There are over 224 million Google hits for “how to get motivated.” Everybody wants to know! They’re looking for the secret sauce for how successful people always seem to spring out of bed like a jack-in-the-box when most people hit the snooze at least four times every morning. I’m going to reveal the secret about motivational power in this post, and I will tell you beforehand that it’s probably not what you’re expecting (hint: it’s not a superfood and it’s not yoga).
But first, let’s do an exercise.
Take the time today to physically write out these two things.
First: write out what you want to achieve. Maybe you want to publish a book. Or you want to start a business. Maybe you want to find your soul mate. From here on out, we will be referring to this as your What.
Second: write out why you actually want that thing. We will call this your Why. A good Why is always connected to an emotional response, so take note of how you will feel when you achieve your goal, and use that to uncover the truth behind Why you want it.
Here’s an example:
If your goal in your business is to make enough money to buy a nice big house, you might think the house is your motivating factor. But the deeper truth is that the house is actually just a What, a means to an end, an object that you would like to collect. Ask yourself why you want the house. Maybe it’s because you want to send your kids to the best possible schools to give them a better life. Perhaps you want to have the space for entertaining friends and family, thus enriching your life with the company of others. Or maybe you simply want to live in a space that inspires you in your creative pursuits. These are all examples of a Why that carries motivational power.
Have you figured out the secret yet?
The most important step to success, whether it is in business, in your personal life, or in your relationships with others, is discovering your true Why for wanting that success. Motivation is a fleeting emotion. It comes and goes just like fiery anger or vibrant joy. There is simply no person in the world who feels motivated one hundred percent of the time. But successful people have a Why that is unchanging and can’t be shaken by their emotional state. That is why it is so crucial to discover the deeper reason that you want to accomplish your goals.
Your Why must be as powerful and everlasting as the rising sun.
Even on days when you don’t have the motivation, you don’t want to work, and you don’t want to get out of bed — your Why is still there. If your only motivating factor is “to have a big house” as in the example above, I can guarantee that there will come a day where your motivation has left you, and you will say “well, the apartment I’m living in is good enough for now.” But can you imagine saying, “I don’t care about my children’s future today”? Or, “I don’t really need to feel inspired after all”? That would be totally absurd! On days where the emotion of motivation has left you, your Why will always be there to push you through.
You are your own motivational power source. Once you have done the inner work to discovering your true Why, remind yourself of it daily. Keep your Why at the forefront of every action you take, and you will find that even on your hardest and most unmotivated days, you are still able to push the needle forward toward hitting your goals.