Blog Archive

How to Motivate Yourself


Veechi Shahi

Get out of the rut and fuel the fire in your belly with this guide
Do you find yourself leaning on others to get your work done? Do you hit the gym of your own accord or do you need a trainer or a friend to drag you there? Most people find that they're intrinsically motivated to do some things -to complete a project (driven by their love for their work or a sense of purpose) or to care for a sick child (driven by affection), for instance -but need external incentives, like, for instance, the promise of a reward or a promotion, when it comes to others. What drives you, and how motivated you feel to do anything, may also vary during different phases of your life. For instance, you may recall a time when you felt very passionately about work, but, over the years, this feeling may have faded.
Anxiety, anger issues, personal problems, boredom, depression, addiction (to substances, or even social media) may lie at the root of your waning ambition. So, what can you do to keep ennui at bay and stay motivated day after day?

1 Take a break
It may seem an odd start to this list, but, too often, people spread themselves too thin, and work so hard, they lose sight of what they're working for, in the first place. Every now and again, it's important to disconnect from work, and spend your time engaging in activities that make you happy, things that will serve to remind you of why your work is worth it.

2 A `greater purpose'
Take some time to introspect: are you spending every waking hour chasing the big bucks, or was there a more meaningful reason why you chose this line of work? According to Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs, a motivational theory in psychology, people are motivated to achieve needs in a certain order -before one can get to the top of the pyramid, where one can meet one's self-actualisation needs, one must feel a sense of accomplishment. Find ways to engage with the community and give back to society. This will help you feel fulfilled, which, in turn, will fuel your ambition.

3 Re-connect with yourself
Disconnect from social media and try and turn your attention inwards instead. Stop comparing yourself to others, and be honest with yourself about who you are, where you see yourself in a few years, what your priorities are, and what your life's purpose is.

4 Celebrate little accomplishments
For most of us, life doesn't mean big awards and public attention, but we do manage little accomplishments every day -meeting an impossible deadline, managing to make it through a crazy work day and to still get to your child's PTA meeting on time, finishing a book report even though you have a bad flu.Remember to pat yourself on the back for such things. It will make you feel relevant.

5 Invest in loving relationships
“Life is to be lived, not analysed to death. Feel,“ wrote Jeff Foster in The Way of Rest: Finding The Courage to Hold Everything in Love. Loving relationships can act as a great motivator. When this basic need is fulfilled, you are better equipped to give back to the world.

6 Read about extraordinary lives
Listening to success stories is motivating, but nothing beats the inspiration that comes from hearing about the failures and struggles of an icon, about the journey that made her or him who she or he became. The greatest things in the world have, after all, been achieved by people just like you and I, not by aliens with special powers.

7 Have realistic goals
A huge workload can be overwhelming, and this can serve to demotivate. Having realistic goals and breaking big goals down into smaller ones makes these seem easier to achieve.

8 Take the time to help othersSharing and helping others adds meaning to one's life. Helping your subordinates whenever you can will not only boost your sense of self-worth, it will also make you want to work harder in order to lead by example.

9 Peer pressure
You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with, so choose your company carefully. It's possible that your core group includes someone who lacks drive, or your best friend may be a pessimist. They could be bringing you down and sapping your energy. Widen your social circle. It's never too late to make new friends or change your perspective.

The writer is a life and wellness coach.