Motivated people aren’t born with a special gene or personality trait that makes their dreams any easier to reach. They’re not lucky, but they’re certainly intentional and practiced. If the question of how to motivate yourself has ever arisen, the key to realizing your power may be hidden in this simple formula.
“It is the obvious equation and the ultimate secret: the deeper and longer I give attention to my ambitions and passions, the more motivation I feel.” – Brendon Burchard, The Motivation Manifesto
**This post is inspired by The Motivation Manifesto, a brilliant text from Brendon Burchard, best-selling author and leading high performance coach. I love this book.**
Your legacy rests on what you do today, just as the foundation of your dreams is built on your motivation to pursue them today. It is always what you do right now, in this moment, that matters most.
Whatever it is that you want to accomplish, the underlying theme of motivation consists of moving toward what you love rather than running from what you fear.
On Moving Through and Beyond Fear, Seeking with a Higher Passion and a Bigger Purpose
“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dream.” – Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
We all experience fearful thoughts (like doubt, worry, shame, and unworthiness) but it’s our choice whether or not we let the fear grow larger than our passion, like weeds in a garden. We must identify our “Why,” what lights us up inside, and revisit it often.
It’s not so much about pulling the weeds, but about nourishing what we do want to grow.
Clarity of purpose, in other words, is the driving force in the actualization of our dreams.
Fear itself isn’t something to fear; we can approach it with an open mind, seeing it as a message and an avenue for positive growth.“Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth.” – Pema Chödrön Click To Tweet
Our negative thoughts, like all of our thoughts, have something to tell us, and somewhere to point us. Every experience in life can become our teacher if we choose to see it as such.
Motivation is in our hands, it’s a practiced habit of focus, and it’s an ongoing active choice entangled in each life experience.
With enough time, effort, and dedication we can learn what we need to know in order to succeed in life (however we define success). By choosing the feeling of freedom over fear, again and again, we become more comfortable greeting our negative thoughts with grace so that even they become catalysts that usher us forward.
Motivation Is Summoned from Within, and Breathes Through Us
“The power within you is infinite. Plug into your higher self for a surge that will propel you to places you thought unattainable.” – Mary-Frances Winters
At the root of motivation lies your motive: a reason for action. This is your “why” for all that you do.
In The Motivation Manifesto, the author clarifies that “motivation is summoned only from within.” A theme that resonates throughout the text is that we don’t have motivation; we use our mind to generate motivation.The motivation we feel is subject to our own direction, not to the whims of the world. Click To Tweet
You can and must make the conscious choice every day to be deeply committed to your dreams, to do the work, and to stoke the fire in your heart once again—if you truly want to feel the freedom that comes with it.
How to Motivate Yourself: 3 Steps to Success
“Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.” – Wayne Dyer
The secret to motivating yourself isn’t really a secret. One glance at this “motivation equation” (as shared in The Motivation Manifesto) and it may seem obvious, like you knew this all along but here it is, spelled out in practical terms.
This is a specific, psychological formula for sparking, sustaining, and amplifying motivation—it may very well be the “how” you’ve been looking for.
1. Sparking Motivation = Ambition + Expectancy.
We need a heightened level of desire, a clear motive for action, a resounding “why” to fuel greatness in our lives. “By deeply contemplating higher aims,” The Motivation Manifesto declares, “we energize ourselves to pursue them.”
Really understand your why. Remind yourself constantly why you want and do the things you do. Ask yourself: “What do I want… A better job? A healthier relationship? A happier life? A peaceful inside?”
You must have faith in yourself and your ability to pursue what lights you up. You must learn to trust the process of life. You must believe your dream is possible and that you can go get it. You must believe in your capabilities and possibilities.
Say to yourself: “I expect this will happen. I have faith in myself. I can see my dreams coming true, and I know, right now, what success feels like.”Success is possible only when we honor our own worthiness to receive. Click To Tweet
2. Sustaining Motivation = Attention + Effort.
You must refocus on the positive. You must stay focused on your “why” and cultivate a beautiful, healthy obsession about it without mindless distraction. You must live in the pulse of your dreams, tending to your innermost desires with care and diligence.
Review your goals each day. Journal about your desires each night. Set aside moments regularly to visualize what you want and how you will get there. Meditate on the feeling of what it’s like to be living the life you picture for yourself.
Without effort, your dream is just a hollow hope, without energy. Energy breeds energy. Your effort will likely give you more motivation, creating forward momentum with endless potential. Keep going, no matter what, and if you can only take small steps, take those small steps.
Make it clear to the universe what you want through willed attention and relentless effort, because there is no attraction without action.To attract anything, we must act accordingly, as if we're already connected to it. Click To Tweet
3. Amplifying Motivation = Attitude + Environment.
Use your mind to think optimistically. To recite The Motivation Manifesto’s brilliance: “An open and positive disposition toward the world can attract people, bring joy into our experience, and channel the highest energies of the universe.“
Ask yourself: “How am I energetically contributing to the world? Am I shaping my own experiences? Am I living how I wish to live? Am I open to new ideas, or have I isolated my mind?” You get to choose how you’re going to show up, feel and relate to the world.
Whom we interact with matters to our mood, our attitude, and our motivation. Surround yourself with vibrant positive energy. Distance yourself from negativity, doubt, worry, and unkind personalities. We can and should still love these people, but fearful energy is highly contagious—thankfully, so is positive energy.Energy is contagious; mindfully surround yourself with the kind of energy you'd like to consume. Click To Tweet
How to Motivate Yourself, in Three Sentences
Spark motivation (ambition + expectancy) + sustain motivation (attention + energy) + amplify motivation (attitude + environment) = lasting motivation.
To sum up the key to lasting motivation in three sentences, The Motivation Manifesto does not disappoint:
Choose an ambition and, with full force, expect that it is possible and that you can make it happen. Give constant attention and committed effort to your dreams, and your motivation will perpetuate itself. Demonstrate a positive attitude as you strive for great things and take care to create a supportive environment around you that amplifies your motivation.
Honestly look at this formula and ponder positive shifts you can make in each area, noting all victories (even the small ones); keep your compassion, because we’re all in the human experience together.
Above all, know that your desires are with you because you’re capable of manifesting them. You are already, and always, connected to all that you imagine for yourself.
You may also enjoy this post about staying creative and inspired.
- How do you motivate yourself to live your best life, whatever it is you’d like to accomplish and experience?
- Imagine success as a feeling—what does success feel like for you? How do you want your life to feel?
- What resources (books, speakers, practices, etc.) have helped you embrace your capacity to live the way you want to live?
Please share your thoughts and insights, lessons in motivation, and any helpful or hopeful stories of success (on your own terms) with me in the comments.
Share this post with someone who could use some inspiration today.
Perhaps if we stop pursuing our dreams, we can finally start living them. In other words: Embody the shape of the life you wish to live, Now.