Productivity

Getting Motivated – The Final Chapter

By Jon Rumens on 11 November 2019

So, today is going to be our final post in our series about motivation (I know, I’m sad too.). If you were able to apply some of the lessons we gave you before, you should have been able to build up a fair amount of real, internal, motivation.

Today, we’re giving you the icing on the cake. So, without much further ado, here are some advanced strategies to up your internal drive – enjoy!

Less is more

When we’re trying out something new, it’s hard to see the forest through the trees. There are so many things to take in account, and you have to distinguish the elements that really matter from the ones that don’t. If you don’t do this early, it will stunt your growth. That’s going to eat away at your results, and that in turn will seriously harm your motivation.

Not good. Not what we want. Not at all.

One of the most important things you can do to counter this, is not to add more things to do, but instead eliminate them. Focus on the important and cut out the fat.

If you’re on a diet, don’t go worrying over gluten, keto, macronutrient ratios and all that. Just cut out any shitty foods you’ve been eating. You know the ones we’re talking about: chips, candy bars, soda, fried foods, etcetera…

Simply replace those foods with non-shitty foods: fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds,….

Done. That’s eighty percent of what a good diet is all about. The rest are relatively unimportant details.

Of all the inspirational quotes you use to inspire yourself, keep this one near the top of your stack

The same goes for a lot of other stuff. Want to write a book? Don’t you even dare think about marketing before you’ve even written down a single word on paper. Get your daily word count, and be done with it.

Want to start an online business? Don’t go worrying about SEO, e-mail conversion rates, payment processors and all that stuff before you’re a 100 % sure you’ve got a top notch product or service that people will gladly spend their hard earned cash on.

Or maybe you want to build up your fortune by investing? Be sure not to get tangled up in high level economic concepts or more exotic investments such as derivatives or forex trading. Just save more money than you spend, pay off your debts and buy some index stocks. It’s the easy, simple and best way to start.

The keyword is ‘simplify’. Eliminate decisions. Eliminate steps. Eliminate details.

The less you have to do, the more you get done. All those details are the ultimate motivation killers.

Get a coach

When we’re learning something new, we often assume we’re just supposed to figure it all out on our own. Sometimes this goes ‘okay’, but more often than not we encounter plateaus, pitfalls and other hidden learning traps, which tend to severely hinder our progress. It’s also much harder for you to see your own mistakes than for someone else to do so. For some reason, we often tend to be way too easy on ourselves. That’s when introducing a third party might be of great help.

Now, we have said before that external motivation isn’t very durable. This is also not the main advantage of getting a coach. You don’t need someone on the sidelines constantly cheering you on to keep going. Something like that doesn’t provide lasting and self-sustaining motivation.

The main benefit of a coach is that he can guide you and teach you ways to grow and improve faster. This rapidly increased growth of your skills and accomplishments in much a shorter amount of time can create an amazing internal motivation boost and provide you with the mental fuel to keep going at it.

A coach can help you get to the top of your game – blasting your motivation sky high

They also keep you accountable – sure, you can say to yourself you skipped your daily routine because you were busy, you had a lot of work and you had to pick up the kids from school. That kind of rationalization is something we allow ourselves often. But a good coach won’t accept such an easy cop out, and he’ll kindly ask you to keep at your schedule. Unless you’ve been stuck in a hurricane or got hit by a car (and even then you need a few broken bones at the least!), there are no excuses for missing out on practice.

When we think of a ‘coach’, the first thing that pops into mind is a sports coach, like a personal trainer. That is indeed the most common type of mentor. But why limit ourselves to this? If we tend to hire a professional personal trainer to get us in shape, why do we have to figure out all other stuff on our own?

For example, you’ve got writing coaches, business coaches, chess coaches and even poker coaches are a thing. If you want to learn a new language, you can hire a coach for that too, and at a relatively cheap cost as well.

Which brings us to our next point…price.

You might have been thinking: “yeah, that all sounds great and everything, but unlike you I’m not a business owner with a big monthly paycheck. I don’t have a huge budget and I simply can’t afford to pay a coach.”

Now, that is a valid concern, it really is. Obviously if you want to hire a coach, that might cost you money. On the other hand, it kind of depends. Let me explain.

I use the term coach in the broadest sense possible. A coach does not necessarily have to be someone who has made it his full time profession to teach others. A coach simply has to fulfill three conditions:

  • He’s (much) better than you at the activity you want to get better at
  • He can teach you how to get better at it and is willing to do so
  • He can provide feedback on your progress and keep you accountable

The thing is, there is a wide range of people who fulfill the above requirements. They are not all professional coaches who charge 50 $ per hour. While hiring a professional coach would be the optimal way to go about it, and would net you the biggest results, there are many people who can help you get better at something and are willing to do so for a low price, or even for free.

Let’s take language-learning as an example. Say you want to learn Spanish or French. The most obvious choice would be to find a professional language teacher. Another option would be to simply find a native speaker and converse with him or her. In return, you help them learn English (or another language if English isn’t your native tongue), and you give each other feedback and set goals for one another.

On platforms like italki you can find thousands of people who are looking for language exchange-partners. You can also find lots of dedicated teachers there who charge less than 10 dollars an hour – hardly a massive price for learning a new language.

Or let’s say you want to write a novel, but you need someone to review your work and give you pointers. One option is to get a professional writing coach/editor. While that surely is a good investment in your skills, it can end up being pricey if your books haven’t ended up on the New York Times best sellers list yet. An good alternative would be to find a fellow writer (who maybe has written a bit more and has a bit more experience) and agree to review each other’s work.

You can find tons of writers’ communities on the internet, for example on the NaNoWriMo website, filled with people who are just as eager as you to improve their writing skills.

And just like that, you can find a ‘coach’ for just about anything online. You’d be surprised how eager some people are to share their knowledge and experience with you. It would drastically slow your progress and be extremely wasteful if you choose not to take advantage of this fact.

If it’s a work-related activity you want to improve, you might even view your boss or one of your colleagues as a coach. As long as they have the time and are willing to help you reach new heights, they can absolutely fulfill the role of coach/mentor.

And just like that, we’re done…

With this post, we’ve come to the end of our series on motivation. Yes, there is a lot more to say about motivation, and in truth we could write an entire book on the topic. However, we want to stick with our philosophy of reducing details and giving you just the essential guidelines.

If you follow the steps we outlined in our posts, you will undoubtedly be able to increase your motivation by a hundredfold, and as a result, create the foundation for success in everything you do.

We hope you were inspired by our ideas, and more importantly, that you’ll actually implement them in your daily routine.

Go get some!

Jon

P.S. For the record, here’s a practical oversight of the links to all the other relevant posts

 

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