us will spend much of our lives striving and struggling to get the
things we want in our lives. We want to make more money, stop smoking,
start exercising. We want a great relationship, we want a nice car,
we want to travel, we want good friends, we want to make a difference.
All of these things that we want (but don't have
yet) create a lot of struggling in our lives, and often we just
give up on one or more of our dreams. Iíll never get the right mate,
I donít have time to exercise, I tried to stop smoking but it didnít
work, Iím tired of working two jobs to make more money but I still
live paycheck to paycheck.
Because wanting something is so much easier
than doing what is needed to get it, we all often live with a lot
of unfulfilled desires. "Life would be great if I had that,
but it probably wonít happenÖ"
The reason we struggle in life and give up on our
dreams is because
We all have a motivational disability!
Thatís right, you and everyone you know were raised
with a motivational disability
that makes it much harder than it needs to be to get what you want
One of the keys to getting what you want in life
is learning how to become unstoppable, how to motivate yourself
to keep going until you get what you want. Becoming unstoppable
is another vital skill that we were never taught in school. Becoming
unstoppable has to do with several things, yet there is a very simple
skill that you can learn in the next few minutes that will create
a shift in your ability to get what you want in your life.
(There's a lot more to it than just this skill.)
This skill has to do with self motivation. How you
motivate yourself to do what you do and how you motivate yourself
to not do the things you know you should do. Self motivation is
a simple skill to learn because there are only two ways anyone can
Positive or negative.
Thatís it, just two. You either motivate yourself
positively or negatively. When you understand this and begin to
consciously practice both methods for a few weeks, you will create
a powerful shift in your ability to get what you want more easily
How many of us know that exercise is good for us
yet we donít do it?
How many of us know that losing weight would be
good for us but we donít do it?
How many of us know that flossing is good for us
but we donít do it?
Why not? Because we have that motivational disability!
When there is something that you want and you arenít acting in such
a way to get it then you are suffering from this motivational disability.
Make a list right now of three things that you want,
that you know would be good for you to have in your life, but you
arenít really doing things to get them:
Your list might include things like
Being in a relationship
Playing the guitar
Changing jobs or careers
Quality time with the kids
This motivational disability isnít bad, so go easy on yourself!
We all have things we want in our lives that we arenít acting in
ways that will get them. But letís look at the causes of this common
When you were a kid and didnít want to do your chores,
what did you hear?
If you donít take out the trash
Do your homework
Do the dishes
Clean your room
Youíll get a
- No tv for a week
- In trouble!
As weíve said, there are only two ways to motivate
yourself. Positively and Negatively.
Which way of motivating yourself is all that?
Negative, of course! The threat of punishment, of
something bad happening to your rear end, is the motivation we used
to do the stuff our parents wanted us to do. If they didnít threaten
us with a whippin or taking away the tv, we wouldvíe kept ignoring
those chores. Their negative motivation worked, it got us to do
the things we needed to do.
Negative motivation works, it isnít bad, we use
it to get things done in our lives.
But only using negative motivation created a problem
for us. See if you can figure out just how big a problem that is.
Here you are now, an adult. Youíre out of school,
out on your own. If you donít exercise, are you gonna get a whippin?
Have to stand in the corner? NO.
If you donít exercise, are you going to lose tv
privileges for a week? No. So youíre lost, you have no way to motivate
yourself when there is no stick or whip.
Can you see the motivational disability?
People have big dreams.
Start their own business
Write a book
Become a singer
Get a better job
Get a new relationship
If you donít lose weight, are you going to get grounded?
Lose tv privileges? Get a whippin?
If you donít start your own business, are you gonna
get in trouble?
So when you have only the negative way to motivate
yourself, can you see how it disables people?
And you get a gold star if you can begin to see
how you yourself are motivationally disabled.
ITíS NOT BAD. BUT WHEN THE MOTIVATIONAL BOX YOU
OPERATE FROM IS NEGATIVE, YOU ARE GOING TO BE VERY LIMITED IN WHAT
YOU DO IN LIFE. YOUíLL JUST DO THE BASICS RATHER THAN THE EXTRAORDINARY.
WHEN THERE ARE THINGSYOU WANT TO DO BUT DONíT HAVE
TO DO, YOU OFTEN WONíT DO THEM. Because nobody is going to make
you! You donít really "have to" after all, so you end
up avoiding doing the things that will get you what you want in
Nobody is going to make you
- write a book
- learn to play the guitar
- join the choir
- get involved in a charitable volunteer activity
- go to church
- learn to dance
- follow your dreams
While any or all of these things might be something
youíd want to accomplish or have in your life, you donít have to
do any of them. So how can you motivate yourself to get them done?
Try to understand this: Negative motivation only
works well for some things when youíre an adult. Like going to work
in the morning. If you donít get out of bed and get to work youíll
get fired and then youíll get kicked out of your apartment.
That is a form of negative motivation weíve all
used in our lives! We really donít want to lose a roof over our
heads, so we get up at 5 AM and drag ourselves to work. The threat
gets us to work!
But if you donít exercise, whatíll happen to you?
Will you get fired? Will you get written up? Will you lose the roof
over your head? Probably not.
So to motivate ourselves to do some things as adults,
we need a different motivational method.
Consider this common scenario. Youíve come home
from work, youíre tired, your fix a quick dinner for your kids and
then plop on the couch to be a potatoe until bedtime. But then at
8PM your kids inform you that youíre out of bread and milk.
Using negative motivation, how do you get yourself
to the store? You think of how youíll have to listen to your kids
complain about not having bread for lunch or milk for breakfast,
you think of people saying youíre a bad mom, so you pull yourself
off the couch wearily and drag yourself to the store.
Again, negative motivation works, but notice that
it involves a lot of grumbling and burden.
But there is another way to motivate yourself that
can have you rushing to the store with a smile on your face! And
thatís to use positive motivation.
What if, instead of thinking about the negatives
like your kids complaining or the parental police taking you away
for a being a bad mom or dad, you thought about something positive
What if you really like Hagen Daaz ice cream, and
you think about going to the store to get that along with the bread
and milk you need? Oh my, that creamy, rich, oral orgasm called
Butter Pecan? Man, that would taste really good, and I deserve it
after the day Iíve had!
So off you go to the store, but this time with a
little spring to your step. Youíre not dragging yourself there,
youíre actually wanting to get there and get back quick to enjoy
your ice cream (or whatever your favorite treat is).
Hagen Daaz is an example of positive motivation
that we all can use. And it demonstrates one of the keys to motivation.
When you negatively motivate yourself, you drag
yourself into action. You force yourself. It is draining and burdensome
to do whatever the thing is. Negative motivation drags you kicking
and screaming into your future!
When you positively motive yourself, you are pulled
towards that thing. You want to! You get to! Wow, as soon as I get
to the store and back I get to have some Hagen Daaz ice cream! Instead
of going to the store for bread and milk and groaning and bemoaning
your fate, you go to the store with some zip, some interest and
It takes no less energy or effort to go to the grocery
store at 8PM at nite. Either way youíve got to get in the car, drive
down, walk all over the store to the break, milk and ice cream,
stand in line, carry the grocery bag, load the car, drive home,
unload the groceries.
The physical effort is the same, but your experience
of it is completely different if you use negative or positive motivation.
Positive motivation pulls you to the store and back, negative pushes
and drags you by the hair kicking and screaming all the way.
Got the idea?
You already know this skill, kinda!
You have used positive motivation in your life many times already,
you just didnít know you were using it. Say you donít like to get
up early in the morning to go to work. You have to drag your butt
into the shower and get a cup of coffee before you can even stand
yourself, and then you hate the traffic and your first hour at work
everybody knows to stay away from you til you become human.
But now thereís this new guy or girl youíve been
flirting with recently. You tend to get up and hop in the shower
and get ready for work with a positive zip to your step and no complaining.
Youíre even humming on the drive in traffic to work. All because
of the positive pull of a potential new relationship filling your
thoughts and feelings!
Or letís say you hate to clean your house on Saturdayís.
Not fair, you should have servants and slaves to do the drudge work,
you already work hard enough as it is earn a living, on top of it
you shouldnít have to be forced to clean toilets and vacuum til
your ears ring and your arm falls off.
But this Saturday evening youíre have a dinner party at your home
and youíll get to see several friends you havenít relaxed with in
a while. So you hardly notice cleaning the toilets as you think
of what a good time itíll be and again youíre humming as you vacuum
away, wanting your house to shine for your friends!
So weíve all successfully used positive motivation
in our lives many, many times. Now letís take a look at another
common scenario most of us have faced as adults, the issue of exercise.
First off, letís all be clear. You donít have to
exercise. Nobody can make you, right?
But you know exercise is good for you and you want
to do it, so you decide to start an exercise program tomorrow! You
set your alarm clock a half hour early so you can get up and jog.
The alarm goes off, and all of a sudden youíve got
a big motivational disability! You think how warm and cozy the bed
is, (which positively motivates you to stay in bed) and how much
you deserve some extra sleep because today at work is going to be
a bear. You think of getting up to jog and remind yourself how cold
it is this early in the morning, and how youíre about to get all
sweaty and tired. Besides, youíll look silly huffing and chuffing
around the path. "Ah, forget it," you tell yourself. "Iíll
start an exercise program some other time when Iím less stressed
and more rested!"
And yet another promise to yourself gets broken.
You have successfully de-motivated yourself in about one minute!
All because the default motivator for all of us
When thereís something you want to do, thinking
of how hard it is and all the difficulties associated with it is
a way of motivating yourself not to do it!
What if, instead, when the alarm goes off, and youíre
feeling all warm and cozy in bed, you take one minute and positively
motivate yourself. You remind yourself how good youíll feel once
youíve jogged for half an hour. Youíll actually have more energy
to start you into your workday. And, you need to lose a few pounds,
so you remind yourself how good youíll look once youíve been exercising
for a few weeks. Youíll feel better, youíll look better, hey, youíre
already up and throwing on your sweatsÖ
Again, all it takes is one minute either way, but
that one minute of what you tell yourself or focus on when its time
to start a new project or move towards a new goal is the key to
success or failure.
Itís not all that mysterious, and just takes a little
practice, but getting what you want in life has a lot to do with
how well you motivate yourself. Studies have shown that people who
have high accomplishment levels keep their goals clearly in their
mind, up close and with a picture of the results they want to achieve
clear in their minds.
A key to success in life, to getting what you want,
is to develop skill at using both motivational methods, not just
the negative. Just because we were all raised with the default method
of negative motivation, doesnít mean we have to keep using it all
Now itís time for you to do a simple exercise to
begin developing your positive motivation muscle.
EXERCISE: THINK OF AN AREA YOUíVE BEEN STOPPED IN,
OR A PART OF YOUR LIFE THAT YOU DRAG YOURSELF KICKING AND SCREAMING
How do you motivate yourself now? List three things
you think about or focus on when it is time to get started or do
Can you see how you SUCCESSFULLY motivate yourself
to not do that thing, or to drag yourself into it?
What positives can you think of that start to pull
you towards taking action? It might take a little imagination, but
think of two or three things that would be great once that were
done or accomplished.
Again, the idea is to focus on the result you want
to achieve for just one minute or so. See yourself successfully
doing that thing, how great youíll feel or how good youíll look
doing it or having it done. Focus as clearly as you can in your
mind on an image of the positive result you want or will get.
Youíre just starting out developing your new motivation muscle,
so if you find it hard to focus or keep thinking of how youíll fail
or some negatives donít worry. Just take a few beginning steps at
focusing clearly in your mind, as best you can, on the positives
associated with whatever you want to do or accomplish or have more
of in your life. See if you can focus clearly enough for a minute
or two to start to feel pulled towards doing or getting started
doing that thing!
Then get going and do something to move toward your
One of the great things about motivation is that once youíve successfully
motivated yourself for a few weeks, that action will begin to become
a habit. You wonít need to motivate yourself to exercise after a
few weeks. Itíll be a habit, youíll just do it cause, youíll just
do it because you feel weird if you donít. You only need to successfully
motivate yourself to do something new for a few weeks until it becomes
a habit in your life!
Developing skill at focusing on the positive until you feel pulled
into action is an invaluable addition to your emotional IQ. Successful
people throughout history have used this mental method to focus
clearly on the desired result and keep that image up front and center
in their mind until they are literally drawn into action, while
others focus on the all the potential problems or disasters and
often donít ever get started on following their own dreams.
Developing both motivational skills, not just the negative, is
a powerful way to start you firmly on the path of accomplishing
your dreams in life. Nobody is going to make you accomplish them,
after all, so itís up to you and positive motivation to get you
started. Thereís a lot more to developing the skill of becoming
unstoppable, but understanding how you motivate yourself and de-motivate
yourself is a key skill in the journey of life!
For the next week, begin to notice how good you
are at successfully motivating yourself to do or not to do certain
Notice what pictures you fill your mind with when
you put off certain things. Notice what you tell yourself about
the things you put off. Begin to see how good you are at de-motivation!
Itís not bad, we all do it, becoming conscious of it is very worthwhile.
Pick one dream or goal youíve been putting off and
for the next week, once each day, take a minute or two and focus
on accomplishing that goal or having that thing in your life. Think
of how good it would be to have it done, how great youíll feel to
have accomplished that thing. Focus on it in positve ways until
you feel pulled into some kind of action.