Motivation… a word that we hear very often in the office, at training sessions, workshops, conferences, in short, everywhere. Everyone seems to agree that motivation is the secret to success.

But what is motivation, really?

Let’s unpack the concepts and ideas associated with the word.

Fundamentally, motivation is the drive or desire to do something, or to take action, based on a goal that you want to achieve. Motivations are usually positive, but in some cases they can be negative; for example, a person could be motivated to learn something in order to pass an exam (positive), or they could be motivated to learn something in order to cheat someone or steal from someone (negative).

Focus on Positive Motivations

Here, we focus on positive motivations. In other words, the discipline to make yourself want to do something that is good for you. So what’s the problem? Surely everyone should be easily motivated to do what is good for them.

Aha! The answer is not quite as straightforward as we would wish. Yes, at a macro level, of course we are all motivated to want to do things which are good for us. But, the problem is that the things that are good for us, are not necessarily the most pleasant or easy things to work towards!

Let’s face it. With the exception of a few highly-driven individuals, the average person is quite lazy. As human beings, we generally prefer the “easy and comfortable” way out.

We like to relax, enjoy life, have a good time, eat and drink whatever we like, spend money freely, sit around watching tv and playing computer games, and spend endless time on Facebook.

We don’t really “like” to work hard, worry about the future, make sure we spend our money wisely, make sure we eat healthily and exercise, etc. etc”.

What is your Motivation Level

Obviously, the more motivated we are, the harder we are willing to work and commit to our plan/goal or way of life. So even though we “want” to achieve a lot of positive goals, the question is, how motivated are we to really work towards what we want? Are we generally unmotivated, reasonably motivated, or supermotivated?

We can usually identify persons who fall into the “super motivated” category easily enough. They are the ones who are able to push themselves beyond the comfort zone and really commit 100% to their goals.

They will sacrifice whatever is needed in order to stay focused on their goal. They do not take the easy way out, slack off on their discipline or succumb to temptation to over-eat, over-drink, sleep late, wake up late, etc. They are super-energetic, super-passionate, super-fit, super-active, the list goes on…

Sounds like too much work?

Feeling exhausted just thinking about it? Not to worry, help is at hand – we can all learn tricks and tips to help us become super motivated enough to benefit from the positive results associated with it, even if we are not “naturally” this way.

The Tricks

  • Don’t wait for the motivation to come

First of all, we need to understand that we should never wait to naturally “feel” super-motivated. It’s very rare to just wake up in the morning feeling super motivated. This might be the case for a few highly-driven and very exceptional individuals out there, but for you and me…quite the opposite in fact…more likely when we wake up in the morning we feel groggy, sleepy and quite ready to fling the alarm clock out of the window ?

  • Push and motivate yourself

So, what to do when you want to feel super motivated but in actual fact, don’t feel like doing anything? Immediately start working on consciously pushing yourself into a super motivated state. Have a set phrase or couple of words that you repeat to yourself non-stop when you find yourself feeling sluggish and unmotivated. These words should help you re-connect with the feeling of wanting to take the desired action to achieve the desired results. After a couple of minutes you’ll find yourself starting to feel better, more focused and more motivated. 10 minutes after waking up you should be ready to hit the yoga mat or the gym!

  • Make your personal commitment

Other tips include making a commitment to personal excellence and discipline. Staying super motivated is not “easy”. It won’t come naturally, especially not at first. You will need to be very clear in your mind, as to why you need to become and stay super-motivated. Your commitment to personal excellence and discipline is something that must be instilled deep in your consciousness and it must remain strong no matter what happens.

Too often there will be temptations, as most people are not very disciplined or motivated and we could find ourselves being tempted to indulge along with our friends and family unless we have made a clear commitment to ourselves which we are prepared to work hard to honour.

  • Stay Focus and Manage Well

You should also always envision yourself as able to manage resources well enough to stay the course. Too often, our motivation depletes as we allow fear to set in. Fear that we will not have enough time, enough money or enough energy to do what we want to do. The antidote to this, is efficient management of time, energy and finances. Plan what you’re going to do each day and keep a close eye on the clock to track your progress.

  • Do it, and do it Now!

Try implementing these strategies into your own life and watch how your life starts to change! With the right level of motivation, no obstacle is insurmountable. Now get out there, and get it done!


Personal finance author and trainer

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