Generating motivation comes easy to some and to others such as myself, it often times feels as if I'm on a wild goose chase. One of the biggest lessons I learned was that successful people find a way to motivate themselves regardless of their circumstances or feelings. The key lies within finding your unique motivator.
If you're someone who has wavering levels of motivation and needs to find sources to help jump-start your motivation, try these three models below.
1. Leverage the power of mirror neurons
In the early 1990s, Italian researchers made an unexpected discovery after implanting electrodes in the brains of several macaque monkeys. Wanting to study their brain activity during various motor functions, the researcher reached for food and noticed that neurons began to fire in the monkeys prefrontal cortex while the monkey performed a similar gesture as the researcher.
This lead to the discovery of mirror neurons (i.e. pieces of the brain), which are special classes of brain cells that fire both when a person acts and observes someone performing the same action.
As you're looking for motivation, place yourself in an environment where people are doing the activity that you want to be doing. This will lead to a spark due to your mirror neurons and you'll receive a psychological boost from being around a like-minded community.
If you can't be in an environment of like-minded people, then use YouTube, books, and other external sources to inspire you into action.
2. Play some music
Music is much more than just a collection of pleasurable beats. Music can serve as an ergogenic aid (i.e. a performance enhancement) to athletes and individuals getting ready to exercise (and there's no penalty for this enhancement!).
When I started exercising, music was critical because it allowed me to block out the discomfort from exercising.
Music changes your physiology through regulating your arousal and mood, achieving self-awareness, and as an expression of social relatedness. This triggers positive body language which helps in multiple facets of your life ranging from relationships to delivering key presentations as it helps reduce anxiety while boosting your confidence.
3. Leverage social accountability
In the 1950s, the Hawthorne Effect (or the Observer Effect) was described in terms that people work harder and perform better when they are participants in an experiment. Another way to look at this is to think that individuals change their behavior when someone is watching them.
I wanted to write a book for years, but only when I made a declaration and told close friends did it finally happen. I've witnessed numerous people desire to lose weight, but only once they shared this with others and found someone to hold them to their declaration did they finally achieve their goal.
When looking for motivation, recruit peers, friends, or make a public declaration of your intent.