What motivates you? Motivation comes in many shapes and sizes. For some, it drives people to provide for their families. For others, it encourages change. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, motivation is defined as:
“The act or process of giving someone a reason for doing something : the act or process of motivating someone; the condition of being eager to act or work : the condition of being motivated; a force or influence that causes someone to do something.”
But, what creates this drive especially when the going gets tough?
Some people use visuals for motivation. Others are inspired by words. However, in a day and age of continuous media with countless motivational speakers and messages floating around, these visuals and words can quickly lose their effectiveness. In business, motivation is key to success, so how can it maintained?
For starters, motivation begins by having a goal. Make this goal real. Visualize it, dream about it, and live it. The goal is the light at the end of the tunnel, and motivation is what gets you there. This goal could be a sales precedent, it could be opening a business, it could be expanding a business, or any number of things. Still, it drives people toward reaching this goal.
Secondly, to give you little boosts along the way, set micro-goals. Sometimes goals can be lofty. While there is nothing wrong with dreaming big and setting high expectations, micro-goals help provide extra encouragement to show you that you are on the right path toward meeting your ultimate goal. Micro-goals are like stepping stones. With every micro-goal you meet, it puts you one step closer to the prize.
Even with a goal and plan, sometimes the path veers off course. This can definitely throw a kink in your motivation, but you shouldn’t let it destroy it. Mistakes happen, but this doesn’t mean failure.
Mistakes are a natural part of growth. Kids disobey and make mistakes, but this doesn’t mean they are failures. Mistakes are part of the course and should not discourage motivation to move forward. Simply learn from them and move on.
Fourthly, to stay motivated, you must surround yourself with positive people and help. Unfortunately, we aren’t invincible. We can’t do everything on our own. Whether it’s employees, colleagues, or mentors, business owners and leaders do need others to encourage them. When surrounded by others, there is less room for discouragement. What’s more, tasks can be delegated, so that no one person is overwhelmed helping to keep everyone motivated to stay on course.
Lastly, turn off distractions. As we talked about last week, distractions have a way about them that reduce productivity. And in the current media blitz, distractions can be hard to avoid. However, it’s up to you to keep your eyes on the prize and meet your goals. Unfortunately, this takes repeated commitment and dedication. But, remember that you’re in control. You have the power and the capability to stop negativity and succeed. However, it all starts with motivation.