How Motivation Really Works And How To Activate It

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During my years as an entrepreneur there’s one subject that has been discussed the most:

How can I stay motivated?’

This is such an important subject and I know that lots of people struggle with this. I believe it also shows that lots of people don’t understand the concept of motivation.

Let’s clear one thing up first, motivation is not some out-of-earth experience, given to us by the gods or whatever you might believe in, but is something created by us. Motivation comes from within us and we all have it, we just need to activate it. Look at it like a switch you need to flip-over so the energy can flow. To better understand the concept, let me explain the “Motivation Triangle”.

As you can imagine the Motivation Triangle consists of three parts. Each part is connected to the others and they influence each other. All of these parts are 100% under your control; you just have to make them work together. Let’s have a look at each part in detail and at the end I will show you how they interact.

The Vision

In order to get motivated about something you need to know what it is. It can be anything that interests you, but even if you believe there is nothing that interests you, pick anything with a possible positive outcome. Let’s say “going for a walk”.

It will probably do you good and it won’t affect anyone else in a negative way. Now, before you do anything, imagine yourself walking down the street, breathing some fresh air, watching people walk by, smiling at you. Don’t worry if you just can’t imagine all the bits and pieces, just go as far as you can.

This is what is called a vision. A vision is your personal look into a possible future. Of course nobody knows what is really going to happen – but we have the ability to imagine, to dream, to fantasize. The only thing you should do is to make sure it is a positive outlook. The vision is the ‘Motivation Generator’.

The Decision

If you want to do anything in life, you need to make a decision to do it. Let’s take the walk we discussed in the vision. In order to go for a walk, you need to decide to do it. To make this clear, it must be your decision, not from someone else. Don’t worry if you think that there is no point to go for a walk, just trust yourself and decide to give it a try.

The important part here is that you make a conscious decision to do something. You’ve thought about it (vision) and you are deciding to do it. Again, the decision you take should be a positive one. The decision releases the ‘Motivation Energy’.

The Action

For motivation to have an impact on you, this requires some action. If you thought about going for a walk and you decide to do so, you actually need to do it. It does not mean you have to go for a 20 km long walk – but you need to walk.

The action is the ‘Motivation Manifestation’. It forms the pathways for you to produce more positive energy and motivation. It allows you to have bigger visions and an easier and quicker way to release the energy and to grow your ability to manifest the energy.

Let’s put this together

Imagine that you’re going to take a walk. In your mind you see yourself walking down the street or over a field. You decide to do it. You get dressed, put your shoes on and you walk out of the house and go for a walk. If that experience was a positive one, you will feel really good and happy that you’ve done it.

The next time you will find it much easier to imagine going for a walk. The decision will be far easier too and the action even more joyful then the last time. As you repeat this process, going for a walk becomes not only natural to you, but such a positive action that you are looking forward to your next walk.

Sometimes it can be difficult to imagine something positive depending on your situation in life. Just choose something that will not have a negative impact on you or others. Go as far as you can, decide to give it a good try and start doing it. On the next round it will become easier and your experience will become better.

I only urge you to make sure it is a positive vision, decision and action. Start with something simple and as your ability to become motivated grows you can tackle bigger visions, make bigger decisions and take bigger actions.

Like with everything in life, practice makes the master. Be consistent, congruent and yourself – and your ability to generate motivation for your benefit and for others will be endless.

What are you going to do next?

John Di Stefano

An entrepreneur at heart and founder of the Entrepreneur Academy in Brussels, Belgium. He is teaching and supporting entrepreneurs in the skills every entrepreneur needs to create a better life for themselves and the people around them.

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