Being successful is hard, being unsuccessful is even harder …choose hard

Let me ask you a question.  Do you want to be motivated and energised all the time?  Of course you do – who doesn’t?   But do you believe that is possible? ……….mmmm.. is that tumbleweed I can hear?

Let’s face it.  No-one said life was going to be a walk in the park and there are some days when you just don’t feel like showing up. Right?  So how do you GET motivated when you really don’t feel like it?

Well, that is a good question. Of course, it is easy to be motivated when you are doing something you love and are passionate about. However, would you agree that there are days which just don’t feel the same and maybe on some days you feel like you could stay bed for another hour, or perhaps for you, it’s when you stare at the laptop and hope for some inspiration?

And when you DON’T love what you do, boy it’s hard to be motivated then, isn’t it!  I am sure, like me, you too may have worked in a job you did not love.  On those days it can be difficult to open your eyes, let alone crawl out of bed and get to work.

Everyone feels like that from time to time.

However, there is a difference between the amateur and the professional.  For example, if a heavyweight boxer went into the ring unmotivated, that could be his last day.  If a formula one racing driver were to arrive at the start line unmotivated, that could be a disaster.  If the CEO of a company is not able to motivate himself, good luck to the rest of the company.

Let’s take a look at what makes the difference.  How do successful people in any field motivate themselves? Well, it turns out it’s really simple.  Let me give a caveat here: simple is, of course, not always easy.

Untitled design (8)

Here’s the thing. You can train yourself for success just as you can train yourself for failure.  However, if you can only motivate yourself sometimes, you will never get to the top of your game. That’s because it’s about consistency.

What I discovered about successful people is that they have a ‘pre-game’ routine.  If you watch an athlete you will notice that successful players have a warm up routine that is always the same.  For example, a tennis player hits a certain number of serves.  The runner runs a certain distance in jogging pants, does a certain number of stretches in a certain order and then takes off the jogging pants and do it again.   The dancer performs certain stretches, certain movements, leaps and spins.

Untitled design (7)

So looking at this type of “warm up” the question is does this only apply in sport or do successful people in other fields did the same?

As you may or may not know I mentor speakers and they also have these routines. Some pace up and down and do breathing exercises, others listen to motivational videos. In my previous corporate life, one of my managers had a little routine every morning involving coffee and 3 sugars every day, it was his (not so healthy) routine.

The thing that all these people have in common is they have a ‘pre-game routine’.  Which is a series of things they did every day, which resulted in them being in the right state of mind for the day ahead / game ahead / presentation etc.  And the reason these routines work is that they are a series of small steps.

When you are feeling unmotivated, some other coaches will say “focus on the big goal” or “keep your eye on the prize”, the problem here is that with the millions of things you need to do, it can become a little overwhelming.  So rather than thinking – oh no, I haven’t been to the gym for weeks, it is going to be hard, I’ll leave it till the weekend – if you have a routine you do everyday which ends with you being at the gym, then all you have to do is take the first step, which in turn leads to you taking action. For example, that might be filling the water bottle, which leads to going to the gym.  Rather than thinking, “I have to go to the gym” think – “fill the water bottle”.

Small steps are vital when getting motivated but that’s not everything because you also need consistency.  Once you have your ‘pre-day’ routine, which leads to you being in the right mental state, you need to do this on a daily basis to make it a habit.

So these habits are a big part of motivation, however, it’s important to note (because you can’t think yourself into being motivated) you have combine this with moving.  Physically moving; this doesn’t mean you have to go to the gym every day (unless you want to). If you are a writer, you have to get to your desk, pick up a pen or open your laptop and make words!   You can’t do it in your head.  Just start, start small and my other big tip for today is – have just one goal.

Often others fail to get motivated because they are attempting to do too much.  Overwhelm can create inaction because you literally don’t know where to begin!  So choose ONE thing you are going to achieve today and the chances are you will overachieve, which makes you feel good and helps your motivation no end.

Untitled design (9)

Here is a great tip – tell yourself I’m going to do “this” (your one task) for 10 minutes and then start. The great news is that you usually end up achieving more.

Choose 35 things you need to do today and the chances are you will fail to achieve all of them, lowering your motivation and increasing the chance of being further demotivated tomorrow.

So it may be simple to think about routines, however, it is harder to create and follow those routines.  But…. Breaking news: all successful people do just that.  And trust me if successful is hard, unsuccessful is harder!

Keep your eyes out for more tips on motivation on our FB page, where you can meet up with our other WHYS Women and Men and remember…… Live, Love and Laugh every day, and continue to be you in your own unique way!






Share This

Share this post with your peers.