Finally, motivation requires a great deal of visualization. But more importantly it requires flexibility of that visualization.

The road towards your goals will more often than not be a winding road that only really begins to make sense in retrospect.

Having everything figured out not only hinders the journey but it sets you up for missed opportunities. So be prepared to be flexible.

Say you were so sure you would get the internship this year, but didn’t. That is your cue to apply for something else, considering other options once a door has been shut can give a new, fresh perspective.

Everything happens for a reason and people who are hung up on specific steps to their goals tend to stagnate and obsess of steps that in the long run aren’t relevant.

Conclusion

So hopefully remembering these 4 subtle, but important aspects of motivation in combination with other tools that you decide to use on your journey to success will help you to overcome the blips that are inevitable when you set your sights high.

  • You will have ups and downs, which is perfectly normal
  • Be prepared to work hard constantly for a sustained period of time
  • What works for some people might not work for you, find your own groove
  • Stay open minded, success is a moving target

About the Author Marcus Clarke

Marcus launched psysci.co in 2014 while studying for a masters in health psychology. The site aims to examine the latest research as well as looking at more general psychology topics that impact our everyday lives.

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