Have you ever wished you were motivated to do something that you knew should be doing? And you knew it would be good for you, but you just couldn’t bring yourself to do it? We’ve all had this experience, and we’re all continually having this experience. How many of you have felt that if you could just motivate yourself to do this one thing, your life would change?
I have a confession to make. I was not feeling very motivated to write this blog post today. I just didn’t feel like. When I told my husband, he said “Great! Then you can me clean the kitchen”. Suddenly I was very motivated to write.
Why am I telling you this?
Because this the first secret behind motivation. You will always do what you would rather do than not do. You are always motivated. Each choice you make, each action you make is always motivated by a desire to do exactly what you want to do.
Here’s the second secret. Motivation comes from within. You cannot motivate someone to do something that they don’t want to do. You also, cannot be motivated by an someone else. You can be inspired and you can inspire others but you cannot motivate them and they cannot motivate you.
They problem is that we are not always motivated to do what’s good for us. Often we’re motivated to do the exact opposite of what we know we should do. Motivation can be either positive or negative. It can be a healthy behaviour helping us to be successful, or it can be unhealthy and destructive and it’s important to know the difference.
How does this relate to business? Everyday as entrepreneurs, we are responsible for setting our own goals and making sure we do what we need to do to keep our businesses running and growing. It’s important that we understand how to motivate ourselves in a positive way to ensure that we are continually engaged in our business and too keep in moving forward in the direction that we want.
Today, when I didn’t feel like writing, it wasn’t that I unmotivated. Or lacking motivation. It was that I was MORE motivated to sit on the couch and watch Netflix. However, when my husband took that option away from me, I was suddenly motivated to get writing because that was more interesting to me than doing dishes.
So how then, do we begin to change? How do we get up off the couch and begin to tackle that sometimes daunting to do list? How do we shift our habits from what is unproductive or even destructive behaviour toward what is healthy and positive and moving us towards the life we want?
This is the third secret to getting motivated. Change happens when the benefit of the new behaviour outweighs the comfort of staying the same. This is when big shifts happen.
Every action you take comes down to a basic motivation to make you feel good. If you want to be positively motivated, you have to convince yourself that whatever change you make is going to make you feel good. Then, you have to evaluate the benefits of change and convince yourself the benefits outweigh the price you have to pay for them. And with any change, there will always be sacrifices you’ll have to make.
You cannot motivate yourself through guilt, feeling like you “should”, “need” or “must” do something. You can only motivate yourself through a “profit/loss” comparison. You've unknowingly been doing this your whole life, but now it’s about making this process work for you instead of against you.