“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”
-Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
Motivation can often seem like a mystical force that some people just seem to possess in abundance. Or, something that can be gained by sitting through a weekend seminar, or a tenth viewing of The Secret. Or worst of all, something you feel the need to wait for, before taking action.
The truth is that it is none of these things.
Motivation is a wonderful state where things come easily, like sailing over smooth waters with the wind at your back. However, you still have to keep sailing even when the sea is choppy and the winds are blowing you all over the place! For the record, it may not sound as exciting but motivation is nowhere near as important as discipline. Discipline is what makes you get up and do what you need to do, whether or not you ‘feel’ like it at the time.
A little while back, on an episode of Rise UP with B. Dave Walters, we talked about:
How to do the things you know you should, and stop doing the ones you know you shouldn’t! How to change in an instant, and much, much, more!
After I got off the radio, I realized I had more to say so I made a video about why your New Year’s resolutions haven’t worked in the past, and how to make them work every year from now on! Although it’s not New Year’s currently, the truth is every day of every year is the beginning of a ‘new’ year.
So today, I’d like to give you a few pointers on how to get motivated to do the things you really want to do. Notice what I said there: The things you WANT to do, not the things you should do. Since as I pointed out in the video, anything you ‘should’ do is never going to happen. Everything in your brain is wired to rebel against being forced to do anything.
So, the key is to set your mind on things that pull your forward, rather than push you from behind. Ideally a good goal has a bit of pushing and pulling, the stick and the carrot as it were. For instance, if you have a goal to lose 20 lbs, my first question would be why do you want to lose 20 lbs? The number on the scale is meaningless, it only has what power you give to it.
ANYTHING outside of yourself only has what power that you give it.
So maybe you want to lose the weight to fit into a certain outfit for a certain party, or to be ready for beach season. But why does that matter? To turn heads? Why does that matter? Keep drilling down until you get to the core of what your motivation is.
I’ll tell you another secret, though: If your ultimate goal is some sort of external approval, you’ll never be satisfied. This is one of the main reasons goals fail: Ultimately it wasn’t for YOU, but to get someone else’s approval. You don’t need anyone else to accept you, you only need to accept yourself.
So knowing that, maybe you instead frame it as “I want to lose 20 lbs in the next four months so that I can feel healthy and strong, and I can prove to myself what I’m made of. I don’t want to feel like a prisoner in my own body and like I’m forced to hide from the world anymore. I want to be able to step out on the beach and feel proud of all my hard work and everything I’ve accomplished!”
See the difference? There’s a goal, a deadline, a compelling ‘why’, AND a focus on how it will feel when it’s done. Any goal you set should have this level of richness and detail. And I’d submit that as you look back on the things you’ve accomplished in your life, you probably had this level of clarity as you worked at it.
Now, let’s say the things you want feel like they are so far away that you can’t even get started. We talked recently about how to get up when you hit rock bottom, but more than that I’d say start with smaller goals. If you are on the edge of being homeless, setting a goal to make a million dollars is the wrong goal; start out with focusing on stabilizing your current situation.
Small, *consistent* progress is what makes the difference. Remember to do SOMETHING every single day towards accomplishing your goal, and victory is guaranteed; and even better, you’ll enjoy the process.
One last thing: If there is some old habit or painful memory holding you back, this video will help you change it once and for all.
You are great, and I love you!
And if you love me back, click ‘share’ up at the top!
B. Dave Walters Writer, Life Coach, and Talk Radio Host
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