How can I motivate myself to work hard? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answer by Matthew Jones, Life Coach & Personal Growth Expert, on Quora:

Motivation is great when you have it. Life becomes difficult when you lack the drive needed to perform a wide range of tasks. While some individuals lack the motivation to get out of bed in the morning, many others lack the inspiration to achieve their goals. They feel stuck, powerless, and know they could do better, but for some reason find themselves lacking the passion needed to pursue their aspirations.

Motivation is necessary for success. Whether you're focused on obtaining high grades in graduate school or building a company from the ground up, motivation is what drives and pushes you through the tough times ahead. For many of these people who have basic motivation, but lack the extra boost needed to achieve their potential, there are several ways to unleash their inner power.

Here's how to motivate yourself to work hard:

1. Think big. Take a step back and contemplate the big picture. In the grand scheme of things, you're one ant in a planet-sized anthill. Your problems, your difficulties, your limitations are tiny pebbles that feel like boulders from your limited perspective. When you view the obstacles to your success from a larger point of view, you notice that they aren't insurmountable. In fact, you're better off than most of the other ants. Appreciate your privilege to live each day with the opportunity to achieve your potential. Stop complaining and start reframing.

2. Think deep. There's no escaping your own mortality. What's your meaning and purpose in life? If you align yourself with these questions, then you should feel the motivation flowing through your veins. When you believe in what you're doing, you have a tsunami of enthusiasm to achieve your vision prior to your exit. Your time spent on this earth is limited and unknowable. Stop taking each day for granted--it removes your focus from what actually matters. Appreciate each moment as a unique opportunity to grow and improve yourself while striving to create your masterpiece.

3. Think simple. If you put in consistent work in an area of your life, you'll see progress. When you tend your garden, all you need is the appropriate amount of sunlight, water, and soil. Consistently apply the correct dosage of those three things and your plant will grow. Much in the same way, the turtle wins the race. Life isn't about putting in a lot of effort and then stopping--the people that get results are the ones who grind on a consistent basis for years at a time. Effort + Consistency = Results.

4. Focus on the process. Sometimes you find more motivation when you stop focusing on the final destination and start enjoying the journey. Paying too much attention to the end goal produces stress and anxiety that wears you down with time, but when you fall in love with the process itself, you become revitalized.

5. Eye the destination. While enjoying the journey, check in with your long-term goals. Take time to celebrate as you approach smaller, more achievable goals along the way. It's important to recognize your progress, no matter how small, as they are the stepping stones to the destination. When you're driving it's important to be aware of what's going on around you, but it's also important to know where you're headed.

6. Exercise, diet, and sleep. Take care of your physical wellbeing. Many medical issues and low motivation can be avoided when you focus on maintaining consistent exercise, diet, and sleep patterns, which regulate physical and mental energy levels throughout each day. Take care of your body so it can fuel you towards your dreams.

7. Connect to your emotions. Mental wellbeing is also important to your level of motivation. Often times people struggling with motivation have other stressors that are occupying mental energy. This energy that's tied up in emotional processes can be released through consistent psychotherapy, which is like adding fertilizer to your personal growth. As you process your feelings, you release tension and free up your mind for better focus, concentration, and inspiration.

8. Get extra credit. Rather than stopping at the bare minimum, push yourself to go above and beyond expectations. Seek out additional learning opportunities to continue growing as a person and professional. When you go the extra mile each day it forces you to stay motivated, and this becomes your new baseline of productivity. Find relationships with mentors, develop side projects, and learn everything you can on the internet, because extra credit is often the difference between mediocrity and excellence.

Motivation is a lot like happiness; when you look for it as something outside of yourself, it dissipates. However, when you realize that motivation, like happiness, is a state that's always available to you, there's no reason to feel unmotivated. If you address the way you think about yourself and the world, prioritize your mental and physical health, and seek extra credit, you'll live in a state of constant motivation. Take responsibility for your quality of life--fuel yourself to chase your dreams and achieve your potential.

This question originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. More questions: