There is nothing more powerful than intrinsic motivation. Once you determine who you want to be, what you want to do, what things you would like to have in your life, and what you are here to contribute, you will never need an external source of motivation. The following four imperatives provide all the motivation necessary for you to reach your goals and build your dreams.
Be More (The Growth Imperative)
One of the most important beliefs you might adopt for yourself is that you are pure potential: you can be more than you are now. The motivation to be more is what drives you to grow, to become, and to transform yourself into the person that comes after the person that you are now.
There will be many challenges in this growth. First, you live in a culture that mostly assumes that your parents and the education system do the work of developing you, even though nothing can be further from the truth. Second, when you are doing as well as those around you—or a little bit better—it is easy to believe you are doing well. No matter how well you keep up with the Joneses, there is no chance that you have reached your full potential.
You should always be a work in progress, always becoming. This growth imperative should motivate you to continually work to become a better version of yourself. Version 2.0 is always locked inside of you, waiting for you to exert the effort to level up. If you are not getting better, you are wasting the gift that is your full potential.
Do More (The Action Imperative)
Action stacks with growth: one reason to become more than you are is to gain the ability to do more. The kind of person who can do what you want to do didn’t get there overnight. The results most people want are on the other side of being and doing more.
No matter what it is you want to do, if other human beings have done it, you too are capable of doing it, even if it takes a lot of growth first. One of the ways you grow in your abilities is by taking action. You cannot produce results by dreaming about them, talking about them, or wishing an opportunity would fall in your lap. In a universe that generally requires causes to create effects, you are wise to work on the causes—the inputs that allow your outputs.
Have More (The Results Imperative)
Expressing a desire to have more is often countercultural, especially when it comes to financial wealth and material things. There is nothing wrong with having more, especially since many non-materialistic things are far more valuable than money.
So far, you’ve become more and you are doing more. Only one plan for creating more and getting better results has worked at all times and in all places: developing and maintaining the uncelebrated discipline it takes to do the work. Money follows disciplined effort, as do all the things that money can buy. But there’s a greater prize: the freedom to make choices with few or no real limitations. Having “more” extends to things like time with your family and friends, or time to spend doing other things that feed your soul.
Contribute More (The Contribution Imperative)
When you create abundance, you increase your ability to share more of yourself and more of the things that serve others. Really impactful giving often requires abundance, a surplus that allows generosity. Your motivation can compel you to contribute and make a positive difference in the world.
Even when you have not yet manifested “Future You,” you can still make a contribution, albeit on a smaller scale than you’d like. And by giving to others, you also give back to yourself: generosity will have a positive effect on who you become, preparing you to restart the motivational wave all over again.
All four of these motivations create an upward spiral of positive results. As you move up a level, you get a better view of the level above you. The higher you climb, the more you can see, in this case, how much more is available to you as you become more, do more, have more, and contribute more.
The four motivations listed here provide a lifetime of incentive and inspiration for those who are willing to recognize that they have greater potential, greater results, greater abundance, and a greater contribution to make with their time and energy. If you lack intrinsic motivation, look inside yourself for the permission to succeed, the kind that only you can provide yourself. There is no reason to look outside for motivation; it is already inside you, even if it is dormant right now.
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