So you want to get motivated.
You’ve probably noticed that it’s difficult to be motivated all the time. There are days where it feels impossible to jump out of your warm, cozy bed and challenge yourself. There are days where you don’t feel like showing up. There are days where you lack your usual energy and enthusiasm. This is normal.
And this is why Zig Ziglar, one of the greatest motivational speakers and thought leaders in personal development, coined a brilliant truth about motivation:
“People say that motivation doesn’t last. Well neither does bathing, – that’s why we recommend it daily.”
Fluctuations in energy, along with days when you’re just “not feeling it,” are a part of life. Don’t beat yourself up too much when you have an off day.
The Puzzle of Motivation
However, if you consistently lack motivation, or find yourself only motivated in brief spurts, take note. Before you can sustain and amplify motivation, you first must become motivated.
And before you strive to become motivated, it helps to understand what motivation is. Motivation stems from the root motive, or a reason for action. This is your “why.”
Having a conscious understanding for why you are doing something is essential to spark motivation. A clear understanding of your why is important because the mother of motivation is choice.
Embedded within every human is a fundamental desire to manifest our personal freedom—to express ourselves. This is why external incentives rarely work over long periods of time, because people must feel emotionally and internally motivated themselves. Whether you are trying to motivate a team, coworkers, a friend, or yourself, understand that
Whether you are trying to motivate a team, coworkers, a friend, or yourself, understand that it is up to the individual to consciously choose what they desire – that is a necessary ingredient to motivation. The individual must be emotionally invested in their motive to act.
Get Motivated and Challenge Yourself
There are two ingredients necessary to get motivated: ambition and expectancy.
Ambition represents the choice to be, do, or have something beyond what you already have. The higher the desire, the greater sense of motivation we feel. As Brendan Burchard says, “By deeply contemplating higher aims, we energize ourselves to pursue them.” Challenge yourself. Ponder what it is that you truly desire.
Once you find out, immerse yourself in the physical, mental, and emotional state of what it will feel like once you have achieved this desire. The brain cannot tell the difference between something that is real or imagined, so this reinforces the positive feelings and accomplishment that would come with reaching this goal.
This is why when you were seven years old, you were scared there was a monster under your bed because you imagined and believed it to be true. Your blood started racing and your heart pounded in your chest. You were fear-struck.
Of course, there was no monster. But believing there was one caused a physical and chemical response in your body.
You can use this brain “flaw” or technique for good. Switch the “monster” with your goal, and you will increase your body’s desire to actualize this goal.
While ambition is important, you must also have expectancy. Without belief, you lose your capability to perform and actualize your potential. Expectancy is the difference between wishful thinking and motivation. While you may currently lack the skillset and qualities to achieve a goal, that should not stop your belief.
In order to foster belief, you must amplify your faith in that which doesn’t exist yet. Have faith in your ability to learn, grow, and accomplish what is necessary. Visualize, internalize, and affirm your goal. Write down your desire every morning. Record it into your phone and listen to it every night. This is how you integrate expectancy into your psyche.
“Do not hope for motivation; choose an ambition to become motivated for. Fix on a dream and believe that it will see daylight and soon a great swell of enthusiasm will enliven you.” -Brendan Burchard
How to Stay Motivated
Once you’ve sparked the motivation fire, you must sustain and cultivate it into a roaring flame. This requires attention and effort.
Attention is essential, and this is where many people fail. You may feel tempted to stop focusing on your goal after a week or a month because you’re not seeing immediate results. A diligent focus on your goal will allow it to stay at the forefront of your psyche.
Therefore, you activate your subconscious mind (which controls over 95% of your thoughts) to search for ways to actualize the goal.
When our attention drifts, so does our motivation. Keep your motive on your mind daily. To repeat from above: Visualize, internalize, and affirm your goal. Write down your desire every morning. Record it into your phone and listen to it every night. This will keep your attention sharp, and your motivation high.
Of course, while mindset is a critical element of motivation, merely thinking will not accomplish anything. The universe rewards action.
With effort and work, motivation actually increases (as long as the desire is aligned with the individual.) Create habits that force action.
For example, call 5 people a day, pitch 1 station a day, read 50 pages a day, etc. Implement habits that reinforce actions that are conducive to achieving your goal. This is where the magic happens, and where you will see results.
The puzzle of motivation is no longer confusing when you know how to solve it. If motivation is the fire we wish to cultivate, progress is gasoline. In my own experience, there is no greater driving force than progress.
“Greatness belongs to those who have mastered the ability to focus relentlessly on their ambition and act decisively towards them.” -Brendan Burchard
Become aware of what your motive is. Once you have consciously chosen your desire, get excited about it. Let your ambition run wild. Challenge yourself. Feel your hunger for achieving this goal. Immerse yourself in the physical, mental, and emotional states of actualizing the desire. Mediate on it. Write it down.
This is how you build expectancy to achieve your ambition. Believe you can, and you will. Be patient and keep a diligent focus on your goal. Don’t be deterred by the gestation period of accomplishing your goal, however long it may be. Consistent attention will breed opportunity.
And with all of these ingredients in place, action will take care of the rest. Bathe in your progress and keep going! This is motivation.
 Bergland, Christopher. “Imagination and Reality Flow Conversely Through Your Brain.” Psychology Today. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Nov. 2016.