When new year hits, motivation is high. You are all excited about your goals and aspirations, what you want to do in 2016, and what you want it to look like. Most likely there are things you want to be different than last year.
But what happens two months later when the initial excitement has worn off? It’s like in any relationship where there’s a honeymoon phase, a challenge phase, and then if you pass that, a real sustaining bond.
Well motivation is based on two things. Pleasure and purpose. Sometimes both.
Pleasure comes and goes with your moods. It’s something we chase because it feels good. But it’s constantly fluctuating based on our fluctuating circumstances, our biology, and what we think we want at any given time. We also develop tolerance with the pleasure principal. You get pleasure from one thing you want, then you want more pleasure, until the ante is up! Then it
takes more to get that same amount of pleasure or next fix. Pretty soon we get bored with the things that used to give us simple pleasure, because we’re so in this constant state of wanting more.
The pleasure principle is really on the surface, and if we based our lives solely on this, we will always be chasing the next fix, and never truly satisfied or fulfilled.
Purpose is different. Being purpose driven has to do with a bigger reason why you’re here, in this lifetime, on this earth. What do you really want to accomplish while you are here? If we look at things that we get in the material world, like the new car or next job promotion, they simply don’t last. Yes it’s great to have nice things, but we can’t ultimately depend on them for our motivation or happiness.
So you may have noticed that spark of motivation you felt at the beginning of the year fading as we get into the next few months of the year. And it’s natural for that initial motivation wane. It doesn’t mean you’re lazy or stupid. All it means is that
as motivation wanes, we need ways to continue to engage with what’s important in our lives, instead of lose sight of it. It’s just like in a relationship when the initial high wears off, we find a bigger reason to stay together. And if we instead jump from relationship to relationship looking for that next endorphin rush, we’re never going to really find it, it’s always going to wear off, and we will always be desperately looking for something we’re not really getting. That deeper purpose is missing; That bigger reason.
Dare I say we live in a very addicted society? As a culture we are addicted to electronics and dependent upon techno-gadgets. And in this addiction, we are physiologically trained to gravitate toward that next fix. At this point, there are growing studies showing that many people simply can’t live without their smart phones! The result of these kind of addictive impulses is that we lose sight of our connection with nature and connecting with people face-to-face. We lose sense of our intuition. We start believing that our happiness and sense of meaning comes from our interaction with things. And then we start feeling withdrawals if we don’t have that thing, the perfect car, the relationship, the success or job.
One reason motivation wanes is that we are expecting immediate results and when we don’t get them right away, we think that we’re not getting what we want so we stop trying. You’ve probably heard that saying that your success is just a few steps ahead of where you want to give up. But often we feel defeated right before the ‘finish line’ because we don’t yet see it. It’s kind of like walking blind. We must see beyond what is apparent; Believing in it before we see it. I think what helps is keeping in mind you’re bigger purpose. A great question to ask for this is if money and time were not an issue, what reason would be left to do this?
Creativity can be an important driving force in one’s live, as can love and connection. You know your areas of purpose by what you’re drawn to, what you’re passionate about and what keeps showing up in your mind and heart over and over again.
I work with people on finding this purpose and meaning in their lives. And for some great tools on how you can do this, visit www.LaylaAshley.com.
So recharge your motivation by reconnecting with your life purpose, and why you’re doing a particular thing. You’re not just investing in your own business to make money or gain status. You’re doing it to make a significant difference in the world, or gain more time freedom to spend in your meaningful relationships. You’re not wanting to travel across the world so that you can say you’ve been there and done that or collect souvenirs. You’re wanting to travel the world so that you can have a deeper experience with different cultures and expand your comfort zone, or to help other people in other countries. Only you know what you’re bigger reason is, and that can really fuel your motivation and keep it going.
If you fall off your bandwagon, just be willing to get up and dust yourself off, and be accountable to whatever you can change, rather than blaming the world around you and feeling disempowered.
Look at how you talk to yourself every day because, as I always say, you’re listening. How are you responding to ‘failures,’ which are really just learning curves and information about what direction we need to go. Are you really giving yourself credit and celebrating when you take steps towards your goals and maintaining changes? This is important too.
It can also help to have a positive circle of people to celebrate with and to mastermind on your next steps. You can help them too, and by helping others we help keep ourselves on track. I find this again and again in my own work doing hypnotherapy and coaching people!
And lastly, revisit your goals from time to time to see your progress and determine what may need changing. Change is okay, as long as you give anything you set out to do a good run first. That way you get a clear result.
Life is an eb and flow. And we are constantly balancing what we set out to do with how things are changing. So as you are taking in both your external and internal ‘weather report,’ remember to stay true to what is really important. Then also be willing to be flexible as you dance with the world around you and other people in it. It’s kind of like being a tree, your roots are firmly rooted in the ground and your branches and limbs are flexible enough to sway with the wind and to continue to grow upwards.
For more information visit: www.LaylaAshley.com