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Last Updated on February 19, 2020

15 Simple Things You Can Do to Boost Your Daily Motivation

15 Simple Things You Can Do to Boost Your Daily Motivation

More often than not, we as humans look to create positive momentum in our lives by identifying one massive item that we can adjust to create change and generate motivation. The realistic approach is to take a bite sized strategy to achieve newfound motivation.

With that in mind, I’ve come up with a list of 15 simple things you can do to boost your daily motivation.

1. Identify and Establish a Long Term Goal

Motivation can feel as fickle as the weather man’s daily predictions. But there are numerous ways to boost your daily motivation and ensure that you are on a track of success in your pursuits in life.

When working to achieve that required boost in your pursuit, the first step has to be for you to create a long term, over-arching goal that you will start to work towards.

Rome may have not been built in a day but the idea of what it was to be had to exist before the end result ever materialized.

In the same way, you have to be strategic in creating a long term goal and then working to pursue relentlessly.

The hard part is figuring out the goal: The Surefire Way to Set Long Term Goals and Reach Success

The easy part? Activating that boost in your daily motivation (with the help of the rest of this list, of course!)

2. Target Milestones in Your Daily Pursuit

Keeping your long term goal in mind, the next step in this journey of keeping your motivation levels sky high is to create bite sized goals within the larger goal for you to pursue.

The simple but effective quote comes to mind:

“How does one eat an Elephant? One bite at a time.”

It may be cheesy but the general point remains true. You won’t have any luck losing 50 pounds if you are trying to do so in the span of a week. But if you create target milestones within the long term pursuit of being more fit, then you will experience the joys of the smaller victories that will lead you down the path of achieving that larger goal.

Those small victories will give you a powerful feeling of accomplishment and continue to transform your daily motivational levels for the better.

In time, those victories will compound and your motivation will only continue to grow as you continue to check off more of the boxes towards your overall goal!

3. From Checking Boxes to Cashing Checks

In creating target milestones within your over-arching goal, it is even more important to setup checkpoints within those milestones where you reward yourself for your efforts thus far.

As a parent, it can sometimes be much easier to get my child to comply with a request if I include a small prize for said compliance. We often encourage our daughter to brush her teeth after which we give her a tasty vitamin gummy, and this has helped establish a positive habit in her morning ritual.

If you have identified your target milestones, pick a few of those and add some kind of reward as a pairing with accomplishing that milestone. Much like pairing a delicious cut of cheese with a fine wine!

It really can be anything that you actually believe. It will help incentivize yourself to continue down your path of self-betterment as long as it helps to maintain your motivation, and doesn’t interfere with your long-term goal.

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Keep in mind the reward shouldn’t in itself be a negating factor towards your long term pursuit.

4. Firm Up Your Foundation

Considering the first few steps in boosting your daily motivation levels, have you really spent much time considering the purpose behind your pursuit?

Having a true understanding into the foundation of why you are pursuing a goal will help you to keep after it in the long term.

Do you know why you are trying to pursue that goal?

Spending thought and time defining your purpose behind the pursuit of a long-term goal, will allow for a more successful path and an extended duration of that journey towards the goal.

That strong foundation will serve as a friendly reminder that allows you to keep those motivational levels boosted, and in a place that will lead to continued success as you move forward towards your target milestones.

5. Publicly Commit

I’ve found that when I’m willing to make a more public facing commitment to accomplish something, I have a stronger tendency to push through and maintain my daily motivation in that pursuit.

When more people are aware of your pursuit, the pressure to not fail starts to accumulate on the brain. While pressure at times can be detrimental to a pursuit, I think that a little social pressure can be a healthy thing to keep you focused on the task at hand.

When I know that my parents, significant other, friends, or co-workers are aware of my pursuit, I am more likely to strive towards my end goal with more sincerity.

Similarly, it was much easier for me to workout, exercise, and eat properly in high school when I had a basketball coach that reminded me each day why I was actively pursuing being better.

Now that I’m an adult and don’t have that built-in coach in my life, I find it more challenging to maintain those pushes to be better.

While it is a simple gesture, opening yourself up to the “public” and making a pronouncement of your intentions can serve as a strong motivating tool for you to keep on keeping on.

6. Meet Motivated People

Too often, we make attempts to increase our motivational levels on a day to day basis without examining the people who are influencing our life’s direction.

If you are supposed to be the average of the 5 people that you spend the most time with, where does that leave you?

You should strive to seek out people both in your professional career and in your personal life that are more successful than you are.

If you are lacking motivation in life, try to be in regular contact with friends of yours or peers in the workplace who have the levels of motivation that you desire. Do what you can to learn from them! What empowers them day in and day out to maintain high levels of motivation and accomplish their goals?

7. Develop an Accountability Team

We all have the best intentions when we set out towards any specific goal in our life but, life has that pesky mannerism of getting in our way from time to time which leads to those inevitable collapses in our motivational levels.

This is the time in your journey when a team of friends, family, your significant other (anyone who you’d put in your corner if you were a boxer), need to jump in on your behalf and remind you of what you set out to do originally.

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Sometimes, your accountability team may be a group of strangers that all share a common cause (weight loss groups, group therapy, basketball teammates) and sometimes, they are people with whom you are very intimate.

Whatever it looks like for you, this team to help you maintain your promise to YOU, is so vital to your success when you start coming up on roadblocks to your daily motivational levels.

Keeping this team on speed dial will be a life saver when you have those Monday blues and begin considering the abandonment of a goal. They will be the ones who you can “trust fall” back on and can help pick you back up, inject you with confidence and restore that motivation that you started with!

8. Consider Future Impasses

The prospect of boosting our motivational levels on a day to day basis and maintaining them over the long term is well and good but, you must remember that the road won’t always be silky smooth.

A key aspect of journeying to a better place in your own life and in pursuit of your goals and dreams is considering the direction that you are headed and plan for future successes AND failures.

What obstacles lay ahead of you that you believe you will need to be prepared to face?

Without considering what challenges are to come as you pursue stronger motivation to push forward towards a better life, you will smash into some road blocks that stop you in your tracks.

If you take the time to consider the trajectory of your path through life and mentally set aside the energy and time to consider what pitfalls may come along the way, then when those challenges materialize, you will be more prepared and able to handle them.

Take the time in your pursuits to consider where in your pathway you might come across the flashing hazards signs and know what your game plan to address them will be ahead of time.

The knowing itself is such a huge element that can help you to defeat your proverbial enemies and will allow for your motivation to stay strong!

9. Fuel Your Success

Consider too, not just your mental health a moment to evaluate the fuel you use on a daily basis to give you energy for the day. Are you slamming pizzas in the evening and donuts for breakfast?

Your physical body and how you care for it has a direct and immense impact on your mental state, motivational levels, and energy to get after life in a positive way!

My family has taken steps to discontinue our eating of processed, frozen foods and opted for more whole foods, vegetables, fruits, and grains to fuel our success throughout the week. Instead of snacking on a bag of chips for an afternoon snack, I try to incorporate a cheese stick and some grapes!

Take a look at what it is that you eat on a daily basis and ask yourself if you should make some subtle changes in what you consume to better maintain those energy levels and keep your motivation boosted.

10. Energize Your Pursuit

I’ve got a confession to make and it might sound a bit crazy but here it goes: I love coffee.

Each and every morning, I allow myself a cup to get the day going and on the really tough days when my motivation to get moving for the work day is low, I might even sneak in a second.

I’m amazed at the people who have gone entire lifetimes without utilizing a cup of joe to get their day fired up. I actually question those people’s sanity because who the heck doesn’t like coffee?!

No matter, coffee and/or tea is such a fantastic way to get your body in a routine of fully waking up, activating your awareness and starting the day off on the right foot.

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What better way to boost your daily motivation than to wake up with a fresh injection of caffeine to clear the fog out of the attic? Research from the American Heart Association shows that:[1]

“[Drinking coffee] gives you energy and may help you lose weight and sharpen your mental focus, thanks to the magic of caffeine. Studies have shown that caffeine may improve your mood, help your brain work better and improve performance during exercise.”

That same study did go on to warn readers that while drinking coffee has clear health benefits, the manner in which you take your coffee will play a part in whether it is good for you or not as “fancier drinks” or sugar loaded coffees will end up hurting you more than they help you.

Over consumption of caffeine can be just as bad as well especially if it interrupts your normal sleep cycle.

11. Catch Some Z’s!

According to the National Herat, Lung, and Blood Institute,[2]

“Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being throughout your life. […] The damage from sleep deficiency can occur in an instant, or it can harm you over time. [Sleep deficiency] can affect how well you think, react, work, learn, and get along with others.”

When I find myself with a strong lack of motivation at work, I often look to examine my most recent week of sleep habits as that can often play a contributing role into my inability to stay on task and motivated.

Sleep gives our body and mind the time to reset, recharge, and repair the damage that we do in our day to day movements through life, which is why it is so crucial to take the time to get proper rest.

The NHLBI recommends 7-8 hours of sleep for Adults aged 18 years or older which is difficult to achieve at times but, so relevant to your quest to boost those daily motivational levels.

Simply put, if you aren’t sleeping enough, you’ll find little success in your pursuit to have more energy for the areas that you really care about being productive in within your life.

12. Making Moves to Materialize Motivation!

Some of the greatest tools for building up your motivation levels are simple yet superbly effective. Exercise is a huge part of contributing towards a healthy mind and body. If you can get out and exercise on a regular basis, your motivation to continue and exercise will actually increase.

According to a study referenced in the Men’s Journal by the University of Copenhagen,[3]

“moderate exercise could increase your motivation to work out and lead to an all-around healthier lifestyle.”

So just by working out 30 minutes a day, research shows that your desire to continue with that positive behavior will increase. Even if you are just walking for 30 minutes each day as your form of exercise, that can be a great way to take strides towards a healthier mind and body.

The better off you are mentally and physically, the stronger your daily motivation to be better overall and pursue a long-term goal, will be.

13. Know Yourself

You know yourself best and you will be most aware of your internal weaknesses, patterns of behaviors, and path to having a decrease in motivation levels towards a specific goal.

Exercise your self-awareness and plan ahead for potential areas of failure that you have encountered in the past. If you work to navigate away from your previous areas of failure that may have led to a decrease in daily motivational levels, then you will obviously have stronger potential for success.

Maintaining a real grasp on our own bad habits and areas of weakness, and ensuring that we disallow those bad habits to kick back in, or weaknesses to re-materialize are so key to maintaining high motivation levels on a day to day basis.

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Changing habits is hard and is a daily pursuit. But if you can first control your thoughts and responses to a situation, then those conditioned responses will eventually convert into new positive habits, which in turn will eventually recondition your personality and behavior.

All of this work and effort will go far in increasing your day to day motivational levels!

14. Overcome Your Fears

The retreat of motivational levels in my opinion is often related to self-doubt or internal fears creeping into your mind.

So often when we are near the peak of a success, we revert to a previous version of ourselves in our mind and allow fear to dictate our ability to continue on instead of reality.

The truth is that internal fear is a mental block that we often allow to enter the equation, and we allow it to bully us out of a pursuit or aspiration.

However I must emphasize that fear is something that you can overcome!

If you work to face your fears, then you will begin to realize that they don’t have any power unless that power is given to those fears by the individual.

Fear is merely an idea and if you overcome it, you will find that there isn’t much of anything holding you back from success!

Motivation levels will continue to grow as you’ve removed yet another obstacle from your internal thought process and allowed more space in your head to build yourself up, implement positive self-talk, and continue to grow in your confidence.

Take a look at this guide written by Mandie Holgate on how to overcome your fears: How to Overcome Your Irrational Fears (That Stop You from Succeeding)

15. Pool Your Victories

When you’ve been working at a goal for a long time and painstakingly maintained a strong foundation of motivation throughout the pursuit, it’s just as important that you take the appropriate time to marinate in that victory.

Success doesn’t come easy and it never happens over-night.

Your strive to increase your motivation and do so on a day after day basis is not without pitfalls. But in the end, when you work so hard to keep that effort up and see it through, you will experience the benefits of that journey.

Victory never comes easy, so make sure you give yourself some credit and take the time to appreciate your growth through that journey to be more motivated and reach your long term goals!

Revel in your victory! Count your chickens because after all of that time, patience, hunger and internal doubt, you have finally accomplished your goal.

Even if it is a small victory, with each one that you rack up in your life you will grow your confidence in what you are doing and your motivational levels will benefit because of this.

After you get that initial taste of a win, it builds up your desire to see future success and as a direct result, you will see your motivation grow even stronger and more resilient than it has ever been!

More to Boost Your Motivation

Featured photo credit: Carli Jeen via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] American Heart Association: Is coffee good for you or not?
[2] National Herat, Lung, and Blood Institute: Sleep Deprivation and Deficiency
[3] Men’s Journal: Moderate Exercise Increases Motivation

More by this author

Colton Black

Motivational Coach, Self-Help Blogger, Recording Engineer, Professional Dad

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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

How to Get Unstuck in Life and Live a More Fulfilling Life

How to Get Unstuck in Life and Live a More Fulfilling Life

We all know the feeling—when you sense that you are not completely happy and fulfilled with your life—things are not where and how you envisage them to be. You go through the motions everyday, angry with yourself and the universe for throwing you such an unfavorable dice.

You can’t help yourself but feel a perennial envy towards those who are smiled upon by karma—the lucky individuals who seem to have the Midas touch and everything they undertake ends up with success, recognition and greater opportunities. Life must be so exiting.

Unlike yours.

We call this sensation many names: I’ve hit a wall; I’m not making progress; I’m stagnant; I’m moving in loops; Something is off in my life; I’m off balance.

Or simply: feeling stuck.

In this article, we’ll look into the reasons behind this feeling and how to get unstuck in life and live a more fulfilling life.

Is Being Stuck Really Such a Bad Thing?

Is it really so bad to be stuck in the status quo? After all, not everyone can be a super-star, right? What’s wrong with living a quiet life, with not many turns and twists and just going with the flow?

True—there is not much fun in this, but there is not disappointment, anxiety, stress and ill-ambition either. Life is easy and uncomplicated.

So why do we keep hearing over and over from the greats that staying is one place is not a good thing?

Tony Robbins gives us an elegantly simple answer to this question:

“If you are not growing, you are dying. “

“Progress equals happiness,” he says. “That ’s because reaching a goal is satisfying but only temporarily. Life is not about achieving the goals, life is about who you become in pursuit of those goals.”[1]

There you have it—staying in one place makes us unhappy.

We all know that the comfort zone can be great. It’s like a warm old blanket you wrap yourself around on a cold winter night, cuddled in front of your favorite TV show.

But just because something feels comfortable, does it mean it’s ok to stick to it forever?

Progress equals happiness, remember.

You may not even fully be aware of the small voice in the back of your mind that’s been bugging you, but you better learn to listen carefully—because you may wake up one day and realize that your productive life is gone and you haven’t achieved many of the things you wanted for yourself.

Pretty gloomy picture, indeed.

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Simply put, what the wise men advise us of is not just some self-help fluff for them to gain more popularity or sell more books. It is true—as you will learn below—that not moving forward, not even making the effort to do better or become better—even if you don’t always succeed in these endeavors—is a mental demise and a waste of your potential.

The Common “Stucks”

There are many reasons why you may feel stagnant in your life—some may be completely out of your control even. The main thing, though, is to be able to identify the reasons and then try to take some remedial actions.

But it starts with an awareness—because you can’t fix what you don’t know about, right?

Here are some of the main contributors to your feelings of stuck-ness:

You Lack Purpose in Your Life, or the “Why” of What You Do

Simon Sinek, the best-selling author and motivational speaker tells us in his famous TED talk that every successful endeavor—be it related to an organization, your career or personal life needs to begin with defining the “Why.” You need to be able to explain to yourself why you do what you do and what drives you.

It is the thing (s) that gives meaning and inspires you to wake up in the morning and to want to take on the world. It is your reason for being.

You Like the Status Quo

You may like your comfort zone. After all, it’s…well, comfortable. But as we established, the good old blanket is not necessarily going to make us fulfilled in life. You can watch so many TV shows wrapped in it before you get bored.

We, humans, still carry our ancestors’ fighting instincts—for hunting, for self-preservation, for taking actions to make our lives better. Inaction is not what made the mankind create all the innovations we enjoy today.

The Good-Old Fear of Failure and of the Unknown

Admittedly, it’s not an emotion to be taken lightly—it can be quite real and powerful for many of us.

According to a Gallup poll done a while ago among U.S. teenagers, the fear of being a failure and not succeeding in life was at number four.[2] More specifically, this feeling was described as “making mistakes that will mess up my life,” “not measuring up,” “not leaving a mark.”

So, fear can be a powerful paralyzer and can elicit a “safe-mode” response—i.e. stuck-ness.

Your Crowd

We all know the famous adage that we are the average of the five people we rub shoulders with. So, if your in-crowd is similarly stuck as you are, although it may be consoling at times, you won’t be motivated to make much progress yourself.

It’s called a social proof bias—if everyone around you is doing (or not doing) something, then it is ok for you to follow suit.

Comparisons to Others

While comparisons are not always bad, according to the Social Comparison Theory,[3] they have to be handled with caution.

Faring against others can make you very unhappy with yourself. Failing to recognize that your path is not the same as others’ and that there are many ways to get to an end-point (goal) can be very discouraging to taking the first step to unstuck-ness.

Personality

Our temperaments can also contribute to a sense of feeling stuck. For instance, you may be more of a passive, dreamy kind of person who prefers observing to taking action, pensiveness to gregariousness, solitude to venturing out in the world.

That is, you have more of a slow-burn personality vs. a fiery one—therefore, it takes you longer to contemplate all alternatives before taking the plunge.

And that’s ok. But you need to recognize that this may also be the reason why you are not progressing as fast or as much as you would like towards your goals.

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And while changing who you are is hard (impossible even, according to some psychologists), there are things that can be done to make it so much better for yourself, which I will discuss a bit later.

A final point to note here is that, paradoxically, it is possible to feel both stuck and unstuck at the same time. For instance, you can have a great career, but your family life may feel a bit stale, or wise versa.

As our personal and professional lives constantly fight for the top spot on our attention list, the feeling of stuck-ness may also depend on where you are on your life’s trajectory.

For someone who is younger and single, stagnation may be felt more vividly in their professional lives, as opposed to someone who is in their mid-life, where family takes priority—such individuals may not feel as down-hearted that they are not progressing quickly enough professionally.

How to Get Unstuck in Life

The neat thing about your path to becoming unstuck is that it follows the so-called Principle of Equifinality,[4] which states that the end state can be reached by many means.

It’s not just one thing that can help you to start moving forward again. There are many avenues you can explore to find out what works for you and with your own story and personality.

1. Show up and Be Willing to Do the Work

Woody Allen has famously said that “80% of success is showing up.” That is, you need to begin with the right motivation and willingness to take action towards unstucking.

You must want to improve your current state. And you must follow through.

2. Self-Reflection

Spend some time alone. You need to figure out why you are stuck—that is, what is the root of your discontent. Meditation may help here too. But this step is essential:

Packing on some self-knowledge and awareness on why you are where you are in life can help you discover a whole new universe of ideas on how to make it better for yourself.

It is as the saying goes: Identifying the problem is half of the solution.

Start to do self-reflection with the help of this article: The Power of Self-Reflection: Ten Questions You Should Ask Yourself

3. Break a Sweat

There is an avalanche of research on the benefits of exercising for the body and the mind. The latest research tells us that if you want to put your mind in the best possible focus shape, a 15-minute jog will do the job better than 15 minutes of relaxation and meditation.[5] It also clears your thinking, improves your attention spans, and can generally make you feel like a “brand new person.”

4. Find a Purpose

As I already touched-upon, the “Why” behind your actions is a prime driver of self-progress. If you link your goals—be them personal or professionals—to a “bigger-than-me” aspiration, then it will be so much easier to convince yourself to keep moving.

According to recent research,[6] we all have a specific purpose-seeking style—similar to our own way of writing, dancing or speaking.

There are four types or “Whys”—creative, prosocial, financial and personal recognition. The prosocial approach to finding meaning, though, which is based on kindness and compassion towards ourselves and others, is the best one in the long-run—it was shown to lead to greater caring, integrity and personal growth.

Here’s How to Find Purpose in Life and Make Yourself a Better Person.

5. Find a Passion

It’s barely a secret that if you enjoy something, you will want to do more of it and it won’t feel like an obligation. You will have an internal motivation to keep going despite setbacks, despite the stress or the tiredness you may experience at times.

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So, find what thrills you and makes you come alive and strive to become better, the best even, at it. The more progress you make, the more confidence you will have that you can apply the same passion and dedication to all other parts of your life that feel stagnant.

Learn How to Find Your Passion and Live a Fulfilling Life.

6. Nudge Yourself

The Nudge Theory[7] has been around for a while and has shown some wonderful results in positively influencing people’s behaviors—from making us conserve more energy, to improving the payment rates of fines, to making job-seekers more engaged and involved.

Small things as daily reminders in terms of micro-goals you can set on your phone, for instance, can have a profound favorable effect on becoming unstuck.

Nudging can also help overcome some of these personality traits we talked about—like passiveness or acute proneness to procrastination.

7. Seek Different Experiences

Even if you are in a happy relationship, you may still feel stuck—i.e. you may be unfulfilled, uninspired, or bored even of doing identical things over and over. The same rings true for your professional life.

The end-point is that you need to feed your brain different experiences if you want to get unstuck. If you repeat more of the same thing, you will end up with more or less similar outcomes. Change requires taking the path less trodden, experimenting, learning new ways, seeing new places, reading, travelling—it’s an endless list, really, to personal growth.

According to research covered in Psychology Today,[8]

“Activities that lead us to feel uncertainty, discomfort, and even a dash of guilt are associated with some of the most memorable and enjoyable experiences of people’s lives. Happy people, it seems, engage in a wide range of counterintuitive habits that seem, well, downright unhappy.”

8. Leave Behind the Things That Are Not Constructive for You

Arianna Huffington put it in a great way:[9]

“You can complete a project by dropping it.”

Assessing the things that make you feel stagnant is important. But equally valuable is to recognize that just because it may be hard or even impossible to get something that you really want, it doesn’t mean that you’ve failed or that you are necessarily stuck.

Maybe it’s simply not your thing. For instance, you may want to become a professional golfer. You practice and practice but you can’t quite reach the level of Tiger Woods that you aspire to. Perhaps it’s time to take stock of your life and shift your focus.

9. Compare Wisely

Comparisons can often make you feel down and create a sense of stagnation, which may not always be valid. You must realize that your pace of progress differs from your friends’, neighbours’, siblings or even significant others’.

Just because you are not a millionaire by the age of 30, or haven’t started your own business, or written your third bestseller yet, doesn’t mean that you are not moving forward.

So, mind how you measure your progress and your state of stuck-ness. Your perceptions may differ from reality.

Besides, it’s never ever too late to start things over! Here’s how:

How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

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10. Ask for Help

Finally, remember that you don’t have to do it all alone. If you feel stuck in your personal life, you can speak to your close ones and find a solution together. Maybe they feel the same way.

At work—raise your hand, speak to your manager, volunteer to do things that can help you learn and become more valuable.

You don’t have to come up with all the answers right now. The most important thing, going back to the first idea, is to be willing to make a change.

When Is Enough Enough?

Seeking progress is a great thing. Who wouldn’t want to become a better version of themselves after all?

But the pursuit of growth should be handled with caution. It can become very addictive and sometimes even be counterproductive.

It’s true—you may experience a “runner’s high” and success can make you overflow with dopamine, but the constant chase of “more” can toss you into a never-ending spinning wheel.

You will never be happy with the status quo and won’t accept things as they are—which, naturally, can open a Pandora box of mental health issues.

That is, too much of a self-improvement drive may leave you unable to enjoy your life, to be fully present in the Now and to appreciate the person that you are.

And this is not necessarily a good thing.

So, should you strive to improve yourself, so that feel unstuck and free again? Absolutely.

But remember to take a breather and be grateful for what you have.

Summing It All Up

The feeling of being satisfied or unsatisfied with one’s life is very personal. Similar to its cousins—happiness and success, it is best measured by and depends on our individual histories, personalities and paths—i.e. my trajectory is different than yours and what makes me feel content may not create the same feeling for you.

For instance, you may be happy to be in a position where you help others and their gratitude is sufficient enough reason for you to wake up in the morning. But for someone else, this situation may create a sense of stuck-ness.

The main take-away here is that you shouldn’t compare your story to anyone else’s because you may end up feeling constantly stuck. And this, speaking from experience, is not the best place in the world to be.

Progress is great, but don’t forget that your life is here and now.

So, try to enjoy yourself some too, while making your grandiose plans to take on the world, will you please?

Featured photo credit: Camila Cordeiro via unsplash.com

Reference

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