When we have set big goals for ourselves, we need every bit of help we can get to achieve them. Motivation is an extremely powerful, albeit unreliable tool at your disposal.
That being said, there is already a lot of information regarding motivation on this website, but I haven’t covered the myths of motivation that are being spread around the web and society yet. So here we are!
The issue with these myths is that they are still widespread and believed to positively influence your levels of motivation, while in reality they achieve exactly the opposite.
So let’s go and debunk some of these myths!
1. Money Is The Only Source Of Motivation You Need
Money is often one of the main sources why we work. We all need money to support ourselves and those we love, so it is natural that we are willing to put in a lot of our time to acquire it.
That being said, money is no guarantee to keep us motivated in the long term, nor will it satisfy us once we finally acquire it.
I am sure you know someone, or have heard of someone that quit their job despite earning a ton of money. This could have been due to many reasons. They might have been working in a toxic work culture, they got bored of the repetitive work they had to do, or ended up chasing their life passions.
Whenever I talk to older individuals with a lot of experience, they all admit that the salary of their first job was a major priority for them. However, over the years they have realized that this focus on money has kept them from achieving more than they could have.
Furthermore, once we do acquire a nice salary, the motivational boost it gives us in the short term, will wear off in the long term. Hence its motivational effects will not last long.
it is human nature to get accustomed to your surroundings, and inevitably we will simply want more. Therefore having money as a main means of motivation is detrimental to your long term health and success!
2. Don’t Focus On Your Mistakes And Failures
We often hear, or might even have said, that failing can or making a lot of mistakes can be a major reason for a loss of motivation. While this may be true, it is so for the simple reason that failure is not appreciated enough.
In society, mistakes and failures are seen as a negative attribute. When we make mistakes in school, we get penalized with less marks. When we fail to pass an exam we can get sad and embarrassed. Truth be told, failure is not seen as a good thing. That is a massive mistake!
Failure isn’t being bad at something, it is the steps of a ladder we all have to climb to make it to the top! Once you fail, realize that if you were to try again, you would simply do better as you now have more experience and knowledge!
I advise you to focus on your failures and mistakes and learn from them! Do not repeat the same mistakes again. This is the real path of progress and long term success! Furthermore, look for the difficult paths in life, those where you know you will fail many times. It is there that we learn the most and where we will grow the most.
The more times you fail, the more successful you will see your self become. Never give up and never quit!
3. Visualizing Your Goals Will Keep You Motivated
Often times we are told to write down our goals on a piece of paper and hang it up in our room somewhere. The idea is that if we keep seeing these goals, it will be a constant reminder to our minds. Hence we will stay motived.
Unfortunately it is not so easy, and there is no research whatsoever that says that simply seeing these goals written down has any impact on our motivation. Instead of visualizing our goals, we have to get into the habit of journaling about our progress and struggles of trying to achieve those goals.
When we write about about our actions to achieve a goal, it gets our brain thinking. Our subconscious mind becomes more aware about what we are trying to achieve. This can become a highly effective motivation tool.
I always try to journal a bit before I go to bed. This way I can recap my day, and see the progress I have made towards my goals. It allows me to analyze my failures, and it ensures I learn from them. Not only that, it becomes a huge motivational booster when I see the kind of progress that I have been able to make in the past weeks, months and years.
I highly suggest you set aside 10 minutes of your day to simply write about your progress of the last 24 hours. You can be surprised about how much you can achieve in such a short time.
4. You Have To Wait For Motivation To Strike
While it is hard to get motivated to do something difficult at will, we all are hit by random moments where our motivation seems to spike. I am sure you have had moments in your life where you felt a massive urge to clean your room, go on a diet, or go the gym in the early morning hours. Only for that feeling to disappear over the next couple of days.
This is also one of the main reasons why so many people quit the goals they set for themselves. They set goals on a motivational peak, to later realize they don’t have to motivational management skills nor the discipline to carry through and achieve their goals.
We cannot simply wait to reach these motivation peaks to get to work. They wear off over time, are impossible to predicts, and simply have no real value.
Real motivation is created by hard work and effort. When you write down your goals, and create a step-by-step plan on how to go about achieving them is the foundation of becoming motivated. Then seeing how you make progress towards the end goal will become your main source of motivation to keep going.
So instead of waiting around to get motivated to make a change to your life, get started right away!
5. Trying Is Good Enough
If we want to become successful in anything in life, we will be forced to undertake difficult tasks. When we are unsure how we will perform, I am a firm believer that simply going out there and trying is a great way to get started and gain some initial experience.
That being said, once we started, we need to put in the effort to excel at whatever we try. Merely trying sets you up for mediocrity, as you have zero expectations for yourselves. If you hit a wall, instead of working harder to try and improve more, you might simply say ” well at least I am trying”.
This is not a long term success mindset, and it sets us up to fail.
Research has shown that setting large goals and high expectations of oneself are much more likely to be inspiring than to simply say you are trying your best. Once you have mastered the fundementals, it is time to increase your effort and master that specific skill or task!
6. You Don’t Need Motivation If You Are Smart
It is a common believe that intelligence is a crucial trait if you want to become a successful person in a specific field. This myth has been disproven several times now. Instead of intelligence, it is grit and long term commitment that will determine your fututre success.
I am not saying that intelligence plays no role, but it is definitly not the defining character trait!
In order to be able to commit yourself to a long term task, you will need some level of motivation, even if you are more than smart enough for the job.
One of my favorite books tackles this very topic in fact. If you are keen to learn how and why grit is more important for long term success than intelligence, make sure you pick up a copy of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance written by Angela Duckworth. It is an absolute must read for anyone who is trying to improve themselves!
7. Discipline Is All You Need
This is a tough one to discuss, simply because if you have unwavering discipline, you really do not need any motivation to get your work done. That being said, realisitcally very few people on this earth have the kind of discipline where this is applicable. Most of us simply do not. While we can increase our self discipline, it is just much more efficient to make use of motivation as a driving force.
The main argument is that discipline, once acquired, is always there. While motivation can come and go at seemingly random intervals. Research has shown however that people attribute the main reasons for failure to reach their goals is their lack of willpower. So it is clear that a lot of us struggle with self-discipline!
If this is somethign we struggle with, we need to try and find a way to have motivation work in tandem with our self-discipline. This is quite a complicated task, something I hope to explore further in the near future.
There is a lot of misinformation spread in today’s world when it comes to motivation. Remember, if something is easy to do, it probably won’t give you the kind of results you are expecting. Anything in this life worthy of achieving will take a lot of dedicated effort and time.
The moment you make something easier for yourself, the chances of your fututer success will dwindle as a result. Never choose the easy path, and stay motivated!