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Last Updated on May 8, 2019

How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

It’s Monday morning. The alarm rings. What’s the first thought that comes to mind when you open your eyes?

“I really don’t want to go to work today”, “I have such a long day ahead, what a dread”, or “Yes! It’s a brand new week ahead! Looking forward to getting lots done.”

Whatever your response may be, ask yourself this question:

“What is it that made you feel unmotivated?” What was driving you to feel negative or positive about your Monday ahead? How to get motivated?

Meet Nancy

I used to have a colleague by the name of Nancy. She came to work at the same time every morning, and would leave at 6.30 sharp every evening. Not a minute earlier, not a minute later. She was known to be the office grinch as she was often grumpy towards everyone, so much so people would avoid her whenever possible. She complained about everything under the sun.

I had a brief conversation with her one morning in the office lounge where we were both getting coffee. She told me she had been working with the company for over 20 years! When she told me that, I asked her what motivated her to stay on for so long, and her reply was simply “I don’t know. It’s a job that pays the bills, and is close to where I live.” With that, she walked away and I was left standing alone in the lounge with my hot coffee, at a loss for words.

How could someone be doing the exact same thing for over 20 years? And she clearly doesn’t enjoy her work, what with all that complaints and grouchy attitude. So why hasn’t she done anything about it?

The 2 Types of People

This might be an extreme case, but I’m sure you must know of people who have been doing the same thing for years and seem to not have any problem staying stagnant. Whether it be in their marriage, job, or personal endeavors, they seem to be getting along just fine without progressing towards anything ‘better’.

On the other hand, I’m sure you would also know of individuals who focus on the positive, set goals and are constantly pushing themselves to greater heights. Be it promotions at work, building a family, celebrating milestones in their marriage or relationships, upgrading houses and cars, setting up new businesses, or going to school again, these individuals seem to constantly progress towards something that improves or enhances their life.

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So what’s the difference between these 2 category of individuals?

What you feel like or don’t feel like doing, boils down to one thing. And that is motivation. It is the force, or lack of, that keeps driving you forward to overcome challenges and obstacles to achieve your goals.

Without motivation, you’ll give up after a few failed attempts or even on the first tough challenge that comes your way. Or, in the case of Nancy, just remain where you are: unhappy yet not doing anything to progress ahead.

What is Motivation, Really?

Whether you realize it or not, motivation is a huge force in your life; and it needs to be harnessed in order to excel and actually enjoy whatever it is that you’re doing on a daily basis.

Unfortunately, many overgeneralize the word motivation. We think of being either motivated or demotivated as a simple “yes” or “no” state of being.

But motivation is not a switch. Motivation is a flow. To feel motivated, you need to dive beyond the surface. Just reading a motivational quote, being encouraged by your friends or even mentor won’t help you build sustainable motivation in the long run.

You can think of the motivation that we want to achieve like the Sun (self-sustaining and long lasting), which supplies a constant influx of energy to all life on Earth. Just like the Sun, your “motivation engine” has different layers, starting from the core and spreading out to the surface. The surface is what you see, but the real process is driven from the core; and that’s the most important part… I’ll explain why in a moment.

If you can create a self sustaining motivation engine, you’ll not only be able to find more meaning and purpose in your life, but you’ll be able to enjoy every minute of what you’re doing, which will make your roles and responsibilities less of a chore. Now wouldn’t that be a game changer?

Let me help you understand this motivation flow better, by breaking down the Motivation Engine into 3 parts:

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  1. Core – Purpose
  2. Support – Enablers
  3. Surface – Acknowledgement

I’d say we’re most familiar with layers 2 and 3, as we come into direct contact with both of them frequently.

The Second Layer: Support – Enablers

In essence, the second layer of the Motivation Engine (also known as Enablers) is what supports your goals. They can magnify the motivation core you have, or speed up the momentum that you build. Basically, they create favorable circumstances for things to go smoothly.  

The Third Layer: Surface – Acknowledgement

The third layer, also known as Acknowledgement, encompasses any type of external recognition that might give you motivation. It may come in the form of respect or recognition, such as compliments and praise.

Or it could be emotional support through encouragement, feedback and constructive criticism. It could also be affiliation, where you have mutual companions or buddies sharing the same goal or burden with you.

This is generally what you see on the surface when you look at other people. You see the external acknowledgement, respect, and recognition they’re getting.

The Innermost Layer: Core – Purpose

But what’s most important, and the true driving force behind your Motivation flow, is the innermost core – your Purpose. Your purpose is what differentiates the motivated from the demotivated, the achievers from the underachievers, the happy from the unhappy.

Your motivational core is your Purpose, and is sustained by two things: Having Meaning, and Forward Movement. With these two as a foundation, you’ll have a power source that will feed you motivational energy indefinitely.

So, how do you do these two things?

How to Sustain Your Purpose

Having Meaning is simple. Just ask yourself a question: Why?

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Why are you pursuing a certain goal? If the reason is vague or unclear, then your motivational energy will be the same. While motivation provides you energy to do something, that energy needs to be focused somewhere. So without meaning, there is no direction for your energy to be focused on.

Yet, having a meaningful objective doesn’t mean you have to change the world or create A huge impact on society. The secret to meaningful work is simple: it should contribute value to something or someone that matters to you.

Next up is gaining Forward Movement. In short, this means to just keep moving. Like a snowball, motivation from having progress creates momentum. So to keep this up, you have to keep moving.

And the good news is, your progress doesn’t have to be huge for you to recognize it. Small amounts of progress can be just as motivating, as long as they keep coming. Like driving a car, you may be really impatient if you’re at a complete halt. But, it lessens if you’re moving forward–even if you’re moving slowly.

Creating a simple progress indicator like checklists or milestones, are a great way to visualize your small (and big) wins. They trigger your brain to recognize and acknowledge them, giving you small boosts of motivational energy.

This is why video games are so addictive! They’re full of progress indicators everywhere. Even though the progress is completely virtual, they’re still able to trigger the motivation centers in your brain.

Find Out What Drives You Today

So why not take some time today and do a quick reflection of where you’re at now? Take one aspect of your life that you’d like to progress further in.

For example, it may be your current job. First, start with why. Write down your reasons for why you’re in the job that you’re in. Then think about your Motivation Core: Your Purpose. Write down what it is within your job that gives you meaning, and what are some things that will help push you forward in life.

Once you have those points, it’s time to do a comparison. Does your current job help you make progress towards that Purpose that you’ve written?

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If it does, then wonderful! You’re on the right track. But if it doesn’t entirely, or you now realize you’re way off target, don’t panic. It’s definitely not too late!

Here at Lifehack, we’ve condensed over 15 years of life improvement coaching into creating the Breakthrough Framework.

This Breakthrough Framework helps provide an overall paradigm shift for you to turn any limitation you may be having, into an opportunity that is achievable.

By going through each of the 4 steps in the framework, you’ll be able to transform your mind and actions towards the change that is needed to achieve your ultimate goals, and truly break free from anything that is currently holding you back.

During each step of your journey, you will use specific skills that are part of 7 Cornerstone Skills that we have developed to help you through your transformation. The 7 Cornerstone Skills will help magnify your efforts, allowing you to grasp your opportunities quicker and instill the changes permanently.

Wouldn’t We All Like to Be Happy?

Happiness need not be a vague term or illusion that you’re constantly chasing after–with no end in sight. By finding your true motivation, you’ll be one step closer to realizing your happiness and finding meaning in all things you do.

You may have tried many solutions to help you stay motivated and found that none of them really have any impact. That’s because they bring about incremental changes only, and permanent change requires a holistic approach. It requires more than just focusing on one area of your life or changing one part of your routine or actions.

You want to make a fundamental change; but it feels like big, unknown territory that you can’t afford to venture into at this point in your life.

The truth is, taking your life to the next stage doesn’t have to be this complicated. So, if you’d like to take the first step to achieving your life purpose, the time is now! — Find out More About Our Solution Here!

Featured photo credit: Candice Picard via unsplash.com

More by this author

Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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Last Updated on July 23, 2019

30 Ways To Treat Yourself No Matter What

30 Ways To Treat Yourself No Matter What

As the old saying goes – if you don’t love yourself, who else will? It’s the little pleasures that get us through the everyday grind.

Doing little things that make you happy is a good way to boost your self-esteem as well as your general mood. This in turn has a knock-on effect on your mental health. It’s a win-win! Plus, most are free or cheap, so there’s no excuse for not showing yourself a little love from time to time!

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Why wait for your next day off or vacation? Remind yourself that you deserve to lead a happy life and enjoy yourself on a regular basis with these 30 ways to treat yourself.

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  1. Give yourself the gift of 5 minutes of doing nothing. Sometimes this is enough to get a bit of breathing room and plan your next move.
  2. Give yourself permission to reach out to someone else. Text or call a friend or relative who you know will support you.
  3. Make a healthy snack or drink and enjoy it slowly. Take pleasure in nurturing yourself.
  4. Give yourself a manicure or pedicure.
  5. Make a plan for the weekend, thus ensuring you have something to look forward to.
  6. Set a timer and tidy up your workspace for 10 minutes. This doesn’t sound like much fun, but giving yourself the gift of a clear desk is not to be underestimated!
  7. Go for a brief walk outside. Natural green shades are soothing, and if the weather is sunny, this will also provide you with a mood boost.
  8. Go to an animal shelter or pet store and look at the cute animals. There’s something relaxing about watching them play or sleep together in a happy snuggly heap.
  9. Get out a notebook and pen and start journaling. Let yourself express hopes, fears, desires and dreams. This can be very cathartic and healing.
  10. Read an interesting and uplifting blog article for free inspiration within minutes!
  11. Head to the library or second-hand book store for some free or cheap books. Grab anything that looks amusing, entertaining or inspirational.
  12. Ask a friend for a TV show or movie recommendation. Bonus points if you can borrow it from them for free! You could even suggest a movie night, complete with drinks and popcorn.
  13. Buy a seriously decadent treat, like a bar of your favourite chocolate, and savor it.
  14. Pretend to be a tourist in your local area. Leave your everyday cares behind and walk around the park, museums etc. as though it’s the first time you have ever visited.
  15. Buy yourself a new outfit, or at least a new accessory. If you are on a tight budget, visit thrift stores or hold a clothes-swapping event with friends.
  16. Do something nice for someone else. Why does this work? When we carry out random acts of kindness, we feel a warm glow inside. Everyone benefits!
  17. Give yourself the gift of learning something new. Stimulate your brain by reading or hearing about a totally new topic.
  18. Go and see a new movie by yourself during a weekday afternoon. There’s something relaxing and peaceful about seeing a film alone in a quiet cinema.
  19. Learn how to cook a new dish that you’ve always wanted to try. Master it and you’ll be able to have great food whenever you feel like it!
  20. Have an early night, just because you feel like it. Put off the chores until tomorrow, and just get into bed with a good book or film. We all deserve that from time to time.
  21. Give yourself the gift of taking your dreams seriously. Write down 5 key life goals that you want to achieve over the next year or so, and the steps needed to achieve them.
  22. Take a nap. So many of us are sleep-deprived, so 20 minutes spent napping in the afternoon may be just the refreshment you need.
  23. Make yourself an uplifting playlist containing all your favourite songs, and listen to it several times.
  24. Buy some new bedlinen, or at least change your sheets. It will make you feel nice and relaxed at bedtime.
  25. Avoid toxic influences. Do you suspect that a certain co-worker, relative or even ‘friend’ just depresses you or gets you down with their negative attitude? Try to spend less time with them.
  26. If the weather is pleasant, get out a hammock or blanket, and spend time relaxing in the yard or garden.
  27. The next time someone asks you to do something non-essential that you don’t want to do, vow to look after yourself and say ‘No.’
  28. Buy your favourite flavor of ice-cream on your way home from work and spend a couple of hours indulging in dessert and trashy TV.
  29. Treat yourself to a few compliments – from yourself! Get inspired from this article: Don’t Wait for People to Praise You. Do It Yourself Every Single Day
  30. Get rid of any clothing that doesn’t fit or flatter you, and go shopping for replacement. Take a look at this guide and learn how to declutter for a stress-free life.

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Featured photo credit: Trent Szmolnik via unsplash.com

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