How do I motivate myself to work and become successful?

Posted by Fitz Villafuerte under Productivity & Mindset on June 2, 2016

I want to be successful but I find it hard to motivate myself to work. I’ve been reading a lot of blogs and positivity quotes, but they’re not really helping. So how do I really get the motivation I need to be successful? How do I work harder in life and be more motivated to become super successful in life?

Answer:

Oh boy. Let’s start with the DO NOT’s.

DO NOT:

  • Sit around reading motivational blogs all day.
  • Try to figure out your life’s purpose in a 10 minute, 1 hour, 1 week or even 1 month session.
  • Immediately cut out all comforts, luxuries or simple joys in your life
  • Quit your day job to randomly start a business or travel the world

Reading motivational articles is like checking your notifications on your phone. It’s like a quick dopamine shot that’s just enough to make you look for more.

Trying to figure out your life’s meaning is an overwhelming prospect. It may change, and the idea that you need to commit the next 5-10 years to some grand scheme will be so overwhelming a commitment you won’t want to start in the first place.

Cutting out luxuries all at once will give you a harsh recoil, and you’ll ask yourself why this is a life you want to live anyways if you’re giving up all the stuff you like.

Making decisions on a whim is the greatest way to regret them, even if there’s a million stories playing up its romance. I’m not saying don’t quit your job to start a business or travel the world, but let it bounce around in your head. See if it sounds as great in a month from now after you’ve considered the idea and weighed it out every day.

Now, the real question:

How do I work harder in life and be more motivated to become super successful in life?

Think about what you actually want your life to look like.
What are the characteristics you want to have? What are the experiences you want to have? Where do you want to live? Are you athletic and in what way? What sorts of things do you know about?

Reverse engineer how you get there.
Does future you know how to speak Italian? How do we get to work on speaking Italian? Are they fearless and do things like jump out of planes? How do we get you to jump out of one?

Your super successful will be different than others.
Don’t let the ultra romanticism of entrepreneurship, the playboy lifestyle, or any other concepts of living sway you towards trying to live a life you wouldn’t enjoy. You don’t have to be a billionaire, or millionaire to get what you want. You can make $20k, $50k, or $75k a year being happy with your life. It just depends on where your values lie.

Take small steps.
Rome, The Great Wall of China and Batman all weren’t built in a day. Fun fact, The Great Wall of China’s first section (a very small chunk of it) took over 20 years to build.

As we’ve seen it today, it took over 2,000 years to build, rebuild and expand the wall. You don’t become a martial arts expert, intelligent in the sciences and fearless over night.

You take the small steps you can to build habits and develop a snowball effect of improvement.

Build mental toughness.
One thing I’ve always truly admired about members of the military is their mental toughness. However, you don’t have to join the military to get better about it. You just need to expand your comfort zone. The line “It’s just discomfort.” will take you far.

You can manage to start taking cold showers, waking up earlier, walking/running farther, striking up conversations with strangers and any and all things you want to get better at by recognizing that the only thing stopping you is discomfort.

When you realize that, will you let it stop you? Will you tell your kids or friends or potential lovers “Yep, I never got this thing I wanted because I couldn’t deal with discomfort”?

Know when to slow down.
Progressive steps are like building muscle. If you are familiar with building muscle at all, sometimes you have to back off a little bit to recover. Otherwise you overload yourself, and your body begins breaking down.

Same thing happens when building willpower. At some point, you’ll begin to wear down, get tired, headaches, your body telling you to quit. You’ll want to just give up and play video games or watch TV all weekend. So treat yourself to a bit of it, but just don’t give up. Rest, recover, re-attempt.

The 40 percent rule.
With all that said about recovery, you must understand this rule. There was a video where a man talked about an ultra marathon he did with his friends, where they all ran different legs of a 100 mile stretch.

There was a retired Navy SEAL who did the entire thing on his own. The SEAL had swollen ankles and broken bones in his feet when it was over. Afterwards he approached the SEAL and asked him how he did that and if he’d train him. Later on, they met at the gym and the SEAL told him to do as many pull-ups as he could.

The first time he did 8, the SEAL told him to again and he did 6, one more time and he eked out 4. The SEAL then told him they wouldn’t leave until he did 100 more. He didn’t think they could, but one by one and hours later, he had managed 100.

He told him “Whenever you think you’re done and entirely ready to give out, you’re only 40% of the way there”. You can be pushed a lot further than you realize. So don’t break yourself every day, but push to 50% and you will not break, and your capacity for difficulty will expand.

Answer from Jordan Allen




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