Motivation is important. Most successful people have the drive necessary to continue their journey of self-growth. However, even the most achievement-oriented people come to a point when their motivation levels are depleted.
In order to sustain high levels of motivation for long periods of time, one first has to understand the nature of motivation.
The Nature of Motivation
The best source of motivation is intrinsic, meaning that it comes from within oneself. If you're constantly looking for your employer to threaten your job security as a way to create motivation, you're putting your wellbeing at risk.
However, if you're driven by your own desire to provide for yourself and others, your fate is less determined by the social structures and organizations that hold power.
When you master your level of motivation, you hold the key that unlocks the door to peak performance, maximum productivity, and success.
While intrinsic motivation is the ultimate source passion, it tends to wax and wane over time. So if you want maximum productivity, peak performance, and a sense of wellbeing, you need to create a system that supports intrinsic motivation.
Here are three simple ways to create an environment that increases and sustains motivation:
1. Prioritize physical health.
Physical health and safety is the foundation to wellbeing.
In the US, many people live in their minds and are disconnected from their bodies. We tend to overindulge ourselves with tasty foods and drinks as a way to fill emotional needs, which often deplete our energy levels and fail to address our feelings.
If you want to get serious about improving and sustaining motivation, then you need to start by improve your physical health.
- Set a sleep and wake schedule. Go to bed and wake up around the same times each day to synchronize your circadian rhythms. Once your body gets used to this pattern, these biorhythms will naturally increase energy levels throughout the day. When you have high energy, you can direct it where you please.
- Stay hydrated. Dehydration can create headaches and muscle cramping, and often leads to overeating. The more you can support your body with a steady stream of water, the better you'll feel, and the more productive you'll become.
- Eat nutritious meals. Cut down on the number of meals you eat at restaurants and start taking the time to bring healthy, home cooked meals with you to work. When start eating more protein and vegetables and less sugar-filled carbohydrates, your body will feel lighter and healthier.
- Exercise. This may sound counterintuitive, but even after a long day at work, exercising for as little as 30 minutes will actually increase your energy levels. Your body will adapt to higher energy output and then create a surplus of motivation for you to continue exploring your passions and enjoying life outside of the office.
2. Stimulate and expand your cognitive abilities.
The majority of people become lazy and complacent. It's much easier to get home from work and stare at your iPhone during TV commercials than it is to turn of the television, put your phone in your pocket, and read a challenging book.
However, if you want to make improvements in your life, exercising your mind is a necessity.
- Read on a consistent basis. There's no shortcut--the most well-rounded and intelligent people read books. Pick a subject of interest and then take the literary plunge! Reading will improve your vocabulary and your ability to think--both of which will enhance all areas of your life, including your motivation and work performance.
- Take advantage of the internet. I know cat videos are cute, but they're not doing anything for your cognitive stimulation. There's so much quality information online that you can teach yourself just about anything. Pick an interest, set a goal, then continue watching videos and reading articles on that subject. Engaging in critical thinking and expanding your knowledge base will give you an edge up on the competition and keep your mind sharp.
3. Schedule activities to support emotional regulation.
So often we ignore or minimize our emotional wellbeing. As a country, we work longer than many other developed nations, which diminishes the amount of time we spend taking care of ourselves.
Blurring the line between work and play has a negative impact on our mental and emotional health, leading to decreased productivity and motivation. Because you as an individual cannot change the socioeconomic setup, you need to schedule self-care activities.
- Start a new hobby. Think about actives you enjoyed earlier in life that you had to relinquish due to the demands of being a responsible adult. Whether it's playing an instrument, painting, sports, hiking, writing, or playing board games, make time for yourself to do something for fun. Engaging in creative activities supports emotional wellbeing and can help re-energize your depleted levels of motivation.
- Meditate on a consistent basis. If you want a hobby that costs nothing and will have an immediate positive impact, try meditation. Sitting in silence or using guided meditations each day will help you get in tune with your thoughts, feelings, and the present moment, leading to greater motivation, productivity, and performance.
- Speak to a professional. Denying and suppressing feelings wastes valuable energy that could be allocated to motivation and performance. The most successful individuals, the ones who achieve both materialistic and intrinsic success, are the ones who are self-aware. If you want to increase emotional intelligence and authenticity, both of which will fuel your motivation and ability to succeed, then speak to a life coach or therapist.
Don't be complacent. You have what it takes to live a successful and fulfilling life.
Continue pushing yourself to create an environment that supports and enhances your intrinsic motivation so that you can achieve your dreams.
Recognize the importance of physical, mental, and emotional health so that you can live a holistic life full of gratitude, peak performance, and maximum productivity.