My incredible friend, I'm impressed! I admire your willingness to dive in and learn a little more about yourself, about others, and how to create and inspire some motivation inside of that mind and body of yours. I know you've heard me say it a million times, but I never tire of saying it... your psychology, your perspective is everything. If you were to look at a tree, and its beautiful branches, and the fruit growing on it... you psychology would be the root system below the ground. It's what naturally feeds and allows that tree to grow, expand, and produce incredible and awesome outcomes. The fact that you are here looking to grow that root system, is absolutely genius... so welcome.
Ok, your question today... and by the way, 1000's of you are asking us "How to get motivated?" and dog gone it, today, I'm going to give you some ways that you can begin to use right away, that I promise will work with you now, and also in the long-term.
By the way, this isn't a pill, it's not a shot of adrenaline to your brain and body, but it's a set of skills and ideas that have been inspiring humanity for thousands of years. I want you to realize that the problem of motivation is not a new one. Whether it's at school, at home, at work, with education, sports, art, in any kind of performance... whether it's the greatest athlete that you can think of, or your favorite artist, these individuals have and probably still do, struggle to find that spark, that energy, that drive, that source of inspiration that moves them and propels them to succeed, to grow, and to overcome the tragedy and challenges that they and us will have to face in this life.
My friend, i hope you get what I'm trying to tell you... you're not alone in this! In fact, you're in good company. This is indeed a challenge that you must face, think, and work through, and today i'm just going to give you some tips on how to do this.
By the way, I'm not suggesting that I'm the world authority on this.
You probably have some awesome things that you do, that you've tried, that work for you, and for heaven sakes, keep doing those! I'm just here to add some of the wisdom and skills that have led others to get reenergized, to get hyped, and to get out of that staleness... that paralysis that sometimes hits us when we become overwhelmed, or stressed, or when we start to fall behind, or when we feel rejection or failure. I'm here to help you reset, and go again, right? I mean, just imagine a big red button with the word RESET! Hit that, and let's go again... that's what today is all about.
Let me first start with the big 3, which for me is "The What" "The Why", and "The How"
- "The What" is simply deciding what it is that you are wanting. I feel that sometimes we are like a ship, just aimlessly being pushed about by the current and winds of life. Just going through the day to day of things, and honestly, there is a lot of routine in life, but I think that every once in a while we need to set our sails, aim our rudder, and begin to travel in a direction that you believe is intelligent, positive, meaningful, and awesome. Maybe for you this is, "I want good grades," "I want more friends," or "I want to be better at this, or that," or even "I want to be happier." What is it that you want? I'm telling you, it's ok to wander and drift in your life, but don't make that your entire existence. The truth is that your brain works more effectively when it has a direction, when it has a goal, a plan, an objective. So that's what this first step is about.
- The next step is "The Why." Why do you want the things you do? Why do you want better grades? Why do you want to be better at this or that? Why do you want more friends? Why do you want the things you do? I know that some of these answers will seem really simple, and that's ok, but try to connect "The Why" to the things you're doing. In other words, this is a simple exercise that helps you to see that you're not just spinning your wheels, passing time, and doing what others want you to do. This is you realizing that what you are doing matters, and more importantly, that it matters to you NOW, TOMORROW, and FOREVER. A famous philosopher named Nietzche once said ""He who has a why to live for, can bear (with) almost any how." Don't stress, I'm not giving you one more assignment for you to fill into your already busy schedule, all I'm suggesting is that you're not just living life to pass time... you're living life because you are meant to experience joy, happiness, growth... you are meant to contribute to this world and to others around you in an extraordinary way. We're not here to survive, we're here to thrive and to live a great life! So shift your mindset away from "all of the things that you need to do," and instead begin to see how the things you are doing matter for you now, and will forever. Find your "why" in the things you do.
- The final step is "The How." Look, let's be real! There is no substitute for action in this world. The only way to become a better climber is to climb. The only way to become better at piano is to play the piano. The only way to become better with people, is to spend time with people building those skills. The only way to become better at minecraft, is to play minecraft. This is the way, like the mandalorians would say... this is the way! So grab that magnificent instrument that is in your hands at this very time... your phone, or a calendar, or a notebook, and write down some simple things that you are going to do, and that you can start right away to move toward the things that you want. I promise you, even the act of making a plan, or writing down some simple goals will create some internal fire and energy inside of you... try it. I'm reminded of this quote by Thomas Edison "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." Don't be afraid of doing the work... in fact I'll tell you a secret right now, the key to true and enduring motivation and energy in any area that you find yourself in, is to dive deeper into it. Whether it's with piano, sports, school, social situation, hobbies, etc... if you want to keep your motivation, excitement, and happiness about something, they lean into it more, and you'll find a spring of mastery, enjoyment, accomplishment, and achievement in it. My friend when you find an obstacle, you have to realize that that obstacle is the way. Marcus Aurelius, who was a famous Roman Emperor once said " The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way." So start to gently and slowly nudge that idea into your brain, and water it, and take care of it, and let it grow. Please trust me, I promise that the outcomes will be good.
Let me give you a couple of other suggestions that will help to add a little fuel to your fire, and get that miraculous mind and body of yours to move forward and upward:
- Start where you are, not where you think you should be, or where others think you need to be. This is reasonable right? I mean, you're not over there... you're right here. If your grades are in the toilet right now... start there. Let's talk to the teacher, let's ask for a little help from the school counselor, let's agree to do a little tutoring, let's schd in time to study... start right here, and work the problem.
- Start Small... but Start! Sometimes this is the hardest step. Just starting is the main obstacle. We sometimes don't start because we're overwhelmed, or too far behind, or embarrassed, or we feel like we are powerless to change the outcome... look, you are not powerless here or anywhere! That is a lie! I don't usually talk in such definitive ways, but whether your brain is telling you that "there's nothing you can do," or if someone is telling you that "no matter what you do, it's not going to change anything," Don't believe that. Even if sometimes it seems like we're powerless, never give up on the simple idea that your actions and effort are important, that they matter, and that you can alter the outcomes and situations in your life... please remember this, and once again, gently drill this idea into the halls of your mind, and into your heart.
- Find a Buddy! Look, we all need a little help. When I was a little younger and starting to run marathons, I joined myself with other people who were running marathons and training for those. Without a doubt, that made me a better runner, it kept me motivated, and it absolutely made that experience 100 times funner and more rewarding. So find a buddy to help you. Whether it's a study group, or a friend that's good at this topic, or your teacher, or your desk mate, or your school counselor... it's time for you to drop your ego, you know what I'm talking about, that voice inside your head that says "I don't want to seem stupid, or dumb," or "I don't want to bother people with my problems," or "that's awkward... like awkwardness even matters!!" or "I don't need help." Come on, really? Time to graduate from that rigid, fixed, and unhelpful mindset, and instead it's time for you to upgrade to a more flexible, helpful, and realistic mindset. Try it on and tell me how it fits in your life!
- Connected to finding a buddy, is the idea of Creating Some Accountability. If you let people, coaches, parents, friends, and other trusted individuals into your life, and make them part of your goals, you'll end up creating not just a source of accountability, but also a source of power and motivation. Remember it's not just you against the world! It can be, but it's way better and way more enjoyable when you have a team with you that can inspire, push, stretch, and motivate you. Find these people, and create a source of power and accountability in your life.
- And lastly, Work the Problem! Look, sometimes things don't work out. Sometimes you climb and fall. You study and fail. You try, and feel the sting of rejection. Remember that these painful experiences are essential to your life. These experiences are precious wisdom that can teach you what works, and what doesn't work. Keep your mind sharp, and your heart open, so that when things don't work out, you can keep that Growth Mindset front and center in your mind, and ready to go again, and again, knowing and trusting that amazing process that is called Your Personal Growth & Evolution.
Wow, there's so much more that could be said, and that I could share with you, but I think I'll pause, and let you go to work, hoping that you know that we are here for you.
You can chat with us, use our amazing resources, and listen to our podcasts that can also provide you with a little lift in your life.
My friend, the time to be self-critical, or pessimistic, or to remind yourself of everything that you've missed out is passed. It's time for you to reset, begin where you are, and move... move... move.
Remember to do the work.
Find the "What", "Why", and "How" of what you are looking to accomplish, do it with a smile, and with complete confidence that all of your experience is significant, and will add to your knowledge, wisdom, success, and compassion.
Now get out there and live deep and suck out all the marrow of life!