How To Get Motivated
By Leo Gura - January 30, 2014 | 5 Comments
How to create lasting, consistent motivation that leads to effortless action.
Hey, this is Leo for Actualized.org. In this quick help segment we are going to talk about how to get motivated. Motivation, this is a favorite, favorite topic of mine. We’re going to cover as much as we can in about fifteen minutes. I’m going to give you the gist of what motivation is. How to get yourself back into that motivated energetic state that I’m sure you’ve found yourself in at some point in your life.
Because if you’re like me, you’ve found that there are moments in your life where you feel very engaged, very motivated, taking action is very easy. You don’t procrastinate, you don’t have a lot of resistance and you feel awesome. You feel energetic, you feel excited, and you’re getting a lot done. You’re so productive and effective.
And then, you’ve got those other times in your life, where you don’t feel like doing stuff. You know you’ve got to do stuff but you don’t really want to do it. You don’t feel really engaged with it, you feel sleepy, you feel lethargic, you feel tired. You just want to crash, you just want to lay on the couch and be comfortable. You don’t really know why you started the thing in the first place. You just feel, “meh.” That’s what it feels like to not have motivation.
It’s Easy To Be Unproductive
So of course, we all want to be “here.” We all want to be motivated. No one really wants to be “here”, which is kind of lazy and comfortable and slacking. So what is the difference? And how do we get more of the good, nice, strong motivation that we had in different times in our lives?
Well first of all, it’s important to recognize that you’re always going to tend to have more of “this” than you are of “this”. Staying motivated and engaged really takes work.
It’s not something that just happens naturally to most people. Most people are lazy. Most people don’t have a lot of drive in their life and they never figure out how to develop that drive. When I really got into coaching and personal development five years ago, I was really interested in this idea of motivation. How do I motivate myself?
Because at that time I had just started my own business. It was the first time I’d started a business. I was concerned, because there was no one to motivate me but myself. Being self-employed is challenging in that respect. Because you have to be a real go-getter. You have to be ambitious. You have to be driven from the inside because no one is going to be kicking you in the ass.
No one is going to be telling you what to do. It’s very easy to slack off and go watch TV or play some World of Warcraft, or go pig out, or go do whatever is your favorite way of distracting yourself from the work that you’ve got to do. Then you see yourself becoming lazy and unproductive. Problems start to happen in your life.
So how do we avoid this? How do we get ourselves more engaged? And how do we get ourselves to those moments in the past where we felt really connected? So here’s the scoop on this, and I’ve studied this a lot because this is such a fascinating topic for me. Motivation basically boils down to vision. Vision creates motivation.
Understanding The Different Types of Motivation
There’s really two types of motivation. First, there is extrinsic motivation, which is motivation from external incentives. And then there’s intrinsic motivation, which is motivation from within yourself. It should be pretty obvious which one of those you want to have. You don’t want to have to rely too much on external motivation.
And that means, for example, the financial rewards that you get from your job or your business. Or the rewards you get from your relationship, the external rewards you get from your relationship. Or anything that is a carrot, or even a stick, which is causing you to do something. And this is typically what happens in school, in college, as kids, and we’re growing up and in business, is that we’re always incentivized externally so much by carrots and sticks. If you don’t do this, then you get punished. If you do, do it then you get an incentive. That’s a very shallow form of motivation.
What you want is intrinsic motivation, a motivation that comes from within you. It’s like having a fire burning in your heart, and then that fire fuels you rather than being fueled by some fire that’s out there. Because what’s out there is inconsistent, and what’s in here can fuel you for life. It can get you that consistency that you don’t get. If you’re coming from this place where you have lots of moments where you’re not motivated, and once in a while you’re motivated and then you’re not motivated again, that’s probably because you’re relying on external motivation rather than internal motivation.
So first of all recognize this distinction and start to make a shift. Get yourself unhooked from external sources of stimulation. Stop chasing after them, stop thirsting after them so much. And stop being so concerned that someone is going to punish you for doing something. Instead, reground it in yourself. The way you do that practically is to have something in your life that you’re fighting for.
A Compelling Vision
Do you see yourself as fighting for something? I do. I see myself as a hero, on a hero’s journey. I have a mission to accomplish in my life. I have a purpose. I have a calling. My calling is important, it’s significant. It’s not significant in any objective sense, but it’s significant in my mind. That’s all that matters because it’s internal, the motivation is internal.
As long as I believe it, it’s good enough. It’s good enough to get me up in the morning. It’s good enough to get me excited. In fact, not only is it good enough for that, my motivation is so strong it’s good enough to bust through walls. It’s good enough to fight the hardest challenges, to overcome the most depressing episodes in my life. My motivation is so strong that it rubs off on other people.
When that fire inside you burns so hot that other people, just by looking at you, by hearing you, get a little bit of that fire kindled within them. For me, that is my motivation. I have a purpose in my life. I have a calling. And most people I see out there do not have it. Therefore, they really are not motivated.
How can you be motivated? You can’t. You have nothing that you’re fighting for. You have nothing that’s meaningful to you in your life. Your life basically has no meaning. All that you’re doing is just floating along on the river of life. You’re taking it wherever it’s going to take you, and you have no direction. You have no sense of what you want to create in your life. You have no sense of what’s important to you. You have no sense of what’s meaningful. Even if you do, you’re not really living it.
You’re not motivated because you might have some murky ideal of, maybe you want to pursue some higher value, like truth. Or maybe you want to pursue some higher value like contribution to society or you want to create beautiful things. Maybe you have a few of these values, but are you actually taking action on it? Are you consistently taking action on it? Because if you’re not, you’re not entirely with it and you’re not motivated.
To get motivated, first of all you’ve got to get clear about what it is you want to create in your life. I hope that there’s something you want to create. It can be something physical, like a product. It can be something physical like a building, a skyscraper, that you want to build.
It could be more intangible. Maybe you want to create an organization, a nonprofit organization that helps people. Maybe you just want to create an awesome life for yourself. That’s still a creation. Maybe you really want to create amazing relationships. Maybe you want to have some sort of impact on other people through sharing your wisdom and your knowledge and your expertise. So all of these are ways you can be having an impact out there.
All of these are possible purposes. The question is: what is yours? What kind of purpose do you want to have? If this is the first time you’ve really considered what your purpose is, then this should be a rude awakening for you. It should be no surprise that you haven’t been motivated so far. You have not articulated your purpose. You don’t know what your values are. You don’t know what you want out of life. You don’t know what you want to create. And most importantly, you do not have a purpose that is outside of yourself.
A Purpose Beyond Just You
It’s nice to have a purpose that’s grounded in you, the sense that you want to create something great in your life. Maybe you want to have a nice house, or a nice car, or you want to have a good relationship. Those are internal purposes. That’s improving your life. That’s nice, that’s better than having no purpose at all. That will get you motivated. But, what gets you super motivated is a purpose outside of yourself.
Why am I motivated? I’m motivated because my purpose is not about me. It’s about you. I’m trying to kindle a fire within you with what I’m doing, with my work. I’m trying to go out there and create a business that’s going to change the world. I’m trying to influence a large audience.
You think that’s motivating for me? You think that gets me charged up in the morning? It does! Sometimes I’m so excited I have a hard time falling asleep because I’m so excited about the next thing I’m going to do. I’m so excited about the impact it’s going to have on people. To me, that’s important. To me, that’s meaningful.
You’ve got to find what that is for you. What is meaningful for you? What do you want your life to be about? What are you willing to sacrifice for? Because this purpose that I have, it’s not just an airy-fairy, abstract notion. This is something that I think about every day. This is something I visualize on. This is something I spend hundreds of hours designing in my mind. This is like a giant blueprint, as though I were building a skyscraper. I am designing every single girder, every single screw that’s going into every beam in that skyscraper. That’s really engaging, because we as human beings, we’re organisms that are goal driven.
So once you’ve got that vision of what you want to create in your life, or what you want to put out there into the world, then all of a sudden your mind is going to click into gear. You’re going to feel yourself excited. You’re going to feel yourself having visions of how you can improve this, and how you can improve that part of the vision. You’re going to develop this very rich vision, it’s going to feel so real for you. You’re going to have so much fun going out there and trying to make it into a reality.
At first it’s all up here. But slowly, through your action taking, which is why you want to be motivated—to take action, then it will manifest in the real world. Of course, how can you be motivated when you don’t have that picture of what you’re moving towards? You don’t have a vision.
Maybe you have a vision, but your vision is not compelling enough, or it’s not a vision that is not significant enough to you. Maybe there is something more significant, but you’re too afraid to pursue it. You’re too scared to think about what it would take to accomplish it. You’re too afraid to put yourself out there. Or, you’re too afraid to drop your ego and stop worrying about yourself and start worrying about the world. About what you can be putting out there.
So for all of these reasons, your vision might be feeble and too murky. It might not be clear. Or maybe you don’t have a vision at all, which is what I found with many people. They simply just don’t have a vision. So as a result, you’re not motivated.
So how do you get motivated? You create that vision.
You spend a lot of time building it up in your mind. You have to do that internal work. When you get that…. Oh…my….god. The kind of motivation you get is inspiring. You literally inspire people with your motivation. It will rub off on other people, as I hope a little bit of my motivation here has rubbed off on you.
Okay, this is Leo. I’m signing off. Please comment on this, this is one of my favorite topics: motivation and life purpose. Also, share and “like” this. If you’re interested in more, because I’ve barely scraped the surface here, go check out Actualized.org where we have all sorts of videos and resources to help you find out what your purpose is, identify your values, get clarity on and get connected to it.
Then the next phase in that whole process, after you get motivated, is keeping that motivation and staying motivated. And that’s too much to cover here, so check out Actualized.org, sign up to my newsletter there for free weekly updates.