To most, motivation is but a fleeting moment in time we experience once a day, once a week, or once a month. It is the exception as opposed to the norm. We like to think we are always motivated, but without constant reminders, we realize the never-ending battle to stay motivated is within ourselves. An incessant, internal dialogue, where we try to convince ourselves we are going to be productive, just so three hours later we can mentally shame ourselves for sitting on youtube or Instagram for 2 hours and 45 minutes.
We all know this scenario too well.
“At some point, you have to stop reading motivational quotes and do something about it”
If you ask any “hard-working” college student or “day-dreaming” young professional they will tell you they study 10 hours a day or they work 60 hours a week. But if you do the math they do not work more than 4 hours a day. Sure, they may sit at their desks for 10 hours, but the time spent on quality work is a fraction of the total time spent working.
So how do you stay motivated?
How do you make that internal “switch” so that you are productive 100% of the time? How to do you beat the endless mind games and lure of quick fixes you read on the internet or from free online ebooks?
Knowing what your PURPOSE is and living every day to fulfill that purpose is the ultimate motivator. Motivation comes within. Motivation comes from having purpose.
Now it may not sound that easy, but understanding what your purpose is in life will help give you that internal motivation. Discovering HOW your purpose can be your motivation won’t come easy and being able to cultivate that motivation is the hard part. But, what most fail to do is ever identify what their purpose is and what truly is important to them.
3 Steps to finding Endless Motivation:
Step 1: Identify your purpose:
If you have made it this far — you are either so motivated you don’t want to stop reading or you are still confused because you are struggling to identify what your purpose is …
For those who are struggling to find their purpose — I first recommend these three exercises to identify your purpose:
Escape: Whether you live in East Texas or Manhattan, we live in a world full of clutter. The noise around us often overpowers our own internal voice dulling our creativity and limiting our ability to be open. Even if you live in a small town, your daily environment creates a noisy environment full of obligations and responsibility that limits your ability to think freely. If you do not know your purpose, get out of your normal environment and escape, get to an area with clean air, no distractions, where you can think and clear your head.
Journal: Most are not a fan of writing or journaling — but sometimes the act of writing down your ideas is the most cathartic way to move yourself forward. To identify your purpose, write down your thoughts: what is on your mind and how are you feeling. Next, write down what makes you the happiest and what you find inspiration in. Next, write down what activity or aspect of your career you enjoy the most. Lastly, write down what makes you feel fulfilled.
Decipher the Pattern: After you have escaped from the noise, after you have journaled your thoughts and your ideas — you need to take a step back and decipher the patterns between everything in your life focusing on what you wrote. Your “Purpose” should be fulfilling, something you love, something you do not feel is work, and something that inspires you to work harder and either improve your world or improve the quality of life for yourself or your community.
Step 2: Create a Plan for your Future
Just because you identified your purpose — it does not mean it will all work instantly or that you will find perfect motivation 24/7.
Understanding what your “Purpose in Life” is, is just the first step
You must first identify what your 5 & 20 year goals are. Then you will need to work backwards from your goals and reverse engineer how you are going to accomplish those goals. It is crucial that you take the time to plan out how to achieve them. Journaling and writing out this plan gives you guidance, having a road map, and not just a vision, is the sure-fire way to continue moving forward ensuring you are always taking another step in the right direction.
Step 3: Build the Motivation Muscle
Even after identifying your purpose and understanding how you are going to get there, it isn’t always easy to keep yourself motivated. I call motivation a muscle, a muscle that is weak in its infancy, but strong after years of training and reinforcement. You have to train yourself to stay committed to your goals. The first part of getting work done or being motivated comes from the relentless pursuit to be better than you were the day before. Just because you know where you want to go, does not mean you are going to have to ability to stay on the right path. By treating motivation like a muscle, you will be able to grow that muscle over time and ensure that you will reach your true potential.
You have to find ways to keep yourself motivated by reminding yourself of your purpose.
You must relate everything you are doing to your purpose — how is it helping to move you forward and what role does it play in helping you to accomplish your goals.
It is a never-ending practice. The practice of training yourself to relate everything you do to your purpose. When you see how what you are doing is helping to reach your end goal — you will have the motivation to continue to work. You will have endless motivation. You will have endless drive and the relentless pursuit to never give up on reaching your true potential.
As always, if you have questions feel free to reach out me. Changing isn’t easy but I believe you CAN do whatever you set your mind too.
Thanks for reading!
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Hi! I am a third-year medical student and third-year PhD candidate with a passion for innovation, biomedical research, medical education, healthcare policy, biotechnology, nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. I am a bit of a non-traditional student as you can see from my personal bio. I am a host of medical podcast and the owner of an admission company focused on helping students get into the school of their dreams. I love educating and giving back so if you have questions feel free to email me!