The Upside-Down Way To Boost Your Motivation

You probably have some positive changes you’d like to make in your life—in your career, relationships, or health and fitness. You know that if you make those changes you will be happier and more successful.

So why aren’t you already doing them?

Most of us have a pretty good idea of the steps we need to take to improve our lives. The real issue is overcoming inertia and taking the first step. Inertia tends to keep us in place, doing the same old things the same old way we’ve always done them.

We wait for motivation to arise and help us overcome inertia. We search for some hidden source of motivation deep inside us. We come to websites and read articles like this to learn new ways to develop greater motivation. That’s because we tend to look at the relationship between motivation and action this way:

Motivation ———->> Action

And that’s correct: Motivation does lead to action. If you feel motivated, you go out and do whatever it is you’re motivated about.

But that’s only part of the story. What too many of us forget is that the reverse is equally true: Motivation comes from having accomplished something.

When you have a sense of accomplishment, you are motivated to accomplish more. Basically, the more you get done, the more motivated you are to get things done.

Think back to a time in your life when you forced yourself to practice a new skill that you didn’t enjoy—for one person it might be learning to swim, for another it might be public speaking. At first, as you struggled you were probably tempted to quit.

But then you saw the result of all your efforts—you got to the end of the pool without sinking, or your audience laughed in all the right places and applauded you at the end. And suddenly you didn’t have to force yourself to keep doing it, because now you wanted to.

Achievement feels good, so we naturally want to keep it up. That means the easiest and fastest way to get motivated to make a change in your life is to just start. Don’t wait for motivation to arise—because you could be waiting forever.

Get out there and do something, however small that something is. Once you accomplish it, your motivation will go up. And with greater motivation, you will get more done. And then your motivation will go up.

Pretty soon, you will have a self-feeding cycle of action and motivation. The inertia that was holding you back from living the life you want will be a thing of the past.

Tom Cornell


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