Project Practitioners > The REAL Secret To Motivating Yourself

The REAL Secret To Motivating Yourself

By ProjectConnections Staff

Noted life coach Steve Chandler talks about the REAL secret to self-motivation and like many life-changing distinctions, it's deceptively simple. Rather than keep you in suspense, here it is: motivation and waiting until you "feel" like doing something before you do it do NOT have to come first. Most people have this backwards and it's a real tragedy of the human condition. They think they have to wait until they feel like doing something before they do it - and sometimes the feeling comes and some times it doesn't. It’s just a myth (and a crippling one at that). The problem with this approach is it's externally focused instead of inner-driven. It treats motivation as something outside of you, something that has to be coaxed into appearing in your life, something that magically and conditionally appears out of the ether. 

The truth is, you can start whenever you want to – even if you don’t “feel” like doing X.  You can choose to start anyway (without "feeling" like it) and soon the motivation will catch up and as Steve says, you’ll have liftoff. You do NOT have to be motivated to do something before you can do it – brand that on your brain and on the brains of those you care about. Not understanding or using this fact is the cause of much unnecessary underachievement and frustration and pain and it's so unnecessary - once you understand it and start applying it, your life will change and that's no exaggeration.

This is THE secret to motivating yourself – to lighting the fire within. If it's something important to you and you've been putting it off because it's outside of your comfort zone, all the more important that you attack it and start working on it today, better still, right now! Use the divide and conquer approach, break it down into bite-size bits and get the first bite done...then the next, then the next, always thinking in terms of what the next step will/should be. Pretty soon, before you realize it, you've accomplished something meaningful to you or those you care about. And the great part about this is that the more you use this approach, the more of a habit it'll become and the more automatic your reliance on it will be. Like the Nike slogan says: JUST DO IT!

Related Articles: - Best practices for project managers who are interested in sustaining and promoting a more positive attitude (which is different than just being in a good mood by the way). - If you find you're lying awake nights worrying about vague, barely identifiable stuff, it's possible that you need some time away—not to relax, but to clear the decks and get some closure. - The most successful companies share just three characteristics: 1) Fanatic discipline, 2) Calibrated creativity, and 3) Productive paranoia.

Related Templates: - Capture critical personal goals, prioritize them, and develop personal action plans aligned with those priorities. - A form you can use to record where your time is going each day, analyze your use of time to look for ways to get more effective, and eventually get rid of impacts to your project and your sanity from having to spend valuable time on the wrong (or not best) things!

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