The Key to Motivation

Motivation is a big word with huge importance in achieving personal success. I define motivation as “the burning desire to achieve a specific goal in return for the reward that doing so will bring.”

The most important part of motivation is the potential of the reward. Everything that we do has a reward associated with it. When we eat, we are rewarded with feelings of fullness and the benefits of the nutrients with which we fill our bodies in addition to satisfying our taste buds while doing so. When we sleep, we are rewarded with the feelings of being refreshed and having renewed energy. Many things come to us so naturally that we do not recognize that our actions are constantly rewarded. Perhaps this is why we do not always think of the reward when thinking of motivation.

I believe that in order to achieve success, we must have a burning desire to do so, or it is likely that we will not succeed. The reason behind many failures is that the reward is not worth the effort or we feel ourselves to be inadequate and the effort that we put forth is not consistent with what is needed for success. In terms we can all understand, “we talk ourselves out of it.” Knowing this will help us to closely evaluate our goals and choose those that we truly have a burning desire to achieve.

The question that everyone wants to know is “how do I stay motivated?” The answer is simple; in order to stay motivated, first you must develop a burning desire or great passion for the goal that you wish to achieve. This can be done by identifying and ensuring that the rewards are those that you desire and are worth the effort that you will put forth.

I remember when I made the decision to stop smoking. Doing so was an extremely difficult task. Each time I made an effort to quit smoking, I would try to talk myself out of it by using excuses. I would say to myself things like, I enjoy smoking, I have been smoking too long, I will gain weight etc. Of course, none of these things was true.

I realized that I needed to change my approach and build a burning desire to quit. I decided to focus on the benefits or “rewards” for not smoking. I knew that I would breathe better, I would save a lot of money, the food that I ate would taste better and I would not smell like an ashtray. I developed a desire for the things associated with being a non-smoker and then a passion for the rewards that I would receive.

Once I had a “burning desire,” it was easy for me to stop smoking. I had been a smoker for nearly thirty years. Now, I am proud to say that I am a non-smoker. I found the desire, which led to the motivation and then success.

I have achieved many goals using this method. The fact is, most of my life I have used this method without even realizing it. Motivation comes easy when you have a burning desire for the rewards that you will receive by achieving your goals.

Sometimes we find ourselves lacking motivation because we are doing a task that is not what we truly desire. This is a case where we need to evaluate what it is that we are doing and our reason for doing so.

An example of setting out to do something that you are not interested in would be entering a contest at a party or event. You may enter the contest because it is what your friends are doing. However, you do not have the desire to win the contest. Therefor your performance may not be your best. You may even seek to bow out of the contest before it finishes because it is not that important to you.

However, if you were facing an upcoming event that you had the desire to win, you would most likely plan and prepare ahead of time in order to perform your best. It is in our nature to work harder toward a goal that has the rewards that we desire. On the flip side it is easy to give up on tasks that have little reward and that we do not believe in.

Therefore, in order to stay motivated when trying to achieve a specific goal, identify the reason for the goal in the first place. Ask yourself if it is something that you wholeheartedly desire and why. If you find that your desire is not as strong as you thought, you may reevaluate the need for achieving the goal. Of course, if the reward is worth the achievement you will have no problem staying motivated.