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How to Stay Motivated!

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“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.”- Lou Holtz

Okay, you’ve decided that the positive living approach is definitely the way to go. You’ve started greeting the new day as positively as you can. You’re meeting and greeting the world with a whole new attitude and your life is starting to show the signs already. People are actually being influenced by your new attitude and responding in kind. It really works!

Then something happens to trip you up just a little. You receive some bad news and wham! You’re right back where you started. How could this happen? What happened to your resolve? You need something you can do on a regular basis to keep yourself motivated, but what?

Take yourself over to the nearest public library or bookstore and find yourself some good titles about positive thinking. Start with Norman Vincent Peale’s “The Power of Positive Thinking.” He has several other volumes expanding on the subject; all are worth a read. When you start to feel alone in this journey, pull out a book and read about others changing their lives, and how you can too.

Another way to keep yourself motivated is to go online, if you can. Find other people of similar minds and talk to them. Listen to their stories and how they handled things, and then try a few techniques to get yourself back on track.

Find some activities that give you real pleasure, things that excite you and allow your talents to shine. This makes you feel good about yourself and promotes positive emotions. Find something that interests you, something you’d like to learn to do and take lessons in. Each time you succeed at something, it builds your self-esteem and motivates you to try more, thereby succeeding often.

If you’ve figured out what you want to do and put it in writing, along with the plans to help make it happen, now’s the time to remind yourself of those goals. Take the steps necessary to make your goals a reality. When you need some motivation, look at those plans and dreams, see how close you are and how much closer you can be if you stay motivated.

Above all, stay away from negativity in any form. Avoid the cynics and pessimists, and any who only want to complain. They will eventually drag you down to their level, and your motivation will disappear like dew on a hot morning.

Most importantly, don’t ever give up. Keep dreaming about what you want; keep that image in your mind, night and day. Work hard at what you want to achieve and never let negative thoughts cloud your mind. If you have faith in nothing else, at least have faith in yourself. And when the going gets tough, find ways to keep your spirits up and keep going. Keep moving forward.

Avoid boredom and stay active. When you’re motivated, you can’t be bored. Hang around with excited, motivated people and it will rub off on you too. Dream about your future. Charles Kettering said, “I am not interested in the past. I am interested only in the future, for that is where I expect to spend the rest of my life.”

There are going to be some days that will take every will power to feel motivated and move forward. What can you do? Try thinking of past successes - things you’ve accomplished that make you feel good about yourself, things you’re proud of yourself for doing. You may need to sit down and write them down on paper, to make them more real for you right now. You may need some proof that your life hasn’t been a waste of time and energy.

Now list all the plans you’ve got going for you right now - dreams that are in the works, so to speak. Let yourself get excited over the prospect of realizing those dreams in the near future. See if you can find new ways to bring about those dreams even sooner. That’s sure to motivate you when all else fails. But try not to get too impatient with yourself here. The impulse is to throw caution to the wind and get what you want immediately, but simmer down and let it happen as it’s supposed to, as you’ve planned for it to unfold.

While it’s important to work within your plan, don’t wait for everything to be perfect before you make that move, otherwise you’ll be forever in limbo, waiting, waiting for a perfection that will never be. Don’t wait for the perfect moment. Work within your plan and take that first step. Make that first move. Frustration sets in when you make all the plans you want, make lists, detail every step, but take no action.

Is it possible to be positive all the time? Can optimism be maintained on a continuous basis? The answer is no, of course not; but if you work at it, trying to keep yourself on track, you will have many more up days than down. Positive thinking and action can actually start to multiply around you, one thing leading to another, like a wave building up before it hits the beach. According to Colin Powell, “Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.”

Another great motivator and one, which most busy people seem to completely forget about, is to take a vacation now and then. You need to recharge those batteries, refresh your attitude, and renew your commitment to yourself. Without sufficient rest and relaxation, you will burn out fast. Taking time off from work is essential to your mental, physical, and emotional health. A change of scene is refreshing especially to your mental state, and is essential to maintain your positive attitude towards life.

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