If you want to become motivated, you are going to have to find a source of motivation from which to draw from. Think of this motivation source like a bucket of water. Whenever you need a boost, you can dip your cup into this bucket and come up with some extra motivation. But that means that whatever is in the bucket is going to have to be some powerful stuff.
Earlier, we talked about the three sources of motivation and how these sources can fuel your motivation. But the problem with these sources is that they are already present. For example, you have a need to sleep at night, so you probably are motivated to work hard at your job and keep getting a paycheck so you can pay your rent. If you have an arousal need that promotes sexual desire, you might be more motivated to lose weight or get in shape.
Since these sources of motivation are already present, whether you want them or not, using them as your source is obviously not going to be effective. Otherwise, you would have already achieved your goals. So, we have to find a new source of motivation that you can draw from.
The next articles will give you some tips for staying motivated, like posting a picture of something you’re working for on your wall, but this isn’t what we’re talking about here. This is a deeper sort of thing, something that helps you get the motivation in the first place and get started. The way to best do this is by knowing yourself and what you want. Here are some exercises to help you.
Meditation: Many people laugh at the idea of meditation as a way to know yourself, but let’s put all of your preconceived notions aside. At its core, meditation is simply a period in which you are very still and very quiet. To ask the deeper questions about what you want in life requires quiet because otherwise, you aren’t going to hear the answers. Try it and look deep into yourself and find out what you want, way down deep at the core. Daily Meditation
Write a Biography: Suppose that you were going to die tomorrow, and you had 1000 words to tell the world who you were and what you had wanted out of life. Take your time and think about it. Sometimes, the act of writing about ourselves as if we were biographing someone else is not only cathartic; it can open us up to truths that we weren’t aware of before – at least consciously.
Study Religions: You don’t have to be a religious person to study religion. In fact, extremely religious people often have trouble studying other religions and especially looking at them objectively. But religions have been asking the question who we are and what we want out of life for much longer than you, and I have been alive, and while you have to take most things with a very large grain of salt, you might find some truths in some religions – particularly Buddhism – that can help you figure out what you want from life.
What’s Unique? Decide what it is that is unique about you. This might help you see what it is you truly and deeply want. One of the side effects of discovering what is unique about us is that we can see what we can offer the world and what the world can give us in return.
Love List: Make a list of the things in life that you love. Things that make you excited and happy that get you feeling like you are truly alive. It doesn’t matter what those things are. You have the freedom to write whatever you want including cooking, playing sports, teaching, learning, whatever. Hidden in this love list, you will find some deeper truths about what you want out of life.
A Billionaire: Consider this: what would you do if you had a billion dollars in the bank? You would never have to worry about working again, and your bills would all be paid, plus you would have enough money to do whatever you wanted to, finance whatever you wanted, from starting a business of some kind to making a big budget movie. So, what would you do, where would you go and what would you care about if you had a billion dollars?
Your Admiration: Who are the five people in the world you most admire? Write them down on a list and then decide what qualities each one of them have that makes you admire them so much. Then, look at those qualities as if they were something that you were working towards (and perhaps they are). These qualities may give you some great clues as to what you want out of life, deep down.
You’re Limitless: Imagine that you had no limits whatsoever on your life. Whatever those limits are, remove them. If you have always wanted to be a rock-and-roll singer, but you have no vocal talent, remove that limitation! If you have always wanted to run marathons but you are stuck in a wheelchair, remove that limitation too. Now, once you have removed your limits and written down what it is you truly want, can you tell where your deep down motivation comes from?
Judgment Free: If you knew that absolutely no one would judge you, what would you stand for? What causes would you announce to the world that you believe in? Remember, no one will judge you, no matter what it is that you stand up for. Write down a list of several things that you believe in and would be vocal about if you weren’t fearful of being judged.
My Accomplishments: Make a list of your greatest accomplishments. In the things that you have already done, you can find motivation for doing more things in the future. Write down everything that was a particular challenge for you to achieve, not necessarily something that is usually difficult for everyone. Anytime you have succeeded, particularly against all the odds, put it on paper. Then evaluate and see if you can see deeper meaning and motivation from those accomplishments.