27 Motivation Hacks I Should Have Known Much Earlier

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Make Things HappenPost written by Harrison Li.

Ever felt the regret for not knowing something earlier?

I wasted many days of my life not knowing motivation is an incredibly strong force that can be used for lots of advantages.

Motivation can get you work done, get you stronger, get you smarter, and ultimately lead you to the path of your dreams.

If I were able to time travel, this is the page of advice I would give to my younger self.

Let’s see if you’ll benefit from it.

1. If you don’t have the burning desire for success, get it from people who do.

It’s not stealing.

It’s INSPIRATION.

We often struggle to keep up with our goals to do what we really know is right, but our mind just forces us to do what we feel is right.

Inspiration is what can pick you up. Read success stories, interviews, Q&As, listen to what they say.

2. Read books on the subject and get more knowledgeable.

Knowledge equates to professionalism.

Professionalism is what drives authority.

And books can give you that. Read them. Don’t skim the basics, because everyone can do that. Instead, spend hours and dwell into the deeper levels of the field.

3. If you’re low, aim high – because if you miss you’ll at least land in between.

“Always aim for the Moon, and even if you miss you’ll land among the stars.”  ― W. Clement Stone

Okay, I think this doesn’t make sense because stars are further away from the Moon, so it should be the opposite. But anyway.

You can’t take one big leap. You need tiny baby steps.

Everyone wants to start big, but there’s ALWAYS a limit of how big that leap can be.

Take small progressive advances.

Just as Stephen Guise would propose the one push-challenge – small steps always win the fight against big steps.

4. Motivate yourself in an upward spiral with progressive reports.

Chart your progress, use a calendar and keep track of what you did every day.

The more you use it, the better you’ll become, and this loop goes on. The more you achieve, the more you get motivated to achieve even more to beat yourself.

5. Announce your goals and be bold with everyone.

This is more of a manipulative technique.

You tell everyone around you exactly what your plans are, so that you’ll face social pressure and credibility pressure from them whenever you go off track.

6. Hang out with people you want to become.

Obviously, not everyone can get Michael Jordan.

But every role model will have smaller versions, and smaller and smaller until you can reach in your goals in your community.

Small steps.

7. Using the consequences of your inaction and idleness.

It’s extremely normal that people get lazier and lazier.

We know we want and what we REALLY want, but what is it that can get you moving from point A to point B.

Think about the consequences of not getting to point B for example in a year.

Are you going to struggle even more? Are you going to regret what you didn’t do?

8. Visualize yourself into what you desire.

This is a mental technique that many successful people use.

Dale Carnegie had a habit of visualizing himself in what he wants to become every day – it has helped him achieve the success he wanted.

Think of yourself in 2 years time, 5 years and 10 years and see yourself having what you want.

9. Emotion manipulation: using sorrow and sympathy.

Do you get butterflies when you see pictures of beggars, people in famine, and children with nothing but bones sticking out?

Learn to use this feeling that can empower yourself, and have yourself think: what can I do to make a change? How can I help them?

10. Emotion manipulation: using fear.

It’s all about results.

You fear not turning in your assignment before the deadline because you could get an F. You fear not finishing your work because your boss could fire you.

Fear is a strong emotion that can be used to push you forward. Be harsh with yourself.

Make a deadline, slap yourself, and starve yourself as a consequence for not doing what you’re supposed to do.

11. Participate in a competition or get a team.

Competition drives people to do their best.

Why? Because no one wants to be a sore loser.

If you can’t find competitions for your goal, you can search for partners or even multiple people and form a tiny group of people with similar interests.

Make everyone report their progress so that when those who are seeing even better results than them, they get motivated to beat them.

12. Use cold hard cash to your advantage.

“Here’s my plan for these X following months. I’ve set myself rules not to do A, B and C and if you ever catch me doing any of those, you automatically get $20 bucks from me.”

Who wouldn’t want a deal like that?

The point is, the money loss factor will push you to your limits.

13. Learn to sacrifice (hint: it’s an upward spiral).

Make sacrifices to really let yourself pursue your goals.

This could mean no late-night parties, no long dinners, less family time, no relationships, no TV or anything that will hinder your progress.

It’s not just about simply saving more time; it’s about the sunk cost fallacy that since you’ve made a sacrifice, you’ll be less likely to drop out because you don’t want to get a zero return from your investment.

14. Recalibration: are you motivating yourself for the right thing?

Every once in a while you should take some time to reflect on what you’ve done and why you are doing it.

Define your mission and purpose.

If you don’t find any, chances are you’ve probably wasted your time doing something you temporarily thought made sense.

We all change.

15. Get a motivation boost from a quote/message.

Sometimes a quote can really resonate with you.

Grab a quote or message that impacts you the most and make it on to your computer wallpaper and screensaver.

Nothing but the message.

Here are 80 motivational quotes to get you started.

16. Reverse the barriers to entry.

If you need motivation, that means you don’t want to do something.

Often that’s hard work, less leisure time and pure laziness.

If you know the cause of a disease, there’s a cure, if you know the cause of your problem, there’s a solution.

Find the job hard? Make it simple, split it up, do it in breaks.

Don’t have leisure time? Make your task fun, mentally arousing and genuinely enjoy it.

Too lazy? Find a purpose that identifies you from the rest of the world. Ask yourself: if you could carve a message on your grave, what would it be?

17. Learn to say no – don’t mix up decisions with emotions.

Are your friends inviting you to a dinner after a long day of work? Are you being pulled over into a party?

Learn to say no. Reject your invitation.

Don’t be hindered by social pressure, you’re doing this for your own good. If you get tempted, quickly reject the offer and make your way home – get out of the place as soon as possible before you think you may fall into their trap.

This act of saying no acts as a sunk cost, and since you’ve committed to it, you’ll be motivated to follow the decision you made.

18. Get a coach, teacher, mentor or a source of guidance/expertise.

Getting inspiration can come from humanly forms.

There will always be people who are better than you, who can give you directions and advice that you can’t find on the Internet.

If you want the most touchy inspiration, it will come from a living person directly.

19. Prepare yourself for the foreseeable future.

Not everything is predictable, but not everything is unpredictable.

You know you’d want to quit. You know you’re going to slack off. You know you’ll find an excuse.

The best way to counter unwanted things is to be fully prepared for them.

Imagine right now that you are getting those futuristic thoughts. How will you respond? Respond to them today, in advance.

20. Set yourself realistic rules and learn to bend.

It’s inevitable that we will eventually have a few slack-off sessions. There’s going to be a day you have an important meeting, you have a wedding to go to, or you’re just too tired for it.

“Just don’t do it” – is much easier said than done.

Learn to make realistic rules. Don’t go all fixed on one rule, because if you do break it somehow you’re going to be greatly disappointed in yourself. This means:

  • If you workout, don’t skip for more than 2 days in a row.
  • If you are tired, get a nap but at least write 500 words before you sleep.
  • If you’re not feeling creative at the moment, do something else practical to compensate for it.

Be flexible.

21. Delay your enthusiasm for later use.

Got a great idea at 1am?

Notepad it down and do it the next morning to start your day fresh.

Every time you get this sudden rage of flame that you want to do something really badly (and you know it’s temporary), you’d go all crazy on it.

But the more you work on this flame, the quicker it goes out.

Rather than using up your motivation and enthusiasm all at once, learn to split them up and save it up for later.

22. Burn the bridges. Cut your alternative routes.

Getting motivation to do what you really need to do requires getting out of your comfort zone.

Your comfort zone is what hinders your progress. This means:

  • Bring your laptop to a coffee shop and work there.
  • Plug out your Internet cable.
  • Work in the library.
  • Deactivate Facebook and other social media profiles.

Go somewhere you’re not used to.

23. Match your mindset to your goal.

If you can see yourself doing something, you can do it. If you can’t see yourself doing it, usually you can’t achieve it. – David Goggins.

What you think you get will determine what you will really get.

You need to focus on the right actions as well as a matching mentality.

No negative self-talks.

24. Stop all sources of demotivation.

If you want to lose weight, but you keep on buying packets of chips, you’re not going to get anywhere.

If you are serious about what you want to do, then also get serious about changing your past habits.

Once you have new habits, and gradually get adjusted to it, you’ll begin to build that inner upward spiral of motivation and confidence in yourself.

25. Lower your expectations.

How much happiness that $100 can give you solely depends on your expectations.

The more you expect, the less you’ll get.

So stop thinking everything in the world has to go your way, and accept yourself for what you get with gratitude.

26. Dream big and do what is possible not what you can.

“There are no great limits to growth because there are no limits of human intelligence, imagination, and wonder.” – Ronald Reagan

Do what you have imagined in your mind, not what you can currently do.

It’s not about your ability. It’s about the idea. Learn to follow your intuition, not your second level of thoughts.

27. Be authentic – do what you think is right, not what society thinks.

Be confident in yourself and your beliefs.

Do what you think is right even if the whole world is against you.

Most people judge the result by the process with their assumptions. Don’t let this stop you.

The Bottom Line

Guess what wallpaper I have on my screen?

Ideas without action = $0.

Execute starting now!

Harrison Li is a man of efficiency. He publishes hard-core productivity content designed to push you to your limits – see you at Mind Fuels.

photo source: careerealism.com

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