“Motivation is the spark that lights the fire of knowledge and fuels the engine of accomplishment. It maximizes and maintains momentum" – Zig Ziglar
Well I can think of no better way to fire up this article than with that very quote. It speaks so well to the truism of motivation being the enabler of our success. As you go through that article, and any other article the causes you a moments pause about your direction, ask yourself this question: Do you merely drift along the current of life like a leaf on a stream? Pushed along the ebb and flow without choice or reason. Or do you take change of your direction? Know this, the answer to this question has a major impact on your life, (both personal and professional) because life is filled with ups and downs. The trip along life’s road is loaded with pit-fills, quick stops, blind turns and incomplete paths. Then, on occasion after our trails, we are blessed with a period where there are smooth paved avenues, lined with beautiful trees and no obstacles. However, this to shall pass and the next barrier, obstacle and challenge will offer itself up.
Motivation is a critical ingredient to our resilience and ability to get back up when we have been knocked down (or out). When you are down the right attitude and motivation can and will be the difference between responding positively or reacting negatively. This difference has many impacts personal, professional and financial.
Let me give you simple example. Some years ago I moved to the suburbs of the great city of Atlanta. This growing metropolis has the same challenges around traffic that I’m sure most of you face if you have to journey into a major metropolitan area during peak traffic periods. Even though I am about the most upbeat and positive guy that you will meet (short of Zig of course). I have to admit that occasionally I have uttered discouraging comments about the traffic. Whacked the steering wheel of my car and barked out orders to the driver in front of me. All of which was a pure waste of time. Because after all of my banter, the traffic was still there, and so was I. However, now my emotions were running on the negative side so any little thing just irritated them all the more.
Now my typical commute can be about an hour each way. That’s two hours a day, five days a week, bringing us to about 500 hours a year with vacations etc. If I were to make this barking, whacking banter a daily routine, I would certainly be flirting with potential accidents as I challenged drivers around me in my irritated state. Let’s not forget the physical effects that these negative emotions bring about (headaches, high blood pressure etc. )
No for me the obvious thing to do is take advantage of this time to in a more positive manner. I have a full library of audio education and motivation on tape and CD. As soon as I get in the car to start my commute I drop in my tape or CD and I’m off down the road to work, and up the road to success. I have reviewed the works of Zig Ziglar, Anthony Robbins, Brain Tracy, Napoleon Hill, and Dale Carnegie. I have taken 100s of hours in personal/professional development courses in subjects like e-commerce, goal setting, creativity, growing IQ the list goes on and on. This automobile university has served me well in numerous ways. Paying off in the motivation that has sparked ideas I have turned into actions in the real world.
FACT – the tapes I listened to during these drive times never once said, “Tracy here is the solution to your problem. " Some of my tapes gave me information others gave me some positive thoughts to ponder. A person, who wants to maximize their life, will schedule regular motivational input and regular educational input. This input will be about their job, about who they are or who they want to be, or even about something entirely new and unrelated to anything they do currently. These injections of new concepts, ideas, confidence-building thoughts, and opinions will energize you, building your momentum and your motivation, thus bringing you up emotionally! You learn more when you are up; you perform better when you are up and people will react to you more positively when you are up. So right now is the time to take out some motivational insurance. Take out your scheduler and schedule yourself regular intervals of motivational and educational input. Do this now – it will pay off in big rewards!
Lets take a look at the dictionary for the definition of motivation (motivate, motive)
Mo-ti-vate to provide with, or affect as, a motive; incite.
Mo-tive 1 an inner drive, impulse, etc. that causes one to act; incentive. 2 of or causing motion
Combining your regular infusion of motivational material with your educational materials will provide the drive and impulse (motivational material) to set into motion the new concepts, ideas, confidence-building thoughts, and opinions (educational material) that will energize you. This will further build momentum and motivation, bringing you up higher! Are you seeing the pattern here?
You can not stand in front of the stove of life and say “Stove give me some heat and I’ll put some wood in you!" You will have to put some work into it first by stoking the fire that will warm your motivational soul.
Let me share with you 10 things you can do when you can’t seem to get motivated.
1. Get some rest. One of the major de-motivators in today’s society is lack of rest. Go to bed an hour early so you catch up on your rest. Or you could take a nap instead. A good night’s sleep is essential to your level of effectiveness and motivation.
2. Get some exercise. Take a walk, a jog, workout or whatever level of physical exercise you can partake in. Exercise gets your endorphins flowing and this will do wonders for how you feel. Not to mention you’ll be doing your body some good to. (be sure not to hurt yourself)
3. Tap the sap. Figure out what is sapping your energy and get rid of it.
4. Pamper yourself. Take some time for you. This could be a mini-vacation (a few hours to a day or two) Get away from everything and enjoy yourself. Clear your head and come back refreshed.
5. Review your goals. Review and remember why you are doing what you’re doing. If you decide now is not the time for a goal, them dump the goal. Remember you can always renew that goal again when the time is right.
6. Play with it. Get out a calendar and leave yourself some cute notes or pictures (sticker work great here) about your goals and activities. Send yourself letters in the mail to keep you up and charged. Here is a way you can use those free things on the net. Places like Yahoo.com have free calendars that will send you notes and reminders. Make them fun!
7. Use trusted advisers as a cheering section. You can have them send you notes (see #6 above). You want them to motivate you but don’t let them white wash the facts. Constructive criticism is key tool here. That way you are motivated to grow or keep growing.
8. Find your song. We all have a song or songs that move us. Make yourself a tape or CD full of these motivational songs. High-energy songs are best whether they are Bach or Backstreet Boys as long as they move YOU
9. Listen to your motivational tapes/CDs. Your car does not have to be the only place you go to get motivated.
10. Hire some help. I hired a maid for my wife. I have a martial arts trainer and a personal success coach too. These coaches and trainers can help you accomplish those things you can’t handle alone.
Motivation enables you to effectively use not only recently acquired knowledge, but also it will ignite, incite and enable you put in motion, things that you thought were long ago forgotten. Science has shown us that inspirational information conveyed in an enthusiastic manner activates the pituitary gland, which releases neurotransmitters that enhances our energy, creativity, and endurance. Keep your motivation up with your regularly scheduled motivational injections (articles like this one are a good start). Keep your pool of knowledge growing so you have more wood to stoke that fire with.
“Your motivation will positively fuel your attitude. Your positive attitude builds the confidence necessary to be persistent. And of course we already know persistence pays off. " – Tracy Brinkmann
Think Successfully & Take Action!
Tracy Brinkmann is an goal setting and success counselor. Through his company Success Atlas, he provides goal-setting, motivational & educational material, & training via live presentations as well as digital/audio products. Sign up for his free e-Zine http://www.successatlas.com