Look back on your life. Can you remember two or three times when you felt amazing? At a couple of points during your life there will have been times when it has felt incredible to be alive.
Think about it.
Now I’ll wager a guess that for each of those times, at least one of these facts was true.
- You had done something new.
- You had something to look forward to.
- You felt love for someone or something.
- You had experienced a boost to your self-esteem.
If you find that this is not the case, then think again about your self-esteem at the time. It may have been on the smallest scale, but I bet for one reason or another you felt slightly better about yourself. You may find that you underestimate the importance of self-esteem.
So why do these events and situations make you feel so good? And how can they help to increase your motivation? Let’s run through them.
Doing Something New
New things, as long as you enjoy them, make you feel good simply because they are new and exciting to you. Remember when you were a child, you looked at everything with excitement and anticipation. Life was so much more enjoyable because everything you did was full of wonder. There was no lack of motivation then. Now that you’re older, you no longer have any surprises, there are fewer and fewer new things left for you to experience. Most things you do are routine. So, its no wonder doing something new feels good.
It’s hard to motivate yourself if there are not going to be any surprises, or new feelings.
There’s always going to be things that you haven’t done but want to do. Wherever possible, seek these things out and do them!
“As long as one is still learning, one is young. When one stops learning, one is old.”
Getting a Boost to Your Self-Esteem
This can come from many sources but it’s important you neither rely on it nor base it on non-realities. Learn to attain self-esteem from your creations, from being honest, and in knowing reality.
Abraham Maslow (1908-70), American psychologist and leading exponent of humanistic psychology, developed a theory of motivation in which an individual would reach a state called “Self Actualization” – they would be fully motivated. In order to reach this state a person would have to fulfill their needs – these needs are split into primary and secondary needs.
Maslow said that the primary needs are physiological (food, sex, body temperature etc) and safety, and the secondary needs are needs for social interaction and esteem.
That’s right, in order to be fully motivated, an individual needs to have esteem. Any lack of self-esteem will affect your motivation, so be wary. People will undermine your esteem, they will make you paranoid, point out your mistakes, or even forget to praise you when they should. Keep your head held high. Your self-esteem is essential to your success. You should not rely on the judgment of others – especially when something as important as your self-esteem is at stake.
Feeling Love for Someone or Something
Another tremendous reward in life can be the honest love feelings you have for another person. Don’t underestimate the benefits of sharing your dreams and life satisfactions with someone you love. It can often be the missing link in your motivation.
As well as being a driving force in your own mind, it is powerful to have someone to whom you are accountable to for your success. You will have someone who makes you want to be the best you can be. Bear in mind that this does not always have to be a lover, it can also be a child, parent, a sibling, or anyone who you can associate these feelings of wanting to make the best of your life. It’s important however that you don’t feel pressure and grow to resent this person. Your success must be your desire, and nobody else’s.
Again, you need to be wary of relying on this person for your self esteem. Yet, having someone to share in the good and the bad times can be incredibly uplifting.
In addition to feeling love for someone, your motivation can be increased by doing things you love. Find your passion and spend your time doing this and you will find motivation will come far more naturally. It’s far easier to be carried downstream by doing something you love than trying to struggle upstream doing things you think you should, because they bring in more money, or because of someone else’s opinion.
Make an effort to find your passion and discover the tremendous benefits it will bring to your motivation.
Having Something to Look Forward to
Having something for which to look forward, gives you hope and motivation, and it can change your entire outlook on life. Make an effort to have things for which to look forward. Not just now, but for the rest of your life! Make a list and constantly work towards the things on it, and add to it whenever you can.
Try writing your list down. This will make it clear in your head and make the items on your list more tangible. In fact, we recommend you write it now.
Having a Positive Attitude
Do you see the glass as half empty or half full? Maybe you look at yourself as a realist. This is just a pessimist’s way of blaming his or her misery on his or her surroundings. Reality is both good and bad – saying that something is bad even if it is, is still a pessimist’s view! You can’t change reality but what you can change is your outlook. This can only be positive, negative or indifferent.
A negative attitude creates negative things, lowers moral in you and the people around you, lowers self-esteem, and it doesn’t give off a good impression of you.
A positive outlook makes you happier and increases your motivation, therefore increasing your productivity and self-esteem. This in turn makes people look upon you favorably.
Don’t confuse this with positive thinking, the law of attraction or other pseudo science. You’re not changing things with your mind, you’re physically affecting the immediate world around you with your attitude. Look at how a simple smile can change the feelings of everyone in a room. It’s a simple psychological effect, not rearranging the universe, as some people would have you believe.
It may take hard effort and strength of mind to attain a positive attitude if you’re not used to it, but it is one of the most important things you can do.
- Do something new every day. Look for opportunities to expand your horizons, your knowledge, and your experiences.
- Find someone you love. You will want to be the best you can for them, and your life will acquire more meaning and purpose.
- Find your passion. Doing what you love will make motivation far more natural.
- Always have something to look forward to. Make plans. Don’t get stuck in a rut. Constantly focus on driving forward, making each day better than the last.
- Try and maintain a positive attitude at all times.