When it comes to motivation we often expect it to arrive one day, tap us on the shoulder, and fondly welcome itself into our lives.
I get it. Until I started my research into cognitive functions and how the different systems within our bodies function and communicate, I felt this way too.
The fact is, this doesn't happen. Motivation comes from doing. Much like confidence and mastering a skill. By doing just 1 small thing and sticking to it before adding a second thing we slowly instill motivation.
How? When we have a huge task to complete - such as clearing out the garage, loft, and or spare room - our instinct is to put it off because it is a huge mission and we will never feel motivated to want to do such a boring, laborious task. So, in order to complete this, we break it down into lots of much smaller tasks and align our expectations to the process.
Let's say we really are faced with clearing out a room. The best way to start is by separating the items into wanted, unwanted and undecided. The unwanted items can be sold or donated and the wanted items can stay where they are. Then, we need to make decisions about the undecided items.
Once the items are sorted we can then plan the space and where the items that are staying fit into the room or home. So you see, the big project starts to happen. The reason for this is because every time we complete a task our brain naturally rewards us with a spike of dopamine - a neurotransmitter responsible for generating feelings of accomplishment, satisfaction, and happiness.
Sounding good so far right! Well yes, however before we can trigger this motivation high we first have to face a barrier called willingness. At this point, all of this is one huge analogy that can be applied to any area of life such as a project at work or even learning a life skill. But it starts with asking ourselves 1 question: "Am I willing to do this?"
If the answer is yes, great! If the answer is maybe, we need to keep on asking ourselves the same question until we find the truth - no matter how much we want to resist it. If the answer is no then here's a follow-up question: "Am I willing to live with this?"
And repeat. If yes, then track back to learn why this came about in the first place. If maybe, dig deeper to find out why yes and why no to determine the real answer to this question. If no, great!!! From here we can take the small steps we need to complete the mission because if we're not willing to leave it incomplete, we know we need to make changes.
"You have the life you're willing to put up with" - Gary John Bishop
This is the quote that inspired this post. It helped me to become more present and focused on the changes I need to make in multiple areas of my life. If you can relate to this, let's chat and find out how we can get you out of the mud, and back on your feet.
How do we motivate ourselves? Assess our willingness then take steps to change the game!