Monday, February 9, 2009

Motivation Monday

Do you know exactly what you would do, if only you could get more motivated? Lets say that tomorrow morning you were to wake up and discover that you were filled with motivation. What would you do?

I hope you took some time in the past week to thing about what you really want. Identifying your desires is key to moving forward into a new and better life.

Once you have decided what it is you want in your life, you can now start asking yourself this question: How badly do I want this? How is this linked to motivation? Well, lets recap last Monday a little bit: motivation is simply the reason for an action. It is the why behind what you do. If you have determined what you want, my question to you is how badly do you want it? As I said last week, to stay motivated you need a strong desire to get you to do what you say you want to do.

So the key to this week's message is this: One simple way to boost your motivation is to consciously make a strong connection between something you want and the reasons why. Remember, the reasons why need to be compelling for them to be powerful. For example, lets say that one of the things on your list is that you would like to be more organized. Why do you want to be more organized? If all you have is the idea that you should be more organized, you probably won't be as motivated as the artist who has just lost out on a portrait commission because she couldn't find the scrap of paper upon which she wrote the person's contact info. The emotions behind losing that commission (anger, frustration, disappointment) and the desire to not loose another chance at work can become strong motivators.

So this week, I am asking you to go back over the list of things you want to have in your life. Look at each item and think about why you want these things. Jot down your thoughts. Perhaps you want to become a better artist. Ask yourself why? Perhaps you said you wanted to start selling your work. Why? Go beyond the easy first answer. For example, lets say your answer to why you want to start selling your work is "My family and my friends keep telling me I should be selling my work." Sounds like their desire, not yours. This may be why you haven't been too motivated to do the work involved. What if your answer is: "I want to sell my art so I can make money." Good, but now go deeper. Why do you want to make money? Money can be a strong motivator but again it has to be linked with a strong desire. What do you envision doing with the money?

Lets go back to the example of the person who wants to be more organized but they don't really have a specific reason. They just think they should be more organized. Is this person doomed to stay unorganized? Of course not. The answer is to create a meaningful reason why one should do the work to get organized. For example, I would suggest that this person think of as many positive outcomes for being organized as possible - things like: if I were more organized, I would have more room to paint and create. Now that answer is probably already starting to link with a strong motivator. Just changing how we think about a task can make all the difference. Make identifying a strong motivator your goal.

Is motivation this simple? Yes, it can be. Once you know what you want and you have created a strong enough why, you should be set to go. But, life is often a bit messier than that. There are several things that can block our motivation. Next week, I will start delving into various ways that our motivation can get blocked and why we end up stuck. Good luck with your soul searching :-) and feel free to leave a comment or ask a question.


Anita said...

Brilliant, simple yet so obvious!

Teresa Mallen said...

Thank you Anita, I am glad you enjoyed the post!

Rebekka said...

I almost got my book to write notes! I've read a bunch of your blogs now, you are very helpful.Thank you!

Teresa Mallen said...

Well hi Rebekka, thanks for taking the time to leave a comment and thanks for the feedback. It is always nice to know that someone is actually reading your blog posts! :-) I am glad you are finding some stuff helpful and you are very welcome!!