Advertising
Advertising

Published on January 9, 2020

What Motivates You to Succeed in Life?

What Motivates You to Succeed in Life?

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 near 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.

Motivation Defined

At its core, motivation is the reason why you act or behave in a certain way. It is 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 in form. It’s important to point out that motivation looks different for everyone, depending on their needs and values. Moreover, levels of motivation can change at 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 you want it.

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 for their lives, and their daily actions are constantly moving them one step closer to aligning with that vision.

Advertising

In short, they know what their purpose, which ensures that they are pulled towards the achievement of their goals instead of pushed. As a result, motivation becomes effortless.

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.”

A motivated person is so focused on achieving goals that they are able to see past their fears. They know that the only way to truly succeed is to do the thing you are most afraid of doing.

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 (which it will), motivation is the fuel that will allow you to pick yourself up off the floor 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.

I have yet to meet one successful person who hasn’t encountered massive setbacks on the road to achieving their goals in life. I hate to break it to you, but there is no such thing as an easy path.

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.

Setbacks are designed to show you how strong and courageous you really are. If you need inspiration, remember why you started your journey in the first place.

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 Motivator Are You?

Have you ever thought about what the driving force behind your motivation is? The push vs. pull theory answers this burning question. 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, naturally it will feel like you’re dragging yourself through life. You can only operate in this mode for so long before you run out of fuel.

Advertising

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

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.

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

1. Living on 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.

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

Check out this article and find out how to find your purpose to get motivated: How to Get Motivated Every Day When You Wake Up

2. Committing to Self-Mastery

Some people devote their entire life to self-mastery. Their motivation to continuously evolve and grow trumps everything else.

Self-mastery is a process of becoming. It’s not an end goal. Rather, it’s a life path.

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.

3. 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.[6]

I have found that, when you give to others, without expectation of anything in return, others will give to you.

Tips For Getting Motivated 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

In my experience, nothing gives you a sense of wholeness more than knowing what your gifts are and then sharing them with the world.

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?”

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.

It’s one thing to let yourself down. However, when you know that someone is counting on you to follow through, you are naturally more motivated to not let them down.

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.[7]

Find someone who has goals similar to you. Together, create a plan of attack so that each of you is inspiring one another to commit to your actions.

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.

Advertising

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.[8]

Success is a journey. It’s not what you get, but who you become along the way that matters most.

Honor your process and trust that everything is unfolding in your favor.

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.

I’m a big believer in the power of a morning ritual. How you start your day determines how you end your 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.

Over time, you will start to notice that your focus, energy, productivity levels, and self-esteem will improve.

Research shows that early risers are more successful, more proactive, better planners, and better at anticipating problems.[9]

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.

Setbacks will be disguised as comebacks. If you have moments of doubt along the way, don’t forget why you started in the first place.

The world is waiting for your gifts.

Advertising

More Motivational Tips

Featured photo credit: Kevin Schmid via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Ashley Elizabeth

Psychologist and Motivational Speaker

How to Find Yourself When You’re Lost in Life 13 Simple Habits to Cultivate Self-Compassion 4 Signs You Have a Victim Mentality (And How to Break Out of It) What Is Resilience and Why Is It Important? How to Be More Self-Aware and Strive to Be a Better Person

Trending in Motivation

1 9 Things to Remember When You’re Having a Bad Day 2 11 Killer Ways to Gain Confidence and Boost Your Self-Esteem 3 What Is External Motivation And How to Make Good Use of It? 4 10 Warning Signs of Low Self-Esteem and a Lack of Confidence 5 5 Powerful Ways Journal Writing Changes Your Life

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on February 25, 2020

5 Rules for Overcoming Adversity and Emotional Pain

5 Rules for Overcoming Adversity and Emotional Pain

“Some people choose to see the ugliness in this world, the disarray. I choose to see the beauty. To believe there is an order to our days. A purpose.” – from the popular show, “Westworld”

It’s different for us all. My personal quest for purpose began with five stages of grief and one startling realization that everything’s endlessly fragile. Adversity, as it happens by rule, found me terribly unprepared, so I decided to take my time. Today, I can honestly say that I’ve grown.

Ugliness and beauty, good and evil, pain and laughter – everything in the universe consists of two forces that are opposing but complementary. In the face of difficulty, that is the only mantra you need.

Here’s how I learned it and why you should too, with five simple rules.

Advertising

1. Embrace the Complexity

Quite insidiously, adversities come in all shapes and sizes. Paralyzing physical disabilities, mind-wracking mental problems, ruthless emotional havocs, all leading to the same painful acknowledgement: all the beauty in the world cannot possibly make up for the ugliness that surrounds us. Shattered to pieces, helpless and bare naked, we sit in our therapy chairs, apologizing for being so negative.

Eventually, what it all comes down to is the nature of negative emotion. Our positives overshadow our negatives, thus wrongly teaching us that the road to well-being is paved with nothing but positive feelings and thoughts. How utterly wrong!

“If you’re not failing every now and then, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything innovative”, Woody Allen said.

It’s a classic “learn from your mistakes” rule, but in this case, it implies growing from negative experiences. Make peace with your negativities and embrace beauty and ugliness alike! Accepting this marvellously complex world just as it is will allow you to find purpose in adversity and meaning in misery.

Advertising

2. Find Balance, Regain Control

Still, accepting adversity is only the first step toward eventual victory. One can endure only so much trauma in life; if we’re not prepared to deal with difficulties in a productive way, even the minor setbacks can get us off track. Our strengths come from learning, and the best way to learn is through a series of trials and errors. Just like phases of grief or stages of drug addiction, adversities suggest a disabling loss of control, so find your way to regain it.

Some call it the coping mechanism; for others, it’s a spiritual will. However you choose to name yours, know that not all supporting systems are equally beneficial, though each is effective in its own way. Escapism was mine, but it only helped me retain the illusion of beauty. It wasn’t until I opened up toward the ugliness and accepted the naked truth that I was finally free. Whether you choose to dwell in art, religion and spiritualism, thus feeding your resilience from within or to reach out to others for help, choose wisely.

Whatever the means, the second rule is a golden one: find your inner balance and stick to it. Eventually, it will lead you out of the vicious circle.

3. Fight with Patience

My bargaining turned in depression with a single touch. Fearless and free, my dance instructor timidly put her hands on my shoulders and I realized, for the first time, just how tense, stiff and cloistered I was. And just like that, I started letting go. Adversities have their sneaky ways, but in my experience, becoming aware is what hurts the worst. It took me a year to recover from this little moment of self-discovery, and I know remember it as the edge of the rabbit hole.

Advertising

Some sufferings are impossible to console; I know that now. The only way to get through is to, well, get through. Depression and despair are only the beginning of the excruciatingly unnerving process that ravages the mind and shrivels the soul, and once they strike, there is no easy way back. So, fight them with patience. When your head starts spinning and your feet lose ground, go to your happy place. Over there, you’ll be reminded that nothing is forever, not even our little existential psychosis.

Take a deep breath and say “om”. When things cannot be combated, they have to be endured, so practice patience and learn to let go. Finally, keep repeating to yourself that this too shall pass.

4. Keep Swimming

Nothing is impossible, in the end. Your negative thoughts will gently pour into your positive ones, just as two streams come together to become a river. In the event of the inevitable disaster, one can only be as calm as still water. Suffering teaches patience, and the latter gives rise to flexibility. Ultimately, what is life than a series of unfortunate events and a handful of bright moments in between? If adversities are impossible to avoid, than learn to glide through as smoothly and patiently as water does with rocks.

Even if spirituality isn’t exactly your cup of tea, you have to admit that this is one solid metaphor. Staying adaptable in the face of change will soothe your panic attacks and keep you sane and sober-blooded. Even if you fail, you’ll know exactly how to breathe and face what’s in front of you once it eventually strikes again. Stay calm and visualize a better tomorrow; if anything else, it will give you strength to dive deep and weather the storm. And, in case there’s somebody’s hand to reach out to, grab it firmly and don’t let go.

Advertising

Being flexible against adversities takes a lot of learning, just as staying brave demands a lot of courage. It’s a long, arduous step-by-step routine, and you can reach the end only by swimming on. Persist, even when you fall.

5. Never Stop Searching for Inspiration

And, if it’s a guidance you need, where else to seek it than in experiences of others? Find it in art, in people around you, in chance encounters. The pure beauty of perseverance can be discovered where you expect it the least, so never stop searching for inspiration. If self-help literature soothes your pains and clears your mind, don’t let cynics discourage you. Your path toward reconciliation is nobody’s but yours to choose.

Ever heard of Nick Vujicic? Or Nando Parado? Inspiring people sound their yawps over the roofs of the world, sometimes voiceless, sometimes limbless, sometimes both. Born without arms, Jessica Cox became the most unusual certified pilot in the world, and you can rarely see her without a smile on her face. If you’ve already ripped all of your bucket lists and said goodbye to your dreams and plans, meet Sean Swarner, who’s officially became the first cancer survivor to climb Mount Everest. The stories just go on.

Make your own guidebook! Pen down your positive thoughts, cover your walls with quotes and devise your personal mantras. Whenever things get hard, they’ll be there to remind you of what you need to do. It’s the simplest of all life hacks, and one of the most effective ones.

Find beauty in the world, but never stay blind for its ugliness. However daunting, adversities and emotional pain challenge our inner strength, thus making us resilient and allowing us to grow. As soon as you recognize them as the wind in your sails instead of the devastating storm, the purpose will become simple and clear.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Read Next