What I have come to appreciate over the years is that achieving real success is akin to a contact sport. It comes only to those who earn it. You don’t win a title match simply because you’re popular; you win because you trained harder, took a few across the chin, lost a couple of rounds, planned strategically, kept getting back up every time you fell and kept swinging until you finally knocked the other guy out cold. You earned it; you brought your A-Game; you kept your focus on winning, and stayed helluva motivated. Like a title match, so is the game of life.
From dreams to reality
Charles de Gaulle said that in order to become good at anything, the only talent you need is motivation. Without motivation, most dreams remain just that, dreams. The sort of motivation that achieves goals does not come in short spurts that die out at the first sign of a setback; instead the sort of motivation that turns dreams into reality is the die-hard type of motivation that is persistent and dogged. It is the type of motivation that separates successes from failures and winners from quitters.
Visualise your future
You will find 99,99% of the time that highly successful people are highly motivated. Successful people maintain their high levels of motivation in a number of ways:
First, they begin with the end in mind. Having a clear idea of their goals and objectives keeps them highly motivated. They always seem to know where they are going, what they want to achieve and they describe their goals in striking detail. The simple reason for this is that they have visualised their goal so often in their minds that their subconscious mind increasingly accepts the goal as being achievable; thus further motivating them. As Napoleon Hill put it, “There is no hope of success for the person who does not have a central purpose, or definite goal at which to aim.”
Second, greatly motivated people have a high degree of self-belief and a ‘solution-focused’ mind-set. Like everyone else, they too experience fears and self-limiting thoughts, however, they have learnt to face and overcome these toxic emotions and focus on the solution. By placing far more focus on the peak performance that created their past successes and accomplishments, the limiting beliefs dissipate and their confidence levels elevate. Belief creates passion and passion in turn drives motivation.
Leave little to chance
Finally, highly motivated people plan strategically by identifying the action steps and milestones that will lead up to the ultimate goal. They leave little to chance , knowing that nothing happens without a plan. Planning strategically achieves four outcomes — first, by having milestones, the goal becomes far more manageable, thus increasing the level of commitment; second, having a plan makes it easier to identify potential challenges as well as the necessary skills and resources needed to proceed to the next milestone; third, having a plan introduces a higher level of certainty as less is left to chance, and they know how to proceed every step of the way en route to their goal.
Finally, having a plan allows them to measure progress and this motivates them to keep going even when challenges arise.
To maintain the high motivation levels needed for success, you must focus fiercely on your goal, believe in yourself, refuse to stay down, have a solution-focused mind-set and have a plan. Remember, success is a contact sport — you have to earn it.