It starts with passion. We find the thing inside of us that lights us up every single day, and we begin our journey to greatness riding on a wave on excitement and enthusiasm.
But this passion can only take us so far. Eventually, the excitement starts to wane and our motivation weakens. Many of us quit, defeated, but the successful ones forge on, fueled by a seemingly endless supply of mental strength and determination. They have a hunger – an unwavering force that drives them to defy the odds and continue when everything and everyone could not. They want it more than they want air. It gives them the power to conquer the fears, the failures, the setbacks and survive the months, years or even decades of unappreciated work.
Hunger is a hard thing to hang onto in the face of doubt, but there are some ways to find and feed that hunger, and stay motivated when you’re struggling to see the light.
1. Change your environment. The physical space we spend our time in influences our energy, actions and moods so much more than we think. Take a look around and think about what changes you can make – at home and at work – so that your space moves you in a positive direction. This might include lots of visual reminders (let your goals be everywhere you look!), a clutter and distraction free workspace, plants, photos, healthy foods, and even surrounding yourself with smart and passionate people.
2. Create a routine. People who take consistent action are able to find a way to show up every day to ‘practice’ their craft, even when they don’t want to. They develop a process. If writing is your thing, commit to completing 1000 words every single day – no excuses. If you want to build a million dollar business, spend an hour each day working on your marketing and sales strategies. Take control of how you spend your time. Schedule your work and learn to follow your own rules with focus and discipline, so that the work becomes routine, and not a thing of willpower.
3. Anticipate roadblocks. Expect that things will not go according to plan. Expect that you will fail and make mistakes (and lots of them too). Expect to feel down, confused, unmotivated, afraid. Anticipate this and more, but more importantly, make a plan for what you are going to do after you fail.
4. Always keep learning. Learn everything there is to know about your field and stay curious. Our minds work better when we learn new things. People who are ongoing learners – through books, blogs, podcasts, and events – are more creative and more adaptable to change. They say that knowledge is power, but it also gives you the tools and frameworks to stay motivated, disciplined and execute on your potential. In the words of Dr. Seuss “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
5. Change your language. You can fill your days with “I’ll try” and “I should ”. I’ll try to write a blog post every day. I should exercise more. I’ll try to eat healthy. Each time you say that, you give yourself an out. Replace the “try’s” and “should’s” with “I will” and “I must” and make this a daily practice. They are scarier sounding words. They make you feel vulnerable. But they just might be the difference between procrastination and taking action.
6. Nourish your body. It’s simple: eat real food, move more and get better sleep. If you’re not doing these things, there will be a limit to how much you can accomplish. Even the small, positive changes in diet, exercise, and sleep can lead to significant changes in productivity, stress management and brain function. The people who perform at the highest levels are the ones who treat their bodies well.
Yes, massive success requires massive action. But as monumental as it seems, it is only the sum of the consistent efforts we put forth. It is a process, a journey. So let that journey (and all the little choices we make each day) be fueled by passion and hunger – because together, they are unstoppable.
Author: Rosanna Casper
Rosanna Casper is on a quest to improve health, happiness and performance, chronicling her journey at www.hackerella.com.