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Are You Flying to the Stars or Staring Into Space?

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Motivation is a fire from within. If someone else tries to light that fire under you, chances are it will burn very briefly. >>> Stephen R. Covey, motivational writer.

There are two kinds of motivation: motivating others, and motivating yourself. They are very different beasts, but tame them and you will succeed.

In truth, there is only self-motivation. Motivating others is simply the creation of an environment in which they can become self-motivated.

Shouting at an employee; using a stick to beat work out of your workers; threatening them with loss of privilege, benefits or job are tactics all too often used in the corporate world. They may well provide short-term motivation, but they are negative. Resentment will grow, attitudes will decline, the threats will get louder, and the spiral will continue downward. Institutionalized negativity can never produce long-term positive results.

Institutionalized positivity, however, is like the ‘light’ taught about in the Kabbalah. It is a glorious force that is all-pervading. It has a power far greater than its ten little letters can begin to signify.

When the boss stops saying ‘If you don’t finish all that pile by 5pm, your job is on the line’, and starts saying ‘Thank you for putting in the extra effort on that job – it was vital to the company and your contribution has been fantastic’, his staff will be able to begin the climb towards the light of self- motivation.

Of course that is a simplistic message. Everyone has different buttons that need to be pressed. Some may want recognition, some praise, some self-determination, some material reward, some fun. An enlightened (there’s that light again) manager spends time finding out what those buttons are.

‘People become motivated when you guide them to the source of their own power and when you make heroes out of employees who personify what you want to see in the organization.’ So said Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop.

But this article is really about self motivation. Your motivation and mine.

So I ask again, are you flying to the stars, or staring into space?

You can easily do either. Sometimes even washing the dishes seems more important and interesting than earning a buck. I’ve done it myself: spent all day fussing around, tidying my desk, staring out of the window, reading a magazine, making coffee, checking out a website, cutting my nails. By bedtime I’ve achieved absolutely nothing of value at all.

What is the psychological barrier to getting on with what is important?

Maybe it isn’t interesting enough. Perhaps it isn’t profitable enough. Could it be that it isn’t fun enough?

The truth is, that at that precise moment, it just isn’t important enough.

People in offices are well aware of the last minute syndrome. No matter how many weeks you have to prepare for a major presentation or meeting, you will always be rushing to get it done at the last minute.

We tell ourselves that we work better under pressure. That we need the adrenaline kick to produce our best work. That we are so busy we wouldn’t have been able to do it any earlier anyway.

All nonsense, of course.

We simply persuade our brains that the job isn’t really important until it is urgent.

How, then, do we make each job important enough to motivate ourselves to get on with it?

Because we are blessed with brains that are contrary, we have to resort to tricks. Here is how you can sneak up on yourself.

* Write things down.

There is something almost magical about writing things down. It becomes a contract with yourself that your tricky brain is quite hesitant to break. That is why ‘to-do’ lists are so effective. They concentrate your thinking on what is important.

So if you have been thinking vaguely about setting up your own Internet business, for example, but haven’t quite managed to summon up enough motivation to actually get started, write a business plan. Make it really detailed, with a timeplan. Break each stage of the business startup into steps. Write down the exact date each step has to be done by. Sign and date it.

If you go to that effort, you are 80% of the way there. And you will have done more than 90% of everyone else who is vaguely dreaming about their own business.

* Appoint a conscience.

Ideas are easy to break, commitments are harder. When you have written down your plans, share them with someone whose approval you value.

If you have a close friend, family member or colleague that will act as your conscience, you are far more likely to succeed than if you try to struggle on alone.

Your conscience doesn’t have to do anything except check out how you are doing once in a while. Let them share your dream and taste your excitement and when you have a bad day (and you will) call them up so they can remind you.

* Reward yourself.

Often, when I am writing, a gremlin in my mind starts to nag at me do something, usually inconsequential, else. Sometimes, if I’m unwary, that little voice wins. Then I find hours go by and I get nothing done. But if I catch it in time, I make a deal with the demon. ‘Okay,’ I’ll say to myself, ‘I’ll go and make that coffee/ check out that website/ read that magazine, but only AFTER I’ve finished this.’

It sounds silly, but it works. The demon only wants to know you’ve been listening.

* Reinforce through affirmation

People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing — that’s why we recommend it daily.

>>> Zig Ziglar, business coach and writer.

If I told you to sit on the side of your bed each morning after you wake up and say, ‘Today I am going to get a serious illness’, ten times over, you would think I have gone crazy.

Why wouldn’t you do it? Because you are afraid it might come true.

So, if you believe in the power of words enough to not tell yourself negative things, how come you don’t do the opposite? Are you afraid that good things might come true as well?

Reaffirming positives is immensely powerful. The old ‘every day in every way I am getting better and better’ may seem dated now, but the idea was sound. Instead, try this: before going to bed, pick something that you really want to achieve tomorrow. Write it down, in detail. Put it beside your bed. Before going to sleep, picture yourself having already done it. Feel how good you feel. Experience the warm emotions. Then, when you wake in the morning, read your notes over three times. Remember how good you felt dreaming that you have already completed the task.

Your motivation for the job will be sky high. And pretty soon, you’ll be flying to the stars instead of staring into space.

Martin Avis is the author of the best-selling ‘Unlock the Secrets of Private Label eBooks’ – a complete blueprint to private label rights success. Visit http://www.plrsecrets.com to see how you can tap into this goldmine for yourself.

Are You Flying to the Stars or Staring Into Space?
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About Martin Avis
Martin Avis is the author of the best-selling 'Unlock the Secrets of Private Label eBooks' - a complete blueprint to private label rights success. Visit http://www.plrsecrets.com to see how you can tap into this goldmine for yourself. WebProNews Writer
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