When you're feeling your motivation dip, bringing it back up can be challenging.  

Maybe the work you're doing isn't stimulating enough. Maybe you feel pessimistic about some aspect of your personal life, or you're lacking confidence in your ability to succeed.  

It's not all bad. It's a chance to examine your attitude and approach, to honestly assess whether you're meeting your goals. Maybe you're being too hard on yourself.

Regardless, less motivation means you're getting less done, and that's not good for business. To get back into the groove and feel excited about work again, look to the following for inspiration.

Keep a gratitude journal.

Before anything else, look inside yourself.

I write in a journal. There's something about writing thoughts I'm having that may be unproductive or negative that takes their power away or makes them less intense.

Here's an exercise I do each day. I write down what I'm grateful for. I usually keep it simple with three items. It's not the size of the journal entry that matters, but how much you honestly think about what's bothering you.

For example, I'll write that I'm grateful for that co-worker who I struggle to get along with. This is because my interaction with them reveals my impatience and highlights to me what I need to work on. It keeps me motivated to make positive changes.

This internal reflection helps uncover root causes of motivational struggles. It's challenging to identify problems, much less make changes (especially if ego is involved). However, over time you'll find it changes your way of thinking about work, and helps keep you happy and productive. You may discover you feel it's a privilege to be building your company, instead of a weight on your shoulders.

Engage all-stars in your network.

This is also one of my favorite sources of motivation. Look to the circle of people surrounding you. I've found that when I'm around people who work hard to accomplish goals, I develop better habits too.

All-stars tend to be excited about what they're working on, whether that's running a company or making music. They don't complain about working long hours. They're excited to work because they love what they do and want to succeed.  

I get asked a lot how you find these people. It's easier than you think. They're the networking superstars who attend or speak at events in your city. They're the influencers whose LinkedIn videos you watch because of their personality or insight. They're people you follow on Twitter or Instagram. They may simply be people you work with.

Talk to and follow them online. Comment on their videos. Introduce yourself at an event and arrange to meet them for coffee. Talk to them about what you feel is holding you back and ask for advice to overcome it. Wash, rinse, repeat. Inevitably you'll grow closer to certain folks over months and years of social interaction. 

Be careful to pick people who help you stay motivated and don't bring you down. Eventually, you'll end up finding new projects, interests or ideas to improve your  business, purely as a byproduct of being around them.

Closely follow and mimic high-impact people and companies.

Staying up-to-date with the actions of high-impact individuals and businesses outside your network is extremely motivating.

Don't just compare their lives to yours. That's not fair or accurate. Instead, look at their journey. They all started somewhere. Sure, they may have had natural talents or advantages, but you may have some of those yourself.

The difference may be mindset and discipline. They had to work incredibly hard consistently to succeed at each step along their journey. You can replicate that.

If you have a goal in mind, break it down into manageable chunks and execute on each individual step. Use those who have already accomplished similar goals as inspiration to keep you on track.

Explore media and other forms of art that move you.

Art is another effective source of motivation. Whether it's music, movies, paintings or any other form, exploring your creative and artistic interests kindles your creative spark.

The idea that humans can create such beauty is testament to the power of what you can accomplish. The world is full of meaningful expression and you can harness motivation from it.

There are singers pouring their heart and soul into telling you that you can accomplish your goals. I can vividly recall how listening to an Adele song helped me heal from a broken relationship, or how certain Led Zeppelin and Van Halen songs lit a fire that helped me perform better at work or sports.

Most of us have experienced these profound occurrences. Internalizing and feeling the full power of art can help you overcome roadblocks to living a happy and successful life.

Regularly schedule trips to art museums, the opera, a rock concert, or whatever tickles your fancy. Cultivate a relationship with art forms that most resonate with you, or explore new ones. This way, inspiration will never be far away.

Published on: Jul 30, 2018