Motivation is an interesting thing.
What is interesting about it is that the things that motivate us are different for each of us. For instance, I am motivated to pay off my student loan debt because I don’t like having my hand forced. Meaning – I want to be able to take my money and do what I wish with it instead of having to send it all off to student loan companies.
My motivation for going to college to get my undergrad degree was that it was what I was supposed to do. My motivation to keep my grades up was to keep my scholarships. Other motivation was the whole ‘need to have a degree to get a good job’ thing. Then I got out of college and have had a succession of good paying jobs that required no college degree at all.
Then I got motivated to get my MBA because of the thought of a higher salary and quite possibly an office with a door.
Getting up and going to a job I hate? The motivation for that is the debt and the thought that one day I won’t have to do that.
The motivation for getting into a healthier lifestyle? Seeing family members health deteriorate mostly due to choices that they had made to do things the unhealthy way.
Motivation for blogging? Partly a jumbled mind, partly a quest to make some extra cash online and partly because the original “When I grow up” dream involved writing for a living.
Now, if we take all of these things and asked a group of people to say what motivates them to do each of those things I am certain that the answer would be completely and totally different.
Just a search on Google shows a plethora of people that are blogging with their sole motivation being to make money online. Some of them happen to be decent writers and they actually have pretty good sites. And some of them, well, let’s just say that it is obvious that they are focusing on cash instead of anything else.
And of course, motivation can also change along the way. It is also subject to things like procrastination and laziness. Or, if we use yesterday as an example, it can be affected by external factors (electricity going out for waaaaaay too long) which then leads to emotional factors like annoyance and frustration causing a decline in motivation.
I think it is safe to say that for the most part that most of up want to keep our motivation levels high.
So, the million dollar question is: How do we maintain high levels of motivation?
I am certainly not an expert, but this is something that I have been pondering. And from thinking about it and writing this post it seems that there is one underlying thread that could maintain a constant high level of motivation were it present all of the time.
What is that one thing?
A positive attitude or outlook.
Sure, that is easier said that done. Trust me, I know. Of course being able to maintain a constant positive outlook also means that you have to have pretty decent self-esteem and self-worth so that you do not succumb to depression and such. Like I said, easier said than done, right? But if I was able to maintain a positive outlook I would not have gotten so frustrated by the lack of power yesterday. Instead I could have used the time sitting outside and enjoying the fresh air or something. Instead, I repeatedly called the electric company’ s hotline for a service restoration update. Needless to say I got practically nothing accomplished yesterday even though there were plenty of things I could have done with no electricity.
So, one of my new personal goals is to try to always have a positive attitude about things. Everything. No matter what. Well, within reason. I mean, if this was WWII era I would not be all positive about what was happening, but you know what I mean.
So, I am going to try really hard to keep that positive outlook and I am going to see how that works out for me. And I am going to try to be even more productive. It stands to reason that if I am more positive that I should be more motivated to get things done and should therefore be more productive.