Without motivation in life, it’s hard to strive for success and achieve true happiness.
As psychologist Tal Ben-Shahar, PhD, explains in his book Happier, happiness is the ‘highest on the hierarchy of goals, the end toward which all other ends lead…’.
Without motivation, you can’t achieve anything. There are no goal posts to aim for and no purpose to strive towards.
So, to help you reach your goal of self-love and satisfaction, we’ve listed the reasons why motivation is vital for success, and how you can achieve eternal happiness.
Motivation increases energy levels.
Lets start off with some of the super cool sciencey stuff. When we are highly motivated our brains release dopamine. Dopamine is most commonly assicoated with pleasure, but it actually has a wide impact on many different parts of our brain.
Dopamine levels are now believed to be strongly linked with motivation. Interestingly, one behavioral neuroscientist discovered that rats with lower dopamine levels weren’t willing to climb a small fence to get to a larger pile of food, compared to rats with higher levels of the hormone.
After the rat study, a team of Vanderbilt scientists found that dopamine has a strong impact on your willingness to work. To come to this conclusion, they used brain-mapping technology to analyze the brain patterns of “go-getters” who were willing to work hard for rewards and “slackers” who weren’t.
The team found that the “go-getters” had higher levels of dopamine in the reward and motivation portions of the brain. While the “slackers,” on the other hand, had a higher level of dopamine in the area of the brain associated with emotion and risk.
So how does that relate to our energy levels?
Dopamine is now seen as a core neurotransmitter to address symptoms such as the lack of energy that occurs in diseases such as depression. “Depressed people do not feel like doing anything and that’s because of low dopamine levels,” explains researchers.
Lack of energy and motivation is also related to other syndromes with mental fatigue such as Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis or fibromyalgia, among others.
Motivation increase specific goal identification.
We all have some vague goals far off in the depths of our dreams. But when our motivation increase we strive to take action to reach those goals.
Lets say my dream goal is to be a NASCAR Racer…(I have no idea about anything NASCAR..ha).
Anyway, to get started towards that big goal I need to break it down into smaller goals.
So, first I need to renew my drivers license. This is now my first goal.
Then, maybe I start researching local car races and attend some races. There is goal two and three…
Specific ATTAINABLE goal identification.
Motivations forces you to prioritize.
As much as we would like to believe we can “do it all” there is only so much time in the day and only so many things we can focus on at once. Realize that your time and energy are just as valuable at the paycheck that you are working so hard for. Time and energy are limited resources.
With our goals in mind, motivation helps us set priorities in our lives. Motivation helps you to focus and make a commitment to seeing your goal accomplished.
Motivation build self confidence.
Through all the science stuff behind our motivations, increased self confidence is a byproduct of the action taken.
When you’ve overcome failure and fear, you have a sense of accomplishment and this builds an inner confidence to keep crushing new goals.
On the other hand, people that lack confidence are generally unmotivated and scared to move out of their comfort zone and try something new. However, if you don’t take risks, you’ll have a limited chance of success.
Motivation crushes feeling of fear or doubt.
Our fear of failure can be a major factor in procrastination, and can prevent us from taking any action at all.
Motivation kicks fear in the ass and tells you, “no matter how scary it is I’m going to do it anyway“.
Motivation lets people see beyond their fear and visualize the outcome.
Motivation perseveres through failures.
Our buddy Winston Churchill had some great insight about this one.
“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity. An optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”Winston Churchill
Motivation helps you strive through setbacks, trials and fears. Thomas Edison is known for the invention of the light bulb and is noted for this quote,
‘I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.’
The famous inventor also inspired this thought, ‘Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.’ Motivation will teach you to persevere when reality tells you to give up.
Motivation makes you take action.
When you are feeling lazy and unmotivated you are most likly about as active as a napping sloth.
If I could make a living impersonating a napping sloth I would be the first in line for an interview.. I have been practicing my napping skills.
But unfortunately, the world does not employ many napping sloth impersonators where we live so we have to rely on our own motivation to get ourselves off the couch every day.
When we are motivated, we feel driven and we want to take massive actions. It increases our effort and at the end of the day, we will discover that we took more action during days when we are motivated than days when we are not.
Motivation attracts like minded individuals.
If you are feeling lazy and your friend walk in wanting to go for a run with you, you will probably look at them like they are crazy.
At the same time, their positive energy can be alluring and inspiring. Positivitiy and high motivation has a way of drawing in people with those some energy and motivation levels.
People that cant cut the mustard will fall to the wayside.
Motivation increases your productivity.
Once you get moving, your motivation boosts your productivity. Motivation not just makes you work harder, but faster as well.
And because you are in a motivated state, you then to be able to get into the “flow state” easier. Once you have reached the flow state, you are able to perform better and complete more than when you don’t.
Motivation lets you shoot for the stars.
When things are going well in life, it is pretty easy to just keep chugging away. But when things get rough, we need motivation to help pull us though the mud.
When we are trying our hardest and things still don’t work out… that is when we need to embrace our core motivations the most. These setbacks make us doubt whether our goal is worth the effort, but motivation steps in and gives us the strength and courage to try again.
Motivation builds habits.
You cannot change your habits or develop new ones with motivation to drive us. Especially in the beginning, you need increased motivation to build new habits. Once the action becomes a habit, it will require less energy to complete the action.
Think about having a goal of getting up at 5 AM every day.
It is extremely difficult in the beginning because you are not used to doing these things. If you used to wake up at 730AM every day and now you want to make it a habit to get up at 5AM, it requires a lot of motivation in the beginning.
You will feel tired and have to drag yourself out of bed. However, as you make progress and as you train your body to get used to this new habit, eventually, you will require less effort to get up at 5AM.
This is why motivation is still important when it comes to building habits.
Motivation increases enjoyment.
When you are unmotivated things are boring. It is the motivation behind that action that adds the spice and fun to it.
Lets think about cooking for a second.
If it is something you enjoy and it feeds your soul as well as our body, then it is your inner motivation that allows you to enjoy cooking. Motivation makes the process fun. It makes the hard things look easy to achieve and more importantly, it gives you the sense of fulfillment as you work on the task.
Motivation inspires others.
We have all heard that laughing is contagious, but did you realize that motivation is as well? When we are around someone who is highly motivated and positive we want to exude that same positive energy. No one likes to be the “Debbie Downer” of the room.
Just as we can feed off of other peoples energy, others can feed off of our energy.
Staying motivated and positive as much as possible can inspire others to do the same. It can positively influence people around you, including your spouse, your children, partners, co-workers, friends, and who couldn’t use more positivity in their life?…
Motivation makes it possible to accomplish your goals.
You need the motivation to take action and get things done.
You need the motivation to go through tough times.
And of course, motivation gets you to your goals and helps you live your dreams.
Without motivation, we aren’t going to accomplish much. It is our motivation that boosts our drive to take action towards achieving our goals.
Motivation snowballs after goal achievement.
I mentioned the “flow state” previously but this sort of leaps off that theory. Once we are crushing our smaller goals, that becomes an additional motivator and makes us contiune to set bigger goals and crush those as well.
Motivation is like a snowball rolling down the hill, once you get it started, eventually it will get bigger than you are!