By Dr. Matthew B. James
“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” – Lou Holtz
Enthusiasm. Inspiration. Passion. Motivation. Excitement.
Just reading those words, don’t you feel a little more energy in your body and mind? And, if you think about their opposite—boredom, cynicism, apathy, numbness—don’t you feel that energy go flat?
You don’t need to hear how much more enjoyable and fun it is to do anything when you feel motivated and inspired; you know it’s true from your own life experiences. Even if whatever you’re doing takes a lot of effort, it feels more like play rather than drudgery or work when you feel enthusiastic about it.
Too many of us live most of our lives without tapping into this energy. We go to work, we do our errands and chores, we exercise or do those other things that are “good” for us simply because we’re supposed to. We plod along, doing the best we can, without experiencing the real juice of life.
Maybe we feel like something’s missing and we don’t know what can be done about it.
Here and there, we stumble into feeling excited and motivated. We attend a great lecture or training, read an inspirational book, watch a motivational YouTube video. We feel alive, pumped up and ready to take on anything right in that moment! And for most, within days—if even that long—that alive, excited feeling fades.
The problem is that most people don’t know that the energy of motivation isn’t just for “special occasions” or certain activities. It’s always ready and available to be tapped into. We don’t have to wait for a particular circumstance to feel it.
Inspiration is like the sun on an overcast day. It hasn’t gone anywhere. We just need to get above the clouds to experience it again.
As the highly-acclaimed French footballer, Arsène Wenger, points out, “When you look at people who are successful, you will find that they aren’t the people who are motivated but have consistency in their motivation.”
So how do you get to the place of consistency in motivation?
- Connect your daily activities to your purpose
For many people, keeping in constant touch with their purpose keeps that energy of inspiration lit within them. They take all of the activities of their life and connect them directly to the purpose that they are committed to. For example, perhaps you’re excited about staying fit to have the energy to keep up with your kids. You’re motivated by your purpose to accomplish your daily workout. Get the drift?
If you haven’t yet made that tight connection between all you do and your purpose, it’s relatively simple to do. Ask yourself, “How does this activity support my purpose?”
- Create inspiration rather than waiting for it
Some people use physical movement or exercise to get juices flowing. Other people find that certain music or getting out in nature makes them feel motivated. Still, others use inspirational quotes or visualizing their goals. Find what works for you and add it to your routine. You’ll be amazed at how much more energy you feel—and how much more enjoyable your daily tasks are and life becomes.
- Put enthusiasm on speed-dial
In our Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) trainings, we teach a technique called “Anchoring,” though it’s often more effective if guided by a qualified NLP practitioner, try these steps on yourself:
- Create a movement or touch to act as your “trigger.” It might be touching your left elbow or pinching your fingers together.
- Now think of a time when you felt totally enthusiastic. Keep thinking about it until you actually feel that sensation of enthusiasm in your emotions and your body.
- As the feelings of enthusiasm grow within you, activate your “trigger” (touch the elbow or pinch your fingers together.) Release your trigger as soon as you feel the sense of enthusiasm fading.
- Repeat steps #2 and #3 with a different time when you felt totally enthusiastic.
- Now without thinking of anything particular, activate your trigger. Notice the feeling of enthusiasm welling up in your emotions and body.
Next time you’re about to start a task or activity that has felt blah or burdensome in the past, activate your trigger to fire up your enthusiasm!
To your total empowerment!
Dr. Matthew B. James is the President of the Empowerment Partnership, and he embodies the principles he teaches. While devoting himself to the integrity of his spiritual path, he has built an international firm dedicated to personal transformation, authored several books and trained thousands of students every year in mastery of the four bodies of empowerment. Supported by a team of expert trainers, he weaves effective modern technologies with the timeless wisdom of ancient spiritual paths. www.empowermentpartnership.com.