It is human nature that so many of us wait for that “perfect time” in our lives to implement change with renewed motivation for a brighter more productive future.
The only problem is more often than not that “perfect time” never comes.
How many opportunities have we passed up because the time was never perfect?
Picture this, a friend has two tickets for an overseas adventure and asks you to come with them for an incredible experience. What is your first thought? Can I get out of work? Do I have enough money? What about my brothers girlfriend, best friend’s birthday? The reasons not to do something are endless.
We always find a reason or excuse not to do something or find a way to talk ourselves out of it.
It is time to shift that focus from looking for excuses to thinking about all the pro’s for getting more involved in your own life.
I recently just got back from America from a 3 week break after only deciding 4 weeks before I jumped on the plane that I was going to go.
I was sitting at work watching the clock tick by and to be perfectly honest I was mentally burnt out and needed a break. My Facebook feed was filled with photos of friends who had returned to the Summer Camp where I had worked in 2012 and 2013 and this year was their 100th year centenary celebration and I really wanted to go back.
That was when it hit me! Why wasn’t I going back? I thought about work, I didn’t have enough annual leave to go back, what would my boss say? I would miss coaching at least 3 of my under 11’s basketball games. The list goes on and on.
Selfishly I decided it was time to take some time out and do something for me. After asking my boss for the time off which got approved, I booked my flights that weekend and before I knew it I was back in America making memories that will last a life time and I wouldn’t change a thing. This is a direct contrast of what I would have been doing slaving away in front of a computer screen for those 3 weeks had I not made the decision to get more involved in my own life.
So what milestones, events and reasons in our lives give us the greatest motivation to implement change and increase our productivity?
1. New Years Day – A New Years Resolution
New Years Day is one of the most common times of the year that people set themselves new goals and ambitions to carry through to the New Year. Gyms must hang out for that time of the year to have an influx of people with good intentions sign up for yearlong gym memberships only to have 92% drop out several weeks later.
Forbes even published an article stating that only 8% of people ever achieve their New Years resolutions and the key is to keep your goals simple, make them tangible, make them obvious and never stop believing you can achieve your goals.
My only hope is that next time you make your New Years resolution make them something worthwhile and make sure you are one of those 8% that follow through and achieve your dreams. Take advantage of the fresh start and motivation associated with a new calendar which comes around once a year.
2. A Job Change / Getting Fired
Changes in your employment status always change your mentality. Whether you have changed jobs in search of a brighter career and you are starting from the bottom and working your way up or whether you have just been fired/let go from your current form of employment.
Nothing says motivation more than being backed into a corner with nowhere else to go after being fired. This is where the creative genius, the hustle and drive to succeed is born as you are often forced to fight for your livelihood.
Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income faced this very scenario when he was let go from his comfortable job as an architect during the 2008 economic down turn. He now describes being let go as the “best thing that ever happened to me” and Forbes has even written an article on how he made his first $3 million from online marketing.
This is a prime example of remaining positive, fighting for what you want and working hard to be successful. Pat’s teachings from his journey have been a fantastic resource for me personally.
Losing your job may be the closing of one door, but it is up to you how many doors will be opened as a result of the events that have occurred. Nothing worth having comes easy, or everyone would have it so work hard and achieve what you want to achieve! NOW is the time.
3. A Birthday
A birthday? Many of you might think this is a bit of a strange one. What is motivating about having a birthday? I am just another year older and not much else has changed. But that’s exactly it.
You are another year older. You start to realise that time isn’t infinite and you often reflect on all the time you’ve wasted and now it is time to turn things around and be more productive as you don’t want to let another year go to waste.
The day that this post went live, was the day of my birthday and I have realised all the above to be true. As the years go by I realise that time moves so quickly. I still am pondering on projects that I started in 2012 but have not given my full attention despite their potential.
I made a commitment to myself that I would blog every single day for at least the next year, so when I am another year older I expect to come back to this blog with 365 posts available to the public and for me to look back on. I am announcing this publicly as a form of accountability.
Don’t let another year pass you by without being able to look back on it with pride and with a smile.
4. A Traumatic Event
A traumatic event can often narrow your focus to pin point accuracy. During this topic I will be discussing traumatic events from what I have observed as an outsider and not from personal experience.
When I think of traumatic events I look up to people like Hal Elrod from Miracle Morning who turned his life around after being in a server car accident that nearly took his life. Now he is a motivational speaker and inspiring thousands to live their lives to their full potential through his miracle morning program. If a second chance at life doesn’t give you the motivation you need. Nothing will.
The second person that comes to mind wishes that her son had a second chance of life. Rosie Batty lost her son Luke in a horrible domestic violence attack involving Luke’s Father at their local cricket ground. Rosie is well known in the Australian community for her courage to speak out against domestic violence and has set up a foundation in Luke’s memory ‘Never Alone’. She has gone on to achieve some incredible things in the fight against domestic violence and has even been honored with the title of Australian Of The Year.
As amazing as Rosie is I feel she would not have achieved what she has achieved without the tragic loss of her son. Her focus is so narrowed to achieve one thing and she has done that with incredible integrity and composure. I will continue to support the community events down in Tyabb and all of Rosie’s efforts to raising awareness about domestic violence.
Traumatic events I feel narrow your focus and help you stay on track. There is always a silver lining to every situation. Use your emotional energy for good and to achieve what you want to achieve.
5. A Holiday – Mentally Refreshed
This one goes without saying. If you are burnt out, feel like you are going through the motions day in and day out and that every day is the same, it’s time for a holiday.
I recently read a quote by Terry Pratchett,
"Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving"
Having a holiday should not be escaping from your everyday life. It should be a chance to reinvigorate yourself mental and help you see the world you live in and the people around you in a new light. Sometimes that is all it takes to spark the action that will change your life forever.
I’m not talking about going on a worldwide wonderlust adventure – as nice as that might be. I am talking about simply acknowledging when you need a break, and utilising that break to the best of your ability to come back with a new outlook and renewed motivation.
6. Motivational Book
Autobiographies are my favourite, reading experience of people that have been there before, achieved what you want to achieve and shared their highs and lows through the process is my type of book.
More often than not in each book you read you take away a golden nugget that just resinates with you for a very long time.
Know that what you want to achieve is possibly and being motivated by people that have done it before and can offer you some guidance is a great starting point for your own journey.
7. A Mentor
Mentors come in many varieties whether it is a parent, a teacher, a coach, a friend, business mentor or life coach. The list is endless for people that can influence your life in a positive way and give you direction.
I have had many mentors along the way that have shaped who I am and altered my way of perceiving the world and I am so thankful.
One mentor who I was not expecting to enter my life at the time she did was Pat Skalsky. At the time I had just won a competition to be 1 of 5 finalist in the Acer Team Unlimited Challenge which was a 5 week campaign to promote Acer Computers. As part of the prize I had many conference calls with Pat as she was my assigned business mentor.
At the time this was my feedback of Pat as a coach
“I had the privileged of being coached by Pat through the Acer Team Unlimited challenge and Pat coached me all the way to the victory. I can't thank her enough, she is extremely easy to communicate with, keeps you focused on the tasks ahead and was a fantastic support during the mentally tough times during high demands from the competition. I can't recommend Pat highly enough.”
Looking back now it was a lot more than that, Pat was an emotional release for me, someone on the inside that could understand what I was going through when not many others could. Some days Pat would call and she could tell when I was down for the count before I even knew it. It gave me clarity and direction to focus on the task at hand and within those two months I learned so much about dealing with external pressures and how I cope under extreme amounts of stress.
Note: Enter Comps – This was the website I was working on in the competition. Ironically my dream was to create a competition website.
The people in your life you have classified as mentors usually obtain that status by giving up their time and knowledge to be able to assist and teach you. Never forget about those people and don’t be afraid to reach out to them if you are struggling.
8. Productivity Partner or Mastermind Group
This is often the hardest to set up and maintain. It’s hard finding someone else who has their own passion and drive and wants to be held accountable for their actions as well as wanting to offer support and guidance to someone else. If you do find a suitable accountability partner the result is often amazing synergy 1+1=3!
The next step up from this is a Mastermind Group. A mastermind group is where you have a group of typically 4-5 individuals who offer support and guidance to each other and hold each other accountable. Jaime Tardy does a fantastic podcast where she invites an outsider of her typical mastermind group to be placed in the host seat for that particular week and the minds are put to work. It is definitely worth a listen.
Although the initial leg work of getting these partnerships/groups set up, this is another case of if it was easy everyone would be doing it. You want to find those individuals who are committed to a cause where you can help each other reach new heights.
Ultimately every trigger listed above will mean nothing if you don’t have the will power, the drive, the determination to want to change yourself. You can go on living your life cruising through everyday unfulfilled and with feelings of futility. Or you can stop making excuses, get rid of the distractions and start to make a change in your life.
There has to come a point where you realise everything that you want is right in front of you. You just have to work hard enough to take it! Be creative, tread the paths that haven’t been tread before, task risks, have adventures, learn from your mistakes and most importantly live a life you’re proud of.
What keeps you motivated? Would love to hear your thoughts. Comment below.