There’s a way for you to stay motivated all the time. What do I mean by motivated? I mean when you’re able to eliminate your “I don’t feel like it” attitude and ride the wave of enthusiasm straight towards the shores of your goals.
It’s possible, and the method is simple, but you’ll have to work at it. I like to say, “There’s no easy way, but there is a simple way.” It takes effort, but it’s not complicated. There’s nothing complicated about moving your house, but it’ll take a lot of effort—and it’s the “thought” of the effort of moving that makes you dread it.
You are Naturally Motivated
You have a natural propensity to be motivated. In fact, everything about you is striving for life. Take, for example, your physical body. As you read this article, your body is processing food, your lungs are breathing, your brain is working, and your heart won’t stop beating.
Your body is striving for life!
The problems start in your mind and emotions, and that’s where you’re defeated. Despite your natural tendency to be motivated, your thoughts and emotions rebel against your optimism, and this is where the battle to stay motivated takes place.
What Does It Mean for You to Stay Motivated?
We’ve all been motivated at some point, even if just for a day. You might watch an inspirational movie like Rocky and feel motivated to get in shape, but after a few days, your fires burn out and you quit.
If you could sustain the sense of motivation you first felt, you’d be more likely to continue the dreaded disciplines needed to achieve your goals. Therefore, staying motivated all the time means:
Keeping yourself in that emotional state where you’re always feeling enough enthusiasm to continue the disciplines necessary to achieve your goals or personal change.
The Key is to Understand Your Cycles of Defeat
If there’s any secret to staying motivated, it’s understanding this: we all have cycles of defeat, and the more we understand our own, the better we’ll be at staying motivated all the time.
Your cycle of defeat is the average amount of time it takes for you to get discouraged and quit. For you it may be two days, two weeks, or two months before you start talking yourself out of what you should be doing.
It’s important for you to understand that nobody just quits. All quitting is preceded by a season of personal dialogue in which you create all the reasons why you should quit and why it’s okay to do so. Here’s some of the symptoms that appear before you consider quitting:
- You get physically tired.
- You get burnt out on the same routine.
- You get weary of the personal sacrifices.
- You get discouraged because you’re not seeing the results fast enough.
When these symptoms show up, you start feeling like you’re no longer “in the mood.” It’s at this time when you have to act. If you can win the battle at the point when these symptoms and thoughts appear, then you’ll be able to stay motivated all the time.
How to Defeat Your Desire to Quit
It’s the time when discouragement and weariness set in that you have to act because that is the time when your desire to quit is at its weakest. If you let it go beyond that point, your desire to quit becomes stronger, and you’re almost guaranteed to give up on pursuing your goals.
Defeating the desire to quit is much like how a police officer trains a dog to walk at his side. He uses a short leash and choker chain and places the dog on his left side so that the right shoulder of the dog is at the officer’s left knee. That is the crucial point of contact. If the dog even slightly veers from the officer’s knee, the officer will pull the choker chain to bring him back.
In the beginning, all that officer will be doing is pulling on that leash, because the dog is not used to walking alongside someone. If the officer is consistent in keeping that dog’s shoulder close to his knee, then the dog will soon learn the habit.
How to Counter Your Cycle of Defeat
The officer and his dog can only fail in one way: if the officer doesn’t pull the chain as soon as he sees the dog veering off, then the dog won’t be disciplined. It’s much easier to pull the dog back after veering off a few inches than it is if the officer were to allow the dog to go sniff the flowers for a few minutes.
This is how you get control over your own emotions when you’re about to enter your cycle of defeat. As soon as the symptoms begin to appear, you have to check and counter them. You cannot allow the second stage—the inner dialogue—to begin or it will be too late.
Do whatever you have to in order to stay motivated:
- Take a break.
- Read or watch something inspirational that relates to what you’re doing.
- Talk to someone that can pump you up.
- Change your routine.
- Talk positive to yourself.
The objective is to mount a counter assault and stop your cycle of defeat as soon as it begins. It will be challenging at first, but soon you’ll recognize how your own psychology works and how you can adjust yourself to stay on track.
What you’ll realize is that your desire to quit, which has always defeated you in the past, is actually very weak and predictable. Your renewed sense of personal strength will help put the cycle of defeat under your boots as well as every other habit that entraps you.
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