Reading note: The new challenge is at the bottom of this novel of a post.
If you haven’t noticed: I have not done more than one damn post in the past, I don’t know, 32 years! You see, it was a question of motivation, or rather the lack of it. Now I’m not talking about monetary motivation, or career motivation (let’s be honest, this blog won’t help me with either of those things) I’m talking about good old self-motivation. I used to have plenty, but then it dwindled, and then it disappeared.
I have a tendency to go through motivational cycles. Sometimes, I’ll have no desire to really do anything, and the next moment, I’m incredibly into reading, or working out, or cooking, or learning piano, or…you name it. But inevitably, that motivation dies down, and I fade away. I usually go back to it at some point, but there’s a dead period in between.
Some of the “motivational cycles” that I’ve had:
- Chocolate Making
- Working out
- Learning Piano
- Learning Guitar
- Making Pasta
- Making Bread
- Becoming a pick-up artist (that one worked out real well)
- Eating Healthy
- Losing Weight
- Living Long Enough to Live Forever (See Transcend: Nine Steps to Living Well Forever)
- Roasting Coffee (currently)
- Brewing Beer
- Writing Music
- Computer Coding
- Starting a Business
- Being Stylish
- Being Perfectly Groomed
- Mixing Drinks (Mixology)
- Writing a Blog
And there’s more, but I just wanted to show you that there are a number of things for which I’ve become highly motivated. The problem is: I almost always will lose interest, lose motivation, and not finish what I started.
In fact, I was recently in such a bad slump that I feared I would never come out of it. I was on a project at work which sucked the life out of me. It had me searching for a new job even (I have since moved on to a new project, and have restored my faith in my company) I felt in a rut, and I was finding myself escaping, whether into music, news, politics, or, mostly, TV shows. I watched all 3 seasons of Arrested Development…twice. I began watching Cheers, I watched every episode of Shark Tank more than once. Finally, Shark Tank pulled me out of the slump.
Problem: I go through motivational cycles in which I am intensely motivated, but soon lose interest and at the same time, the motivation.
Solution: Figure out what motivates me, and keep doing it!
I had an epiphany during my recent kick of motivation (actually, while sitting at a Chinese restaurant waiting for food – I was going through a Chinese food kick. The benefit being that I learned how to make some kick ass fried rice). The epiphany – if I am not always motivated, then why don’t I figure out what is motivating me, and make sure I can recreate those conditions.
It’s simple, right? Well it took me 24 years to figure that one out. The exception is at the gym, where I had a playlist specifically designed to motivate me. It started out fun, but then towards the end, when things got tough, it got incredibly spirited and energetic.
So, I thought to myself:
Me: Well, what typically motivates you?
Paul: Hmm, I’m not sure – Shark Tank motivated me because I want to be like the sharks – not ruthless necessarily, but stylish, well spoken, and highly capable
Me: What else?
Paul: Hmm, I’m not sure, but I bet someone has written a book about this.
Me: You’re right! Let’s search Amazon 🙂
So I found a book which had great reviews, and promised to help me motivate myself. I bought it for Kindle, and just started reading it yesterday. I must say, it is quite handy so far. It is an easy read, and is organized into 100 tips for self-motivation. A tip from a reviewer was to read this multiple times (spaced out, of course) and soon the actions will become part of your habit.
I am currently on #27: Create the Way you Relate. However, I had a great idea – why not take on some of these challenges. Maybe even one per day. Maybe even for a whole month!
Challenge: Follow one tip from the book: 100 Ways to Motivate Yourself: Change Your Life Forever (Link at the end of the post) per day for 30 days
Each post will have a breakdown of the progress in the current day, and a preview of what is to come for the next day. As I go along, hopefully you’ll get some helpful tips, and maybe even decide to buy the book for yourself (If you go through my link, I’ll get a few pennies, so that’s always appreciated)
Day #1: Stay Hungry*
This stems from advice the author received from Arnold Schwarzenegger (before he hit it big). “‘It’s the same process I used in bodybuilding,’ he explained. ‘What you do is create a vision of who you want to be, and then live into that picture as if it were already true'” (Chandler Loc137)
So the goal is to picture yourself how you wish to be, and then strive towards that goal.
“A major part of living a life of self-motivation is having something to wake up for in the morning–something that you are ‘up to’ in life so that you will stay hungry” (Chandler Loc137)
“The vision can be created right now–better now than later” (Chandler Loc143)
So tomorrow, I will set out to create a vivid picture of who I wish to be. And even better, I’ll write it down here, so it will be here to stay, as a reminder.
*Though this will be tomorrow, I will plan out the challenges the night before, so I’m not forced to think something up in the morning.
If you’d like to check out this book, please see the link below (note that a new edition is due out Nov 22. of this year)
If you’d like to pre-order the new edition: