We all get stuck in ruts and slumps. It's just the nature of life. And often, it keeps us from feeling more motivated to get back on track. Even the most successful people in the world get unmotivated.
But don't feel like you can't make a change at all. In fact, just applying one of the five ways below will help or jumpstart your level of motivation. I have committed procrastination at the highest level. I have also worked hard to block out the noise of others who could keep me throw me off track from reaching my goals. All five of these ways have led me to feel more motivated and develop a level of discipline in my work today.
Let's take a look at them below.
1. Stop Procrastinating and Do The Work
None of the listed ways matter if you are procrastinating. It does not matter how ambitious you think you are or want to be, not doing the work increases unreliability and will prevent you from becoming more motivated and disciplined.
The viciousness of instant gratification is real, and it has to stop now. Procrastination is the feeder of instant gratification. The more you do it, the more instant gratification will grow and the less likely you will ever do the work necessary.
It can spread quickly to other parts of your life, it can affect others, and without treatment, it eventually will stop you from doing all the things you want to do.
We keep doing it because it’s easy. We all want success without doing the work necessary.
The more you do it, the more likely you are just to give yourself instant gratification. Instant gratification is dangerous.
2. Stop Living for the Weekend
Vaynermedia CEO and multimillionaire Gary Vaynerchuk spoke in 2009 about how much it pisses him off that people live for the weekend with work. It's one of his most famous talks he has given, and the quote below is something that resonated with me when I first heard of the talk.
When I got out of the Marines, I just wanted to make money and work. I knew how to work hard and long. I knew that money would be the result of my effort but eventually work started to feel like a chore. It began to feel unfulfilling and more of an obligation to have two out of seven days where I felt free.
2 out of 7 days!
I couldn't live for just two days. I had to have every day be my life. I had to live for every day and not just the weekend.
So I took a step back and looked at what was making my work feel like an obligation. I found that I was not satisfied with work and the company. The culture was not conducive to me growing as a person so I left this particular job to find something more fulfilling for me where every day I could make an impact and still feel like I had a life.
If you feel like you only have two out of seven days to feel freedom or you are living life, then a change has to happen, or you will never get out of the rat race. A great tip is to take some time to yourself and look at what is keeping you at this job and what at the job is making you feel this way.
The answer is not going to happen overnight to you but taking some time to figure out why you are living only for the weekend and not for every day will help generate more motivation for you to work towards something that is meaningful.
3. Answer Yourself Questions
Throughout my career, I have been fortunate to have some great mentors who guided me to finding fulfillment in not just work but life. One of the things that I learned as a writer is that the key to success is the questions you ask yourself and what your answers are.
Every so often, I’ll take a step back and ask myself the three questions below.
1. What is my definition of happiness?
2. What does success look like for me?
3. If I was taken care of financially the rest of my life, what would I want to do to work?
I write down the questions and answers. If the answers are different from the last time I ask those questions, I have to adjust and take a new course of action. Answering these three questions will create more motivation to live a better life and more happiness.
Life is about adjustment and reaction. The more you are willing to take a look at where you are in your life, the more you can do to stay the course or be on a better path.
4. Stay Disciplined
When I got out of the Marines, I wanted to play college football. It was my goal, and along the way, I had people tell me I was too old to play with 18-19-year-olds, I wasn’t fast enough or strong enough to play.
But I wanted it and was going to do what I could to make it happen, so I wrote on a note card “You will play college football” and hung it on a mirror right by the bed. It was a good reminder to myself that no one controls my actions and behavior except me.
Writing your goals down on a notecard is an excellent way to build motivation and discipline. Make sure you can put it somewhere you can see it often as the more you see it and say it to yourself, you will start to believe it will happen.
And don't wait for you to have the right goal to put on the notecard or that it has to be something so ambitious for you to write it. A small goal or dream is just as good as a big one. If you're just starting out in building more motivation and discipline, a small goal might be better for you since more than likely, following the other ways will help you accomplish your notecard goal fast and efficiently.
5. Do Not Give Away Your Power
In a recent podcast with Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady addresses ignoring the media and his critics especially those who wanted him to be revengeful against Roger Goodell during the Super Bowl.
“When you play professional sports … you subject yourself to a lot of criticism. After 17 years in the NFL, there’s a lot of criticism,” said Brady. “I started experiencing that in college. College wasn’t an easy go for me … But I guess the point is, when you subject yourself to a lot of criticism, what I’ve learned from myself is, I don’t want to give my power away to other people by letting my emotions be subjected to what their thoughts or opinions are. So if someone calls me something, that’s their problem. It’s not my problem.”
When we let people’s voices called the noise affect our decision making, it can deter us from going after our goals. Our parents always will have opinions about what we are doing, our friends want nothing but the best for us, yet they also will chime in their two cents. There are also people who just want something to say so they will have an opinion about you and what you do. Not taking criticism personally is one of the hardest things to do. We are emotional beings and are wired to feel things but when it comes to being more motivated and discipline, you have to focus on your actions and your goals, block out the noise from those you love and don’t.