Motivation: 5 Powerful Emotions You Can Use

Jeff Herring

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Experiencing strong emotions is not uncommon. What is uncommon is applying these emotions to motivate you to change and grow.

Having said that, here are five emotional states that can change your life, if you act on them:

commitment, desire, disgust, decision and focus.


If you are committed there is always a way, and usually more than one way. The key phrase here is if you are committed. Commitment to a relationship, exercise, career or achieving goals means that no matter what, I'm sticking to it, I'm seeing this through.

One of the nice things is that when you are committed to something, you seem to find yourself involved with other committed people.

The late singer-songwriter Harry Chapin said “Whether it's to a cause, a relationship or something else, when you hang out with people who are committed, you hang out with the folks with the live hearts, the live minds, the live eyes. "

Applied to marriage, this notion of commitment is much more than just being committed to avoiding divorce. It's the commitment that you will do everything in your power to make the relationship a great place to be.


"How bad do you want to beat Edgewater?" my high school football coach screamed in my face when he caught me going a little too easy one day in practice. That one has stayed with me because he was right: The amount of desire I had that day was showing up in the actions I chose to take.

Desire is reflected in your actions. Desire with little or no action is not worth much. So ask yourself frequently, “How much do I want this?"


Disgust is not typically an emotion associated with positive change. Or is it?

Have you ever been disgusted with a situation, a relationship or yourself?

Most of us have, of course. But have you ever been so disgusted that you were motivated to change no matter what? Being sick and tired of being sick and tired with something can be a fantastic motivator for change when you decide “no more, not again, not ever!"


The root word for decision is incision, which means to cut. So when you decide, really decide, that something will be different in your life, you “cut off" any other possibility. And it's reflected in your view of and attitude toward life.

Bill Marriott of Marriott Hotels said, “Failure? I've never encountered it. I just stumbled over a few temporary setbacks. "

That's decision in motion.


Each one of us is bombarded every day with hundreds of things trying to get our attention. Focus is an emotional state that pulls together commitment desire, disgust and decision.

When I see people struggling with where they want to go, one of the first places I look is their power of focus. We tend to be pulled toward that which we focus on. Lack of focus usually equals lack of success and achievement.

Focus on all the distractions pulling for your attention, and you're not likely to get where you want to go. Focus on where you want to go and you are likely to get there.

Commitment, desire, disgust, decision and focus.

Don't just experience these emotional states, apply them to create the life you desire.

Visit for tips and tools for creating and growing a great relationship. You can also subscribe to our f*r*e*e 10 day e-program on how to enrich your relationship today, from relationship coach and expert Jeff Herring.


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