The Art of Being Actively Motivated

People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” Zig Ziglar

There’s an art to being consistently motivated. It takes discipline.The best of us work at being motivated. We know it’s not something that always occurs naturally, so we take it into our own hands. The others, we leave it to chance. We let our sorrows control our successes. Our fears rule our decisions.

Me? I’ve been on both ends of this spectrum. Within the past few years, however, it’s been all the former. The latter hasn’t shown his face around these parts in some time. Although, having been the guy “living a fearful life” in the past is precicely why I refuse to leave my success and my motivation levels to chance. Where my day’s productivity was once determined by my previous night’s sleep. It now lands squarely on my shoulders. And mine alone.

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Only as high as I reach can I grow, only as far as I seek can I go, only as deep as I look can I see, only as much as I dream can I be.Karen Ravn.

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I’m an dreamer. To tell you that I don’t get caught up in my own dream world on a daily basis would be a fib of epic proportions. A misrepresentation of who I am, and who I have been for as long as I can remember. I love to dream. Dreaming excites me. The possibilities of what can be are exhilarating… or should I say “what will be“. It’s invigorating to think about accomplishing something legendary.

It’s important to understand who you are and what excites you. Possibilities excites me.

As I’ve started my own business – and as I once embarked on a mission to create my perfect physique – my understanding of what motivates me has become an asset. As a guy who loves to dream, I need to keep these dreams relevant. I need to keep them in mind and always be moving towards them. Writing them down. Treating them like attainable goals rather than pipe dreams.

being motivated

Being Actively Motivated

“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” Jim Rohn

1. Create a Bucket List.

Call it a bucket list, a list of goals, or your “big dreams” list. Whatever it is, this is no small list. Reasonability has no place here. Only your most audacious dreams deserve space on this list. We make this list, writing our dreams down, because it brings them to reality.

I prefer the act of writing them down in pen. But I also have the same list online, using a site called penzu. Being online and password protected, even if your computer crashes and your life is in ruins, you’ll still have this list. It will be there as long as you have an account.

2. Read. And read a lot.

As I sit here writing this article, 3 hours in to my workday, I’m excited for my first reading break. I’m a quarter of the way through a book called “Kicking Ass and Saving Souls”. It’s a different book from what I usually read, but it still serves a purpose. It motivates me. Pretty much every book I’ve read (and finished) in the past few years have motivated me.

Whether it does this by teaching me something new, or telling an outrageous story about a man or woman truly living life. Books are amazing. As each generation grows up, fewer books are being read. Movies and video games arise in their stead. But books are a must.

If you’re trying to achieve something great. If you’re on a mission to do great things. You need to read. And read a lot. Read a variety of different genres. Read for the pure enjoyment of reading. The result will be a steady flow of motivation. This makes me think about adding a reading list page to the site. Not a bad idea!

3. Spend time outside and in nature.

I live in a pretty amazing spot in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It’s right on the cusp of the city. On one side, a small lake and a massive park than is at least half the size of downtown Vancouver (where I live). On the other side is the city. I’m lucky enough to have nature all around me. If you don’t have it close, seek it out.

The clean air, the birds, the silence, the freedom of being outside is motivating. It’s the best place to get some clear thinking done. I’m not a big outdoorsy guy, but I do appreciate it. Even if you don’t like being out in nature simply for the sake of being out in nature, get out there to clear your mind. Bring a notepad and let the thoughts flow. You’ll find some great ideas when you take out the noise and congestion of the city life that so many of us now lead.

4. Write.

Communicate with yourself on a piece of paper. This sounds goofy, but it helps. Working through my own ideas for programs, articles, and even goals and what I want to accomplish has been a big help.

The more I write, the more motivated I am. I’m lucky enough to have this platform; a site that reaches thousands daily and hopefully serves as some benefit to a few of you. But you don’t need a platform. Just write down notes. Write down ideas. Things that motivate you and inspire you to achieve something great.

5. Have inspiration all around you. Everywhere you look, be motivated.

Create an environment for greatness. Have images that inspire you upon rising where you sleep. Motivational quotes in your washroom as you brush your teeth and wash your face in the morning. A big white board by your desk that highlights your big ideas. Your big dreams and your mission.

Everywhere you look you should be motivated. I have a library full of books that pump me up, make me think, and lead me to dream big. A stack of awesome movies that make me laugh, dream, and inspire me. Posters, quotes, and magazines that make me want to work harder. To sacrifice more and to see what I can really make out of life.

Don’t be a fool and think that you’re going to be motivated every day of your life without doing anything to ensure your motivation. Man up and make motivation a part of your daily routine. Make it habitual. Make it a real and daily endeavor.

6. Be a creature of habit.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle

More and more I’m following a routine. I do the same thing every morning: waking up at 6am, drinking water, greens, having my vitamins, performing a few exercises and then getting down to work. An hour into work, I get dressed then head to a coffee shop and work some more.

This habitual existence has dramatically increased my work output. I’m getting much more done in far less time because I’m programed to focus on task X at the same time everyday. It’s also contributed to my motivation levels which go hand in hand with our ability to focus, and our energy levels.

Spontaneity is still important. But without a strict routine it’s much harder to focus. Being the dreamer that I am, I need to program myself to regain focus, and to limit distractions. I strongly encourage you to create a routine (especially a morning one) that you like. One that helps you focus.

A couple tips with work breaks:

1. Make them active. My first work break is a walk or a drive to a coffee shop. A later one – weather permitting – is a walk to a park to read.

2. Laugh. My second work break is a youtube break. I’ll watch Jimmy Kimmel or Will Ferrell videos for 20 minutes. Not only does laughing release endorphins, if you find the right video, it can be a great abs workout as well.

Concluding note:

“You are the embodiment of the information you choose to accept and act upon. To change your circumstances you need to change your thinking and subsequent actions.” Adlin Sinclair