3 Ways To Rediscover Your Motivation

Recently I’ve been lacking motivation which is very frustrating when I want to get lots done! After giving myself a bit of a break, I decided to actively find out why my motivation had decreased and do something about it.

I hope if you ever feel in a similar state, the actions I  tried help you too!

Mixing up media consumption

I’ve never been a huge fan of watching YouTube videos as I prefer reading long-form articles. However, this seemed to be getting stale, so I decided to mix it up and watch some videos.

I started off with Ramit Sethi’s channel. Most of the information was what he writes about on his website, but by consuming it in a different way, I was able to get a different perspective on things. Also, watching videos that have been edited into small chunks of 3 – 5 minutes kept my attention and the time flew by!

Having received some great information from the first video, it was an easy decision to let YouTube’s autoplay roll on and before I knew it, I was watching loads of different entrepreneurs discuss everything from SEO to strategies on meeting famous people.


envisioning the future

I love the internet. I started off by watching some random dude video himself about how to grow your email subscribers, which led me to different blogs, eventually landing on some other random guy’s website reading about dreamlining.

Dreamlining is “the systematic process of outlining your ideal lifestyle and making a plan to realize your dreams.” It is a concept created by Tim Ferris in the book, The Four Hour Work Week.

Actually writing down what you want to achieve makes it very real… and hopefully achievable!

I like how it is set out in this blog from Tynan (a blogger, life nomad, and programmer):

Think about where you want your life to be in three to five years. Imagine it clearly, so that it feels like you’re actually there. How do you spend your time? Who is around you? Where are you? What are your plans for the week? … Once you have an idea of what it will look like, write it down.

Next, think about how you have been spending your time. Who have you been spending it with? What are your hobbies? What’s your work? What do you do in the spare hour or two between obligations?

As you think about these actions, evaluate whether or not they’re getting you closer to your imagined future. If they aren’t, then ask yourself if you got the future wrong or if you’re getting your actions wrong. It could easily be either one. The goal is to create alignment.

(Bold formatting is my own).

I sat down with some music on and wrote out what was going on in my life right now. Underneath, I put down what I could feasibly achieve, and where I wanted to be, in five years.

I then compared the two paragraphs.

It was actually a really great feeling! I noticed strong efforts in some places, like saving/investing a high percentage while still having fun, and areas where I could make some slight adjustments to reach my goals.

Seeing where I am now and how I am making consistent baby steps to where I want to be was a great motivator.


finding your evil twin

After getting excited about my future, I stumbled across an article which appealed to my competitive side.

The idea is to imagine you have a twin who has exactly the same goals as you. If you want to start a successful low-input business, so do they. If you want to graduate from university in the top 5%, so do they (or even in the top 4, 3, 2, or 1%).

However, only one of you can achieve the goal. If your twin completes the goal before you, you don’t get to even attempt it. Tynan also states that the “one difference between you and your evil twin are your methods. You have a plan, and he has a different one.”

So, how are you going to achieve your goal before your evil twin?

If you’re both trying to start your own business on life coaching, are you frightened of the twin who spends his time reading article after article on life coaching online, or are you scared of the twin who arranges interviews with 10 different people to discover their goals, fears, and dreams?

And, as mentioned in the article, this situation could be real! (usually without the “twin” part). For instance, every person hoping to graduate in the top 5% of their class, there are two more who want to do the same.

How do you beat them?

You become the evil twin. You do what your competition is most scared of. What that usually boils down to is: do it NOW, be hardcore, and never forget that you’re not the only one in the race. (Tynan)

After processing this information, I immediate wrote down a couple of things I could do to “beat” my evil twin. The actions scared the life out of me, but if my evil twin would be willing to do it… so would I.


In conclusion…

I finished the day feeling significantly more motivated than I had at the beginning.

Consciously digging deeper into my lack of motivation also bought up another ‘ah-ha’ moment. Although it is important to have goals, it is also vital to focus on the current moments of joy that happen everyday. Stuck in traffic for example, yes annoying, but what a chance of uninterrupted time to think over your day and what you want to achieve from it.

Living in the moment seems to provide the most joy, and I also like to combine it with thoughts of how it will feel when it’s done. Think about how it will feel to have completed a project, article, book, and how it will add value to your life. That in turn gives extra motivation!

I hope some of the actions I took help anyone else who is struggling finding motivation, I am sure it will come!

You become who you surround yourself with

You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with

I have been following Tim Ferriss for a while and an interview he gave on Business Insider made me stop and think:

“The rule suggests that the five people you spend the most time with shape who you are. It borrows from the law of averages, which is the theory that “the result of any given situation will be the average of all outcomes.” We might interact with many people, but the few who are closest to us have the greatest impact on our way of thinking and our decisions.”


top performers

Who are the top 5 people you hang out with most?

How many of those people are top performers? How many are pushing themselves to be the best they can be?

Your success in everything – your job, business, romance, finances – are directly related to the people you spend time with the most and how many of them are top performers.

By surrounding yourself with people who are smarter with you, you will all win. It will create better ideas, higher energy, a vast network of connections – and all of this with smarter people makes smart people even more successful.

Old and new friends

In school, we tend to gravitate to those who are similar to us, through hobbies, aspirations, or even physical appearances. Great friends were those who shared the same experiences as us. But then, we grew up.

Now, ten years later, you are a completely different person. You may have changed some big beliefs, gone through some rejection, adopted new values. For most people, while locations and jobs may have changed, childhood friendships are likely to stay intact. You’ve shared a history with these people, populated with images on Facebook and scrapbooks. But is this helping your future self?

There is something really lovely about having old friendships. Sharing memories and secrets with those who have known you since you were small is something truly heartwarming. However, those friends who you grew up with may now not play a major part on the direction you are hoping your life is hoping to go in. It’s true that we become who we are surrounded with. Have you ever spent time with someone who is energy-draining, negative, and depressing? How did it make you feel afterwards?

No matter how strong your personality is and who you are as an individual, you are not immune to the influences of people you spend a lot of time with – may it be good or bad.

Just life everything else in life, friendships need updating. Be with people who celebrate your successes as much as their successes. I’m thrilled if you’re achieving your dreams and I want you to feel the same about me!

So what do you want to be? An entrepreneur? Go and find a fellow aspiring entrepreneur and connect. You want to work in photography? Join a club and network with those who love it as much as you. Make sure you are the one influencing your life rather than those around you.

This is something I actually find fairly difficult. How do I find like-minded young people who have similar ambitions as me? One of the challenges I have set myself this year is to connect with those types of people – and not just on Twitter! My brother has his own business and I know part of the reason for its success is the entrepreneurs he surrounds himself with – even going to live in Spain with 3 other guys who have the same mindset as him. It is definitely something to strive for knowing how much myself and  these future connections will be able to learn from each other.

So, as nutritionists say “you are what you eat”, we are impacted by the people we spend time with. Choose your friends wisely, and while you’re at it, aspire to be the person that brings a positive impact to peoples’ lives.

Endings and beginnings

It’s a very scary feeling in the last year of an undergraduate degree and being expected to know the answer to the dreaded “what will you be doing after graduation” question. Having been there, I know first-hand the feeling of dread and waking up in a cold sweat panicking over jobs.

It is pretty ridiculous that a few years ago, the majority of people in education had to ask permission to use the bathroom and now we’re expected to know what we want to do with the rest of our lives! Especially in this ever-changing world where having the same job for 50 odd years is unlikely to happen (would you want to stay in the same place for that long anyway?!).

However – make sure you celebrate coming to the end of the degree! After spending a good chunk of time studying, living in student housing, going through a massive life change, it is super important to give yourself a massive pat on the back.

On to the next step: getting a job?

Some people do degrees that lead  them straight into the next part of education or a job, I’m thinking of doctors and vets here, but for many others the path is less simple. It may feel like all of your friends and classmates have their futures planned out, but in reality most people are going through exactly the same panic.

This may seem like a strange thing to say, but embrace it! If a job is something you want to put off for the time being , that’s okay too. This is a time of change, a time to do that trip to Fiji you’ve been daydreaming about in lectures, a time to follow your passions. Doing anything is better than nothing, and even if you don’t have a job yet, the experiences you have will make you stand out in interviews.

Job hunting hat

At the time of writing this, it would appear to be an easier time than usual for graduates in the US to get jobs (yay!). Nevertheless, it still requires hard work and thoughtful planning. Make sure you have the basics checked off:

  • Have an up-to-date CV.
  • Clean up your online footprint: I’m talking content on public social media channels, a LinkedIn profile, maybe even an online portfolio?
  • Take advantage of your university or college’s Careers Centre. They provide services for free that out of education you will need to pay for.

Choices, choices, choices

In this modern day era, the world is truly our oyster. Which is so exciting but completely overwhelming!

“Make bold choices and make mistakes. It’s all those things that add up to the person you become.” – Angelina Jolie

I recently discovered the term multipotentialite” (check out this great Ted Talk by Emilie Wapnick on why some of us don’t have just one true calling) which is a person who has many different interests in life. I think that this term can be applied to a lot of millennials. We have a lot of skills, wants, needs, and a desire for more out of life than average. The world is moving away from a 9-5:30 days, 5 days a week, for 50 years then retire with a nice watch and a pension. For example, the gig economy, self-employment – to give just two examples.

What do you want?

To come into your own, really take the time to think about what you want out of life. What gets you out of bed in the morning? What do you “zone out” doing? Sure, you may have to start out in a bar or retail just to get some money, but with a target to aim for, this becomes so much easier. The goal could be to work in a specific industry, to own a house, to become an entrepreneur – whatever you want to achieve. Picture yourself at the beginning of a timeline with that particular goal at the end. What specific steps do you need to take to get there?

STAYING motivated

In his book Tools of TitansTim Ferriss writes about Scott Adams who he interviewed on The Tim Ferriss Show. Scott talks about how he wanted to become a cartoonist and to keep his motivation up to get there, he wrote down 15 times a day that he will become a cartoonist. After doing this for a lengthy period of time with it helping him to stay motivated, he is now the man behind Dilbert. Put your mind and intention behind your goals!

Even though now it may seem pretty terrifying in this life change of finding out what you want to do, use this time to see what you want to get out of life. Life is happening right now – how do you want it to pan out?