We’re all humans (at least I hope I don’t offend any robots who regularly read my blog…) So, naturally if we created a chart to track our motivation, there would be massive peaks and dips along the way. So, how do we make sure there are more “ups” than “downs”?
Firstly, it’s going to take more than a motivated attitude to regularly do things we don’t want to do (since we subconsciously regulate our own reality).
A man named Ed Mylett has a great view on our personalities and the control we have over our lives. He calls it an “internal thermostat”, and what he means is that we regulate our own “temperature”. If we’re on a great streak, and we’re just absolutely dominating our lives, doing everything we set out to do, and staying motivated 100% of the time, once we get to a point, we’ll cool down our reality and get back to the level that we’re subconsciously comfortable. If you want to hear him explain it, I’ll like the YouTube video to his podcast here.
So, in order to increase the “temperature” to your internal thermostat, the best way is to surround yourself with personalities, and people who hold the qualities that are important to you.
But, let’s move on with the motivation!
How do I stick to a commitment?
This comes down to how important the commitment is to you in life. Commitment can be used to label a number of things, for example: a relationship; we commit to one person because of the way they make us feel, and without them we would feel less full (some relationships work more like a business partnership, but those people are aliens).
So, what keeps us honest in our commitments? The fear of losing something that we hold dear.
Now this is different than being controlled by fear; in this scenario, we’re not controlled by it, but we’re aware of the consequences of the decisions we make.
A commitment can even fit over a job or career or hobby. If you make a conscious effort to do repeatable things in an effort to grow an area of your life, that takes commitment. Knowing the benefit of following through will sometimes be a push to keep it up.
Sticking to it is simple if we constantly remind ourselves why we set out to do something in the first place.
Why is motivation like ‘snake oil’
For those who have never heard the term ‘snake oil’, it basically means a product that sounds too good to be true (because it usually is).
We use the word “Motivation” as an excuse for being lazy. So, at the end of the day, a person who is simply just motivated will not succeed in every situation. It takes determination and grit to press forward in the face of difficulty.
A motivated person will give up if faced with enough difficulty. For example: If you’ve committed yourself to run every single day no matter what, then you’ll need more than motivation.
Here’s a short story to paint a picture:
Imagine you live in a colder climate that experiences winter, let’s say Minnesota.
One day you’re ready for a run, you open the door and a cold, wet wind smacks you in the face. A motivated person would shut the door, go sit on the couch and watch TV. But someone with more mental toughness to know that results only come from repetition and doing whatever it takes would do the following:
A committed person would open the door, get smacked by the same wet, cold gust of winter air, only they would shut the door, go to their closed and get some warmer clothes, because they’re still going for that run.
So, it’s knowing the things you MUST do, and doing those things on a repeatable basis is the difference between getting the results you want, and being mediocre.
Figure out a way to take a break
We all get overwhelmed; heck, I’ve wanted to skip writing a blog post some weeks, but I know it would not benefit me. I’m writing for myself here, I have consistently made a post every Saturday since December of 2018 now.
But, without some type of break, we’ll all burn out eventually. So what I do is switch up my writing time, I write the posts ahead of time also, so if I’m feeling creative, I’ll start a draft and save it with just a few paragraphs, and go back to it a few times until the post is complete and proofread.
Sometimes I just want to spend the night with my family and kick back.
On nights I planned to write, if I’m really not feeling the writing bug at all and I know I won’t produce anything worth while, I’ll pick up a book to read instead. It’s still a creative outlet, and I am fond of self-improvement books, so it’s building my mindset at the same time.
Do things that inspire you
Lastly, the best way to get some motivation if you’re just feeling flat is… DO SOMETHING INSPIRING!
If you need a morning affirmation to get your day going, you’re not the only person in the world. So, if you benefit from some ritual or routine to get going to check off your to-do list, then you should do it.
I have a few strategies to get myself moving as well! While, I feel silly doing affirmations (so I skip those), I do find that writing in a small notebook listing the things I did right during the day, I’m able to move onto the next day without carrying anything negative with me.
Get the proper amount of sleep for your body, get proper nutrition, and try to put down your cellphone or at least refrain from social media for a significant chunk of your day (unless your business is focused around social media of course).
Make sure you’re doing things every day to move the marker forward in life, because if you’re staying in the same place, you’re falling behind. This world requires constant movement just to remain neutral (not winning or losing).