You’ve been thinking about learning to drive since you were a teenager. You believe having a car would give you freedom, choice, and adventure—as well as enhancing your career prospects.
But despite these beliefs and the encouragement of your friends and family, you’ve never gotten around to learning to drive.
What has stopped you?
Well, you might blame it on a lack of time or a lack of money. But in reality, it’s probably due to a lack of motivation. And this lack of motivation could well be holding you back in all areas of your life.
Now, imagine if you had zest and boundless motivation. You would not only learn to drive and get yourself a car, but you’d be excited to take on other big goals too. And with lots to aim for—you’d be passionate and alive.
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The Motive Behind Motivation
Firstly, have you ever stopped to ask yourself, “what is motivation?”
Well, while I could give you a long, detailed answer, I prefer to share with you this simple definition:
Motivation is the driving force behind your actions.
Take eating, for instance. When you wake up in the morning, you’re probably motivated to grab a bite to eat. And even if you usually skip breakfast, I’m sure that by lunchtime you’re super-motivated to eat some food!
In this case, hunger motivates you to find and eat something. So, are you hungry in other areas of your life?
If you want to be successful, then you’ll need to be.
Wealthy people are hungry for money, fit people are hungry for health, and wise people are hungry for knowledge.
It’s their hunger that pushes them to succeed. Without this, they would probably just be daydreamers who never achieved anything major in life.
The good news is that it’s never too late to learn how to become motivated and to inject that power into all areas of your life.
Let’s look now at exactly how to do that.
Making Motivation Work for You
There are five elements of becoming motivated that you’ll need to learn and adopt if you’re serious about changing your life. Each element will help boost your motivation, but all five together will super-charge it!
I’ll talk about these five elements and give you examples so you can see each element in action.
1. Finding Inspiration
The number one cause of feeling unmotivated is having nothing to be inspired by. If nothing excites you, then nothing will motivate you.
Is there a way to find inspiration? You bet there is!
The trick is to go back in your life to the times when fun, adventure, and enthusiasm ruled the day. This could be last year, five years ago, or even back to when you were a child.
One thing is certain: there were days when your life was exciting and purposeful.
It may have been your first kiss, your first holiday with friends, or the thrill of getting your first job. Think back to how you felt at that time—probably on top of the world. That’s the emotion that you need to rekindle in your life.
Another reason to look back in your life is that you may have given up following dreams that other people (possibly your parents) told you were a waste of time. These might be things like becoming a professional musician, actor, or sports star.
We all had ambitious dreams like these when we were young. But more often than not, these dreams were crushed by adults who told us to be ‘realistic’ about our lives.
If you want to be excited about life again, then allow yourself to dream once more.
This could lead you, for example, to join a drama class to train as an actor. Even if this remains as a hobby, you’ll start to taste enthusiasm in your life again. And you’ll be able to take this inspiration and use it in different areas of your life.
2. Goal Setting
American football coach Vince Lombardi once said:
“Success demands singleness of purpose.”
In other words, you must know what you want before you have any chance of getting it.
When you start to set goals for yourself, you’ll quickly find that you have purpose and motivation. It’s the difference between sailing to a specific destination or just letting your boat drift upon the ocean.
The secret to goal setting is to start off small. Choose some easy to achieve goals like giving up caffeine for one day a week or waking up every day 30 minutes earlier than you normally do.
Once you’ve achieved your small goals, you’ll notice that you’ll have grown in self-confidence and belief. That’s when you’ll be ready to set some bigger goals. These might be things such as finding a new job, clearing your debts, or even traveling the world!
Bigger goals may seem hard to achieve. But you’ll make them more palatable by breaking them down into bite-sized chunks.
For example, if your goal is to find a new job, then you could break this down into the following steps:
- Decide what job you really want to do.
- Tailor your resume to match this job.
- Practice your interview skills.
- Register with recruitment agencies.
- Take on any advice they recommend (such as boosting your qualifications).
- Go along to interviews.
- Celebrate when you’re offered the role you want!
Goal setting is fundamental to being motivated. It costs nothing to do, yet it will reward you abundantly.
The third element that you must have to be motivated is persistence. This trait will keep you going when the going inevitably gets tough.
Just think of a runner in a marathon. If they reach halfway but feel half-dead (most runners say this happens to them), then without the element of persistence, they’ll probably call it quits.
The winners are the people who keep running until the finish life—however arduous that may be for them.
It’s the same story when it comes to your hobbies, relationships, or career. If you quit when things aren’t going so well, you’ll never find the happiness and satisfaction that come from staying the course.
Life is always a mixture of ups and downs. This is why you must be persistent if you want to achieve big things in your life.
4. Getting Support
If you try to do everything yourself, you’ll set yourself up for failure.
The reality is that to achieve any big goal you will need the help and support of other people. It’s just not possible (or desirable) to do everything yourself.
To give you an example of this, let me tell you a short story from the early days of Lifehack.
Back in 2005, the website was just starting to take off, and I was getting lots of new subscribers. Some companies were even asking to advertise on the site.
This was at the time when I was writing the content, marketing the content, answering subscriber queries, maintaining the website, etc. Lifehack really was a one-man band at the start.
But as its popularity soared, I found myself becoming too busy to handle everything that needed doing. That’s when I decided to hire some people to help me!
Initially, I hired someone to look after the finances, someone to look after the marketing, and someone to help me out with creating new content.
It was amazing the difference this made. Instead of being stressed out and working all the hours under the sun (and moon!), I was able to find time to plan the way forward for Lifehack and to create a strategy for success.
And it worked. Lifehack is now one of the most visited self-improvement sites in the world.
So how about you? Do you try to do everything yourself?
If yes, then you MUST break out of this habit if you want to achieve big things.
I’d also recommend you consider getting support from a mentor. Read our article How to Find a Mentor That Will Help You Succeed for how to get started with this.
5. Rewarding Yourself
The final essential element for boosting your motivation is to reward yourself as you achieve your goals — whether these are big or small.
For instance, imagine that you set a goal to redecorate your home. This would probably include purchasing and fitting items, such as new carpets and curtains. But it would likely also include repainting most of the rooms in your home.
Now, it would be unrealistic to expect to redecorate your whole place in a day. Instead, you’d probably want to do a little at a time. Maybe something like this:
- Choosing new carpets
- Choosing new curtains and blinds
- Choosing paint for each room
- Purchasing the items
- Arranging a carpet fitter
- Painting the walls and ceilings (you might choose to do this yourself)
- Fitting the curtains
- Inviting your friends and family around to see your new-look home!
Each of these steps may take you a few hours or a few days. But to keep you motivated, my recommendation is to reward yourself when you complete each step.
A small reward for the steps listed above could be going out to get a coffee and cake at your local café. A big reward for having completed your redecoration goal could be to go out for a meal with your friends or partner.
By rewarding yourself as you go along—and at the end—you’ll keep yourself focused on completing your goal, and you’ll be excited to set the next one!
Start the Motor!
Have you noticed that the pronunciation of motivation sounds like MOTORvation?
While I’m not encouraging you to use the incorrect spelling, I would like you to think of motivation as a motor—one that you can switch on to help drive you forward in all areas of your life.
When motivated, you’ll be unstoppable. You’ll no longer procrastinate and look for excuses for not doing stuff. Instead, you’ll be a super-powered success story!
So turn the key and get started!
More Articles on Motivation
We are given life with many opportunities to make it everything we want it to be and more. If you find that you’ve slipped into living a boring life, it’s time to take a hard look at what you’ve been doing and what you can start doing now to make it more interesting.
Maybe you’ve been doing the same thing and living the same life for too long, or maybe your daily routine is limiting your growth and happiness. Whatever your reason is, the following list can definitely make any day or life more interesting. Some of them are silly, while some are more meaningful, so hopefully just reading the list makes your life less boring and sparks your creativity.
Let’s dive in the list to quit your boring life and start living an interesting (and meaningful) one!
1. Channel Your 7-Year-Old Self
Imagine being a young child. Life was never boring, was it? That’s because children harness every ounce of creativity they have in order to try new things.
What would your 7-year-old self want to do in this moment? Maybe they’d pick up a paintbrush and try to paint the landscape around them. May they would go outside and build something with random materials around the yard. Maybe they would raid the fridge and put together a dish they’ve never seen before.
Just because you’re a grown-up doesn’t mean any of this stuff will be less enjoyable than you remember it. Give yourself permission to play and use your creativity to its fullest.
2. Go Play With Kids
Speaking of little kids, if you have your own (or a niece or nephew), go play with them!
Kids are absolutely hilarious, so it’s simply impossible to be bored when you’re around them. They also keep things so simple, and we can really stand to be reminded of this and stop allowing ourselves to get bogged down in boring details.
3. Play Cell Phone Roulette
You’ll need at least one buddy for this, but this is a great way to avoid a boring life. Scroll through the contacts in your phone, stop on a random one, and (if it feels right) call the person.
You could spark an incredible catch-up session or, at the very least, remind someone that you’re thinking of them. Neither are boring.
4. Fill out a Pack of Thank-You Cards
This is a great part of a gratitude practice. We often forget to thank the people who do things for us, especially if we have come to expect those things. For example, have you ever thought about thanking your mom for that weekly phone call? Or thanking your sister for always sending you a homemade gift on your birthday?
Take time to think of at least 5 people you would like to say thank you to and write out a card. You could even write them out for random people in your neighborhood, like the local librarian, a teacher at your child’s school, or the accountant at your bank.
Anyone and everyone appreciates being thanked for their efforts.
5. Sign up for a Class
Nowadays, there are classes for everything. To make it as interesting as possible, try finding one that you wouldn’t normally consider doing, like salsa lessons, improv, or boxing.
Otherwise, try to find a course on something you’ve always wanted to learn, like pottery, photography, or a foreign language course.
What’s good about joining an interest class is that you will also meet new people, which will add even more interest to your life!
6. Talk to Your Grandparents About Their Lives
We often underestimate how interesting the elderly are. You can rest assured that any elderly person you talk to will not have had a boring life! Take some time to talk to them and hear their interesting stories. You may even find that this motivates you to go out and find your own interesting experiences.
7. Get up on Stage at an Open Mic Night
Whether you’re funny or not, get up on stage. If you’re not into comedy, find an open mic that focuses on reading poetry or short stories and bring your own. These groups tend to be incredibly supportive for anyone who is willing to be brave enough to get up and try.
8. Do Something for Someone Else
Showing kindness automatically makes you feel good, but doing these small acts will also help to ensure that you don’t have a boring life. Try doing one or two things each week that are outside your normal routine.
For example, you could make a batch of cookies for the mailperson or help your elderly neighbor organize one of their rooms. There are a million ways to show kindness to those around you. Tap into your creativity and find your own or use some of the ideas from the image below.
9. Start a DIY Project in Your Home
If you have your own place, there is always a project that needs to get done. Many people simply pay for someone else to do it in order to avoid the hassle, but taking on a DIY project can make a boring life much more interesting.
It doesn’t have to be super complicated. Maybe you repaint an old vase or build a spice shelf out of used pallets.
If you need ideas, you can also check out these 30 Awesome DIY Projects that You’ve Never Heard of.
10. Plan a Weekend Trip or an All-Out Vacation
This will give you something to look forward to. One study actually found that most travelers are happiest before a vacation. Therefore, simply planning a trip will boost your mood, even if you can’t actually take the vacation right now.
Even if you don’t have the time or money to go on a vacation, plan for a staycation, which is also fun and relaxing!
11. Go People Watching
Find a bench in a crowded area (centers of transportation like airports, bus stops, and train stations are great for this!) and just observe.
People are infinitely interesting. Try to imagine what their lives are like, what they’re thinking, or where they’re going. You’ll never know if you’re right, but it will give you something to focus on and also help you practice empathy.
12. Eat Something You’ve Never Eaten Before
You can try that new Moroccan restaurant down the street and pick the most interesting dish on the menu. Or, you can raid your own fridge and throw together a dish you’ve never made before.
If you’re up for a trip to the grocery store, try picking up a new fruit or veggie from the produce section. You may find a new food that you love!
You can get your friends together for a night on the town or just pull up a video on YouTube and bust a move from your own living room.
If you’re feeling extra brave, you can even dance in public or join a flash mob.
14. Pick up a Book and Start Reading
Reading a good book can keep you occupied for hours. It will also transport you to a life that isn’t your own, and one that likely will be the opposite of a boring life. You’ll be amazed by what you can learn from those pages.
Pick on of these inspirational books to start reading:
15. Spend Some Time With People You Care About
Facebook stalking doesn’t count as real social interaction. Call up a friend you haven’t seen in a while, or bring a coffee over to your parent’s place and catch up. They’ll appreciate the gesture, and you’ll avoid boredom.
16. Check out a Museum You’ve Never Been to
Some people are bored by museums, so if that’s you, skip to the next one. However, if you love art, history, or culture, this one is for you!
17. Write a List of Things You Desire and Truly Want
This is a great way to help you figure out the real reason why you’re feeling bored about your life. Maybe you haven’t really done things that you truly enjoy? Maybe what you’ve wanted to do all the time has been left behind?
Think about the list of things you really want to do, and ask yourself why you aren’t doing these things (yet). Then, start taking your first step to make it happen.
Now, go make your life interesting and live your dream life!