It can be tough to drag yourself out of bed in the morning.
Most of us know what we have to do but, for some reason, we aren't able to lock in and focus. We have people counting on us, bills to pay, and a lifestyle to keep up–you'd think this would kick us into action. But there are times when our motivation is low anyways, and we resist taking action. We need to find a way to push through and get things done.
The solution is to dig deep and learn the art of self-motivation.
The Power of Self-Motivation: Selling Yourself On Your Goals
“Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather must recognize that it is he who is asked. In a word, each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible.” ― Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning
Motivation is a tricky thing.
Experts and gurus refer to it as a fleeting experience. Its inspiration randomly dawns on us and, although we welcome it with open arms, we shouldn’t rely on it. It’s said to be out of our control and we’re told to discipline ourselves instead.
But what if motivation is a skill you can cultivate? To answer this question, let’s travel back to the 1940s.
Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl was imprisoned in the nazi concentration camps.
He suffered more than any of us can comprehend. He was taken from his family, starved, and had to watch his friends and fellow prisoners die. He had no control over the external environment and didn’t know if he would make it out alive. But despite all of this, he found a way to persist when others around him grew apathetic and gave up.
His story is one of the most powerful examples of self-motivation in history.
You see, Frankl was forced to find meaning in his suffering. He found the motivation and will to carry on— for instance, he’d imagine a future scenario where he’s teaching students about what he learned through his experiences. He continuously dug deep and found the motivation to survive.
Later in life, he would develop his own psychological framework known as logotherapy.
Logotherapy is a form of existential analysis that focuses on finding meaning in life. And it’s based on the belief that, through finding a purpose, we’ll have the motivation to carry on (even in the most difficult circumstances).
In other words, it’s our “why” that gives us the strength and motivation to take action. Most of us won’t have to go through the extreme conditions that Frankl suffered through, but we can borrow this framework for our goals and daily objectives.
Motivation doesn’t mean you’re always divinely inspired, or even happy to take action.
It just means that we’ve sold ourselves on our goals. We believe that what we’re doing is worthy of our time and effort. And the more compelling our purpose, the more committed we’ll be to take action towards it.
Have you sold yourself on your goals?