"When life gives you lemons, add a pinch of sass and a dash of motivation. Shake it up, and make it a sweet success."
What determines human performance? It is motivation, the feeling that drives you to do or not do something. In other words, it is the desire or willingness to complete a task. The source of motivation can be from within us (intrinsic) or something that is external in nature (extrinsic).
When you engage in an activity or behaviour simply because it is enjoyable and satisfying in and of itself, without any external rewards or pressures, then, it is based on intrinsic motivation. It is an internal drive that comes from within the individual, as opposed to extrinsic motivation which involves being motivated by external factors such as money, praise, or punishment.
Let’s understand this using an example below:
Person A: "I love painting, it's just so soothing and I feel so creative when I do it."
Person B: "Why do you paint?"
Person A: "I paint because it's fun to see the colours come to life on the canvas."
Person A: "I have to finish this project by tomorrow, my boss is counting on me."
Person B: "Why is your boss counting on you?"
Person A: "Because if I don't finish it, I won't get a raise, and I really need that extra money."
Here, you can see that, in the first example, Person A is motivated internally to paint as he loves it whereas in the second example, Person A’s motivation is external, the raise.
Motivation fuels ambition. To identify what motivates you, it is essential to reflect on what gives you a sense of purpose and what you find fulfilling.
One way to do it is by listing your values, beliefs, and interests. For instance, if you are passionate about learning and self-growth, you may be motivated to seek out additional opportunities for education and self improvement.
Consider your favourite past experiences to find what you enjoyed most about them.
Next, you can consider how your goals and desires match your motivators. Exercise and mindfulness may motivate you to stay healthy. For instance, if your goal is to maintain good physical and mental health, you may find motivation in engaging in regular exercise and mindfulness.
To get direction and a sense of purpose and keep your motivation high, you need to set goals as they can help keep you focused and on track. To set effective goals, it is important to make sure they are clear, achievable, and aligned with your values and motivators.
To start, consider your short-term and long-term goals. For instance, if your long term goal is to run a marathon, then your intermediate goal should be to start by increasing your running distance and stamina.
Make sure to set realistic and achievable goals. So, if you have never run before, setting a goal to run a marathon in a few months may not be realistic, but setting a goal to run a 5K in a few months may be more attainable.
Besides being realistic, you need a plan to attain your goals and track your progress.
When you have a question in your mind regarding how to motivate yourself, you should pay attention to the type of people you surround yourself with. Make sure they are the ones who act as a support, encouragement, and inspiration, helping you maintain a positive attitude and stay focused on your goals.
If you're trying to lose weight or acquire a new skill, spending time with positive, like-minded people can help. As you strive towards your objective, they can provide accountability, support, and a sense of community. They can help boost your self-esteem and provide a sense of security and comfort.
Additionally, engaging in activities that bring you joy and positivity, such as exercising and meditation can also enhance motivation and well-being.
To stay motivated, it is important to reward yourself and focus on internal motivation.
Self-rewards should be relevant and motivating. Make sure your rewards match your effort and success. You'll feel accomplished and satisfied, which can be a powerful source of motivation for you.
It is important to focus on the intrinsic satisfaction of doing what you love as well as rewarding yourself for your achievements. For instance, If you enjoy writing, you may be motivated by the creative process rather than by external validation or recognition for your work.
This is one of the most underrated forms of keeping your motivation flying high. When you recite them, you develop a mindset of focusing on positive ideas about yourself, your life, and your goals. When you repeat them often, and believe in them, it will help you make positive changes in your life. How?
Try looking at it this way- Many of us do repetitive workouts to improve our physical health, and positive affirmations are like mind and outlook exercises. Over time, these positive mental repetitions might change our thinking and behaviour. Thus, it boosts motivation. Of course, if you use affirmations like “I am now a millionaire” when you know you’re no way closer to that will not be helpful.
However, if you use affirmations like the following, you’ll be able to keep your motivation high with a better effect on work performance:
1. I am improving myself and getting closer to my goals every day.
2. I may make mistakes, but I can recover and keep going.
3. I have the ability to achieve anything I set my mind to.
4. Each time I fall, I get back up again.
Many people out there believe that working at a stretch of 9-10 hours will help us achieve what we want to in a shorter amount of time, without losing anything. What they don’t realize is that taking regular mindful breaks is very important to keep you away from losing motivation. Breaks help to reset your mind so that you return to your work with a renewed energy and an improved motivation.
You can make the best out of a break by doing meditation. And to top it up, a walking meditation works wonders to help you get over the stress and overwhelming thoughts (if any) and come back with a great amount of energy.
Whatever the goal is that you’re trying to achieve, you can probably come up with a long list of reasons why you can't do whatever it is that you're attempting to accomplish. On the other hand, there is a method that you may follow to assist you put your concerns to rest. I refer to this strategy as the "yeah, but" approach.
Take some time to jot down all of the factors that lead you to believe that you won't be able to attain the objectives you've set for yourself. After that, you should respond to each of these with a "yes, but." This is just one illustration:
One of the reasons I won't be able to attain my objective is because I'm not young enough to start over in school.
Response: Yes, I am older than most people my age, but the life experience I've gained over the years gives me an edge that others my age don't have, and it will help me do well in my classes.
A lot of times, the reason you’re not motivated enough is because you feel you don’t have it in you to get what you want. So, the first step, in this case, should be to find out how you can increase your self confidence. How to do it?
Be more self aware. Take a step back and become aware of your thoughts. Challenge negative beliefs and counter each of them with a valid argument. This will not only increase your confidence but also widen your perspective in the long run so as to make you solution-oriented instead of focusing on the problems.
What’s the best excuse you give when you don’t feel like doing anything? You say that you’re not motivated enough. What if you counter this by working on it through the medium of meditation. Level Supermind has a collection of guided meditations that will help you cultivate motivation over a period of time. Try searching for these meditations on the app to get started:
Create new opportunities: Manifest prospects regarding your career and find the intrinsic motivation as well as satisfaction using affirmations.
Solve self doubts: Increase your confidence by being aware of your thought patterns and understanding why you think the way you do through this meditation.
Visualize and succeed: Do you have exams coming up soon? Overcome exam anxiety and instil positivity and confidence through this visualization practice.