Saturday, September 20, 2008

Curious about Motivation: What Motivates Us and How Do We Stay Motivated?

Desire is the key to motivation, but it's determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal - a commitment to excellence - that will enable you to attain the success you seek.” - Mario Andretti, American celebrity

People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily.” - Zig Ziglar, American author

These quotations answer my title’s questions. And, yet, I feel that there is a lot more to motivation and staying motivated than what Andretti and Ziglar are telling us.

Say we have a huge desire and have written down our goal. We are motivated, excited and “on our way!” You know the feeling. So why do we lose our initial motivation and in turn stop pursuing our goal?

I feel that American athlete Jim Ryun was right when he said, “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”

We all have good and bad habits and the word “habit” almost carries a far from favorable connotation. This is because changing a habit and/or developing a new and better habit is hard to do. It takes a lot of daily motivation. Many gurus tell us that this process takes at least 21 days.

My suggestion to you is to devote at least 90 days or more. Being a group fitness instructor of 12 classes a week, I am involved with many students who want to become healthier, lose weight, develop fitness – i.e. feel and look better. All start with the desire that creates the initial motivation. Even though their results start becoming noticeable and their classmates and I offer praise and recognition, the majority lose their motivation and slip back into their original comfort zone and habits. It makes me want to cry.

Why does this happen? Let’s find some clues in some of the great quotations I found:
  • I think a lot of times it's not money that's the primary motivation factor; it's the passion for your job and the professional and personal satisfaction that you get out of doing what you do that motivates you.” - Martin Yan, Chinese celebrity
  • People need motivation to do anything. I don't think human beings learn anything without desperation.” - Jim Carrey, Canadian comedian
  • If someone is going down the wrong road, he doesn't need motivation to speed him up. What he needs is education to turn him around.” - Jim Rohn, American businessman
  • People want a cop-out, listen I'm a realist and I talk about motivation, talk about all the things it takes to be greater or are important to win and people want to use excuses all the time.” - Mike Ditka, American coach
  • Wanting something is not enough. You must hunger for it. Your motivation must be absolutely compelling in order to overcome the obstacles that will invariably come your way.” - Les Brown, American businessman
  • There's always the motivation of wanting to win. Everybody has that. But a champion needs, in his attitude, a motivation above and beyond winning.” - Pat Riley, American coach

Three more to take with you:

Motivation will almost always beat mere talent.” - Norman Ralph Augustine, American author

Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it.” - Dwight D. Eisenhower, American President

Enthusiasm is excitement with inspiration, motivation, and a pinch of creativity.”- Bo Bennett, American businessman

Tell me, how do you stay motivated and what successes have you realized because of it?