Boost Your Motivation Levels

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

I Am not Motivated Because I Can’t

A friend of mine told me once that he could never quit smoking because cigarettes run in his blood. He didn’t mean nicotine by that but he just meant that he was extremely dependent on cigarettes and could not imagine living without them.

If that’s the same way you feel then ask yourself one question "What is the one thing that you want the most in your life?". Now imagine meeting a wizard who told you that he can make your wish come true only if you quit smoking. Will you be able to quit then? Of course you will!

The conclusion is you weren’t able to quit because you were not motivated and not the other way round, namely not being motivated because you can’t quit.

Don’t fool yourself and develop a false belief about your abilities . You have the ability to succeed at anything even if it seemed beyond your reach. The only thing you need to reach what you want or to quit any habit is true motivation.

Understand Your Style of Motivation

A billionaire might have became rich because he didn't want to be poor. Another billionaire could have become rich because he wanted to buy a bigger house and live a better life.

What’s all that about? Some people become motivated because they want to get closer to something (the "towards" motivation style) while others become motivated because they want to move away from something (the "away" motivation style).

The first man wanted to avoid poverty and so he was motivated to become rich, while the second man was motivated because he wanted to live more comfortably. (see also Why am i not rich).

If you want to motivate yourself then you should first determine your motivation style. Is it running away from what you don’t want or is it moving towards what you want?

Note that you could have different motivation styles in different areas of life. For example, you may be motivated to follow a healthy life style because you want to live longer and at the same time you may be exercising because of not wanting to become skinny.

The Problem with the “Away from” Motivation Style

Let’s assume that you are motivated to exercise because you don’t want to become skinny. In this case you won’t be that motivated unless you start to lose a lot of weight or until you receive a critical comments about your physical appearance.

The result will be staying in your place. You won't try to improve your life but instead you will just try to prevent yourself from losing ground. As you may have already guessed this strategy will not result in any advancements after a certain point is reached but it will just help you protect what you have already achieved.

On the other hand if you exercise because you want to bulk up then your greed will take over you and you will find yourself wanting to get bigger and bigger muscles even if you were already in great shape. In this case, greed is not a bad thing.

Changing Your Motivation Style

Now that you knew that the “towards motivation style” is better than the "away from motivation style", how can you change your motivation style?

Suppose your goal was to avoid poverty (to become rich). In this case, instead of looking at how much you spend per month or instead of focusing on your monthly bills just draw a picture of your dream house and your dream car and hang a copy of the picture in each room of your house.

Motivation and Goal Setting

If you don’t have any goals then don’t bother reading about motivation. Motivation is needed only for those who really want to achieve something in life.

If you have no goals, you should first visit the goal setting section then come back to the motivation section when you are done.

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How to motivate yourself

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