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Investing In Your Motivational Dollar

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Motivation is a living thing. It eats, it breathes, and it begs you to take it out for a spin each and every day. The biggest mistake people make is thinking motivation is waiting for them. But it is not; you must work for it. Let me give you an example.

Darren is 35 years old. His story is average, his pains are average, and his dreams are average. He is stuck in the daily grind; he tries to be realistic and get by. Every day he goes to work and every night he comes home. Perhaps once every two months something happens to him worth remembering, even if that one event is something bad. He thinks, “If only I was motivated by something. If only there was something worth being excited about and working toward out there.”

Darren doesn’t work for motivation; he just expects it to be there. Like the business saying, “You need to spend money to make money,” the same is true for motivation. Sometimes you have to expend a little motivation to make more of it.

Motivational Currency

Some years ago, the world watched as the tale of the woman who stole our hearts while singing on a British talent show unfolded. You will never find a negative story being passed around like that; in fact, you will never find a mediocre story being passed around in the same manner. The value of the dollar, euro, and yen is dead. Stock in motivation is higher than it has ever been. We are craving inspiration and motivation like heroin. 

Why?

Too often, people put their motivational hope in others. We all want to capture a bit of Susan Boyle’s magic. We hope somehow it will be released into the atmosphere, we will absorb it through osmosis, and it will provide enough motivational currency to settle our debt.

25,000 Mornings

They say the average person has 25,000 mornings in their lifetime. Some have more and some less, but that is the average. How does reading that make you feel? I don’t know about you, but it scares the hell out of me. I see that number and think, “Have I done enough? Have I made my mornings worth something?”

If your answer is no, then your immediate follow-up questions should be, “Why didn’t I have a stupendous morning? Why was it not memorable?”

How many mornings do you wake up in debt?

Everyone has different reasons for allowing the opportunity to change their life pass them by. The top reasons are:

  • Fear
  • Lack of Education
  • Laziness
  • Apathy

There is one common thread in every one of those four reasons. Can you guess what it is?

Laziness

You can gain an education.
Apathy usually disappears with effort.
And fear dies in the face of knowledge.

Laziness is the killer of motivation. Most people think this is reversed, that we are lazy because we lack motivation. But this is not true; you must work for motivation just as you have to work to achieve happiness.

3 Steps to Motivating Motivation

#1 Balance Negativity

This might sound negative, but I see positive people screw up positivity all the time. They seem to think if you ever have a bad thought, or maintain exacting standards, you are welcoming negativity. But it doesn’t work that way, and doing this disturbs the balance you need to have between positivity and negativity.

There are also people who believe thinking positively is for naïve New Age types who don’t understand the real world. They think being positive means being unrealistic. This is cynicism at its worst because it hurts the bearer most of all. Being happy is not a given.

To balance negativity, take every negative thing that occurs in your life and balance it by having a positive reaction. The catch is to make the positive stronger than the negative. Think of it as having a 2:1 ratio. Here are a few examples:

  • For every bad news item you come across, find two pieces of good news.
  • For every time you go off your diet, make sure you eat twice as good.
  • For every workout you miss, schedule two training sessions.
  • For every negative thing you say about someone, say two nice things about someone else.

#2 It Isn’t Just a Goal, It’s Your Life

Motivation shouldn’t waiver unless your zest for life does also. To some degree, the less motivated and inspired we are, the closer to death we live. Since I believe in that message, every day is a day worth nurturing your motivation.

When you pin all of your hope on one goal, that hope will die when you achieve it. Instead, make constant motivation your objective. Always aspire to reach new heights. When you reach one goal, make another. When you do that, you end up living a life of motivation.

#3 Like Attracts Like

Here is a sad but true statement. Most people don’t have the friendships and partners they desire. People settle for what is instead of striving for what could be. We settle in friendship, romance, jobs, etc. We do this to calm our fear of not being alone or not wanting to rock the boat. You must change this pattern as soon as possible. I assure you that good people are always looking for more good people and that misery loves company.

Which crowd would you rather hang with?

This article isn’t about putting pictures on your fridge or hanging up clothes you want to fit in. This is about going deeper and becoming the kind of person who will truly achieve their dreams. Not once or twice as a fluke, but for life—because you will be rich in motivational currency.

Song of the Post: Nina Simone – Feeling Good

 

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31 comments

  1. Eliana
    June 8, 2009 at 12:37 am

    One of your best posts ever!

    I am listening to the song in another window 😛

  2. Katie Nemargut
    June 8, 2009 at 1:26 am

    I am so glad I read this before bed. Really fantastic points, and of course great song.

  3. Hazel
    June 8, 2009 at 4:07 am

    I see you’re adding philosopher to your credentials. 🙂 This post couldn’t have come a better time for me. Thanks Leigh. 🙂

  4. Stephanie
    June 8, 2009 at 4:16 am

    I totally agree, Eliana! This is good stuff! Love the song!

  5. Diane
    June 8, 2009 at 5:45 am

    Perfect timing, Leigh! I really needed a kick in the butt to get me back on track. Thanks so much for a great post. And, by the way, the new site looks fabulous!

  6. Jim
    June 8, 2009 at 6:00 am

    Great post, Leigh…

    “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.”
    ~Aristotle

  7. iSteeve
    June 8, 2009 at 6:06 am

    Great post Leigh. Your site looks great and works well! Nice choice of images and music added to an already well done post.

  8. Sinead
    June 8, 2009 at 7:23 am

    Great post! I once taught with a principal who asked us to say 6 nice or positive things (especially to or about our students) for every one negative thing that we heard. Those years while he was in charge were some of the most positive and most energized the school had ever been. It’s super easy to get sucked into negative thinking, espcially if you’re surrounded by it. THe same is true for positivity, though; surrounding yourself with (mostly) positive thinking people–people who generally feel hopeful about life and about things–makes it much easier to see the positive yourself.

    Besides, they’re just more fun to be around, too! 😉

  9. Missy
    June 8, 2009 at 7:36 am

    Very timely – thank you Leigh!

  10. Amanda
    June 8, 2009 at 9:41 am

    Love the idea of working for motivation. Seems like it’s related to inertia–once you’ve got it, it’s easy to keep it, but when you lose it, you really have to work at getting it going again.

    But actually, I prefer to try to think positive thoughts about people whom I’ve thought about negatively, rather than find another person to think positively about–it serves to remind me that most people are shades of gray, not all bad (or irritating, as the case may be).

  11. Smith "just"
    June 8, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    Leigh, what are your thoughts about things like “The Secret” and Neuro-Linguistic Programming?

  12. ~liz
    June 8, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    Whoa

  13. Charlie
    June 8, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    What a bloody fantastically written post!!! ur a genius!! THANK_YOU – Going to print and read daily!!!

  14. Leigh Peele
    June 8, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    Thanks a lot for the positive comments.

    Amanda-I agree with thinking positively about people who have been negative. My take home point was to not ignore negative actions for the sake of positivity. IE: Quality Control.

    I have a big problem with people thinking to have quality control means to be negative, but that is another post for another day.

  15. Leigh Peele
    June 8, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    Smith-You know its a mixed bag of hope, visualizing what you want, and positive thinking.

    I believe in the notion that you need to believe in yourself and your dreams for them to come true. Like with most things, some of it is bunk and some of it is good information based of of what I believe to be “no shit” principles.

    I subscribe to the belief of no shit.

    If you surround yourself by good people, you will feel better.
    No shit.

    If you obsess daily about what you want to achieve and work towards it, you will achieve it.
    No shit.

    If you don’t let the negative live in your head, and you pull in the positive where you find it, you will be happier.
    No shit.

    If you wear a lot of man jewelry, you will get laid.
    That one actually blows my mind.

  16. Leigh Peele
    June 8, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    Liz-I have received a few “Whoa’s” in my life and that was a good one.

    Charlie- Thanks a lot. P.S. email should be back to you soon.

  17. Nia Shanks
    June 8, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    Damn, Leigh. I thought I just had a great post about motivation recently! You just blew mine away. : )

  18. Sinead
    June 8, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    Ok, the “No Shit” philosophy is cracking me up!!

  19. Josh Aronovitch
    June 8, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    Wow. Reading this is potentially life changing. I may have just read it at absolutely the right time, when my mind was receptive to its message, but this post is a must read for everyone wanting to start living the life they would dream of if they had the courage.

    Thank you for posting it Leigh.

  20. Leigh Peele
    June 8, 2009 at 10:46 pm

    Sinead I believe that the “no shit” philosophy is some of my best work.

  21. Leigh Peele
    June 8, 2009 at 11:25 pm

    Josh-Thanks for your comment. It really means a lot.

  22. Sinead
    June 9, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    I agree, Leigh! 😉 It gets right to the core of who you are and what you stand for. It doesn’t take much editing, either. hehehe 😉

  23. Christine
    June 9, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    I love this post Leigh! I have already read it three times. I will continue to read it until all the points stick. Thank you thank you thank you!

  24. meg
    June 10, 2009 at 10:46 am

    This post is Over The Top–I think I really can lift a car over my head…or at least a pony or two 🙂 You certainly have what buddhists call “skillful means.” Not only do you rock, you ARE a rock. wow.

  25. […] you caught my earlier post this week about motivation then you know I am a big believer in constant goals. I try to live my own life by that. I do set […]

  26. Vicki k.
    June 11, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    1. Is the “no shit” intoned as “duh, don’t you already know this you pathetic clueless loser” or “listen up buttercup this is for so real you can believe it so”? 😉
    2. Nice site, now that I’m visiting it with my (sigh) antiquated version on IE.
    3. What’ man jewelry, and where can I buy some?

  27. Rose
    June 14, 2009 at 7:10 am

    Awesome post! How did you get to be so wise!!

  28. Andrea
    June 19, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    I have been listening to this song anytime I need a boost for months – it is the BEST!!!

  29. […] Investing in Your Motivational Dollar Reading any posts or information on/linking from this site means you automatically agree to this disclaimer. I am not a dietitian or doctor, nor claim any cure, treatment, or solution to health or illness problems. Click here to cancel reply. […]

  30. Tamara Christie
    March 22, 2010 at 11:26 am

    Leigh, what a great kickoff. This month of motivation will be such a gift. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself!!!

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