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A Simple Tool to Boost Your Motivation

A Simple Tool to Boost Your Motivation

If you can remember why it is that you’re doing something that you feel is important, you’ll be in a much better place, psychologically, to be able to keep doing it when it starts to get tough. It sounds simple, doesn’t it? That’s probably because it’s far more simple than you realize.

For example, if you can remember why you’ve decided to give up alcohol and chocolate (to lose weight), you’ll be better placed to be able to turn them down when they’re offered.

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when you feel like quitting

    If you can remember that you’re not solely trying to learn 4000+ random facts for an exam but that you’re trying to learn 4000+ facts about drugs you’re going to use when you’re a doctor—helping people live happy and healthy lives—you’ll be more likely to to keep working at 11 PM when your friends are out at a bar having a good time. Trust me on this, I’m speaking from personal experience.

    As simple as this is, how often do we actually use this obvious truth to help us be more productive?

    My situation and observations

    I’m doing a lot of traveling at the moment, giving talks to groups and organisations who need a little help with keeping their people in the game—perhaps because of a death in service or having to lay off staff, or any other reason that teams start to feel down. Now, I can’t pretend this is a representative, scientific survey, but based upon the number of people who don’t raise their hands when I ask about it from the podium, I’d say that this one simple truth is heavily under-used.

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    This could be because it’s just not “cool” to be seen to be enthused, enthusiastic and motivated by anything more significant than the money—I don’t know. What I do know is that if you can put your hand on your heart about why you do things, you’re in a better place to cope when shit hits the fan.
    So, how can we make use of this motivation idea? These are just a few ideas that seem to work for me, my team and my clients: I can’t promise that they’ll all work for you, but all it needs is for one of them to fit with you.

    Ask Yourself “Why?”

    If you didn’t go in to work today (or for a week, or whatever) who would suffer? I don’t just mean your boss—who’d have to arrange cover for you, or the co-workers who’d have to actually do the work you weren’t doing—I mean the people who use your product or service. The answer is easy if you’re a nurse or a teacher, but what abut if you drive a truck?
    If you don’t do your job, someone doesn’t get their stuff, and their world isn’t as nice. Birthdays kind of depend on you doing your thing.

    • If you’re a mechanic, someone might not be able to drive to visit their niece or their aged uncle.
    • If you’re a road-sweeper? People will end up disliking their neighbourhood, and statistically, unhappiness and crime both go up when this occurs.

    Write it Down

    When you realize why you’re doing something, jot it down: try to capture it in one or two sentences. If you can phrase them to be something like “I do X, Y, Z because it makes the world a little better because…” then so much the better.
    Keep this note somewhere that you are going to see it regularly such as the inside of your appointments diary. Writing it on a Post-It note that’s stuck to the side of your computer might also work well if you spend a lot of time at your desk. You could also tuck it in somewhere silly like inside your desk drawer so you see it over the course of a day each time you need to get a pen out.

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    Move it

    We all take things for granted after a while, so maintain a policy of moving your note every now and again. Even just a little way will do—like from the right-hand side of your computer to the left—or from the computer to your diary.

    Check it

    Every six months or so, my diary bleeps at me with a “take stock” reminder. There are a whole bunch of things to take stock of and exercises to do, but one of the biggies is to simply ask myself this question: if someone didn’t know why I do what I do, would they be able to guess it from watching me for the last half year?
    Inevitably the answer is, at best: “Not easily”. So, there’s a follow-up question: “Why not?” And the one that follows that one is: “How can I change things over the next six months so that the answer is ‘Yes”?”
    Smartphones and electronic diaries are great for this kind of thing; not just for phoning people and talking to Facebook/Twitter/wherever! They help you keep track of things and remind you of them as needed.

    Summary

    This technique isn’t magic; it’s just a tool, and though it isn’t a silver bullet that can kill all the bad guys at once, it does help. Try it!

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    Last Updated on September 17, 2018

    7 Signs of an Unhappy Relationship That Makes You Feel Stuck

    7 Signs of an Unhappy Relationship That Makes You Feel Stuck

    Relationships are complicated and when you’re unhappy, it can be difficult to tell what’s causing it and what needs to change.

    Sometimes it’s as easy as opening up to your partner about your problems, while other times it may be necessary to switch partners or roll solo to get your mind straight.

    When you’re in the thick of things, it can be difficult to tell if you’re unhappy in your relationship or just unhappy in general (in which case, a relationship may be just the cure you need).

    Here’re signs of an unhappy relationship that is possibly making you feel stuck:

    1. You’re depressed about your home life.

    No matter what you do in life, you’re going to have good and bad days. Your relationship is no different.

    However, no matter what you’re going through at home, you have to feel comfortable in your own home.

    If you constantly dread going home because your significant other is there, there’s a problem. Maybe it’s something you already know about, everyone has an argument or just needs some alone time.

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    When that yearning to be alone becomes an insatiable obsession over the course of months and years, it’s time to realize you’re not the exception to the rule.

    You’re unhappy in your relationship, and you need to take a look in the mirror and do whatever it takes to make yourself smile.

    2. You aren’t comfortable being yourself.

    Remember all those things you discovered about yourself when you first got together? The way your partner made you feel when you met that made you fall in love with him or her in the first place.

    If they don’t make you feel that way anymore, it’s not the end of the world. If your partner makes you uncomfortable about being you, then her or she is only dragging you down. It’s up to you to decide how to handle that.

    You need to be comfortable with who you are. This means being comfortable in your skin and with the way you walk, talk, look, breath, move, and all the other things that make you uniquely you.

    If the person who supposedly loves you doesn’t make you feel good about yourself, know that you can do better. They’re not even one in a billion.

    3. You can’t stop snooping.

    Mutual trust is necessary in any relationship. The only way to get that trust is with respect.

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    I can find you anywhere online, no matter how private and secure you think you are. The odds of you having a password I can’t crack are slim. If we’ve met in person, I could install a remote key logger on your device without even touching it.

    Finding your information online hardly takes a clandestine organization. Any idiot with a Wi-Fi-enabled device can cyberstalk you. I’m just the only idiot in the village admitting it.

    So now that we know everyone snoops, it’s time to address your personal habits. Governments snoop because they don’t trust us. If you’re snooping on your partner, it’s because you don’t trust them.

    It’s ok to have doubts, and it’s perfectly normal to look into anything that looks weird, but keep in mind that data collection is only half of an investigation.

    If you find yourself constantly snooping and questioning everything, clearly there’s a trust issue and the relationship likely needs to end.

    4. You’re afraid of commitment.

    If you’ve been dating longer than a year and you aren’t engaged, it’s never going to happen.

    Commitment is important. People will come up with a million ways to describe why they can’t be committed.

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    No matter who you are if you like it, you need to put a ring on it. Find an engagement ring, stick a gemstone in it and marry the person. If you’re not legally able to get married or you don’t believe in it for one reason or another, have a child (or adopt one, however you’re able to) or treat your partner’s family like your own. It’s a huge financial and mental commitment.

    If you’re not ready for one or the other after some time, don’t waste anymore of your precious life on the relationship.

    Your relationship should be something that propels you forward. If it’s not going anywhere, make it an open relationship and call it what it is—dating multiple people.

    5. You imagine a happier life without your partner.

    If all you’re doing is imagining a happier life without your partner, it’s a sign that you’re in the wrong relationship. You’re unhappy and you need to get out.

    Your partner should be included in your dreams. There’s nothing wrong with wanting a future with someone.

    Try to remember what you dreamed of before you got your heart broken by the realities of life, love and the pursuit of human success.

    Remember when you would crush on that cute kid in class? You would secretly imagine marrying him or her and going on an adventure—that’s the way life should be.

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    If you’re not at least imagining adventures together, then why are you in that relationship?

    6. You resent, rather than love your partner.

    When a relationship starts to crumble, you begin to resent your partner for all the things you once loved about him or her.

    When you’ve reached this point, your partner has reached at least No. 2 on this list. From your partner’s perspective, your unhappiness with them is picked up as bashing them for being who they are.

    If you’re both unhappy in the relationship, it’s better if it ends as quickly and painlessly as possible.

    7. You chase past feelings.

    It’s okay to reminisce about the past, but if all you do is wish things were like they used to be, it’s a sign you’re not on the right path.

    You’re unhappy and, at the very least, you need to have an open dialogue about it. This isn’t necessarily a sign that the relationship should end, but it definitely needs a spark.

    When you talk to your partner candidly about what it is you’re looking for, you never know how they’ll react. The risk alone is worth it, good or bad.

    Final thoughts

    If you’re feeling stuck in your current relationship, it’s time to reflect about it with your partner. Don’t ignore these signs of an unhappy relationship as they will slowly go worse and harm both you and your partner in long-term.

    Featured photo credit: josh peterson via unsplash.com

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