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The Real Facts About Motivation

Feb 27, 2008
The question of motivation is one that will be discussed from now until the end of time. How do I know? Because it's been discussed from the beginning of time until now.

In "Good to Great", Jim Collins says something I consider very interesting. I'm paraphrasing, but he makes the point that trying to motivate employees is a waste of resources. The reason? Motivation is a myth.

Many lovers of self-help books, and their authors, will cry foul at that kind of statement. Motivation a myth? Blasphemy.

People that lack 'motivation' and crave tricks and methods for getting themselves to work productively don't lack motivation at all. They lack two things: 1. Meaningful goals, and 2. the belief that those goals are attainable.

Any person that has meaningful goals and a belief that they're attainable will be productive; they will not need to be motivated. In fact most attempts at creating motivation are misguided efforts at creating belief, but most people don't realize it.

Goal setting can be the topic for hundreds of hours' worth of discussion and reading, and I don't want to discuss it here. Suffice it to say that the first key to all success is setting goals whose achievement would be significant in your life. Find a way to set those goals.

Let's talk about belief as a replacement for motivation. My over-arching statement is this: put enough energy into creating belief in yourself and your goals, and you'll never lack motivation. Conversely, if you never put in the effort necessary to create belief in yourself and your goals, it is impossible to achieve them. Impossible.

Affirmations are one of the most powerful and one of the fastest ways to create belief in yourself where you lack it. For most people getting into the habit of daily affirmations is both awkward and exciting. Let me explain what I mean by that, but first I should give you my definition of an affirmation.

An affirmation is a positive, possessive, present-tense statement of an attribute or possession you'd like to possess, but don't currently. For example: If you're naturally a pessimistic person you would affirm optimism into your life with a statement such as "I am optimistic."

Why are affirmations awkward? Think about it - imagine yourself standing in front of your mirror, yelling at yourself, giving yourself a daily pep talk. The acting of talking to yourself isn't exactly socially acceptable, let alone passionately yelling at yourself.
So why are they exciting? Because they work. The fact is the human brain responds to emotion and repetition. If you give yourself a message enough times, with enough passion, you'll start to believe it.

I'm not saying affirmations alone are enough; you have to use affirmations to give you the enthusiasm and energy to form good habits. Those habits are the key to your long term success.

Unfortunately, you're not likely to form those habits without a big push. Affirmations can give you that push. Get past the awkwardness and into the excitement.
It will pay off in the form of confidence, productivity, peace of mind, and for many of you - income.
About the Author
Jeremy carries his mountain bikes on hitch mount bike racks when he's headed for the hills and plugs his hitch with nfl hitch covers/a> when he's just driving around town.
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