How to Maintain Motivation

freedomDuring my journey which started in March of 2011, one of the most common questions I’m ask is, “How do you maintain motivation.”  It took me a while to decide and write about motivation. As much as it looked like I had it all figured out.  I am still in the process of perfecting my own motivation.  I am on the right path and with a few small timely changes I will be right there.  Motivation is definitely a huge part of anything in life.  The right motivation will propel anyone beyond their limits.  The right motivation can change a person to believe that they can fly.  Once you truly believe in something you can make it happen. Motivation is all about knowing who you are and being confident with it!

I didn’t have the right motivation when I started however, getting healthy was actually the spark.  I began to understanding who I was.  In order to stay successful I began learning more about health, specifically understanding nutrition and fitness.  I wanted to know what food would help me and which exercises were the best for my goals.  I was unaware at the time that I was creating motivation.  Specifically I was creating MasteryGoogle defines Mastery as comprehensive knowledge or skill in a subject or accomplishment.  Now you don’t have to be a master to obtain motivation however you first need to know the basics about what you are doing.  If you are trying to get healthy learn more about foods and nutrition.  Think about anything you do as a hobby. You tend to learn more about it because you want to.  Knowledge is motivation.

Another stage of motivation is Autonomy or self-government.  You are the leader of your own destiny.  This brings another form of motivation to anything you do.  When I began doing my workouts I made my schedule of when I worked out around everything else I was doing.  I made my own workouts because I had the knowledge to do so.  I didn’t have anyone else telling me what to eat or when to workout.  I was in charge of this and that made me proud.  That was motivation in the form of autonomy.  You have to create the right knowledge and then take charge of your structure.  I’m sure there is something in your life now that you have full control over and always look forward to doing that activity.

The last and most important form of motivation is purpose.  Your WHY.  This is commonly miss-understood.  Purpose is also the foundation that leads to all actions in your life.  When not understood correctly or used correctly then you won’t have Mastery or Autonomy.  You also won’t be happy or successful. You might often chase things that make others happy thinking it will do the same for you, sound familiar.  The common mistake people make is they chase a result.  A result is not a purpose.  Example, when I ask people why they want to lose weight?  They might reply with; so I can fit into a bikini, I am attending a wedding, or so I can be confident around others.  These are results from losing weight however they aren’t the reason.  Purpose is internal it is what you feel not what you see.   Purpose comes from within.  When you locate why you breathe each day and aren’t affected by social acceptance of that reason, you will have infinite motivation to be you each day.  My personal purpose is to be proud of who I am each day.  Not to lose weight or fit into a new pair of jeans.  However when I continue to do things that make me proud of who I am; I end up losing weight and buying new jeans.

I will give you a quick story on purpose that involves a very giving and caring person.  One morning at work she came to me.  She was slightly upset about what just happen to her. It was nothing crazy.  I think she was more confused than she was upset.  She proceeds to tell me that she brought in muffins for her co-workers and even made a point to get their favorite kind.  However none of them seemed to show the appreciation for the muffins that she expected.  After asking her, she stated she thought they would all come to her happy and thank her with huge smiles that she gave them their favorite muffin.   But that is not what happen, they each took their favorite muffin and ate them quietly, I’m sure they had tons of work to do.  Instead of doing what she thought they would do.  So I asked her why did she buy the muffins.  She said because she knew they like them.  Which is part of motivation.  Knowing what they like is knowledge and gave the autonomy to purchase the muffins, however this is not a purpose. Buying them because she knew they like them; she can only be validated by them showing their appreciation.  And that didn’t happen.

My co-worker as giving and as caring as she is was looking for a result or a validation that she did something good.  When your motivation is the result you will quickly lose your motivation when you aren’t validated (ie. see weightloss or be complimented).  She might never bring muffins again.  However when your motivation is your purpose, you can do things over and over again without knowing how things end.  Her purpose should have been that she is a giving and caring person.  When she brought those muffins in, if she would have said to herself I’m bringing these because I truly care and like to give people things they love.  She would have been happy all day long.  She would bring them over and over again because she served her purpose and didn’t need their validation.

When you are comfortable enough to be confident in your purpose; you reach infinite motivation, you also will always be happy!

I work out because I love achievement and have a passion for extending my limits.  I read because I have a passion for learning.  I eat healthy because I feel great (and the food taste great).  I do all these because they make me proud of who I am.  I don’t do them to lose weight. That just happens.

Few videos that I watch that help me in this journey of finding my purpose.  Please take the time to watch them over and over again.

 

Simon Sinek: How Great Leaders Inspire

Dan Pink: The Puzzle of Motivation  

Brene Brown: The Power of Vulnerability 

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