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The Secret Behind Motivation

Motivation. It’s the thing that gets you out of bed in the morning. It’s what drives you to spring up and attack the day. It’s the strongest force that brings meaning to our existence.

This simple and strong word has a different definition for everyone. For some of us, being motivated comes easier than others. Or so one might think…

Motivation is not this crazy unattainable thing that many can never have. More so it is something that is difficult to find but could be hidden somewhere within your life at this very moment.

In this article, I’m going to help you fine-tune your motivation in order to get you on the path to building a better life. After all, without meaning in our lives what do we really have?

I think Gandhi put it best when he said:

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”

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Find Your Why

This may very well be the most cliché sounding advice you have ever heard but unless you have a “why” to what you are doing, you won’t be motivated. While some of us are in a stage of our lives that we have to just “embrace the grind”, there are many places within that grind where we can find purpose.

What have you always wanted to accomplish but never seem to have the time for? To be clear, I’m not talking about fleeting thoughts of working out and getting in shape. I’m talking about a true overwhelming emotion that you have had for something.

Do you hate your job? I mean really hate your job. Like… really hate it. Do you hate the concept of working at that job so much that all you want is to be able to work from home and make an income on your own?

That passion and fire that you feel for wanting to leave that job is something that can use to motivate yourself. Now you may be thinking to yourself, “I feel that way about my job but why have I never acted upon these emotions?”.

There’s a really logical reason for that. It would be hard. Much harder than you would be willing to try in most cases. Our lives are so busy with that job and the other responsibilities that once the day is done, we just complain about what we dislike in our lives until it all starts over again.

Unfortunately, people are unaware of the distractions that surround them that take those passionate thoughts and throw any possible actions out the window. This is because we are distracted and waste the only time that we would have in our busy lives on things that do not matter.

While there are many distractions in this world, I’ll go for the most common vice that has a stranglehold on humanity. I’m also going to go on the low side to further prove my point.

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In a study done by Digital Information World from January 2019, the average person spends 2 hours and 22 minutes per day on social networking and messaging platforms.

Honestly… that’s a lot of time. If you had over 16 hours a week that you could use to change your life, would you make the most of it? Better yet, I’ll ask if you would even settle for getting rid of half of the time that you spend on social media. That’s nearly 10 hours a week.

No need to get rid of spending time with friends. No need to get rid of your more enjoyable downtime or after-work activities. Would you take 10 hours a week and stop wasting it if it meant that you didn’t have to go to that 9-5 that you hate so much?

For those of you that disagree with my matter of fact tone on the extra time that you have just think about my story. I had 30 hours of track and field a week (basically a part-time job), was a full-time college student, and managed to play 20-30 hours a week of video games. Then I realized my life needed turning around and I was able to start my own online business with a simple and decisive decision to change my life.

Long story short, (with a few exceptions) you are lying to yourself if you think you don’t have the time to make your dreams a reality.

🙌 Push vs Pull Motivation

When most people think of motivating themselves, they think of getting themselves to do an individual task. This is called “Push Motivation”. An example of this would be when someone pushes themselves during a race to break a personal record. This is not how anyone should motivate themselves.

When it comes to personal goals however, people set them up with push motivation in place. The issue here is you are not focused on the right thing when you use push motivation.

On the other hand, there is “Pull Motivation”. Pull motivation is an activity that an individual feels naturally pulled towards. A good example of this most of the time comes from unproductive activities. That piece of clothing that you couldn’t help but notice in the store window, or that concert that you really want to go to with your favorite band in it. These are the types of things that pull motivate you.

The key to us having success is to find a way to bring pull motivation into the processes of achieving your goals. Incorporating things that you love into the process will make you always find the motivation to get work done.

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To continue with the running analogy I used for push motivation, myself as a runner will never be as motivated by a new personal best as I am by my love of running. Let me explain.

There is nothing wrong with me having goals. Goals are good and I talk about them more in-depth in my free eBook, but they are not what truly will motivate you to do the little things every day. Not consistently at least. Push motivation works in short bursts but without pull motivation, it will lead to burnout and eventual lack of motivation.

The main thing that I need to focus on as a runner is how much I like the process. I love Track and Field sure, but more importantly, I love running. This means because running comes along with all the other things, weightlifting, abs, rehab, that I don’t mind dealing with it.

I want to run. I love to run. That’s what’s pulling me towards the goals that I also set out for myself. The difference between having only push and no pull motivation makes a big difference and it is another reason why many people never last when it comes to accomplishing their goals.

The thought of losing weight and hitting a certain goal physique is only good enough to push you. If you are suffering from the exercise you are doing and the food you eat, then you will never be able to keep up with the goals that you set out for yourself.

My recommendation for you if you are trying to find a way to get out of your comfort zone and work for yourself is to look around for possible passions. Finding a passion is the easiest way to easily transfer those hours of social media time into something that is valuable to you.

The same goes for your fitness goals. If you want to get in shape, find a game to play or type of exercise that you really like, and you will find yourself consistently doing that activity and the next thing you know you are halfway down the road to achieving your dreams.

The journey to finding that passion won’t be easy but it will ultimately be worth it. The love that you will have for that passion is something that will drive you to a happy and successful life.

🌎 Find Something Greater Than Yourself

It’s no secret that we live our lives with billions of other people in the world. We live our lives a lot of the time for the important people that we love and cherish. Hopefully, all of you have at least one person that you would do anything for. Wholeheartedly you would die for them if that’s what it meant to keep them safe and happy.

I want you to take a moment and look at this infographic. I believe that it does a great job of showing the different kinds of motivations that exist (the original can be found here):

This infographic is missing some context in my opinion. It does not tell us what’s right, wrong, and how to individually use each kind of motivation in our lives.

While motivation should come from within at a base level, our brains have a harder time understanding intrinsic motivation. This is because as I’ve mentioned, we are social creatures with loved ones that we care about.

In our pursuit of intrinsic goals, it is important to find extrinsic motivation. However, this kind of external motivation is different. It is not money, praise, or recognition, but it is instead the people that your goals and achievements will effect.

I’m sure you have seen this kind of motivation if you are a parent or have wonderful hard-working parents. They do everything that is deemed impossible to the unmotivated so that their children can have a better life then they had.

Whether you are a parent or not does not matter for you to make this kind of external motivation drive you to endless levels of success. There are many other examples of outer forces pushing people to amazing feats.

You see this all the time in sports. Teammates who have a strong bond will put in those extra hours of work so that they won’t let their surrogate family down. The success that they have together is well worth the grind when something bigger than them is driving them to push harder.

So when it comes to your own success story make sure that you find something greater than yourself to work for. If you believe in a higher power, then use that to believe in the concept that your work will create positivity in the lives of others.

For myself personally, my motivation for building my business is knowing that with every piece of content I produce that I am helping people achieve their goals and dreams by adding value to their lives. I truly want all of you to build a better life because a happier and more successful world will be better for not only myself but everyone that I care about.

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📅 Your Kind of Daily Motivation

Just as every person has their own unique set of skills, everyone also has their own inabilities as well. For day to day motivation, it is important to understand this so that you can use your strengths and avoid your weaknesses when you are trying to be productive and get work done. When trying to tackle daily tasks there are two main types of ways that you can go about it.

One way is using the “Worst Things First” approach. This method is essentially taking the hardest part of your day and doing it first. If you have that one thing you always put off but know you should do and can never get around to it then you should try this strategy out.

Take a moment and imagine someone who claims to never have time to work out. They could use this approach to wake up and tackle their workout at 6:30 AM before their workday even starts.

This strategy has some research to back it up as well. Some studies have shown that there is a reason why you can’t seem to bring yourself to do hard tasks at the end of the day.

Each of us suffers from something called “decision fatigue”. It is the concept that you have limited willpower to make choices throughout the day. As the day goes increasingly tire with the more decisions that you make. This ultimately leads to wanting to work less as the day goes on and you will most likely make worse decisions and be less productive at night rather than when you first wake up.

It’s a large reason why having a schedule and consistency within your life makes you more productive. With fewer choices to make throughout the day, you are less tired and working does not become a struggle after 2 PM.

It’s also a good reason to lay your clothes out the night before as well as do other small things at night when your brain is going to make worse decisions. I’d say it’s better to pick a worse outfit than perform worse at what you are doing during the day.

Overall the “Worst Things First” approach is a great strategy that works well with people who are able to get up early in the morning and get right to work. Early risers, go-getters and anyone who has that innate ability to wake up early and not be a zombie should try this method out.

I will say that how early you wake up does not directly correlate with this approach but instead, they complement each other well.

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🌅 Morning Momentum

The other strategy to accomplishing daily tasks is by utilizing “Morning Momentum”. This concept is basically the ability for good decisions in the morning to lead to a snowball effect of productivity.

If you wake up and are tired there is no reason that you can’t still do something that will start your day off on the right foot.

For example, say no to the snooze button. Set 2 alarms and try this for yourself. If you wake up and the first thing you do is get up instead of giving in to the soft feeling of the pillow then you win the first test of the day.

Jocko Willink a former Navy Seal and the author of Extreme Ownership talks about the importance of getting up right away being one small victory that can lead to a day of discipline and productivity. “Let’s say you are the most ultra-motivated guy in the world. There is at least 50 percent of the time where you just want to stay there. That’s a big victory and then that pattern will carry on throughout the day.”

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What you can do with positive momentum is set up a productive morning routine with very small and easy tasks. They may not be mentally stimulating or difficult but what they will do is get rid of some small things that you need to get done while at the same time making you feel good about how productive you have been to start off your day.

When looking at both of these strategies it is important to remember that aspects of each of these may work for you. That is mainly because morning momentum can be used as a quick kickstart to doing the most difficult part of your day first via a morning routine.

Personally, I wake up at 5 AM every day and have a morning routine that I try to follow as strictly as I can. It involves changing into workout clothes, some light exercise, and a quick breakfast, with coffee of course, that then leads into productive work on my computer. The routine takes about 45 minutes total and sets me up to have a great day. By 7 AM I feel ready to go and will generally start getting ready to go out the door for my morning run.

While not everyone will be like me and get up at 5:00 AM I know that each and every one of you has the ability to take these concepts and use them to improve the way that you start of your day.

🤔 Closing Thoughts

So this is my challenge to all of you. Take some time to figure out what matters to you in life. Who would you do anything for? What beliefs and organizations are you a part of that could lead to unlimited drive and motivation?

Search to find what makes your life worth living and then go out and live it to the fullest. You all deserve the best that this world has to offer so go out there and take it.