How to Stay Motivated

Part 2 on High Performance Motivation is all about sustaining. Once you’ve got your motivation ignited, or sparked, you need to go through the process of learning how to sustain that motivation throughout the journey, because that’s where most people fail. How do we fight distractions? It comes down to two things: focus and effort. You have to be focused on the things you need to be focused on and you have to put in the effort. You have to realize that you can’t just manage your distractions, you have to attack them. Once you find your focus, you can then focus on the effort. The momentum comes when you make effort towards the ambition that you have. When you don’t make as effort because you’re not focused on that outcome or goal, you start to lose the motivation.

How to Stay Motivated

Part two in the 3-part series on motivation takes a look at how do we, from inside ourselves, create a level of motivation that spurs us on to action and ultimately allows us to get what it is that we’re trying to achieve and have more fun doing it. For a quick review, part one focused on how to ignite or spark motivation from inside rather than waiting for an outside force to spark motivation. Sparking that internal motivation comes down to two different factors: ambition and expectancy or belief that you’re going to achieve whatever big goals or big dreams you set for yourself. You’ve got to have a level of ambition, something that’s going to excite you, get you going, and you’ve got to believe that you can achieve whatever that ambition level is.

Sustaining Your Motivation

Part two is about how to sustain the motivation. Once you’ve got it ignited, once you’ve got it sparked, now you’ve got to go through the process of learning how to sustain the motivation throughout the journey because that’s where most people fail.

It’s one thing to get excited about something and have that initial motivation or that initial spark, but you need to figure out how to keep it going once you start getting into that nitty gritty, the details, the day-to-day work that’s going to take you to where you want to go. How do you do that? It comes down to two different things: focus and effort. You need to focus on those things that need to be focused on and then put that effort in. This is where most people fail. This is where most people struggle because what is the enemy of focus? Distraction.

Think about it this way: how distracted are you on a daily basis? Think about all the things that distract you from what it is that you know deep down inside you should be doing at any given point in time. And yet we get distracted by a shiny object over here, distracted by a shiny object over there and sometimes these things masquerade as good activities and sometimes they don’t. Think about social media, right? Social media is an obvious distraction for a lot of people but it can be easy to justify by saying “I’ve got to be on social media because that’s where my potential clients are. That’s where my potential business is so I need to be on there networking” and while that may be accurate, we oftentimes use these things to prevent us, or keep us, from doing the more important activities, the more important things that we need to be focused on. Maybe it’s television, for others it’s maybe alcohol and drinking in the evenings, but its anything that’s going to prevent you from ultimately achieving what you want to achieve.

Harvard recently released a study not too long ago and what they found is interesting: in the US workplace, over just the last four years, our level of distraction has doubled every single year, year-over-year meaning that each year over last four years it’s gotten twice as hard to focus in the workplace. Next year it’s expected to double or triple again, meaning that if this year you had trouble focusing and not being distracted, guess what? It’s only going to get two or three times more challenging next year.

Attack the Distractions

So what does that mean? How do we how do we fight distraction? We have to realize that we can’t manage distraction. Too many people try and manage their distraction. They think “well if TV is distracting me, instead of shutting off the cable what I’ll do is I’ll just not watch TV during the week and on the weekends I’ll watch TV.” But the problem is that you’re only trying to manage the distraction rather than attack it.

The truly successful people, the truly motivated people attack distraction. They realize that there’s no room for error, no room for screwing up, and if this is something that’s going to get in their way, they attack the particular distraction. So rather than trying to not watch TV, instead what they’re going to do they are going to say “I’m going to shut off my cable and instead of watching TV, I’m going to focus on reading or educating myself or learning a new skill or new habit that I need to develop to get to that next level in my business or my life.” Whatever it is, they understand that they’ve not just got to manage it but attack it.

So let me ask you: what are the things that are happening when you’re at work that are getting in the way of you doing the prospecting that you need to do or making the calls that you need to do? Again, sometimes these can be masquerading as good things…”well I had to respond to the emails from my clients and I had to field that call because my client called me and it could have been an emergency so I had to take the call,” rather than realizing that…”wait a minute that’s a distraction from what I need to be doing right now to generate new business and move forward towards that large ambition that I have for my business and for my life.”

Focus and Effort

Once you’ve got the focus then you can focus on the effort. The sustaining or the momentum is going to come when you make effort towards the ambition that you have. Most people don’t make the effort. They set the goal, they set the dream, they get excited about it but when we don’t make effort because we’re not focused on what we need to be doing or not moving ourselves forward towards that outcome or towards that goal, you start to lose the motivation. Maybe you’ve been there, maybe you’ve said it or maybe you know somebody that’s said it…”I lost my motivation“. What they really mean is that “I stopped working towards the ambition I had from my life. I stopped moving forward.

For example. let’s say you set an income target for your business of making a quarter of a million dollars. At the beginning of the year, that quarter-million seems very reasonable because you set that goal. But if you waste your time in January and then waste your time in February, all the sudden in March you start feeling guilty because you haven’t started to close that gap between where you are and your goal of two hundred fifty thousand dollars. Now that goal seems even more challenging and even more complicated than it was at the beginning of the year because now you have less time to ultimately achieve it. That goal now becomes a demotivating factor for you.

So what you need to realize is that you need to put in effort day in and day out, showing up even if it’s just a little bit some days. Look, not every day can you make a Herculean effort but sometimes you just need to get on the journey. That’s what you need to do.

In recap, in the last video we talked about igniting motivation. Now we understand that we sustain it through our attention or focus on those activities that are going to move us forward. We attacked the distraction and we put the effort in day in and day out everyday putting just a little bit of effort that’s going to push you towards the outcome that you’re shooting for. That’s how you build up momentum, build that excitement, and sustain your motivation.

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