Ah, Motivation…something we lack when it comes time to head to the gym, but mysteriously have in abundance when watching all six Star Wars movies in one sitting. The art of getting motivated and staying motivated is often extremely ambiguous. It can be difficult to pinpoint exactly what motivates you to get out of bed, drive to work and keep pursuing your dreams, day after day.
We know for a fact that you are going to accomplish awesome things in life. You have a vision for the future, your passions are unique and no one has the same potential that you do. But finding the motivation to get started on those dreams and encouraging those around you to do the same? That’s a bit tricky.
1.) BE AWARE OF YOUR MISSION
Before you’ll be motivated to do anything, you need to know why you do it. When you’re motivated to get out of bed and head to the coffee pot, your mission is caffeination. You’re motivated to get into your car because your car will take you to work, but what happens when you sit down at your desk? Tapping into the key motivation of why you’re working will inspire you to keep pushing. Dan Pink, a lawyer with a passion for management and behavioral science states in his TedTalk that, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” The external gain from your work might not be evident at first, but the internal satisfaction of knowing you’re making a difference is liberating.
You’re motivated to keep researching because you don’t want to see another family be torn apart by cancer.
You’re motivated to stay late and finish a proposal because you want your team to be proud when they present tomorrow.
You’re motivated to show up to work despite the temptation of the snooze button…because you really don’t want to live off top ramen again.
Instead of just looking at the work you do, look at the value and the purpose behind it. It doesn’t matter if you’re a barista, an engineer, a dog walker or a financial analyst. Your work has value, it has a purpose and impacts people every day. A builder doesn’t just build houses, they build homes that families can live, grow, and create a beautiful life in. Chef’s do more than just cook food, they create delicious meals that are meant to be shared with loved ones and bring people together. When you’re feeling unmotivated to keep working, remember your mission and the heart behind what you do.
2.) CONSCIOUS OF MISTAKES
Sometimes it’s the paralyzing fear of future mistakes that hinders our motivation. The thought of falling short and failing to execute well can be enough to stop us in our tracks. The truth is, we all make mistakes. Luke Skywalker made mistakes. Steve Jobs made mistakes (the black turtleneck was not one of them) and we hate to be the bearer of bad news but – you probably will too.
The awesome part about mistakes though is that they allow us to see what went wrong and motivate us to adapt. Okay, so your boss doesn’t like it when you’re late. Use that knowledge as a motivator to be more punctual next week. Instead of viewing mistakes as a roadblock, allow them to be a motivational guide who points you in the right direction.
3.) KEEP THAT NEGATIVE MINDSET ON MUTE
Often times, the biggest distraction from our dreams is us. We’re motivated, passionate and excited…and then we think about negative potential outcomes, dwell on past mistakes and compare our abilities to those around us and suddenly the future doesn’t seem so bright. In order to stay motivated, we have to make sure our mindset is focused on the positives. There’s nothing more un-motivating than a negative coworker, manager or even worse, internal critic. Keeping negative self-talk in check can help us to stay motivated on our mission instead of getting sidetracked in endless “what if’s” and worries.
Keeping that negative mindset on mute gives you the freedom to turn up the volume on positivity. And having a positive, optimistic outlook does more than just motivate you on your mission. It has the power to encourage those around you and the potential to motivate your team to achieve awesome accomplishments, every day! You’d be surprised at how contagious positivity can be. Spread some around your workspace and see if your team catches on.
If you’re aware of your mission, conscious of mistakes and have your negative mindset on mute, you’ll be motivated to accomplish those tasks, demolish that to-do-list and who knows, maybe even have enough motivation to spare to make it to the gym this week.