Motivation is a word we are all used to hearing so often – both in the personal and professional front. Almost everything we do, or intend to do in life needs us to be motivated. In the absence of such a trait, life almost would become insufferable.
Why so? Reason – Everything in life we do is done with the express intention of taking us from point A to point B, really or figuratively. But for all those trivia which we engage in all facets in life, doing the right stuff needs one to be motivated.
But can we really stay motivated in life, and all along the journey, with all the adversities we come across, and off course the good things as well? While this is a moot question which lingers in all our minds, the point is – there is no choice but to be motivated always.
Success or failure, the motivation ought to be there with us, and for that, it’s important to bear one thing in mind – motivation is within us, and it is upon us to find out the reasons to be motivated, in every situation. Bottom line is, success, failure, good or bad, happiness or otherwise, Life and living is all about staying motivated.
Most life coaches, and mentors use a word for this kind of motivation – “intrinsic’ is the word, meaning it is all within you, and you are best to check what is that should motivate you, to do anything or otherwise. In simple terms though, let’s put it this way – what exactly is the reason or purpose you need to do certain things in life, and all across the different stages of it – personal front, family, career, workplace and entrepreneurship and so on.
Staying motivated is all about finding the purpose as to why you must do things. Purpose is at the core of our human behaviour, and the lack of it would only mean that we are meandering pointlessly. Such a situation would only lead to ennui or complete boredom. There is no compelling purpose or reason in your tasks, and hence, whatever be the situations, and however well-meaning you are, you just don’t have it in you to carry out the task or step (in life).
There is one key quality each one of us need to get into our personal habits armour, and that will be the best way to keep us motivated intrinsically. Once we have the right purpose to do things, it’s just a question of sailing through and doing what is needed, and making sure that we are able to take the task to a logical completion.
Call it persistence, with a capital P. Persistence could communicate different meanings to different people, depending upon how it is interpreted, imaged and communicated – but by far it is the most singular differentiator and determinant for success in any endeavour. Just pick up any literature in goals and success – a Brian Tracy, Robin Sharma, Tony Robbins or a Brian Mayne – and be sure that this is mentioned. And persistence is not about those huge and impossible tasks which we need to sweat it out to do. It is just having the mental strength and ability to ‘persist’ in doing that simple task that would lead to some accomplishment, set as a goal in one’s life.
To be just able to spend 30 minutes a day, consistently, in developing or nurturing a life skill, would lead to an achievement that would still be great and big enough to make a life difference. This could be hard exercising if one looks at a physical goal, writing 2 pages a day if you aspire to be a writer, and say spending 30 minutes uninterrupted with your spouse and kids – a family goal.
While it might appear to be a small thing at the outset, the key challenge here would be consistency – doing it every day sans a break, and at the same time, and most important, in a ‘positive mental frame’. To get ahead in all personal endeavours, one step a day, the baby steps are in the will to be persistent – and those baby steps will make all the difference – it’s always said consistency of a task is the pathway to mastery in it!
Creating new habits that win for life is all about inculcating persistence, and anyone who had created that habit will speak volumes on how it is the most challenging to persist. Just try to commit yourself to a new habit – even as trivial as waking up 30 minutes early everyday – the mental challenge and the accompanying physical challenge will be immense. You will need the power of the mind and a die-hard commitment – a communiqué to the subconscious – to ensure that this happens.
The easier side in this is – you need to stretch yourself only for 21 days and then it becomes natural – a habit that stays with you for life – and most importantly facilitates accomplishment in whatever life area sought…..
To make persistence a winning habit, I would urge – please, please strive to stretch your mind that extra bit to do something every day sometime – that something which would be a key life skill or a winning quality in professional or personal life…… anything you think is worth doing and trying……..
Once we can master the art of persistence, then facing success or failure will bring in a sense of equanimity in us. If we succeed, well and good – pat yourself in the back, and move on to the next. Do we fail at things? Even that’s fine – let’s see what can be valuable learnings from that particular episode in life, and let’s get up again and move on.
The next important thing is purpose – without the right purpose, life will be all about just a lot of activity and not any accomplishment. Well, the word accomplishment may sound big, but it need not be necessarily so in reality. There could be even small things, which are rightly done, and would mean something has been accomplished by you.
Without purpose, we can easily see that life will be just akin to a ship, that is pointlessly wandering in the ocean, without the directions of an able captain, and such a ship never gets ashore to serve anyone. If you need your life to be like a ship sailing in the right direction, and to the right destination, then it’s high time you work on identifying your purpose in a host of things which you do.
Persistence and purpose are the most potent combination from a personal habits point of view. We said this earlier; at the cost of valued repetition, having the right purpose in different facets of what we do, is the only way we will move forward, and get things done. Be it tangible or intangible.
Discovery of our purpose in life is almost half the job done. The remaining half is all about staying course come what may, and taking things to fruition. Or if things are not working in our favour, do the needy course correction, and sail through.
It is important to bear in mind that most things in life are not like cruising along a straight line. There would be ups and downs, peaks and valleys, and at times, even blind alleys, which make us feel racing against time and energy. But, in times like these, it does a lot of good to remember that, we need to have motivation within, and use that to persist towards our goals, whatever they may be.
So, let’s get back to where we started at the beginning of this post. What should motivate you more? Success or Failure?
By now, after reading through what has been mentioned, it can be clearly seen that your motivation has to be despite your up or down, or call it success or failure. You have to have it in you, in any given situation or circumstance, and hence, the word intrinsic.
Those who have intrinsic motivation excel and do well in life, reaching most of what they aspire for. And those who look elsewhere to get motivated (the word is extrinsic motivation), find it tough to run through the glorious marathon, that is life.
Remember, in the end, its purpose that must motivate you. Not success or failure. Those are just different outcomes of an event, and even with bad outcomes, the journey of life needs to continue. Find your motivation within you, and you will reach greater heights in every walk of Life.