Let’s face it, motivating yourself is really hard - getting up early and on time, eating a well balanced diet, actually showing up to the gym, balancing your work life and family obligations - the rate race doesn’t end. It takes some serious discipline to develop good daily habits and stay motivated every day. It usually works for awhile. But how can you keep the momentum going? In life, you will fail over and over and over again, learn through experimentation, and push through failure if you’re going to ultimately succeed.
That’s why motivation and persistence are crucial during those tough days when it takes everything to not give up. But motivation alone doesn’t work. You can’t read a motivational quote and expect your life to change overnight. However, true change can come when you think about life differently and shift your thought patterns.
Here are Five Self Motivation Tips to Help Shift your Perspective
1. Our Thoughts Create Our Reality
Everything we perceive in the physical world through our five senses has to pass through the invisible inner world of thoughts and beliefs. This is the filter with which we experience our lives. Everything that we have ever experienced and will ever experience will pass through this filter. In our daily lives, our external reality and internal reality become intertwined, inseparable from one another. By controlling our internal thoughts, we begin to shape our external reality.
It seems laughable to think that we can control our realities by controlling our thoughts. After all, look at all of those events out of our control - where we were born, what diseases we may inherit, the different social classes we were all born into. It's no wonder so many people blame their circumstances rather than doing something about it. Yes, we are all born with certain initial life parameters, but we ultimately control every single thought that enters our minds. And every one of our choices are directed by these thoughts.
Take two people stuck in traffic for instance. One could be absolutely enraged, slamming on their horn, internally seething mad. They're going against the current of life, unable to accept the reality of their current situation. Alternatively, another driver could be as calm as a cool breeze, going with the traffic, taking in the sights of the road, being amazed by modern highways and automobiles, enjoying their day. It's all about our internal dialogue and how we look at life.
The day that we live this truth and take conscious control of our thoughts is the day we become masters of our own lives.
2. Success is Created By Our Daily Habits
Our habits and daily routines shape who we are. This isn't very difficult to figure out. If we sit around eating pizza, playing video games, and browsing Reddit all day, we're not going to accomplish much, and our self esteem will probably suffer.
On the other hand, if we follow a daily workout regimen, eat a healthy balanced diet, set clear goals and work towards achieving them, success comes much faster. This healthy mindset builds on itself and gains momentum over time.
As it was said in the book The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandingo, "I will form good habits and become their slave." The first critical key to success is to develop good habits before anything else. Ultra successful entrepreneurs like Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos do not sit around all day wasting their time - they get after it day after day. They have unwavering determination and work ethic, and this work ethic first starts with their daily habits.
Elon Musk is known to get up at 7 a.m., and breaks his day down into five-minute time slots, working 85 to 100 hours a week. Now we don't have to go to these extremes to be successful, but by shifting a few of our daily habits, we’ll be well on our way.
3. Persistence is the Ultimate Factor
We live in an instant gratification society. Get rich quick schemes, fad diets, and "master a skill in 3 days" articles promise instant results with minimal effort.
The truth is, lasting success comes from years of persistence and hard work. It takes time. It's known it can take 6-10 years to get really good or great at something, depending on how often we do it. Some estimate it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill.
So we get discouraged easily when we’re first starting something. We need to remember to have fun, learn to love what we're doing, and take it one day at a time. If we try to master something too quickly and feel like we're not making progress fast enough, we can’t let self doubt creep in and halt our progress. We must stay persistent. Stay true to ourselves, write down our goals, and follow through. When we accomplish our short term goals, our long term goals and self motivation will follow.
4. Comfort is Our Enemy
As human beings, we're wired to seek comfort. A little bit of comfort is a good thing. Who doesn't like unwinding with some wine after a long day? We just can't take it too far, or we'll become accustomed to this comfortable, protected bubble.
Sitting at home on the couch, watching Hulu, drinking beer, and eating pizza 7 days a week might feel satisfying, but it's no way to grow into the person you want to become.
To accomplish great things and stay self motivated, you have to step outside of your comfort zone, repeatedly. It takes guts. Starting an online business, pushing your boss for a promotion, or even asking that cute girl for her number all take a lot of courage. They aren't easy, but the more frequently you push yourself outside of your comfort zone, the easier these uncomfortable tasks become. Learn to live in this discomfort. If you discover something that scares you, go after it day after day until it becomes routine.
5. Life is Impermanent, So We Can’t Be Afraid to Fail
Just like humans strive for comfort, we also strive for certainty. We want to feel like we're in control of our lives so that we can predict how things will end up for us. It is the nature of the mind to figure out stable patterns in the world and make sense of them.
As a result, our mind is forever chasing experiences and holding onto them - trying to understand them, make sense of them, and control them. Just remember that this moment right now is all there is, but your mind is trying desperately to grasp what has already happened, what has already disappeared over the edge.
Although our daily lives may seem unchanging and permanent, the universe and everything in it is in a constant state of change.
As we sit here, the cells inside our bodies are replicating and dying, the oceans are ebbing and flowing, and the Milky Way is moving 1.3 million miles per hour through the universe. Everything in the universe changes, including all of us.
The more we cling to things and believe that life should remain the same, the more we will suffer. The more we flow with the current of life and realize that things are perfect just as they are, the better our outlook will be. We'll be less afraid to fail because we'll know that life is impermanent, like all things.