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The activation stage of motivation is where you have the desire to accomplish something and you take some action. As an example let’s say that you wanted to lose 15 pounds in the next few months. Your motivation comes from how you see yourself looking and feeling once you have achieved this goal.
So the action you might take could be to start on a new diet plan or just simply commit to eating healthily and cutting out the junk food over the next few weeks. Activation is anything you do to try and achieve your goal.
Persistence and motivation go hand in hand. When you first start to try and achieve a goal you are likely to be excited and eager to get started. After taking those first steps you may find they are really challenging and you feel like giving up. Persistence will help you to keep going no matter what.
Modern life is full of many distractions and you need persistence to ignore these distractions and stay focused on achieving your goals. In order to achieve the level of persistence that you need you will need to practice the techniques that you find in this book.
Motivation intensity is best described as the amount of effort that you reply when trying to achieve your goal. It is possible for two people to have the same level of motivation to try and achieve the same goal, and even have similar persistence levels. But the different levels of intensity will determine which of the two people will achieve their goal the fastest.
You probably know people that always move slowly and steadily towards achieving their goals a little bit at a time. We like to call these people “plodders”. Then there are the “expeditors” who do everything at a rapid pace to try and achieve their goals in the fastest possible time.
We recommend that you look for the middle ground between these two. You need to go faster than the plodder but not as fast as the expeditor. The problem with being an expeditor is that it is easy to make mistakes because you have not concentrated enough on performing the task properly.
Expeditors can also suffer burnout very quickly. You do not want to be a plodder either, because things will not happen fast enough for you and you can easily lose your motivation.
Understanding the Source of Motivation
Motivation can either be intrinsic or extrinsic. Your motivation can come from within or it can be influenced by external desires. With intrinsic motivation you want to achieve something because it will give you personal pleasure. An example here could be doing something for your partner because you get a very warm feeling inside from doing this.
When you use intrinsic motivation you are never seeking recognition from the outside. It is all about the internal pleasure from within. Extrinsic motivation is the complete opposite of this. You are looking for external rewards such as money, recognition, status, and respect from others etc.
There are actually three sources of motivation. These are needs, instincts and arousal. Let’s take a look at each one of these in turn.
There are a number of theories about needs motivation. The most obvious examples of this are drinking water, eating food and sleeping.
Humans have behaviour patterns that are pre-wired and they will become activated when a specific external stimuli is applied.
A person with high arousal levels is more likely to do something risky like skydiving than someone who has low arousal levels.
In the next chapter we will take a look at what causes low motivation levels…
Do you feel that your motivation levels are just not strong enough? It is often the case that people with high levels of motivation label people that have lower levels of motivation as lazy or even stupid. The truth is that there are a number of factors that can affect the levels of motivation that a person has.
Having a low level of motivation is rarely anything to do with laziness or intelligence. If you find yourself with a low level of motivation then the good news is that you can usually always fix this. By practicing the techniques you will find in this book you will see your motivation levels rise steadily.
There are four main factors that can cause low levels of motivation. These are habitual behaviours, habitual beliefs, health problems and quirks in personality. Some people will fall into more than one of these categories and that’s ok. If you think that you fall into more than one category please don’t be alarmed because you can fix this.
Habitual Behaviours and Motivation
A habitual behaviour does not have to be based on a specific belief; in fact most of the time habitual behaviours have no real foundation at all. They can be just something that you have done for a long, long, time and you may feel that these behaviours are impossible to break. This is not the case.
Let’s take a look at a habitual behaviour example. As a child growing up you were encouraged by your parents to eat a lot of sugar based foods because they believed that these were essential for your energy levels. Your parents didn’t believe in healthy eating at all and felt that these kinds of foods would leave you lacking the energy that you needed.
When you become an adult you realized that healthy eating was the right thing to do. Even with the strongest motivation you found it difficult to break the habitual behaviour of eating sugar based foods. It took a great deal of practice and persistence for you to finally break the habit after a few weeks. We all have habitual behaviours that we are slaves to and are difficult to break. The only real way to break these habits is through determination and persistence. So if you had the habit of continuously eating sugar based foods and wanted to lose weight, you would have to break this habitual behaviour first before you was able to achieve your weight loss goals.
Habitual Beliefs and Motivation
A habitual belief is something that you have held onto for a very long time and you believe it to be completely true. You could have developed this belief as a child and over the years you have made it stronger. Not all habitual beliefs that you hold will be true or support your motivation levels.
If you want to increase your motivation levels it is important that you take a look at your beliefs to see if any of them are holding you back. If this is the case then you need to look carefully at these beliefs and critically analyze whether they are true or not. In a number of cases these won’t be true and will just stifle your motivation.
Let’s assume that you believe you are not a good looking person and just average. You also are a few pounds overweight. How likely are you to be motivated to lose the extra weight if you hold the belief that you are just average looking? It is not very likely is it?
After all it doesn’t matter how thin you are you have the belief that you are not good looking. So why bother losing the weight? From this example you can see why habitual beliefs can really stop you driving up your motivation levels. Usually these beliefs are not true and sometimes they are not even logical.Other Details
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