Sometimes it can feel like staying motivated is fundamentally against human nature. With just a quick search online, you can find a huge amount of content based on how to deal with lack of motivation, how to motivate yourself or what truly motivated people do to stay that way.
While there’s a huge amount of advice out there, I feel that a lot of them miss the point. Motivation is something that comes and goes, and it has to be tended to if you want it to last. As someone who unfortunately failed quite a few times but also thinks of themselves as motivated, there’s a few things that I’ve learned about how not to quit (even if I really want to).
As easy as it sounds, you need to find something that you really want to do. Though it seems simple, it’s often the hardest thing to do. It takes a great deal of self-honesty to know what you want, beyond grandiose material or financial goals.
Maybe you want to help people, save the planet or work with children. Whatever it is, it needs to be something you’d want to do even in your spare time, even if there wasn’t a paycheck involved. When it does come to that paycheck, however, it helps to find a company that shares that same vision, or a position that fits in with your personal values. Having a genuine passion for something is going to make the initial motivation that you have to succeed last so much longer, because it’s going to make work feel less like work. This is your life, so it’s important to feel like you have meaning in it and are doing something worthwhile.
It’s always important to remember that success doesn’t come easy for anyone. Well-known figures such as Oprah Winfrey, J.K. Rowling and even the Beatles were initially rejected or experienced failure in some way. It’s impossible to imagine a world today without them, because they stayed motivated and continued to try in spite of rejection. Success, really, is always a result of persistence and hard work. Some people may be more privileged or talented, but ultimately, the most important thing is to keep trying. Remembering that success is something that you have to work for, and not something you just expect for your efforts puts the motivation that you do have into perspective.
When it comes to motivation, it’s definitely a marathon; not a sprint.
When it comes to both motivation and success, you have to be willing to enjoy the journey. If all that you can think about is the end goal, it’s going to feel like a never-ending road trip. If you’re taking the time to enjoy what you’re doing and you believe in your goal, time is going to pass quickly. You don’t want it to feel like work, and you don’t want to be stuck watching the clock.
Motivation is something that you cultivate, and you can’t always count on it to last. If you ever do feel like quitting, first ask yourself if you’re really doing what you want to be doing. If the answer is yes, remember why you started and that success is only going to come with time and dedication. Motivation is always going to come from inside, and if you keep that in mind, you’ll always have exactly the amount of motivation that you need.