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Last Updated on February 16, 2021

What Motivates You to Succeed in Life and Keep Moving Forward?

What Motivates You to Succeed in Life and Keep Moving Forward?

What motivates you to succeed in life? If you’re sitting there, perplexed, keep reading.

Let’s face it…we’ve all had moments in life when our motivation has been at an all-time low. Even the most motivated of people can feel unmotivated now and then. However, if you allow laziness to creep into your daily life, it will be nearly impossible to achieve anything in life.

The difference between successful people versus everyone else is that no matter what is going on around them, successful people always find the motivation and drive to keep going.

If motivation is so important, then why do so many people struggle with it, especially after they encounter defeat?

Here’s the stone-cold truth:

If you’re lacking in motivation right now to the point that it is keeping you stuck in life, the only person standing in your way is you.

What Is Motivation?

At its core, motivation is the reason why you act or behave in a certain way. It’s the driving force that pushes you to take action, in spite of your fear or lack thereof.

Psychologists define motivation as the process by which activities are started, directed, and sustained so that certain needs are met[1].

These needs can be either psychological or physical. It’s important to point out that motivation looks different for everyone, depending on their needs and values. Moreover, levels of motivation can change in different phases of your life.

Why Is Motivation Important?

According to the research of Dr. Anders Ericsson, motivation is the most significant predictor of success[2]. It is the secret sauce that allows you to create your destiny.

By understanding why motivation is so important for success in life, you will feel more empowered to take action.

1. Gives You a Sense of Direction

If you aimlessly move through life with no direction, you won’t feel motivated to do much of anything. This is why it is so important that you have a clear understanding of what you want and why.

If you don’t know why you should do something, the likelihood of you actually taking action will be minimal.

Successful people create a vision and know what their purpose is, which ensures that they are pulled towards the achievement of their goals instead of pushed. As a result, motivation becomes effortless.

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In the words of Margie Warrell, author of Brave,

“Knowing your ‘why’ is an important first step in figuring out how to achieve the goals that excite you and create a life you enjoy living. Indeed, only when you know your ‘why’ will you find the courage to take the risks needed to get ahead, stay motivated when the chips are down, and move your life onto an entirely new, more challenging and more rewarding trajectory.”

2. Transforms Fear Into a Powerful Plan of Action

Fear is the #1 factor that prevents people from taking action in life, whether that’s fear of failure, fear of success, or fear of not being good enough.

What a lot of people don’t realize is that fear is something that is created in the mind. Hence, it’s an illusion. When you flex your motivation muscle, it slaps fear right in the face. It’s a way of saying, “I’m going to feel the fear and do it anyway.”

You can either let fear prevent you from moving towards your goals, or you can use it as a tool for motivation[3]. It’s your choice.

3. Helps You Bounce Forward From Setbacks

When life knocks you down (and it will), motivation is the fuel that will allow you to pick yourself up and keep going.

When life tries to convince you that the game is over, motivation will be in your corner, cheering you on and reminding you to not give up.

Life is a rollercoaster ride. You can either scream your way through the whole thing or strap yourself in and enjoy the ride. When you encounter a low moment, take it as an opportunity to unleash your inner strength.

A great exercise to help you remember why enduring through the tough times is worth the effort is to visualize what life would be like five years from now if you aborted your mission[4]. That will be motivation in and of itself to keep going.

What Kind of Motivation Do You Need?

Have you ever thought about what the driving force behind your motivation is? To answer this question, you can take the free assessment: What’s Your Motivation Style? and find out what kind of motivational factors work for you best. When you can identify your motivation style, you’ll be able to maximize its strengths and always stay motivated. Take the free assessment now! 

Also, you can look at the push vs. pull theory. Your motivation to do anything comes in two different forms: push or pull.

Push motivation is driven by a need to run from unwanted reality, while Pull motivation is a power that inspires you to attain successful results[5].

When you push yourself to do something, it will naturally feel like you’re dragging yourself through life. You can only operate in this mode for so long before you run out of fuel.

This is why you need to access Pull motivation, which emerges from an intrinsic desire to do something that you love.

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As you can probably predict, Pull motivation is what you want to strive towards. It is the product of taking action with the intention of bringing yourself one step closer to your desired destination.

What Can Motivate You to Succeed?

Motivation

is subjective, meaning that different people will be motivated by different things, depending on what their goals and values are. What will motivate you at work may be different from what motivates you at home.

Let’s explore a few common factors that motivate people to succeed.

Living With Purpose

I am a firm believer that lasting motivation is driven, in large part, by your purpose. When you find what it is that makes you come alive inside, motivation becomes a walk in the park.

This is otherwise referred to as internal motivation, meaning that your behavior is driven by internal rewards. Hence, you do something because it feels good for you, regardless of what other people think[6].

What Motivates You? Extrinsic and Intrinsic Motivation

    If you have yet to find your purpose, don’t stop looking because it’s looking for you, too.

    Join the free Fast-Track Class – Activate Your Motivation and find out how to find your purpose to get motivated. Reserve your spot for the free session here.

    Committing to Self-Mastery

    Some people devote their entire life to self-mastery and the sense of accomplishment it brings. 

    Self-mastery is a process of becoming. It’s not an end goal. Rather, it’s a life path motivated by the opportunity to be your best self.

    In his book, Toward A Psychology of Being, Abraham Maslow talks about a powerful force within the human condition, which is a drive for growth. This force propels people forward towards wholeness of Self.

    Growth always requires some level of risk because it asks that you step outside of your comfort zone.

    I know how scary this can be, but I promise that you will never fail when you commit to self-mastery. When you master your mind, you master every area of your life.

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    Giving Back

    Some people are motivated to give back to the world and help others. They have an innate desire to create an impact in the world.

    As someone who helps people for a living, I can honestly say that there is nothing more rewarding than helping people achieve their fullest potential in life. As Winston Churchill once stated,

    “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”

    Research has shown that giving makes us far happier than receiving. Thus, in a way, we are actually being both selfish and selfless by giving to others[7].

    How to Find More Motivation to Succeed in Life

    Now that you know what motivates people to achieve success in life, it’s time to identify what drives YOU.

    1. Get Clear on Your Why

    Some people are crystal clear about what their purpose is early on in life, while others take more time to define what that looks like. Where people get stuck is that they tirelessly search for their purpose in life, and when they don’t find it, they get discouraged and give up.

    You’ve got to understand that your purpose isn’t something that you find. Rather, it finds you. Ask yourself, “What is it that I love to do?” You may find that a great answer is waiting for you.

    Simon Sinek, author of Find Your Why: A Practical Guide for Finding Purpose for You and Your Team explains,

    “Once you understand your ‘WHY’, you’ll be able to clearly articulate what makes you feel fulfilled and to better understand what drives your behavior when you’re at your natural best.”

    Once you are clear on your “why,” you need to take massive action. Do things that make you come alive inside, try, fail, try again, and see what sticks.

    By committing to a purposeful life, everything will feel more effortless.

    2. Find an Accountability Partner

    An accountability partner is someone who keeps you on track so that you don’t lose momentum. A big reason why so many people struggle to stay committed to their goals is that they aren’t accountable to anyone other than themselves.

    Research found that people are 65 percent more likely to meet a goal after committing to another person. Their chances of success increase to 95% when they build in on-going meetings with their partners to check-in on their progress[8].

    Find someone who has goals similar to you. Together, create a plan of attack so that each of you is inspiring the other to commit to specific actions.

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    3. Celebrate Your Small Wins

    Whenever you achieve a small win, make sure that you reward yourself with something meaningful.

    At the time, small wins may not seem like a big deal. However, by celebrating your progress, you are giving yourself mini doses of motivation that will encourage you to keep going.

    When you accomplish something, the neurochemical dopamine is released into the brain. As a result, you feel energized with feel-good emotions, which, in turn, allows you to feel a sense of pride.[9].

    4. Create an Empowering Morning Ritual

    When you take time every morning to nourish your mind, body, and spirit, you set yourself up to win throughout the day.

    When you commit to a morning ritual every single day, over time you start to build a massive amount of motivation. The reason why this happens is that you are doing the work to flex your mental muscle.

    Research shows that early risers are more successful, more proactive, better planners, and better at anticipating problems[10].

    Find habits that motivate YOU, whether that’s reading inspirational books, watching videos, reciting affirmations, or working out.

    Get into a routine and make it stick: The Ultimate Morning Routine to Make You Happy And Productive All Day

    Final Thoughts

    There is no better time than now to motivate yourself! Take massive action and start creating the life of your wildest dreams.

    Zig Ziglar said it best,

    “Motivation is like bathing, you have to do it every day. Without motivation, you will never have the drive to take action, and without action, you can never reach your goals and live your dreams.”

    If you can master motivation, I promise that there will be nothing that will hold you back from success in life.

    More Motivational Tips

    Featured photo credit: Kevin Schmid via unsplash.com

    Reference

    More by this author

    Ashley Elizabeth

    Resilience Mastery Coach and Motivational Speaker

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    Last Updated on April 19, 2021

    How to Get Motivated to Work and Start Your Day With Positivity

    How to Get Motivated to Work and Start Your Day With Positivity

    Learning how to get motivated to work every day is a common problem, no matter if you love or hate your job. If you hate your job, it goes without saying that finding the motivation to show up is not easy. However, you’ll also find that even if you love your job, there are mornings when you’re clawing at the walls to get out of bed.

    It’s easy to fall into a rut and get stuck in the same ho-hum routine, and inevitably, the excitement for work diminishes. However, if you consistently motivate yourself to show up at work every day, you’ll experience:

    • Increased energy levels to get into work mode.
    • More enthusiasm to attack challenges as they arise.
    • Better sustained results over the long haul.

    If showing up at work every day were easy, everyone would be doing it, and it wouldn’t be costing businesses $84 billion a year[1]. Part of the issue, though, is that organizations attempt to motivate you with bonuses, promotions, attendance awards, company luaus, virtual dog shows, and pizza.

    Not to say it’s necessary to do away with these incentives entirely, but organizations are missing a massive opportunity to provide you with the tools to teach you how to get motivated to work.

    Instead of depending on the organization to find motivation, here are some ways to find motivation to go to work each day.

    1. Remind Yourself “Why” You Work

    Too often, employees base their motivation on external sources like accolades, bonuses, and job promotion. These may feel good, but they’re just a “sugar high” and don’t last.

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    Consider your own motivation as something that’s internally sourced. The simplest way to identify these internal sources of motivation is to find your own personal “why.” This sense of purpose will offer fuel for the long journey ahead[2].

      For example, maybe you’re heading to work on Monday to appease the boss, lay the groundwork for a raise, or just get through a project that’s been hanging over your head for a while.

      It’s a lot like losing weight for a class reunion or a beach trip. While both are definitely motivating factors to lose weight, it’s usually not sustained over the long term.

      Consider how your workday motivation changes when you think about the example you want to set for your kids, how you want to help your co-workers that you’ve been with for years, or how you believe in the overall mission at your company.

      Perhaps, you simply believe that the job you’re doing helps you learn and prepare for the next step in your career. Those are deeper, more meaningful reasons that will help you learn how to get and stay motivated to work.

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      Figure out your “why” with the help of this guide.

      2. Use the Hemingway Technique

      Nothing helps your workday motivation like momentum, and Ernest Hemingway had a brilliant approach. His technique was to leave the last chapter or paragraph unfinished at the end of the day, especially when he knew exactly how it was going to end.

      Then, when he sat down at his desk the following day, he could immediately start writing and build momentum for the rest of his day. He’d never find himself at his desk wondering what to do next.

      You can apply this technique to your workday motivation. Instead of staying late on Friday or working over the weekend to wrap up your work, pick a stopping place strategically, so when you get to work on Monday, you know exactly what to do next. This type of momentum will carry you through your workday.

      3. Take Control

      It’s so easy to let the first few hours of your work fill up with meetings. Take control by planning and scheduling your first few interactions of the day so you’re looking forward to them.

      Set up a coffee meeting or a conference call with someone at the office who is typically upbeat and creative. This is a low-stress way to get motivated to work because it just involves showing up and a little bit of planning.

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      You can also gain motivation by connecting with your family at home. In my family, we often plan breakfast together and hold our own little breakfast party. It really helps us get our day started off right in every positive way, and the motivational momentum we get carries over into work (and school).

      4. Break Big Tasks Into Smaller Objectives

      If you know you have a big task or project waiting for you at work, it can really kill your motivation. You’ll feel stressed before even arriving. In order to diminish that work anxiety and feel better about the day ahead of you, break any big tasks you have into smaller objectives.

      For example, imagine you have to create a 30 minute presentation before Friday. If you look at it as one big project, it will feel overwhelming, but if you plan to work on 10 minutes of that presentation each day, it will feel much more achievable.

      5. Celebrate Big and Small Achievements

      If you’re struggling to learn how to get motivated to work, it may be time to reward yourself for all the work you do. Did you finish that 30-minute presentation on time? You could treat yourself to a nice dinner as a reward for completing that big goal.

      This doesn’t only apply to big tasks or achievements. If you finish a small task you had been putting off, reward yourself with a 15-minute break. This will increase your motivation as well as help you feel less stressed throughout the day.

      When you set goals, plan a reward ahead of time so you have something to look forward to. Don’t underestimate the power of a small reward to help you feel motivated in your day to day work life. 

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      You can find more ways to make dull or boring work more interesting in the following video:

      Final Thoughts

      We all have our ups and downs, and there will be times when we just don’t feel like doing anything productive. This is normal, and you can do something about it. Use any of the above tips to help yourself get motivated to work and improve your big picture outlook.

      Take time to start with one of the tips above, and adopt it for your weekly routine. You may find your motivation naturally becomes a non-issue as you walk along your career path.

      More Tips on How to Get Motivated to Work

      Featured photo credit: krakenimages via unsplash.com

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