Motivation is a funny, complex thing. The thing that motivates one person is always different from that of another even though they are working for the same thing. And while people can motivate other people, they can only do so to a certain degree. At the end of the day, you still have to work out a way to get yourself moving. But when everything looks bleak and all you want to do is to surrender, from where do you muster the will to go on?
Begin with winning the battle in your head.
The battle always starts in the head. One part of your brain tells you to move, work, and strive for what you are working for. The other part tells you that it is foolish. It is always easier to listen to the latter, because it is more convenient, less taxing, and easier to do. The former forces you to act and work. All things equal, people always choose the less inconvenient, easy way out. But this isn’t always the better choice. In fact, it is never a good choice.
What separates very effective people from those who are not is their ability to always make the right choices most of the time, even if these choices are the hardest to make. They know how the game works and they try to beat it every single time. Exhausting, yes, but it is also gratifying. There is always a sense of satisfaction in defeating your worst enemy – yourself.
But how do you win the battle that goes on inside your head?
Understand your thoughts and how they affect your emotions and your will power. Negative thoughts can easily kill your sense of purpose. It comes in many forms – lack of self-confidence, general negativity, lack of belief in others, procrastination and the list goes on. Each of these has the power to convince you to throw in the towel and accept that you can’t carry on. Identifying each of your negative thoughts is the first step to winning yourself back from a defeatist attitude.
It is not a simple feat, though. It takes time before one can shut out the voice in the head that says ‘give up, give in’. And sometimes, even when you have already succeeded in neutralizing your negative thoughts, it is still easy to give up at the first sign of a speed bump. After all, it gives you time to rest from the unending struggle to achieve whatever it is you are pursuing, even for just a moment. But don’t buy that. That short period of rest can turn to days, weeks, months, years, ultimately paralyzing you from taking action and living a full life. That’s the characteristic of discouragement. It offers you immediate gratification without securing anything in return.
Try to gain positive momentum every time, instead of succumbing back into a demoralized attitude. Every time, even if that means you have to start the battle in your head all over again.