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Thoughts on health, happiness and sustainability

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The secret of motivation

I often give myself a hard time and tell myself that I give up on things too easily, run away when I don’t like something and don’t try hard enough.

I remind myself of those occasions when I quit my job in the bike shop (and the other two bike shops), when I didn’t finish my Duke of Edinburgh Award (going back a bit!!), that I haven’t yet managed to learn a foreign language to a respectable standard and most recently that I gave up on training to run an ultra-marathon. The list in my head is seemingly endless and provides indisputable proof that I am indeed a pathetic quitter! I start things full of enthusiasm and then I either quit or simply fizzle out.

Maybe I am not being fair on myself

But this week I was listening to Casey Niestat being interviewed on the Rich Roll Podcast when he stated that :

There are only two things that you should be doing in life.

Finding out what you want to do with your life and then getting on and doing it.

This is a powerful statement and it really got me thinking. Am I really a quitter, or did I just not want those things badly enough?

It seems I am more motivated than I thought

I discussed it with Vineeta and she promptly told me that I was being ridiculous. Yes, I occasionally quit things, but this is quite rare in comparison to the number of things that I stick at and work hard for. I have taken some big risks and invested huge amounts of time and energy to get what I want in life, and it has paid off!

I get to spend nearly all is my time with my best friend (who I am married to – yeay!), I get to live where I want, have built a successful business, studied nutrition and improved my diet, become pretty good at photography, written an illustrated children’s book (for my niece), been on some amazing travels, bought an electric car, invested in renewable energy, contributed to a design text book,  started a documentary film club with my friends… and so the list goes on.

I have actually done almost everything that I wanted to in my adult life so far. Yes, I have had some good luck along the way, but I wouldn’t have got it if I had lacked motivation.  I got it by being honest with myself about what I really wanted.

The foundation of motivation

Knowing what you truly want is the foundation of motivation.

If you truly want something then you won’t need to read motivational books and watch inspiring films to figure out how to motivate yourself. You will just do it!

You will take risks and work hard without anyone having to persuade you. There will be a fire burning inside you that drives you to work towards your goal and dream.  Of course it will be hard at times, but you will be naturally driven to put in the hard graft in order to reap the rewards later.

So before you give yourself a hard time about lacking motivation, remind yourself that it means one of two things – either you don’t really want it, or you have forgotten what you want.  That’s nothing to be ashamed of.  You just need to check in with yourself once in a while, listen to your gut and be honest with yourself.

The truth is that motivation is the really easy part of a good life. The difficult part is figuring out what you really want in life, but when you have figured that out, you will be unstoppable.

Now I need to figure out what I want to do next!


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