What is motivation? Motivation is defined as your reason for doing (or not doing) something. It’s the reason all of us do the things we do on a daily basis.
Why do we go to work? Why do we work out? Why don’t we work out? Why do we pay our bills? Why are we afraid to change our jobs or our lives?
You will likely have different answers to those questions than I will. While many of us share similar motivations for similar activities, I believe that the motivation behind the way each of us live our lives is different.
While we may be on similar paths in certain areas, it’s unlikely that any of us have the exact same plan for our lives. What you want out of life is almost certainly different from what I want out of life.
Regardless of how we choose to live our lives, one thing is certain. We need a lot of motivation to keep going day-in and day-out. Everyone is going to go through struggles and hardships during their lifetime.
Without motivation, you are going to give up. Sadly, many people give up on their life. Anywhere you go, you will have no problem finding people that have quit on their goals and dreams.
The problem is that motivation is often fleeting. It comes and it goes. It can be strong, and it can be weak. It wavers like a flag on a windy day. It can totally disappear. That doesn’t mean we should abandon it though.
What we need to do is figure out a way to keep the fire roaring. To keep the motivational fire within ourselves going strong. To vow that we will reignite it no matter how many times it goes out.
The greatest and most successful people among us have figured out ways to keep their motivation going forever. They have found the fuel within themselves to throw on their internal fire no matter how dark things get or how bad they wanted to quit.
After studying some of the greatest people that have ever lived and reading many of their books, I have realized that they utilized many of the same methods to stay motivated throughout their life. There’s a common theme.
What follows below are my tips and observations on how to stay motivated for life. While they are mine in the sense that I feel they are the most important, I obviously did not craft any of these. They were used and discovered long before any of us were born.
Decide what you really want
People who are able to stay motivated throughout their life have discovered what they really want. They are not chasing after something that society tells them they should have.
One thing I have found while studying successful people is that they are very clear on what they want. They are not wishy-washy about their desires.
At one point in time, they sat down and thought about what they wanted. They then decided that they would go after what they wanted with all they had.
When you hear these people speak about their lives, they seem so sure. So decided. They know exactly what they want out of life and are determined to get it.
The best book I have ever read that stresses the importance of decision is Think And Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. It has an entire chapter on the importance of deciding. If you haven’t read it, it’s an absolute must read. It will change your thinking and help you understand how important deciding what you want is.
Most of us never truly figure out what we want. We chase the usual things that everyone tells us to want like money, big houses, expensive cars etc. That may actually be what you really want, but you can never be sure until you sit down and think about it.
You need to sit down and really spend some time thinking about what you want. What will make you happy? Truly happy. Not pretend happy.
Whatever it is, don’t be ashamed of it. If you know that you will be happy living in a van down by the river than go and do that! Don’t let society’s expectations bully you into ignoring what your heart truly wants.
Once you decide what you really want, the fun has just begun.
Build your plan
Motivated people have a plan. I don’t mean the dummy in the gym that decides one day he’s going to get fit and goes in the gym and throws random weights around. Those people usually quit within weeks if not months.
The smart person formulates a plan. In the above example, the smart person would decide on a diet they’re going to follow. The same smart person would then do some research and find an exercise routine to follow. They would not just blindly run into the gym and hope everything works out.
After you decide what you actually want out of life, you will need to sit down and plan how you’re going to do it. It does not have to be the perfect plan, in fact it will likely be anything but when you first get going.
You need some type of framework to follow. You can perfect your plan as you go, but you need something solid to get going.
For example, if you want to become a millionaire, but are working a minimum wage job. Obviously that job isn’t going to get you to your goal. What is? Real estate? Starting a business? You are going to have to find something. If you can’t find something, then decide on something.
One of my favorite quotes by Benjamin Franklin is “if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”. Nothing will diminish your motivation quicker than jumping into something without a plan.
You need a plan to look at when things start going wrong. It will keep you on track and help you keep your eye on your vision.
Often times, looking to successful people that came before you will be a huge help when you are formulating that plan.
Find role models
The great Tony Robbins always talks about the power of finding role models to follow. As Tony says, “success leaves clues”. I think that says it all.
We often feel pressured to reinvent the wheel when we get into a new hobby or business venture. I know I do. Why do we feel this way? I really don’t know. I don’t think most of us do.
Many of the things we want to accomplish in our lives have already been done by someone. Wouldn’t it be a lot easier to identify that person and emulate them?
Of course it would. One of the best things we can do when building our plan is to find others that have done the same. There is usually no shortage of material on those people.
Think of all the great people in history. Most of them have written books personally about their lives and success. If they haven’t, there is typically someone else that wrote about them.
All the great people still living today have no shortage of material to learn from. The Internet and social media have made it easier than ever to find these people and learn what they did.
Finding and identifying role models will help you tremendously with motivation. I have several famous role models that I have never met however, I often read their books and motivational quotes , or listen to their videos when things get hard.
You do not need a million role models either. Find one or a few that you really admire and go from there. When things get difficult or when your motivation is low, look to them for advice. See what they did when things were hard. Learned how they solved their problems and kept going.
The common theme you will find with successful people is that they keep going no matter what. They have realized something very important.
The race never ends
People who are able to stay motivated for life have realized that there is no magical finish line. There will never be a point that you get to and suddenly feel that you’ve won.
There is always going to be another level. Somewhere else to go. Something else to do. There will also continue to be challenges and failures along the way.
The average millionaire and billionaire have gone broke several times during their lifetime after striking it rich. There is no shortage of successful people who have lost everything.
You are never going to get to a point where you can say “ok, now I can relax”. It’s not going to happen so you may as well realize it from the beginning.
Look at the most successful people today. They don’t just quit once they have some success. They work harder. They do more things. Start more companies. Write more books. They become more motivated than before.
The desire to live a successful life is going to require diligent effort and attention. The further you go and the more successful you get, the more focus and effort it’s going to require.
Living a great life and accomplishing your goals is a lifelong thing. It’s a marathon not a sprint. Once you realize that and plan accordingly, you are not going to lose all your motivation every time something doesn’t go your way.
Motivation is our fuel
Motivation is so important because it is the fuel of our lives. It is the reason behind our every action. Without it, we aren’t going to go very far.
Learning how to get it is one thing but learning how to keep it is another thing. All of these tips help to accomplish both tasks.
If you can keep the importance of motivation in mind as you go through life and follow the above tips, I am confident that you are going to go very far and find a ton of success in whatever you do.
While it may waver and flicker, these tips are going to help you reignite and fan the flames of motivation that burn deep inside of you for your entire life.
The only question you have to ask yourself is whether you are going to follow them and do the work.
Only you can answer that. I will help you along the way as much as possible, but I cannot do the work for you. That motivation has to come from you.
To your success,
P.S. How do you stay motivated? Do you follow any of these tips? I’d love to hear any thoughts, questions or comments on motivation below.