Back when you were a child, do you remember how you felt?
Do you remember at what lengths you could go in order to get what you wanted?
Do you sometimes catch yourself telling your kid to, for instance, get off a tree, despite the fact that you yourself were an eager climber at his or her age?
Well, we are not exactly talking about playfulness here, oh no! What we are talking about is fearlessness and that seemingly boundless energy when nothing could stand in the way of achieving our desires.
Unfortunately, many people have lost that natural drive and are left to wonder why they can’t make it big in this opportune world.
Usually, when we stand at the precipice of adulthood, we begin to lose that vigor and zest.
This is mainly because we start to realize just how fragile and demanding life is, so we consequently start clinging onto things that we hold dear as if they were made out of glass. This way of thinking has debilitated a lot of individual ambitions, but it is not so difficult to invoke that youthful world-changing behavior which will give rise to new personal development.
Just as a baby is adamantly vocal about its need to suppress hunger, so you can quench your thirst for success.
You just have to do some reminiscing.
One of the biggest excuses anyone can utter these days is: “It is easier said than done.” Sherlock Holmes should ordain each individual who says that.
Of course, it is harder to speak in deeds, rather than just words, but we all know what proves a point better, nevertheless!
This sentence is a sign of either giving up, faltering, or ignorance. If you haven’t made any attempts, frankly you don’t even have any rights to complain, but on top of it all, real champions know that there is no room for complaining to begin with.
Hardships strengthen us and solving problems is what helps us thrive.
So what is motivation?
It encompasses our physiological, emotional, social and cognitive aspects which altogether activate our behavior. If you want to get chiseled, fit and sexy or become a rockstar or an expert in your vocation, then wishing for it simply won’t be enough.
You need the motivation to persist through the obstacles and endure all of the difficulties in order to reach such goals. Strangely enough, a lot of people tend to experience a feeling of success just by talking about their desires and wishes which causes the motivation for the actual deed to dissipate.
If we are to avoid that false sense of accomplishment, we first need to understand the three components which define this rather intricate process:
Activation, or the decision to initiate a behavior, to act;
Persistence, or the investment of time, energy and resources to make a continuous effort towards the goal despite the possibility of obstacles, and;
Intensity, or the amount of concentration, enthusiasm and sturdiness we dedicate to the deed itself.
We act on many levels, but all of our actions are based on our needs for both self-sustainment and self-progression.
We are either motivated by our instincts, our most basic, primal, inborn patterns; by our physiological drives such as eating, drinking, sleeping, sex, cleanliness, etc.; and by our level of arousal, where people with low arousal needs opt to pursue relaxing activities, while those with high arousal needs are thrill-seekers and crave for excitement.
Once again, since psychology is not exact science and cannot entirely pinpoint the patterns of our behavior, there will always be a myriad of theories which will attempt to explain this scientifically abstract concept.
It is up to you to choose which one suits your reason best, but they all weave the same academic story, nevertheless.
What are motivated people like?
Figuring out what your dreams are and how to achieve them is one thing, but actually reaching out for them is another.
Remember, the journey is what counts and the events that befall you in that process are what shapes and defines you.
Amidst all of those challenges, which we have to face one way or the other, you can always intuitively detect those who continuously strive to learn from them, to explore, dig, push, lift, work, and flourish; and those who are just wishful thinkers.
First off, these men and women are internally motivated and they relish the fact that there are challenges around every corner.
Once you devote yourself to self-improvement, there is no need to waste time on people who thrive on the judgment of others.
Instead, you learn a certain degree of humility and have the courage to admit mistakes in order to correct them. Plus, motivated people innately surround themselves with equals who fuel each other’s passions and support themselves in both good times and bad.
There is also no need to overthink things, otherwise everything can become an overwhelming experience which can eventually break you.
The key is to act naturally and go with that gut feeling which tells you that your efforts will be worthwhile.
Here’s one piece of advice which people massively refuse to heed –failure is an option! If you have a clear vision of what you want to accomplish, don’t lose hope, especially at the sight of the first obstruction.
In fact, hope is only for those who haven’t got any power left in them, so they turn to it as a last resort.
By all means, assess your current options, make a turn, climb the wall or even go through it, fall apart and start again, and again and again and again, as long as it takes, just don’t stop.
It is said that it takes you roughly 3 months to thoroughly develop and conduct a business project which can be a turning point in your career (should it succeed, of course). Considering that, with this calculation, you can make 3-4 attempts each year, that sums up to about two hundred attempts per an average lifetime. If you are relentless, that is.
So even if you fail multiple times, you can always start anew, start fresh, just improve your previous attempts next time, learn from your mistakes, and keep on pushing until it bears fruit.
The point is that everything is possible as long as you remain diligent and realistic.
If you want proof, we can either discuss the glorified examples of contemporary successful people such as Sir Richard Branson, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, or look up to everyday heroes who’ve, for instance, lost a lot of excess weight, made varsity, earned a master’s degree, or better yet a doctorate.
The bottom line is the same – never give up!
Now, getting motivated is only the first – let’s call it –phase of the entire pursuit of self-fulfillment. Next up is developing habits.
They are, however, tough to build and countless distractions can lead us wandering aimlessly.
There are even people who’ve got the skills and the wits, but they just cannot seem to organize themselves to go down a straight path. It is like having a talent that’s badly spent.
Talent may be the basis of your skills, but it requires quite a lot of work for it to reach proficiency and credibility. In fact, doing something for 10000 hours is a guaranteed recipe for success, you “just” have to stay the course.
If you want to develop a habit, you need to start by making “micro quotas” and “macro goals”, according to an . The name says it all – ascertain what your long-term goal is, but reach it by taking small steps.
Give yourself some light yet meaningful tasks each day or week and make sure you get them done until the next. There are no dramatic changes, your body gradually gets used to this working regime and just pick up the pace as you progress.
Don’t clutter yourself with too many obligations, otherwise you can drain your mental energy more than it can recover.
Develop a plan, stay out of your fantasies and just make it happen.
Going to the gym is a perfect example! Having a sexy, sculpted body is a realistic goal for everyone.
It involves those “micro quotas” which will help you reach your “macro goal”, systematic planning is easy and establishing a routine is done one day at a time.
Instructions are actually quite simple: you have to pay attention to your hygiene, your diet, your workout regime, metabolic rate, body-weight and height, physical predispositions (body type), regulate your hormones, especially your , ask for professional help if need be and get your friends in it, too. Everything else is just trying to make it all fun.
The first sign that you are getting the hang of things is when a sense of simplicity and ease during execution kicks in, as if you are doing it subconsciously.
Remember, though, your mood is never constant and sometimes you’d rather be lazy and idle, which is normal, but the point behind developing habits is to persist for a higher cause, rather than just dwelling on ephemeral, redundant pleasures and wants.
No one has a fool-proof recipe for success, but that might be the charm.
We all are candidates for greatness, but those who have developed a few good habits simply know how to get there quicker. Now is as good a time as any, right?
Mathews McGarry is passionate about many forms of strength training, and spent years lifting, dragging and flipping all manner of heavy objects. After graduating from the Faculty of Health Sciences, he started writing about his experiences, and sharing tips for better life. Follow him on Twitter