Have you ever been inspired by someone else’s action or what they have done? Have they motivated you to take action? So what is happening here? Simply, someone has moved you to take action. You say, “This article, this movie, or this person has moved me,” or “has inspired me.” So what do you do? You make a concerted effort for a short period of time to be like that person you read about or saw in a movie or met in real life. But alas the motivation and inspiration doesn’t last. Why?
Because it is really something that comes from outside of you rather than inside of you. Your inspiration is ‘out there’ so to speak and not ‘grounded’ in you. Only when you inspire yourself because of what you do will motivation stick, and if you continue to act out the behavior you will gain traction or momentum to continue the behavior.
Let’s take a look at an example. You have just read an article about the importance of walking and the health benefits you would receive if you walked a minimum of ten minutes a day. You're inspired! You begin day one and two with enthusiasm and then by day five you start to wane. You start saying to yourself, “Maybe I don’t have to walk every day. Maybe just every other day, maybe just once a week.” Soon your back to not walking. Sound familiar?
One way to stop ‘giving up’ is to take a different approach such as, “It’s important for me to walk 10 minutes a day, not because someone said so, but because it is healthy for me. I am responsible for my own health and walking will help me lose weight, strengthen my muscles, make me feel better, help me sleep better and so on.” This is not something someone else is telling you. You are telling this to you. You have now taken the first step, pardon the pun, to realizing your goal of walking 10 minutes a day.
Once you commit to walking daily for a minimum of ten days without missing a day and you do it, you are now actually beginning to reinforce your behaviour and sticking with your plan. It is this stick-to-it process that is hardest for most people – but if you want your walking goal to succeed you must do it at a minimum for ten days (and even longer for some of us, as it takes about three weeks to change some of our behaviors).
Now you are entering the realm of momentum. You are beginning to achieve something for yourself. You are inspired and motivated from within - it is you motivating and inspiring yourself not someone or something outside of you. You now want to keep walking because you have done something to reinforce a more healthful habit. Not only that you are beginning to see the results of your efforts. So It is not the effort of others that inspires it is your own efforts and results that inspire.
Let’s look at this momentum thing from a different perspective. Every time you break a promise to yourself it usually bothers you. It’s there in the back of your mind and after a while you start doubting yourself and wondering if you can achieve your goals. And if you do this often you let yourself down and your confidence about achieving goals is lessened.
Here’s the key, when you keep your promise to yourself you strengthen your self-respect and build your confidence and every day that you take action you are gaining momentum.
As you strengthen your momentum, you are strengthening your stamina for what you are doing and from that point on it is matter of reinforcing your activity and improving it. As time passes you will find you have improved and your results will continue to inspire you to continue to achieve more. Your motivation is now driving you from within. And this is the motivation that counts.
You no longer need someone to motivate you. You are using your own progress and achievements and you are inspiring yourself in the process. You have now set a new pattern of behavior, and once that pattern has set you have taken on a new habit.
Now let’s take this scenario and put it into the context of busy people. Busy people can easily be juggling many roles in life, such as a parent, a career, and managing side hustles. Added to their roles they have the pressures from having enough money to pay the bills, maintaining healthy work relationships and the anxieties of everyday living.
What this busy person requires is self-commitment – a commitment to apply the new habit coupled with self-discipline and a continued emphasis on the desired outcome.
Isn’t this true with whatever we do in life? We need to commit and move forward. It is less about making comparisons with others and more about doing what is necessary on a daily basis for ourselves until we achieve the necessary momentum to make the difference. Once we have that in place it becomes a matter of improving the behavior so that we end up becoming a better version of ourselves. With each improvement we become more satisfied in mind, body and spirit.
In conclusion, become responsible and accountable for driving your own inspiration and motivation and clothe yourself with the discipline to make it happen. By acting in this way you will be gaining momentum in all that you do.
As always folks take care, keep safe and continue becoming the best version of yourself.