In life, I think it is fair to say that for everyone, the end goal is success. Of course, ‘success’ is an entirely subjective word, whose definition varies depending on who you ask.
However, what most people can agree on, is that success comes from achieving one’s life goals; and having a fulfilling sense of purpose and achievement with regards to those goals.
In this article I will dive into the question most people ask themselves: “How can I become successful?”, by exploring the driving factor behind success – motivation, and some practical tips to enhance your mindset towards this.
Fundamentals of Motivation
When it comes to defining motivation and how we can achieve it, it is extremely useful to reverse engineer the word and concept. So let’s take a step back and look at motivation on a more fundamental level.
Fundamentally, consistent motivation can be broken down into 4 main parts.
These are: Passion, Purpose, Perspective and Perserverance.
Now let’s take a deeper look at each one in detail.
Discovering our Passion & Purpose
At its core, motivation comes from passion. Passion, for whatever it is you want to achieve, is what will drive you to achieve it at a high level.
So, on a fundamental level, it makes sense not to look for generic “success” in life, but to find our passion and double-down on this!
Finding something you are passionate about has further benefits to simply motivating you. When you find your passion, it gives you a sense of purpose.
Purpose is the reason why we do things. It lights your fire. So whenever you are trying to achieve something, having a sense of purpose is vital.
Let me give you an example that applies to a lot of people. Going to the gym or working out is something everyone should do, but a lot of people struggle with.
What happens, is that these people do not have a strong enough sense of purpose to go, asking themselves “why should I go?”.
It’s important to note, that there is no right answer to this question. Everyone’s purpose will be different. Whether that’s to look a certain way, to feel strong, etc.
The key factor, is that our purpose must be stronger than the things holding us back (tiredness, procrastination, etc).
In my experience, I saw lots change when I started doing things for me. I didn’t rely on, for example, someone else to motivate me. I had goals and ambitions I wanted to achieve.
In the case of exercise, I do it for my own physical health; to keep up with people; to not be perceived as weak. When motivation comes from within you, it’s an internal process – so external factors stop affecting you as much.
Adapting Our Perspective
Perspective towards our goals is so important. On the journey towards success, there will be setbacks, failures and hardships. This is a fact of life.
The important thing with these, is that we learn to shift our perspective from a negative one to a positive one. We must embrace each failure as a learning opportunity and a chance to grow.
Doing is this is so important to maintaining motivation – as a lot of people can take these setbacks quite negatively and quit. If you quit, that is when it’s game over!
Aside from this, another important perspective is viewing your setbacks as a way of revealing your weaknesses. This is vital in understanding where it is you need to improve.
Without this knowledge, you cannot improve!
So remember, failures are part of the process. They are stepping stones to success. Welcome and embrace them!
This quality, to me, is the simplest to explain, as it combines both of the above themes.
It’s the ultimate life lesson that everyone has to learn.
It goes back to finding a passion, chasing it, and not letting setbacks stop you from achieving your goals.
The art of never giving up, despite setbacks or delay of success.
A prime example of this, which I live by every day, is me not letting my disability (cerebral palsy) define my life.
I will achieve my goals and dreams, no matter what.
Actions Towards Motivation
Having now understood the importance of the 3 factors to motivation and success, I would like to briefly explore some practical ways you can implement these into your life and start acting on them today.
It is important to realise that anyone can learn to be motivated. Motivation is inner strength. Hardships provide us with an opportunity to cultivate this strength.
Having said that, there are steps you can take from this day forwards to ensure you stay motivated.
- Ask yourself “Why am I doing this/why am I here?”. In the example of the gym, reminding yourself why you’re doing something re-focuses, re-motivates and reminds you of your purpose.
- It’s natural to fail and feel discouraged. However, make a conscious effort, whenever you do, to shift your perspective to see what you are gaining from this experience. How can I turn this into a learning point? How can I shift my perspective?
- It is important to remind ourselves of the things we have accomplished in our lives. When you accomplish something, it is very easy to quickly forget about it and move onto the next thing. Looking back can be a massive encouragement and ego-boost in times of hardships by putting into perspective how far you have come and everything you have overcome to get where you are today.
- Surround yourself with people that will motivate and uplift you. This creates an environment for growth and support. Friends can remind you of difficult things youve achieved – or help you shift your perspective. Likewise, it is important to slowly cut out people who do the opposite.
Motivation is something we can all achieve if we are willing to shift our mindset to help us. It comes down to having passion/purpose, a shift in perspective and perseverance. These are all the building blocks to a motivating mindset.
Having a clear purpose alongside reminding ourselves of this will keep us on track to achieve success and surrounding ourselves by people who will also help us achieve this is crucially important.
At the end of the day, success is a journey and a process, but without motivation, it is much harder to achieve.
And just like our iceberg above, success is what people see above the surface. What’s below the surface is a lot of hard work, perseverance and setbacks – but it is our job to control and embrace these.
Put into practice what you have learnt in this article and I am sure you can set yourself on a path to success!