Motivation: Scientific Guide on How to get and stay motivated
Motivation is a powerful, yet a tricky beast. Sometimes it is really easy to get motivated, and we find ourselves wrapped up in a whirlwind of excitement. Other times, it is nearly impossible to figure out how to motivate ourselves and we are trapped in a death spiral of procrastination. A negative emotional state can really ruin our day. Prolonged stress, depression and anger are clearly not conducive to high levels of performance. And the worst part is that these emotional states tend to be self- perpetuating. Working while overly stressed can lead to even more stress. Depression and worry can cause us to avoid taking the kinds of actions that will help us escape the pit of negativity. And anger can lead us to take unproductive actions and we may later regret.
Whether we are trying to figure out how to get rid of that kind of stressed situation, we need kind of motivational techniques.
So what is motivation, exactly? “At some point, the pain of not doing it becomes greater than the pain of doing it.”
In other words; at some point, it is easier to change than to stay the same. It is easier to take action and feel insecure at the gym than to sit still and experience self-loathing on the couch. It is easier to feel awkward while making the sales call than to feel disappointed about our dwindling bank account. This is the essence of motivation. Every choice has a price, but when we are motivated, it is easier to bear the inconvenience of action than the pain of remaining the same.
How to get motivated and take action
Many people struggle to find the motivation. They need to achieve the goals they want because they are wasting too much time and energy on other parts of process. While emotional variety can spice up our life, hopefully we will agree that remaining struck in prolonged negative emotional state is something to be avoided.
Here are some examples of how one can apply rituals and routine to get motivated:
Exercise more consistently: Use some warm up routine at the gym.
Become more creative: Follow a creative ritual before you start writing or painting or singing.
Start each day stress free: Create a five-minute morning meditation ritual.
Sleep better: Follow a power down routine before bed.
The power of ritual, or we like to call a pre game routine, is that it provides a mindless way to initiate our behavior. It makes starting our basic habits easier and that means following through on a consistent basis is easier.
Similarly, to get ourselves motivated and to come out of prolonged stress, depression or anger we can use various efficient techniques.
1. We can watch a comedy or listen to some music to cheer up.
2. Reading uplifting material is also effective and there are plenty of great books and articles that can help keep your attitude positive as well.
3. We want lofty ambitions but set up small goals along the way to keep in.
4. Being passionate about what you do is great and it is highly recommended not doing anything else.
It is well said by Oprah Winfrey “Challenges are gifts that force us to search for a new center of pravity. Don’t fight them. Just find a new way to stand.”