5 Practical Ways to Stay Motivated in Daily Life

Exploring motivation with Stephen ChongThe high-octane fuel of motivation

Have you ever felt so deflated that you really couldn’t be bothered doing anything? I guess it’s like when you wake up in the morning and it’s really cold outside and you just wish the day wasn’t ready to begin. The day you’ve got in front of you isn’t particularly exciting - you’ve got to go to work, or maybe your ‘to-do’ list’ is so long it needs two pages to write … you know what I mean?

Well, I can understand that being motivated about everyday, routine chores can be a bit of a challenge. But hey, there’s no ‘job description’ in the world that is perfect - there will always be mundane or routine tasks that need to be done to ensure that life is less complex than it already is. Like doing the dishes, or making the bed. What I’m talking about though is the stuff that you need to get excited about. You know, like a sport, your career, your music, your health or your best hobby …

So let’s look at being and staying motivated through the prism of a metaphor shall we?

Let’s think about motivation as being like the high-octane fuel that’s used in formula one racing cars (and you are the formula one racing car) …
If you place regular old unleaded petrol in a high performance formula one racing car, it isn’t going to go very far is it? It may not even start. You need to place specially designed high-octane fuel into the car. This high-octane fuel (we’ll call motivation) has five vital components.

The way it works is that if you’ve got all five components in the fuel, you will be driving like a formula one racer. If you’ve only got four, it’s likely that you’ll get off the starting line, but won’t get very far. If you’ve only got three components or less, you won’t even get onto the starting grid.

The five components for your high-octane (motivation) fuel are:

1.   Muscular ‘sense of purpose’

Let’s be really clear on this … you are a wonderful human being with a specific purpose to fulfill in your life. Your life is a great gift and you are important. You may not know (as yet) what your ‘sense of purpose’ is … but that doesn’t matter. It will be revealed in time, but until then, just be aware that ‘without you, the world is a lesser place’.

2.   Keep your fuel tanks full

We believe that we have to be ‘busy’ all the time to justify our worth in life. We think we have to be doing something or being somewhere. This is a common problem with many people who think they have to work all the time to justify their existence. No! If you do not take time to relax and rejuvenate you will ‘burnout’. If you don’t give your body (and mind) time to rest it will seize-up. Motivation needs fuel. Fuel is energy and if you don’t have energy you’re not going to go very far. Give yourself permission to relax every once in a while.

3.  Spend time on activities that you really love

We are often overwhelmed by all the activities that other people try to impose on us. “Can you do this …?” or “Will you do that …?” Learn to say ‘no’ more often to the things that ‘steal your time’. The more time you spend doing the things you love, the more you will enjoy the journey of achieving your goal.

4.  Appreciate your progress

I need to break this component into two-parts:

A. If you are not making progress towards something (a goal perhaps) you are going to get de-motivated and demoralised. So, don’t keep doing what you know is not working - that’s a definition of insanity.

B. If your are progressing towards (a goal) but are failing to appreciate and recognise your progress then you are going to feel frustrated and demoralised … give yourself a pat-on-the-back on a regular basis.

5.  Stay aware

Stay aware (read - keep in the front of your mind) of why you are doing a certain thing. For example, if you are striving hard to loose weight (a health goal) the reason may be that you want to wear that beautiful red dress you bought a few years ago. If you are learning to play guitar, it may be because you want to play like Jimi Hendrix.
 
Mix all of these five-elements together and watch how you go, go, go!

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Finding out more about Stephen Chong

Finding out more about Stephen Chong

Stephen Chong of The Music of the Soul
Stephen Chong is a professional development coach and author of the new book The Music of the Soul: A pathway to a rich and fulfilling life, now available at good book stores or online at www.stephenchong.com.au
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