Where were we?
Oh yeah! In the previous blog, we learned about two different mindsets—the growth mindset and the fixed mindset. People with a growth mindset tells themselves they can grow. They tell themselves they can work harder, get smarter, and become like the people they admire, in the ways that they admire them. Conversely, people with a fixed mindset object to learning as they turn to jealously and self-loathing. They get angry, hurt, and upset.
If we want to change our mindset to a growth mindset, we must train our minds to process things differently. The key takeaway here is change. Change is never easy. It takes a lot of time, tremendous amounts of energy, and, of course, desire. Since a growth mindset is necessary for development, a great way to forge a growth mindset is through a consistent early-morning routine.
“I wish I was motivated”
Today, I want to address one of the most common complaints I have heard since I started this series. This complaint comes in a variety of packages but is nothing new. As a matter of fact, there is a comments section below. I want you to comment a simple “Yes” or “No” if you can relate to it. It goes something like this…
I know I should get up early to start my morning before my daily responsibilities are pressing me out of bed, but when my alarm goes off, it’s so hard to get out of bed that I lose all motivation!
I realize this is almost a silly example. As children, we were not given the luxury of “feeling like it” when we needed to make the school bus. Still, who can’t relate to this? Better yet, why do we still struggle as adults? Every successful person I have met runs his life by the clock, and does so regardless of fluctuating moods, emotions or motivation.
Run your day by the clock and your life by the vision. –Zig Ziglar
As seen in the previous example, we tend to blame our feelings for our lack of commitment and discipline. In this scenario and many like it, we associate feelings with motivation. If our feelings want us to do something, we might consider ourselves motivated. The opposite is also true. The problem with associating feelings with motivation is that our feelings will make a disaster of our lives if our decisions are strictly based on them.
“Is motivation even real?”
In preparation for this blog, I read a couple of books on motivation last week. One book emphasized the importance of motivation, while another book stated that motivation was a notion that we invented, and that consequences—both positive and negative—drive behavior, not motivation. Well, I’m not going to argue either way. What I will say is that, within my own life, consequences motivate me…and I’ll leave it at that! 😉 Ahh…no, I won’t…I can’t…
Personally, if anyone asked me whether motivation is real and how we might harness it, I would direct them to my personal theory on motivation. I have run this theory past several doctors and psychologists and have received positive feedback. My theory treats motivation on a relative scale. Just as the infrared (IR) spectrum ranges on a continuum, I believe motivation also ranges on a relative continuum. (I realize that in recent years, we have managed to quantify light-levels in units of “lux;” while we have not discovered a way to quantify motivation. Still, due to the obscurity of the IR spectrum, I think we can draw a parallel.) Since I’m running out of time, I’ll have to explain my theory in the next blog.
“Why can’t I stay motivated?”
Someone asked Zig Ziglar whether motivation was permanent to which he responded, “Of course not, but neither is bathing.” This is where motivation gets even more interesting. Do you remember the diagram we discussed regarding attitude originating from thoughts? Well, motivation fits nicely into this diagram, as well!
As seen below, motivation, in its truest sense, is derived from an emotional reaction to consequence that can serve to further encourage or discourage behavior. For example, if I want to start going to the gym every morning (notice, I said “start”), it is going to require convincing myself of the benefit of going to the gym. This benefit could be emotional or mental as much as it is physical. I guarantee you that motivation will not get me out of bed the first day. On the second and third day, when I am most sore, motivation will also not help. Therefore, a decision must be made absent feeling or motivation. This decision is a result of a developing mindset! Similarly, as I begin to see results from my efforts at the gym, my motivation to become consistent will increase.
As you look at the below diagram, I want you to picture this circle to be an incredibly large and stationary tire. This tire represents your person—the faster your spin the tire, the more robust your growth mindset becomes. The desired direction of movement is already depicted, so where are your going to position yourself to get it to move? Clearly, you position yourself in the early stages of “thought” to gain the most leverage. Where is motivation? Motivation is merely a result, not something you can create for its own sake.
Today, we talked a little bit about motivation and how it is a bi product of our thoughts and decisions. In the next blog, I will introduce my theory on motivation that will change the way we view our life! I promise you…you won’t want to miss it.
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