How To Motivate Yourself

By Leo Gura - March 25, 2014 | 19 Comments

The trick to sustaining powerful, long-term motivation all by yourself.

Video Transcript

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Hey, this is Leo from Actualized.org, and in this quick self-help segment, I’m going to tell you how to motivate yourself.

Welcome back. Let’s crack into this topic of motivation. I have a lot of videos about motivation, so I’m going to cover different aspects here. I’ve got a video already that talks about the distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.

Kick Your Own Ass

In this video I really want to come at this from the angle of how to motivate you. How do you get to motivate yourself more. It’s one thing to watch a motivational video, it’s another for somebody to be kicking you in the ass, like your boss, your parents or even me, giving you instructions, giving you drive basically.

It’s a totally different thing to be self-reliant and to be generating this motivation within yourself. Let’s talk a little bit about what is involved there. Let’s, right at the beginning, create this distinction between two levels on which you might want motivation. You might be watching this video right now, and you might be looking to motivate yourself to do what I would consider a chore, or some sort of side-activity in your life.

What might that be? That might be maybe you have trouble going to the gym so you want to motivate yourself to do that. You have trouble with your diet so you want to get more on track with the diet goals you have. MAybe you have trouble starting that report you need to do. MAybe you have trouble getting yourself motivated to do the taxes or do some sort of chore around the house, or some chore for your business, whatever.

No Direction

Those kinds of things. There’s that kind of lack of motivation and then, I would say, there’s a much deeper lack of motivation — this is a much deeper problem — is the problem of lack of direction in your life. When you feel like your whole life is just slow. Your whole life just doesn’t have much energy or zest behind it, feels passionless, feels like it’s really not going anywhere.

You feel like you’re just in the doldrums. You’re like a ship that is in the middle of the ocean with no wind around. It’s just dead quiet and you’re not going anywhere. A sailship with no wind around, you’re not going anywhere.

That’s a lack of direction. These two are connected. We can’t just draw a clear-cut line and say certain activities are just chores and other activities are related to the direction of your life. All of it is your life.

In some sense, this distinction is tenuous and arbitrary. I think it can serve some use. Make the distinction. The point that I want to make to you right now is that if you’re actually having problems getting motivated to do things in your life, like maybe you’re having trouble getting to work on time. Maybe you’re starting to notice you’re just not putting as much effort into the work that you used to. Maybe you’re starting to notice that your gym routine, you’re just falling off track there. Or your diet, you just can’t get yourself engaged to get your diet cleaned up.

Out Of Focus

This might actually be a sign that you have a larger problem. The larger problem here is that you might be doing a bunch of little things that you think are important, that you think are necessary, that you think you could not live without and you don’t even imagine what your life would be like if you stopped doing them.

You think they’re so important. In fact, they’re not. What this is is a misalignment with your authentic self. Your authentic self wants one thing and your, let’s say, conditioned self, your socially conditioned self, or maybe even your lower self, your subconscious mind or just the routines that you’ve been running on, they are pointing you in another direction.

A very obvious example of this is maybe you have a dream of becoming an artist, or maybe a musician. That’s something you’re really passionate about. You do this on the side. Maybe you play a little bit of guitar, piano or compose some music on the side. Then you have a nine-to-five job, your real job that you do.

If you’re starting to lack motivation at your nine-to-five job, but what your real passion is is the music stuff, then you can see what’s really going on here. The solution for you is not to receive a tip from me for how to get more engaged with your shitty, unengaging nine-to-five job. The ultimate solution there is, I hope you can see this, is that you’ve got to take a look at what you’re really passionate about.

The problem is that you’re passionate about music, that’s what you really want to be doing, so when you’re at your nine-to-five job you’re so eager to get home and play around with your music and do some composition there,, maybe interact with you little fanbase that you’ve got going online or whatever.

That’s what you’re really excited about. The rest of your day and everything you’re doing is just a distraction from what you really should be doing. Which is your music composition. But your life is so inverted. It’s so fucked up that the thing that is your passion, that is supposed to be your motivator in life is very deep beneath the surface, and really what you’ve got is a bunch of activities that you’re doing, that you think are important, that you think are holding your life together, but are really not important, and this will be a big transition for you.

Realign Yourself

When you can make the shift and finally realise, and then start to actually realign your life so that the thing that’s on the bottom becomes the thing on top, and the stuff that’s on the top right now maybe just completely dissolves, or gets reprioritized to the very bottom.

I wanted to get that out of the way. This a much deeper topic that we’ll go into, this is really finding your life purpose, how to get on track with it. Such a deep topic, I’m not going to cover that here.

I just wanted to say that because it’s important that if your struggle with motivation, those can be very powerful signs from your highest self. Your highest self can be a very subtle influence in your life. It can be a very quiet, mellow kind of voice. Very subtle. What your highest self does is tell you little whispers in your ear here, a little whisper in your ear there, will tell you what you should be doing.

That can very easily get drowned out by the overall noise and volume of your day-to-day activity. You have to be conscious of that and I don’t want you to be fixing a deep motivational problem by covering it up with some little technique. That’s not what we’re about here. We’re looking for root solutions. Root causes, and then solving those permanently, not bandaging, putting bandages over that, and just bandaging it for a little time. Cause it’s going to come back to bite you in the ass.

Have A Dream

Let’s move past this point though, and really talk about how you need to motivate yourself, what it takes to motivate yourself. To motivate yourself you really need to have a big goal, vision. I talk about vision in many other videos. I’ve got videos where I share my own vision, I tell you more about vision, but here I’m just going to say you need — when I say vision, I mean literally you need a picture in your mind of what you want.

You have to want something. By definition, that’s what motivation is, it’s a drive towards something. It’s an impulse. It’s motive, meaning motion. To get into motion, you need to be moving towards a point, towards a destination. You don’t just get into your car and just drive around aimlessly. You go somewhere. You have a target in line.

The same thing with your life, and the same thing with every subdomain of your life. If we’re talking about motivation for example, or losing weight, or getting into shape, you need to have a picture of that. It needs to be vivid. I know what a lot of you do, because I used to do this myself, and I still do this to some degree, but we really discount that.

Picture Yourself

We discount the value of the picture. We just say “Ah, I just want to be fit.” That’s a very vague image of what you really want. It’s also probably not very ambitious, not very compelling.

Your picture needs to be vivid, your picture needs to be specific, your picture needs to be ambitious. If it’s ambitious, you’re going to feel like “Wow, if I accomplish that that will be cool! That will be something worth accomplishing.”

For example, when I started going to the gym, my vision for myself was to drop sixty five pounds. That’s a really drastic change. My vision for myself was to change my whole relationship with nutrition. My vision for myself was getting into amazing relationships, having amazing sex. Those were powerful motivators for me.

Without those, I guarantee you that I couldn’t have done it. I lost sixty five pounds in about five months, working really hard towards it. The only reason I could do that was because I had that picture. I had the end in sight. This is really important.

Once you’ve got that, whatever it is that you’re working on, right now if you want you can pause the video and come up with a picture. The best way to do this is to actually get a piece of paper and write it out. Write out all the little details that you imagine yourself having and wanting, and what this will produce for you.

You can even literally start drawing little pictures, little diagrams. If you want a six-pack, actually go and draw a little picture, a little stick-figure picture of you with a six-pack. You won’t believe how powerful that little technique can be.

Contextualize!

You’ve got your vision, let’s say. The next thing I want you to do is put this into the larger context of your life. Too many times we come up with a vision, and then we don’t really see how it actually affects and ripples through our whole lives. Into the future too.

This is called future projection. You project forward. Picture yourself. Picture yourself being fit. Picture yourself being able to eat clean food without having to guilt yourself. Picture yourself never having to worry about what you’re eating anymore. Picture yourself free of all the negative emotions. Picture it and actually try to live into it a little bit, feel it.

Imagine to yourself what that will look like, projected one year into the future. Two years into the future. Five years into the future. Ten, twenty years into the future. What’s your life going to look like if you put this thing into place, if you actually realise this, if you work your butt off and make it happen.

The flipside of that is to picture what will happen to your life if you do not take action, and you do not pursue this goal, can you do not keep yourself motivated. What’s going to happen to your health a year from now, if you do not follow through and clean it up, clean up your diet? What’s going to happen to your body five years from now, if you don’t go to the gym? What’s going to happen to your performance at work? What’s going to happen to your sex life? What’s going to happen to your relationships? What’s going to happen to your marriage? What’s going to happen to your relationship with your kids when you don’t have the energy that you want anymore? What’s going to happen twenty years from now, when all of a sudden you get hit, with some sort of cancer diagnosis or heart disease, diabetes or something else like that?

Project those things and make them vivid. This is a mind-fuck that your run on yourself. You have to go to your own head and do this work. It’s good to sit down and do this once to get a really powerful effect going. Dedicate thirty minutes, sixty minutes to write out your vision, maybe even picture a little bit, draw little stick figures, really think about it, decide what you want, get yourself really soaked into that vision. Feel it, visualize on it.

Staying In Touch

It’s good to do that once. I guarantee you that’s not going to be enough. To really motivate yourself, you have to do something to reconnect with that vision on a continual basis. I guarantee you that if you’ve done visioning exercises with other books or other self-help gurus that have shown you this stuff the reason that they haven’t really worked the way you wanted them to or the way it was promised was because of this last point.

You’re not reconnecting with that vision on an everyday basis. This is so critical. This is why, for example, I advocate journaling. Journaling is very powerful to help you do that. I have other videos that talk about journaling. I also advocate visualizations and affirmations and meditation. There’s lots of different techniques.

For you, what I want you to decide right now, because chances are you already have a goal, maybe you already have a vision of what you want to accomplish, what you want to motivate yourself towards. What you have to start doing is commit. For the next thirty days, do the following: commit and decide right now what activity or habit you’re going to put in place that’s going to reconnect you with that vision.

What’s it going to be? Is it going to be looking at that vision document every morning for five minutes? That can be effective, maybe it’s that. Is it going to be thinking about it in the shower? But you have to make sure you’re actually thinking about it in the shower, so have some sort of reminder there, when you’re in the shower, that you’re going to be thinking about it while you’re showering.

Or is ti going to be talking to somebody? Maybe you have a buddy or a friend who’s also into doing what you’re doing. Maybe a gym partner, a business partner. You will commit to spend maybe just five or ten minutes every day talking to that person about what you’re trying to accomplish. MAybe it’s going to be your mom. Maybe it’s going to be your dad. Maybe your brother or your sister or your wife or your girlfriend or your boyfriend or whoever.

You have to be specific here. Sit down, identify what is going to be that thing that is connecting you back to that vision again and again and again. I’ll give you a really quick example.

Milestone After Milestone

For me, when I was really hitting it hard at the gym, even after I lost all my weight, then I started doing weight-lifting just for bodybuilding purposes, and I wanted to get a six-pack, and put on some muscle mass. What I was doing, what really got me motivated, I had an original vision, like I said, but then, and this was so powerful but so simple too, is I just started flexing in front of the mirror, every day.

Before I went to the gym, I would take off my shirt. This sounds vain, but this works. This is what you have to do. This is why I’m sharing this example and it’s good, is that it sounds silly and vain, but it is important. Literally, take off your shirt and you flex in front of the mirror before you go to the gym. Then you come back from the gym, after you’re done with your exercise, and you flex again. And you look, you look at yourself, you see where the muscle is growing.

For me, that was powerful. A couple of weeks would pass and I would see bigger biceps, bigger chest, and I’d be like “Yeah, that’s motivating.” This is what it takes. This is just an example with physical body. If you’re a bodybuilder, you should be doing this. If you’re not doing this, you’re missing out on so much potential motivation.

Think about the equivalent of that to your business. Think about the equivalent of that to improving your relationship. Think about the equivalent of that to anything else you want to get motivated on. That’s what you’ve got to do. You literally have to do this flexing exercise.

A lot of times, when I’m shooting these videos and I’m putting them up online, and I’m creating my business I’ll just take time at the end of the day to sit back and soak it in, soak in the work I did. To me, that’s motivating, that’s inspiring. That’s like “Oh yeah, I really like what I did there, that was cool.”

It’s me reconnecting to my vision. It triggers me to think about “OK, so I got this piece into place. What’s the next piece?” That’s what visioning is about, it’s an ongoing process. This is really the core of how to get yourself motivated. IF you actually take action on this, I guarantee you’re going to have some really big improvements in you motivation levels.

Wrap Up

This is Leo, I’m going to be signing off. This was a quick little segment. I don’t want to spend too much time here. Before I go, a couple of important points: please comment. Like this and share this, and the word spreads around. That’s why we release this content for free.

If you’re interested in motivation, man, that’s one of my favorite topics. Also, other related topics, like life purpose, how to really master your psychology, how to understand who you are, how to really align yourself in such a way that your whole life is supercharged and motivated, how to stay on track with all that. It’s one thing to do it once. I

it’s another to actually keep your life going. How do you do that stuff? That’s what I’m so passionate about. Figuring out all the little techniques, tricks, strategies, mindsets and sharing those with you.

Go to Actualized.org and sign up to the newsletter. You’re going to get all my free, weekly updates. You’re also going to get some nice bonuses just for signing up that are exclusive, that you can’t find anywhere else — a nineteen-part video series about busting your top limiting beliefs, and a chance to win two hours of free coaching that I give away every month to one of my subscribers. So check that out.

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Comments
(19)
Qulene says:

Hi

I find al your video’s quite helpful. This is not only in my daily work life but in my feild of study as well.

Thank you

Leo Gura says:

Thanks Qulene

vivek says:

I find your video How to motivate yourself very helpful.

zoella says:

hey leo !
im 16 and im really passionate about my studies and career i always visualized about me achieving my goals and ambitions but visualization started to make me anxious then i started to get panic attacks when i ever i tried studying now im here feeling unmotivated i have days when i feel lazy and unmotivated and days when i feel anxious i dont know what should i do can you please sugest some thing that can make me feel motivated without getting anxious
thankyou!

Susie says:

Hi Leo.. I listen to your videos and it’s amazing how you have the ability to break down something that many people aren’t able to express or fully understand themselves. After a broken marriage and raising a child on my own, I feel responsible to motivate myself and my daughter too. Sometimes it’s just overwhelming. So I thank you for your videos because they are life changing..

Leo Gura says:

Thanks Susie! My pleasure

Raquel says:

Hi, Leo,

I commented before on one of your videos (the one on laziness), and I must admit I am surprised with myself with the little changes I observe every day.

Today I’ve watched the “Hot to find your goal” and the “How to motivate yourself” videos, taking notes out of them, and I can’t wait to dedicate some time to define my values, my goals and put them to work with that engine that is called motivation.

I just realised I have been falling and falling for the past 3 years because what was my goal in life was not aligned with my highest values, and that caused me depression and lots of other mental and physical problems.

I know now what I must do, and where to should I start moving.

Thanks, big thanks, for opening my eyes.

Be happy.

Raquel says:

(Funny how the “t” replaced the “w” of the video title on my comment. It actually is HOT to find your goal, isn’t it?)

All the best.

Saling says:

its Amazing how we evolve as a human being and find ourselves.your Amazing Leo.continue your journey and God Bless you and your Family.i Value everything you said in your video.i use it in my life everyday.you got my vibration.i wish i will meet and talk to you in person someday.Thank you…….

jay says:

i been depressed since the breakup, but now i found myself motivated because of your video and explantion.. thank you so much..

Jay says:

I really like your videos and i have to say… they really helped me a lot. The video has made me want to think about what motivates me since I’m struggling with studies and such so thank you. This website is very good and continue doing the work you do. Thanks.

Uldis says:

Leo !

I have a problem with visualization I cannot resolve.
It’s easy to visualize desirable body changes or a new car or house. But I want things that I cannot resolve how to visualize.
Let’s say I would like to be a successful businessman or a web designer.
How do I visualize that ?
Sitting by a computer with happy face ? Talking to phone, driving a luxury car ?
Successful web designer visually can look exactly the same as unsuccessful.
Picture myself at a computer with a big pile of money on the table ?
I am stuck.

Please help me if you have any ideas !

Leo Gura says:

You just picture the end-result you want, yeah. No problem. You don’t need know every step of how to get there.

Uldis says:

I am completely confused.
If I will be a successful web designer, then the end result will be: “I am happy doing web design”
This includes:
1) I do web design.
2) I feel happy
I can’t even picture “doing web design”. I can picture myself sitting at the computer, but that doesn’t shows what I am doing.
“I feel happy” is a feeling. How can I visualize feeling ?

Daniel Smyrl says:

Hi there mate,

So happy I have come across your site. I was just wondering how to get the free 200 mp3 downloads and the 20 part video series on limiting beliefs etc.

keep up the amazing work.

Danny

Lule says:

This video is fascinating, thank you so much! I have been stuck for the last 3 years trying to have a child (I already have one, but want a second one) and it is not working the natural way and I got scared about doing it any other way. My husband is not interested in having another child. So that really makes me feel stuck. So I can not solve this problem and not solving this issue is causing me not to feel motivated at all. Maybe there is other videos that you may have that could help me figure ways out of this problem. Ideas, anybody?

natua says:

I love this videos..

erfaneh says:

omg youre amazing!how can you even be real !!!! your videos are so so so helpful.what you are doin is really adorable thank you!!

Jamie says:

Another invaluable video Leo, thank you so very much! Am truly benefiting watching them.
I really related to this one especially with the visualisation technique. And also toward the end when you talk about how to be consistent with motivation and that it’s ok to do it once but the real challenge is how to continuously stay positive. That is me ALL OVER!
I guess like millions of people, I really do fluctuate between going really good then feeling self-doubtful, extremely complacent, directionless, negative and fearful. So I will go ahead and sign up for your newsletter and look forward to hearing more wisdom.
Thanks very, very much my friend.

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