It’s so easy for all of us to ‘lose our motivation’ at times. Sometimes this lull lasts for a few days, but typically it lasts for much longer than we want and it starts to become part of us, like a burden we carry. There may have been some trigger to that motivation slipping away — an event, a deemed ‘failure’, or simple (but oh so powerful) fear that stops us from taking action. We start to tell ourselves a story that we are “so unmotivated”, “I just can’t get motivated”, “I can’t seem to find my motivation anymore”. Which of course, does not really inspire you to take positive action.

Fear not, my friend. There is a better strategy to find that motivation, and more precisely, to discover your ultimate motivation.

There are four dimensions to motivation as illustrated in the graphic on the right. Let me explain.

4 dimensions of motivation

External motivation comes from things or people outside of you, such as your family, your boss, and the economy. Are you going through med school because your parents want you to be a doctor? Are you motivated to save money because there is a recession?

Internal motivation comes from within you, when you are inspired to do what you want to do and go after things that are important to you. You exercise because it makes you feel healthy and vibrant, you apply for that job because you like the challenge and growth opportunities.

Push motivation is often doing things because you have to, and if you don’t you’re likely to feel some sort of pain. You stop smoking because your doctor says you’re lungs will stop working, you work extra hours because your boss needs that report done. It’s as if someone (likely yourself) is pushing you from behind. Think of your daily To-Do list! Most of that is likely a ‘push’ to get stuff done.

Pull motivation is usually from doing things because you not only want to but also because you are inspired to. You are literally pulled into that compelling future, like a magnet drawing you towards a really exciting experience, result or achievement. Think about your bigger aspirations like having a beautiful family life, or traveling to new countries to explore and learn about different cultures.

Ok, I get it Chris, so what’s the secret for my ultimate motivation?! (I hear you say…)

Well, we all are influenced by those four dimensions but genuine, heartfelt, from-the-gut, powerful, inspirational, and lasting motivation will always come from the Internal-Pull quadrant of motivation. When you can generate a vision for what you want in your future – be it related to your health, relationships, financial, career, spirituality, or any big or small aspect of your life – you will find motivation to take action comes swiftly and effortlessly. And THAT is the Ultimate Motivation. The other quadrants will happen as a fact of life. But if you want to grab hold of your life and create the life you’ve always wanted, you have to focus on the Internal-Pull type of motivation with a compelling vision and plan, and stop waiting for someone else to poke you into action.

Ok, I get it Chris, sounds exciting! But how do I do that?! (I hope you say…)

You don’t have to DO anything differently, you just need to THINK differently about the situation. Ask yourself these simple questions and through those answers you can uncover a deeper, more meaningful, longer lasting and inspiring motivation to keep you marching forward towards your dreams.

  • What good feelings, outcomes, results will I gain from this situation/experience?
  • What bad feelings, thoughts, outcomes will I eliminate from this situation/experience and what will benefits will that bring to my life?

Write down your answers (don’t just think them). Read them out loud daily with full emotion and passion and soon you’ll find you are automatically taking the actions you need to stay on track and inspired.

Leave us a comment and let us know how this works for you.