I’ve often struggled with the premise (much respected in the NLP world) that “the only difference between those who succeed and those who have not yet succeeded is that those who are successful get themselves motivated, overcome their fear and take action.”
It sounded too simple to be true. But simple isn’t always easy. And getting motivated sometimes needs a few tricks. One truth about motivation is that others can’t give it to us. Motivation is an inside job. Others can encourage us, but only we can know when we feel motivated. So where does that come from?
Motivation springs brightly out of clarity about our real needs and wants e.g. I need to earn money, I want a better job, and hundreds of other life goals we all have. It can be surprising how quickly we can feel motivated when we’re crystal clear on our goals, assuming they’re tied to real needs and wants. And if we’re still not feeling it, we can try going back to the question of “What do I really want?” and being clear on what the truthful answer to that question is. It can be surprisingly challenging to answer this question.
But what if we need to be motivated to do something we don’t really want to do, but have to do?
It’s probably true to say that not many things fall into this category, but some of life’s mundanity lives here e.g. doing our annual taxes, bookkeeping, weeding the garden. For these tasks I’ve always found 90 Minute Packets work the best i.e. I focus exclusively on “Task A” for 90 minutes only and get as much done as possible in that 90 Minute Packet. It’s impressive how effective and productive this can be. And with good reason: 90 Minutes is what researcher Peretz Lavie and others have found is the optimal human limit for focusing intensely on any given task.
So tap your limitless reserves of motivation by getting clear on what you really want, and on wrangling the mundane/necessary with 90 Minute Packets of focus/action.