It’s easier said than done, to never give up motivation. What often starts out as exciting and fires you up, can eventually begin to slow down, then the motivation begins to wane. There’s a typical pattern to this and chances are that you’ve probably experienced it yourself. I know I have.
Being revved up and raring to go, feels great, but it’s so easy to lose it, particularly when things don’t go as you expect them to. There’s always something that comes along to upset the apple cart! This is where the demotivation can come from and it can lead to feeling bad about yourself.
In this situation the negative side of you begins to surface, then you begin to feel guilty that you’ve allowed the momentum to slip. Once you reach this place you begin to put off trying to begin the task, let alone finishing it. Then procrastination takes hold, leading to more guilty feelings. And so the circle continues – where did that motivation, which was so strong, disappear to?
Most of us think that getting motivated is what causes us to take some action or start a new task. It can be the case, but mostly the motivation comes after starting a new task rather than before it. That’s a very important difference.
Of course, watching a motivational video or reading a motivational book can get you all fired up and give you inspiration, but beginning something new can create far more motivation. It’s because you’re more emotionally attached to the task you’ve begun than you are to a video or book, no matter how good they are.
It’s not difficult to get motivation from starting to do something new. The excitement comes at the beginning when it’s new. Once you start and things begin to happen, that’s when the motivation can kick in. In this situation, it often becomes easier to complete the task than it was to start it in the first place.
There are two types of motivation – internal and external. Internal motivation is driven by emotion or a “love” for the task. External motivation is often associated with something other than the task itself.
The Difference between Internal and External Motivation
To understand the difference between internal and external motivation, as an example, take a child who might want to learn how to play the piano. Their internal motivation might come from the fact they love the piano, the sound of it and have a desire to become a famous pianist. External motivation for the child could come from wanting to please their parents, or the parents might offer some kind of reward for taking up piano lessons.
There was some interesting research carried out which involved young recruits entering the US Military Academy at West Point in New York. New cadets were asked to list their internal and external motivations around their military career.
The findings showed that those cadets with mainly internal motivations were 20% more likely than average, to make it through West Point. Those with a mix of internal and external motivations had a 10% lower chance of getting through and a 20% lower chance of early promotion.
The results appear to show that if the benefits gained from achieving a goal are stronger to a person than the achieving of the goal itself, there is more chance of failure. Internal motivation has a greater impact in that it appears to be a stronger motivator.
Getting Started with Motivation
Does motivation come naturally? Well, it can but not always. We often have to create it ourselves and that can be difficult. I’ve found that myself with writing articles for this website. When I started it, I had lots to write about, but after a time, coming up with ideas for articles gets harder.
When I have an idea, I tend to take longer to get around to writing it than I used to. I think that’s because my subconscious knows that once the new article is written, I’ll have to come up with an idea for a new one.
The longer it takes to write this article, the longer the time I have before having to think of a new idea. It’s a crazy logic my subconscious mind is using to protect me from the stress and “pain” of searching for new ideas to write about!
It’s really interesting to me that my mind works in this way because I know that once I have come up with a topic to write about and get started, I get excited about it. The motivation kicks in and then I’m usually enthusiastically hitting the keyboard until it’s finished and there’s no concern in my mind about what the next topic will be.
I mentioned earlier that motivation mostly comes after the task is started, rather than before and this is usually the case with me. Once it’s there, it isn’t so much of a problem, but how do you get from a lack of, to full-throttle motivation?
How to Get and Never Give Up Motivation
To say that you will never give up motivation is a pretty tall order because we all suffer ups and downs, positive and negative thoughts, together with other setbacks in our lives. There are two things which should come as a pre-cursor to getting motivated:
- Self-discipline – it is the bridge between our goals and reaching them, it brings order to chaos and helps to keep us focused on the prize.
- Tapping into the power of your mind – your thoughts are a part of creating your reality. You can plant whatever thought into your mind that you want. That includes thoughts which create motivation.
Both self-discipline and the power of the mind are under your control – if you really want them to be. It might take a bit of finding the strength from within, but you can be in control. You might want to also think about creating routines or rituals.
Many people scoff at those who have their daily rituals, but they can help because they are regular, and you don’t have to think about them. You just do them! It also means you don’t need to make any decisions, about what and when to start or what you should do. The ritual is a routine and so happens regularly and naturally.
If possible, it should be enjoyable and fairly easy at the start, you can ramp it up as you get used to it. It becomes a habit in your life, so you start doing it without any effort. This should make finding motivation easier because once you start doing something, it begins to build.
Don’t set your goals too high or too low. If they’re too high, it will be harder to get motivation because you’ll feel you have no chance of achieving. Setting them too low will make the task too easy and not challenging, which can lead to boredom and therefore demotivation.
Keep Motivated with Momentum
Once you start, you won’t want to stop. Make sure the goal or challenge really pushes you almost to the limit. Your competitiveness will then be encouraged to flow, and this is great for finding motivation.
It’s very important you keep a measure on your progress because if you can see and compare how you’re doing it should keep your motivation up. When there’s no feeling of progress, it can be a real setback.
If you can see you’re moving forward there will be an impetus to continue. There will come a time when things slow down or stop for a while. Try to view this as temporary, look beyond it and remember your strength and potential.
Always keep your eye on the ultimate goal and know you are moving towards it, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. You can break it down into small steps if you like, but always see the outcome you’re working to.
As long as you’re moving forwards, you’re achieving bit by bit. Never give up motivation and remember what Nelson Mandella said, “It always seems impossible until it’s done”. It will be done!