“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” — Thomas A. Edison
How to Find The “Right” Motivation
Motivating ourselves to create new habits is rarely easy. But in the last few years I’ve noticed something interesting. If I’m feeling stuck or having difficulty “convincing” myself to adhere to a new routine, often it’s because I haven’t found the right motivation.
For example, I’ve stuck to a rigid workout schedule for most of my life, but no matter what I tried, I couldn’t get myself interested in cardio. So much so, that after many failed attempts, I gave up on the idea all together.
Because I couldn’t find the right reason to stick to it. Sure, I knew the power of health and fitness, improved cardiovascular fitness, and developing stronger legs; but there was a problem — I don’t really care about those things. The rewards weren’t enough to keep me motivated. However, one day, during a grueling hike, I stumbled across an unlikely reason to reconsider.
As a long time sufferer of a condition called Heat Rash, I’d inadvertently discovered a way to reduce outbreaks. (not entirely a cure, but close.) In the past I’d done everything possible to avoid strenuous activities, but this time was different.
A couple of hours into the hike, something amazing happened…The hives disappeared! — This got me thinking, ‘maybe instead of avoiding sweat, I should run towards it.’
So, I decided to experiment by doing an hour of cardio each day to purposely bring on the hives. The results were incredible. As the days went on, the outbreaks became milder, to the point of near non-existence. I don’t know why this works, but its made a huge difference in my life. Now I eagerly complete my cardio workout, everyday, without fail.
Why does this matter? Nobody cares about your stupid hives!
The point is: Establishing a new routine becomes effortless when you find the right motivation. Mine, as it turned out, was completely unrelated to cardiovascular health, but it got me on that dreaded treadmill, which had once been a hopeless endeavor.
So, how can you apply this to your own life?
By finding your own personal reasons for doing something. If you’re having difficulty getting motivated to do a certain task, you need to look for alternative rewards that resonate deeply inside you. This isn’t always obvious, but it’s an important step in creating a catalyst for change.
When in doubt, try asking questions such as:
Is this essential to my overall happiness?
How does this compliment my goals?
Am I certain this is something I want to do?
How will this add value to my life?
Write down your answers, and give them a careful review. You may find the “right” motivation scribbled right there on the page.
Finding our motivation can happen by accident (as in my fascinating story about hives), but the fact remains: If you find it, activities which you once loathed the thought of, can suddenly be executed with ease. We all have different drivers; some of which will strongly call us to action — it’s our job to discover them.
If all else fails, try changing it up. Don’t like running on a treadmill? What about a walk in the park, or a swim in the pool? Simply swapping the activity for something more enjoyable, may effectively carry out the same goal. Just aim for what feels right, and excites you to push forward.