If you want to be successful you have to be motivated.
What is motivation?
Motivation is a unique combination of desire, commitment, and energy to reach a goal no matter how difficult it may be or how long it may take to reach.
Another way of looking at it is passion.
Passion in and of itself can virtually force you to succeed by demanding you do those things necessary to be successful.
Passion won’t let you rest.
It won’t give you permission to quit.
It won’t allow you to become sated until you’ve reached your goal.
Passion demands your best effort.
It pushes you to go beyond the satisfactory to the extraordinary.
It forces you to reach heights you thought impossible.
Passion is pretty heady stuff. It keeps you on the edge. It sharpens your senses, keeping you alert to opportunities. It awakens the creative juices.
It helps keep the self-doubt and the fears and worries at bay. It doesn’t eliminate them, it overcomes them.
Unfortunately, passion isn’t limitless. It has limitations and weaknesses. Although strong, it must be reinforced or you risk having it burn itself out.
How do you keep your passion burning?
Here are 5 down and dirty ways to reinforce your passion and keep it burning strong:
- Love what you do. There is no substitute for doing something you absolutely love doing. If you can hardly wait to get out of bed in the morning to get your day started you’re already half way to success. Certainly we can’t all be engaged in something we absolutely love, but if you can, even if only on a part-time basis, go for it.
- Set tangible, realistic short-term goals. The more often you see tangible progress, the easier to maintain your passion. Set short-term, realistic goals. If you consistently see small goals being reached, you’ll soon begin to see large goals being reached. By the way, reasonable goals don’t mean easy to reach goals. Goals should consistently stretch you and your abilities.
- Visualize outcomes. Athletes use visualization for a reason—it works. If you are afraid of making presentations, visualize yourself making great presentations. If you fear cold calling, visualize yourself being successful at cold calling. Visualization is a form of practice. In a study a couple of years ago researchers found that students who only visualized practicing a piece of music were as proficient at playing the piece as students who had actually practiced the piece on the piano.
- Use positive affirmations. Repeating positive affirmations strengthens and reaffirms your internal belief system. We cannot do what we do not believe we can do. On the other hand, if we sincerely believe we can do something, no matter how ‘impossible,’ our brain can find ways to get it done. Once we believe, our brain begins to go work to figure out a way to turn our belief into reality.
Our brain will believe what it hears and what our eyes see. If it has heard and witnessed failure for years and years, it believes we will fail. Fortunately, we can change that. It will take time. We will have to
consciously retrain it. We’ll have to give it positive reinforcement through what it hears—our positive affirmations—and what it experiences—our small successes as we reach our short-term goals. But just as it
learned we are a failure, it will learn we are successful—but this time we can control what we feed our brain.
- Use outside reinforcement. Motivation—passion—is internal. It isn’t something that is created externally. That doesn’t mean that external stimulus can’t reinforce our internal motivation. The problem is that external stimulus such as motivation books, tapes, seminars, and such burn out quickly—usually within just a few days, sometimes within just a few hours.
That quick burn doesn’t mean external stimulus can’t be valuable. It can be extremely valuable. A motivational tape can give us a great burst of energy prior to an important presentation; a motivational seminar can
get our creative juices flowing in new directions; motivation quotes can realign our minds at moments of exhaustion or weakness.
Keep favorite motivational tapes and quotes ready at hand. Take the opportunity to attend motivational seminars and presentations. Remember the ‘high’ is fleeting—but you can drink of it anytime you need it.
Companies spend billions of dollars every year trying to find the magic motivational bullet. They’ll never find it because it isn’t something they can order in from a motivational speaker. We either have it or we don’t. But if we don’t, we can take the steps necessary to find it and nurture it.
And it isn’t expensive, difficult, or time consuming.
Find your passion and you’ll find your success. If you’re a sales leader, help your sales team members find their passion and you’ll find your success.