photo credit: woodleywonderworks
The exercise I’m going to show you is no joke. When I tried it out some time ago I had been very badly ill with Chronic Fatigue, lost my job and virtually failed at university. Through long struggle I had gotten my health back on track and was about to start studying for my degree by correspondence. Previously university had been the bain of my existence. It wasn’t a monkey on my back it was a gorilla that had me by the throat. I hated university with a passion. So I spent some time running through the above exercise to get motivated to just get the thing done. Well, it worked. It took me just 16 months to complete an entire degree. There is nothing special about me. I just knew of a technique to motivate myself and importantly I made use of it. This exercise helped me put procrastination to bed, get motivated and achieve. It worked for me and it will work for you.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a student at college, an entrepreneur, an athlete, or simply someone who feels they could be doing more, achieving more, with their life. Regardless of who you are and what you want everyone needs motivation to put down their procrastination and achieve what they want in life.
Everyone has dreams. You would think that achievement and fulfillment of our dreams would be motivation enough. That our dreams would be so irresistible we could not help but get out there and make them a reality. You would think that motivation would not present any problem at all considering the rewards. Yet for many getting motivated is a significant problem. I’ve personally observed people who have brilliant ideas but never take action let alone see things through. That is a sure recipe for failure. If a lack of motivation is holding you back you will be happy to know that you can program yourself to be motivated by using a simple mental strategy. This strategy is easy to learn and will be available to you whenever you need it.
What is Happening When We Lack Motivation?
I’ll use fitness as an example. We all want to be fit and healthy. To get there however requires exercise. Exercise means sweat, pain and dedicating time you could otherwise be doing something else with. When we lack motivation to be fit and healthy we do not feel like exercising but yet we want to be fit. We do not want to go through the necessary process to get what we want. We just want what we will get when it’s finished. To solve this problem we need a motivational strategy.
How Motivation Actually Works
The fact that you are reading this article means that you are probably seeking to become motivated towards something. You see there are two motivational directions. You can be either motivated towards what you want or away from what you don’t want. Both directions are valid and helpful forms of motivation. You are likely motivated away from pain, discomfort and stress and you should be motivated away from negative thinking, hurtful actions and an unhealthy lifestyle. If you aren’t already you probably want to be motivated towards health, beautiful locations, positive thinking, wealth, loving relationships and wellbeing. Either approach can be successful. However, in today’s society the toward motivation direction receives much more emphasis.
The next factor of motivation to consider is probably the most important. When many people look back on their lives they are most likely to regret what they didn’t do as opposed to what they did do. Sadly, many people will let the prime of their lives slip through their fingers. This happens because they will have failed to identify their core values and then taken every action possible to see the fulfillment of those values. Do you think when you are old and gray that you will regret having not watched enough television? I didn’t think so. You need to stop wasting your time on petty pursuits. How to do that is really quite simple. You need to identify what you value most and then connect those values with your actions. As a result you will spend more time on what you really want to achieve as opposed to wasting your time away.
Identify Your Core Values
Identifying what your core values are is easy. Get yourself a pen and some paper and write your answers to these two simple questions:
1. What are my goals?
2. What is important to me?
Your goals may be to lead a certain lifestyle, to enjoy a particular relationship, career achievement, or even to be remembered a certain way after you are gone. You may have just one prime goal that everything else feeds off of or you may have a diverse set of goals all equally important to you. Whatever your goals, even if they are not that clearly defined, write them down. Next, for each of your goals, ask yourself these questions:
1. What’s important about this goal?
2. What do I value about this goal?
3. What meaning does this goal hold for me?
Again write down your answers. Your answers to the above three questions are you core values. If you do not lead a life where your actions are congruent with these core values that you have just identified you will lead a life that feels empty and devoid of meaning. Whatever it is you want is simply a vehicle for the fulfillment of your values.
Values are the key to motivation. In the technique I’m about to show you values are used to supercharge your motivation. Everyone has values but few people identify precisely what they are and then make those values strong within themselves. If your values are strong your motivation will be strong also.
How to Make Your Core Values Strong
It all has to do with how we picture the experience of what we want in our mind. When you think of an experience you use one or more sensory modalities to form an image of the experience. Sensory modalities include visual, auditory, kinesthetic (touch), smell and taste. When we picture in our mind an experience that we find very attractive as opposed to picturing something we don’t care about the attractive experience generally is brighter, in color, bigger, closer, in front of us, and there are exciting sounds. When we picture something we don’t care about the image is darker, in faded colors or even black and white, small, far away, off to the side, and silent.
You may be surprised to discover your inner image of the reward for completing a project that is very important to you such as a degree is tiny, dark, fuzzy, and in black and white. Is it any wonder you are not motivated? You must make a rich and compelling inner image of what you want and what you value. The bigger, more colorful, clearer, and the more types of sensory modalities you use to present yourself with an inner image of what you want the better.
1. Think of something that is of great value to you but you struggle to do what needs to be done to achieve it.
2. Check with yourself to make sure you don’t have any objections to actually achieving this particular task.
3. Think about the end result of the task. The positive benefits that while come from doing what needs to be done. Don’t think about the process of getting to the result. Just think of the many positive benefits to you that will come if you get it done. Notice how you are picturing those benefits in your mind.
4. Now make the image you have in your mind of all the wonderful benefits of getting this task done bigger, closer, and more colorful. Add pleasant sounds and encouraging voices coming from all around you. Feel yourself in the center of a stadium filled with people cheering just for you. Keep working at making this image of the rewards of completing your chosen task bigger, brighter, louder and closer until you feel strongly attracted to the task.