Sometimes we get to a point where you’d say to yourself: I’m so tired, I can’t do it anymore. See, I believe that self-motivation is one of the hardest things to master. I’d like to think it’s a skill you have to learn and condition – just like a muscle. I’d like to lay out five ideas to help you get through when you think you want to give up.
The goal must be very clear
- Always start with the end in mind and focus on that.
- Make it attainable
- It’s okay to pause and recalibrate
Being “inspired” can work to a certain extent but I do find that it doesn’t stick long-term. I’ve read from somewhere that “inspiration is for amateurs.” Yes, I see you and your tired eyes everyday. We all know it’s hard, but what are you fighting for? Why are you here? Every person is different. Therefore, comparing yourself with another is pointless. You have different goals. Once you understand this, you have to focus on what’s important for yourself. It’s not a question of who has more. Resources (time, money, effort, talent) are never a problem when you have a clear vision.
Rituals are habit-forming.
- Use rituals to reinforce good habits.
- Condition yourself
You are what you consistently do; and what you allow is up to you! Change may not come in overnight but you have to set a standard for yourself in order to function the way you imagine yourself to be. Now that you have a goal in mind, be conscious of your actions. Does it go with your vision? Reward yourself for a job well done.
Two rituals that I do (and I love reading those lists of things successful people do, etc.) is that I take a bath to start the day and take a shower at night to wash off the day. I use it as a signal that I need to function after my bath and at night, I use it to start decompressing/ relaxing. I use these habits to plant it in my mind that once I do this, I need to do that. I also drink tea to plan out my day, I believe it helps me think. I drink my coffee+milo combo to boost my energy level mid-day. We create our own mythologies – use it to your advantage!
Accept that mistakes are a part of learning
- People on top tend to have made more mistakes and they get better at failing every single time. When I say “get better at failing,” it simply means that they learn how to do things better the next time.
- Everybody has to start from somewhere.
No one is a finished product because you’re a work in progress. Nothing is ever absolute and it’s all about framing situations. You need to look at things differently; so you won’t dwell on the negatives in life. Even if you love what you’re doing, you’ll end up making mistakes along the way.
Look at things from a learner’s perspective
- Variety is good. You don’t have to drown yourself with architecture (or whatever it is you’re doing) all the time. Remember: art inspires each other and your passions make you a better professional.
- Nothing is ever irrelevant.
- Open your mind to possibilities
I just love to learn. That’s kind of the way I’m wired and I have to tell you that I wasn’t like this when I was in highschool or college. Now that I see that everything can be a source of inspiration, I appreciate everyday encounters. The people you meet may share something invaluable and it can help you eventually. I imagine that there are these compartments in my head waiting to be used for the right moment.
I always have a little notebook with me wherever I go when I’m offline. I bring my iPad everywhere and type anything I’ve read and made sure it’s ready for citation. I always sync my Evernote from my iPad and I didn’t really intend on seeing these books. I just kept on reading and taking down information that became my thesis!
There is nothing impossible.
- You set your own limitations
- Do the work. There are no shortcuts to success.
- Ask for help when you need it or learn to delegate
Luck, as they say, is preparation plus opportunity. When you set attainable goals, the more you achieve, the more habit-forming it becomes. Be a goal-digger. Do the work because ideas are only powerful once you act on it. You set your own limits! Prepare well and be healthy. Make sure you work in a sustainable way; so that you can keep on doing what you’re doing. The bigger your idea, the more you should hustle. Learn to delegate once it gets too big. Surround yourself with people who believe in what you believe.
I sure hope it snowballs into something epic! You’re holding the pen that will write your own story. Take control of your life. You have to live with yourself everyday, learn to love the way you work. Do something your future self will thank you for :) Let’s do this!
Don’t ever think that you’re in this alone.