I Am not Motivated Because I Can't
A friend of mine told me once that he could never quit smoking because cigarettes were in his blood (he didn't mean nicotine, just that he was deeply dependant on cigarettes and could not imagine living without them). If that's the same way you feel, ask yourself one question: "What is the one thing that I want most in my life?". Now imagine meeting a wizard that could make your wish come true only if you quit smoking. Would you be able to quit then? Of course you would!
The conclusion is; you weren't able to quit because you were not motivated and not the other way round, namely not being motivated because you can't quit. Don't fool yourself and develop a false belief about your abilities; you have the ability to succeed at anything even if it seems beyond your reach if you only have the motivation to go after it with all you've got.
Understand Your Style of Motivation
A billionaire may have become rich because he didn't want to be poor. Another billionaire could have become rich because he wanted to buy a bigger house or so that he could enjoy a more affluent life style.
What's all that about? Some people become motivated because they want to get closer to something (the "towards" motivation style) while others become motivated because they want to move away from something (the "away" motivation style). The first man wanted to avoid poverty and so he was motivated to become rich, while the second man was motivated because he wanted to live more comfortably.
If you want to motivate yourself, you should first determine your motivation style. Is it running away from what you don't want, or is it moving towards what you want. Note that you could have a different motivation style in different areas of life. For example, you may be motivated to follow a healthy life style because you want to live longer and at the same time you may be exercising because of not wanting to become skinny.
The Problem with the "Away from" Motivation Style
Let's assume that you are motivated to exercise because you don't want to become too skinny. In this case you won't be that motivated unless you start to lose a lot weight or until you receive a critical comment about your physical appearance.
The result will be staying at the status quo; you won't try to improve yourself, instead you will just try to prevent yourself from losing ground. As you may have already guessed, this strategy will not result in any advancements after a certain point is reached, but it will help you not lose what you've already achieved.
On the other hand, if you exercise because you want to bulk up, your greed will take over and you will find yourself wanting to get bigger and bigger muscles even if you were already in great shape. In this case, greed is not that undesirable. Smiling
Changing Your Motivation Style
Now that we've agreed that the "towards motivation style" is better than the "away from motivation style", how can we change our motivation style?
Suppose your goal was to avoid poverty (to become rich). In this case, instead of looking at how much you spend per month, or instead of focusing on your monthly bills, just draw a picture of your dream house and your dream car and hang a copy of the picture in each room in your house.
Motivation and Goal Setting
If you don't have any goals, then don't bother reading about motivation. Motivation is needed only for those who really want something out of life. If you have no goals, you should first visit the goal setting section then come back to the motivation section when you are done with determining what you want to achieve.
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