One of the things that I get asked about by people way more than anything else is motivation. A lot of people ask me have I always been driven? What is it that motivates me & in particular how do I continue to maintain my motivation day in, day out? Well there are lots of different answers & there are lots of different ways that I do it personally & I’m going to visit these different methods & techniques in other blogs that I write but I thought that a good place to start in this blog might be with defining what motivation actually is & looking at how I personally maintain mine day after day to keep me driven & on track to achieve all of the things that I set out to accomplish.
When I typed, “what is motivation” into Google the first thing that came up was this definition from BusinessDictionary.com that said
Motivation is a combination of…
“Internal and external factors that stimulate desire and energy in people to be continually interested and committed to a job, role or subject, or to make an effort to attain a goal”
I’d say that pretty much sums it up. It’s that mixture of internal & external stimuli that gets you fired up & excited inside & often feels like you’ve been given a shot of adrenaline when your bodies entire chemistry changes and you feel like you’ve been given that extra boost that you need to get you closer to where you want to be.
Now different people experience the world in different ways & through different modalities. Some people may be more visual (what they see), some may be more auditory (what they hear), some may be more kinaesthetic (what they feel) whatever modality is dominant within you will have the greatest influence over how you experience the world around you & how you become motivated. In my case I am extremely visual, for me seeing things motivates me, imagining things motivates me & in particular envisioning what I can create & achieve really motivates me & so that’s how I keep myself driven by flooding my brain with visual images of what I want to achieve, what it is that I want from life & ultimately the type of person that I want to become.
Now a few years ago I was introduced to these things called ‘vision boards’. If you’ve never heard of them at their most basic they are a collection of pictures, quotes or texts that an individual collects & turns into a collage that helps to inspire & motivate them & in many cases they can be a sort of visual wish list for things that they want to achieve or attain throughout their life. For some people it may be picturesque views of countries that they want to visit, for others it may be fast cars, big boats & lots of money (there’s nothing wrong with that) & for other’s it may be pictures of their family having fun & all being together, it could even be a combination of lots of different things that are important to the creator, the important thing to remember is that it’s a very individual thing.
Now to start with I was very skeptical, my opinion was that it was a bunch of wishy washy rubbish & a waste of about 4hrs of my life & not something that I really had anytime for but being a fairly open minded individual I thought “what the hell, I’ll give it a go” and so I did. The vision board I designed a few years ago had, and still does have a very positive impact on my life & hangs on my office wall at home as a constant visual reminder of what it is I want from life and what it is that motivates me.
What I’ve found over the years is that whatever you focus on in life is what you tend to experience. A great saying I love is “where focus goes, energy flows” which basically means that whatever you focus on in life you usually tend to experience, feel & often achieve. For example I used to very often get up in the morning, flick on the TV & start to get ready for my day by watching & listening to the news. It took me a little while but I started to realise pretty soon that the first thing I was doing in the mornings was feeding my mind with a ton of negativity & garbage that I was hearing from the TV & that it actually started to reflect in how I felt & how I went about my day & I used to leave the house not feeling very motivated at all because what I was focusing on was all of the bad things that were happening in the world. My days were being started with wave after wave of negativity & doom & gloom so as soon as I began to notice what was happening I switched from watching the news in the morning to watching something that would make me laugh or maybe something on YouTube that was educational or informative & the difference was huge. I started to realise that by starting my day off watching & listening to things that put me in a good and positive state it made me feel better & as a consequence made me more focused & more motivated to go out & achieve what it was that I set out to achieve that day.
Now being the kind of person who’s mind never stops ticking I started to wonder how could I take this further for those times when I’m not at home & could do with that boost of motivation. Now one things I did (which I don’t think most of you could do for obvious reasons) was to transfer some of the images from my vision board onto my prosthetic arm! I had the images turned into a collage, a friend of mine printed them onto vinyl for me & then heat wrapped them & stuck them onto my prosthetic. The pictures I have on my arm are of men that inspire me & who have in my eyes came from the very bottom & gone on to achieve greatness. Those men include Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Lee, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Sylvester Stallone & Anthony Robbins, all men I admire who (if you’ve read their autobiography’s) had a vision for what they wanted from their lives & consistently took action & moved forward no matter what people said & no matter what adversity they faced until they got to where they wanted to be, that for me is extremely motivating & I am reminded of exactly who I want to be every time I look at my arm. Now although that may not be something you can all do (and I really don’t recommend tattoo’s, mine can be peeled off!) another method which I found VERY effective at keeping me inspired and motivated every day was through using social media.
Now for those of you that already follow me on social media you’ll know that I have a personal Facebook account, a business Facebook account, a Twitter account, a LinkedIn account a Tumblr account, a YouTube account & a profile on Instagram!!! Now from time to time as I flipped from one account to the other I started to realise that there were certain platforms that I preferred using to others because of the way that they made me feel whilst I was looking through them & then all of a sudden I realised that my social media accounts were in fact just like mobile vision boards. I would look at my Instagram account & see the profiles I followed which included health & fitness pages, inspirational story’s & others to do with Entrepreneurs, success & motivation & it made me feel driven, focused & like anything was possible. Then I’d look at other accounts I had & have things pop up on my news feed about the latest act of terrorism, the poor state of the economy, horrible stories about horrible people or just a bunch of people complaining about how hard their lives were or airing their dirty laundry on-line & a whole load of other stuff that I really didn’t want to read but was having forced in front of me whenever I was browsing which made me feel drained & lifeless, but then I had a brainwave!!! I went through all of my social media channels over time & started to get rid of anything that I didn’t want to see & replaced it with the things that interested and motivated me. Eventually I filled all of my different social media platforms with as much positivity as I could & with content that inspired me & information that would drive me closer to becoming who I wanted to be & to achieve the things that I wanted to achieve, I even put wallpapers & screen-savers on my phone, laptop & desktop so I was constantly flooded with motivation wherever I looked.
Now I don’t recall having ever heard anyone talk about this before but to me it just made sense, flood my social media with as much motivational content as possible to help me stay focused & in the right state of mind for as much of the time as possible & use it as a source of inspiration whenever I needed a boost.
Now this is something that anyone with even just one social media account can do, remember you are in charge of what you feed your brain with. I know that as you read through this most of you will sit there and think “Oh yeah he’s right, I remember that time when I saw this I felt X & that time I heard that I felt Y” its common sense its just that a lot of the time we don’t sit there and think about it, so think about it! If you constantly put yourself in a negative environment & flood yourself with negative stimuli how do you think it’s going to make you feel? But on the other hand if you consciously make an effort to bring more positive & motivating stimuli into your life what kind of an effective do you think its going to have & over time by doing it more & more often how much more enriched do you think your life can become. Believe me when I say that small steps like this compounded over time lead to huge change so why not try it today.
Platforms like Facebook have options now where you can un-follow friends but not necessarily un-friend them if they happen to be particularly negative, it doesn’t necessarily means isolating yourself from those that you care about. Have a clean sweep of all of your social media, leave groups or pages that aren’t relevant & join ones that are, maybe even sign up to some specific email newsletters that deliver interesting & informative content relevant to you. Create a positive & nourishing environment around you both off-line & on-line, you’ll be surprised at the difference it makes especially if you spend as much time on social media as I do.
If you are perhaps more auditory & hearing things motivates you then why not fill your iPod with the right kind of audio books, podcasts, music etc… that makes you feel great & listen to it whenever you need a pick me up (or my advice is first thing in the morning). If your kinaesthetic find a way to surround yourself with more of the things that make you feel good as often as you can, whatever modality is dominant in you do what you can to bring more positivity to that area & see the difference it makes.
Now this is just one of the methods that I use to keep myself constantly charged, energised & motivated. As I said at the beginning there are lots more techniques which I am going to blog about over time but for now if this is something that you don’t already do then why not give it a try, I’ve found it to make a huge difference in my life & its my hope that it will do the same for you in your life.
Since making this discovery I even started a new Instagram account called @Inspired2Achieve which I am filling with motivational stories, quotes from famous people & inspirational content to do my best to motivate others & give them that motivational boost when they need it, you never know how much of an impact it could have on a complete strangers life.
If you want to read a bit more about vision boards then check out this article in the Huffington Post & remember it’s completely individual to you. I made mine to motivate me & inspire me & push me in the direction of becoming exactly the kind of person that I want to be. If you decide to make one or if you start to modify your social media do it in a way that makes YOU feel like the ultimate version of yourself all of the time.
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