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Where Does Real Motivation Come from?

photo of assorted letter board quote hanged on wall; real motivation comes from within

(This article contains affiliate links. Making a purchase from one of these links won’t cost you any more than normal, and it helps fund our blog. Thank you.) I was trying to come up with a post for Monday Motivation, and everything I thought of fell flat. I could write about a motivational song like, Smash Mouth’s “All Star” or Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down,” or I could choose a quote attributed to some famous person, like “if you can dream it, you can do it” – not said by Walt Disney. I could tell the story of a famous person who started of bankrupt and found his or her way to fortune – Walt Disney, again. None of those feel right.

Music Speaks to the Soul

Power ballads from the ‘80s and ‘90s, instrumentals from sports films, and just plain good music can lift your mood and make you feel powerful. The problem is that different people like different music. While I might find Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” super motivational, it could leave you cold. You probably already know what songs pick you up and make you want to get out there and kick butt. They may not work all the time, but they are great tools for providing a bridge until you find your real motivation again.

Person Went through Hard Times

The problem with the stories of individuals is that just because it worked for one person, doesn’t mean it would work for everyone. Before he was famous, Jim Carrey wrote himself a check for $10million and dated it for 10 years later – he was able to cash that check. Walt Disney was bankrupt and moved to California with $40 and a reel of film where he founded a media empire. Inspiring stories, for sure, but they may not resonate with you. You might not like either person or their bodies of work. Maybe, you want to see the story of someone who looks (figuratively or literally) more like you. Perhaps, you’re more scientific and realize that one person does not and cannot represent the whole of the human experience.

Where Does Real Motivation Come from?

So, how can I help motivate you to do more, to do better, and to achieve what you want to achieve? Without meeting face-to-face, or via an electronic communication that approximates the same, I have little chance of motivating you personally. More importantly, I don’t want your motivation to come from me because then it’s my motivation that you’re borrowing. I’m totally fine with you borrowing my motivation if you’re going through a rough patch, but I would much prefer you to find your own motivation, so you don’t need me. Where can you find that motivation?

Inside of You

Your real motivation comes from a special place – inside of you. Anything that comes from the outside might help pick you up and get you moving, but it isn’t as powerful as what guides you. Since I’m writing this at some time in the past, I don’t know what that is. I can guess and try to write something that speaks to you personally, but I don’t want to motivate you externally. I want you to find your internal motivation. When you can harness that, nothing will be able to hold you back.

To find your real motivation, find the activities and the ideas that get you excited and sustain that excitement. Focus on what you want in the future and keep that in front of your mind. Start working toward that future and you’ll find your motivation if it’s what you really want. Chances are your motivation won’t come from owning a certain car or having a jet plane – you have to dig deeper and find out what you can bring to the world. Pursue that, and you’ll find what will keep you going through the down times.

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