There are a number of threads on here where people are looking for tips for motivation. I have struggled with finding the drive/motivation to do things that I want in my life. I wanted to be fit, but didn’t exercise, still smoked, and didn’t eat as well as I should. Well, I have finally found the motivation! One might say that my vision to be fit has lead me to doing something about it, but it sure didn’t seem like it. For 25 years I had the same thoughts, “I need to get in shape”, “I need to quit smoking”, yet did little about it. Then I had a vision of what I wanted to do and it requires that I be fit, and spend my free time acquiring new skills and honing old ones. So all of a sudden I have these conflicting interests. My lack of fitness and my smoking were in direct conflict with my goals, as was pissing it up on the weekends. So therein I found the motivation.
So to me motivation isn’t something you find, it is merely a product of having a vision. How do you develop a vision? You can develop a vision outside of the context of knowing yourself, but chances are your life will be unfulfilling. For example there are lots of unhappy rich people out there. They had the vision and the consequent motivation to make money, and they did, but it wasn’t what they needed.
I think it takes time. It requires that you get to know yourself and what you like. That usually requires having tried many different things. It requires shedding a lot of baggage that has been heaped on your shoulders by peers and popular media.
Getting to know yourself isn’t all that easy. I would guess that most people are on this discussion board for that purpose, to get a handle on who they are, and so know what I mean.
So your vision should be to set short term goals that enable self awareness and that enable mobility and options (=money). They can be longer term goals, but you have to be willing to let those go as things change in your life. Your vision will reveal itself. It’s not something you can conjure up. You will likely spend many years feeling unfulfilled doubting that you will ever find that vision, shifting from one shitty job to the next, and padding your life with all the non-necessities, but I think that’s just the way it goes. It doesn’t really matter what you are doing as long as you keep your eye on the ball. The ball being fulfillment. It takes time. Be patient, get out into the world, discover things, discover yourself and your vision will come.
Fulfillment requires that you see great things of yourself, great accomplishments. Put yourself up there with the great people of the world, because the only difference between you and them is that they found their vision.
Try to focus on the basics too. Remember that all you really need to survive is family and friends, health, water, food, and shelter. Try not get caught up in the world of needs beyond the basics, and try not to get into financial debt, it is a mobility killer.
Welcome change and embrace adversity, it will change the way you think and make you realize more what you are capable of.
Read, write, draw, paint, sing, carve, play and get rid of your television. Don’t buy lottery tickets.
It’s great to have the reminder of what many people on here see as a fulfilling life. Could always use it to keep your head on tight.
And you’re right, vision of your success is the key to success considering you otherwise wouldn’t know what you would be working towards. All law of attraction.
Also, lottery tickets are taxes on people who are bad at math.
“So to me motivation isn’t something you find, it is merely a product of having a vision. How do you develop a vision?…I think it takes time. It requires that you get to know yourself and what you like. That usually requires having tried many different things. It requires shedding a lot of baggage that has been heaped on your shoulders by peers and popular media…Your vision will reveal itself. It’s not something you can conjure up… It doesn’t really matter what you are doing as long as you keep your eye on the ball. The ball being fulfillment. It takes time. Be patient, get out into the world, discover things, discover yourself and your vision will come.”
YES! FUCKING YES! FUCKING FUCKING YES YES!! (I shed some tears through this relatively short read.) Thank you for sharing this, from the bottom of my heart.
This is EXACTLY how it goes though, man! At least, for you and I. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe suggested that inspiration come only through isolation (away from others, media, etc.). Reflection is very helpful, but not necessarily necessary. Inspiration is the key ingredient though, in my estimation. It’s all about how much inspiration one requires in order to embark on the journey towards actualizing their dreams. This is why I listen to music so often; it puts me into a higher mood (a good thing), and the lines I hear strike me in such profound ways that I become a stronger through their infliction. (I listen almost exclusively to conscious/underground hip-hop.)
@dick, I have spent enough time alone with my thoughts, and have gathered enough inspiration to have my vision revealed to me! Within the next 12 months I will be authoring my first work, tentatively called, “Reflections at 20,” in which I chronicle my experiences and insights from my adolescence/teenage years. Now, this may sound monotonous, but I assure you, my (our?) demographic is in dire need of a voice bridging the gap between the social divisions created at this age. Our youth screams for a voice…it’s just an energy that flows like an undercurrent through people my age. Most are scared, deep-down; fearful for unnecessary reasons. I want to help them all through my words. I want to help others as much as possible.
Thanks again for sharing this profound wisdom.
@optimystic, I’m happy for you mate. I’m a bit jealous too, because I’m just getting out of the gate at 45. My vision is a path along which I will move toward my dream of fulfillment, not a dream unto itself. The inspiration came from writing about ‘things’, basically having conversations with myself, reviewing the bits and pieces of my life that fulfill me and from those pages came the vision. I was asking myself questions like; what would I do if I could do anything, where should I travel, what should I do when I get there? At the same time I was reading a biography of a 19th century explorer, linguist, botanist, a book on urban survival, and a book on fitness…
My vision is to travel globally learning, practicing and sharing survival skills. It ticks all the boxes for me. It provides me with challenges, opportunities to help people, new experiences, new skills, and new ways of thinking and seeing. I will journal my adventures and share my knowledge and experience. I will tax and improve my survival, writing, drawing, and photography skills. I will write songs and poems and learn new languages and customs. I will be firmly planted in nature, where I am most fulfilled. Survival goes well beyond shelter, food, fire, and water too, into the realms of disaster preparedness, self protection and awareness. Survival has a global context too. I want to help people survive!
In a way my vision is a just contextual framework for me to incorporate all of my key interests. As I walk the path I expect it will change to become more refined and focused or perhaps change completely, but I will always have my eye on the ball.
How to set a vision? VISUALIZE! Imagine. Get stoked about it. A vision isn’t enough though, you still gotta have the willpower to push through the challenges, because there are ALWAYS challengens and there NEVER will be a magic trick that can solve your problems for you. It’s all about pushing on, that’s what separates the successful from the “failures.” Not to mention that you’ll need motivation to even set a vision, you need to be able to motivate yourself without a vision in order to even create a vision.
I’m actually working on a big post about motivation, that will be on the front page soon. (And motivation is literally my business, so I know it’s good stuff.)
But for now, I’ll ctrl+V this stuff I wrote in another thread the other day.
If getting in a funk throws you off the horese, you DON’T have a decent amount of willpower.
There are two things you need to realize here:
1. Nothing is harder than you make it.
2. It’s all about choice. When you “slip out” it’s only because you chose to go back to your old habit instead of pushing on. Your homeostatic ego can’t make you do anything, it only gives suggestions, what you do with the suggestions is your own choice. Just because you “don’t feel like it” doesn’t mean you can’t do it.
That’s what it all comes down to. The only thing separating successful people from people who fail, is that they keep pushing instead of giving in to the bullshit. They don’t take days off, they don’t rest before they’re finished, they don’t let a bunch of other bullshit distract them, they don’t give themselves undeserved rewards, they don’t make excuses.
Don’t make excuses. All excuses are nonsense. Circumstances ain’t shit, there are no good or bad circumstances. And there are people who faced far “worse” circumstances than you and pulled through. “Circumstances don’t make a man, they only reveal him to himself.” More specifically, it reveals your willingness to put in some effort. And every form of “rational” justification of why you do not succeed IS an excuse, no matter what.
There are no magic tricks, no magic pills, nothing that makes it easier than it already is. The only thing it all boils down to is effort. Effort, effort, effort.
You gotta forget about instant gratification and focus on the damn results.
One thing you can do is keep track of your progress with a checklist. Just make a two-month checklist with all the new habits you want to form, put it somewhere where you can always see it, preferably so you have to look at it when you wake up and go to sleep. At the end of every day, you put a checkmark on the ones you completed, don’t cheat. At the end of each month, you calculate your results. If they were anything short of awesome, you START the fuck OVER. For every “perfect” week you give yourself a reward. For every really shitty week you lose a privilege.
You gotta learn how to motivate yourself. As long as you rely on motivation from outside, you’re doing it all wrong and will NEVER get far in any area of life. All champions are driven from within.
Oh and fuck the “but I’m tired” crap. Being tired is no excuse for giving up, you must not stop until you’re exhausted. “But I AM exhausted.” Are you? REALLY?
Can you stand up? Then you’re not exhausted, keep pushing. THROUGH the limit.
And here’s the funny thing. Once you “deplete” your willpower there’s another “tank” of it ready for use. Once you use that one up, there’s another, and another, and another. And they refill when you rest. If you don’t use up the first one or two “tanks” on a frequent basis, your mind stagnates and all kinds of rotten shit takes hold in it. You’re meant to push the limit frequently, that’s how you’re supposed to live, that’s what your body is made for and the only way you can lead a truly satisfying life.
As long as you still have the will to live, you have plenty of willpower left. USE IT!
In every single moment you have a choice. Be a winner, or be loser. Which do you choose?
Don’t be afraid of self-criticism. It’s crucial for high motivation. Even if a day off feels good for the moment, that doesn’t mean it will bring you lasting happiness, in fact it’s more likely to bring you long-term unhappiness. That’s why people fail, that’s why people live life and think they’re having fun but then they get old and look back and see nothing but regrets.
Living in the now is all fine and dandy, but you gotta look to the future as well, aim for lasting happiness rather than immediate stimulation. That doesn’t mean you’re not living in the moment, you’re still living in the moment while keeping your eye on the horizon.
Self criticism is sooo key to progress. A lot of people say it’s bad for you, and that you should always just accept your current form, but that’s really a load of bollocks. It’s so ridiculously off balance.
It’s the old concept of “mother energy” (self-acceptance/self-love) and “father energy” (self-criticism/self-pushing.) You need equal amounts of both, that’s balance.
A lot of people think keeping a low neutral level is balance, maybe it is, but it’s not functional. What produces lots of results (and good feelings and love of life) is HIGH levels of both.
Keeping that “narcissistic delusional” unconditional self-love while at the same time being critical of your every effort.
Notice I say critical of effort, all your self-criticism should be aimed at your efforts, never at your potential or your “soul.”
Most people do it completely wrong, they greatly overestimate their every effort and underestimate their potential something awful.
After all, that’s what society told you, that you have no potential. They said it to make you compliant to their suggestions, it’s not feeding YOUR dream, it’s feeding THEIR nasty dream.
Your potential is unlimited. When you truly, deeply, unshakably believe that your potential knows no limits (simply thinking the thought won’t help, you must get it hammered into the depths of your being, it must be your truth) you will always be motivated, life will be fun, and you will find it very difficult to waste time. You will always be self-propelled into action.
Couple this with self-love AKA high self esteem and confidence, and your efforts will be so much more inspired and powerful. Add that self criticism, and you will constantly find ways to make your efforts more effective and intelligent. You could incorporate other things like NLP triggers and visualization to make it even more efficient, to really shoot your motivation through the atmosphere.
I can’t stress the importance of this stuff enough. It’s pretty much the end-all solution to motivation, or so it seems.
Never beat yourself up about things, but never accept anything but your very best effort.
And remember, failure is an illusion. A failure is really just a lesson, you learn what doesn’t work. Success and failure are really just feedback on your actions. Real failure is only when you fuck up and lose the lesson. Not reaching the goal is not a failure unless you make it one, just get up and give it another try. Failure is an illusion, you can only learn and grow. You gotta accept defeat, but never let it discourage you, never give up, never back down. Lose your dependence on the outcome, stop giving a shit, but keep striving for what you want.
Life is too short to not enjoy what the world has to offer. Go show the world what you’re worth and take what is rightfully yours.
Have fun, be great!
@manimal, I agree with most of what you are saying, but for one thing. You suggest that one can conjure up or set a vision and that is not how I see it. What you seem to be talking about is realizing a vision or realizing goals. To me a vision is like a culmination of thoughts, it is the sudden amalgamation of puzzle pieces into a image. Once that happens then you need to just get on with making it happen, and you have captured that process nicely in your post.
I have had what I thought were visions in the past, but they were goals and I did achieve them by setting to. The difference was that the goals surficial, whereas the vision is from deep within. That’s why I say it takes time and experience, and exposure to the world and all it has to offer, like you have to collect enough puzzle pieces before you can start to see the picture. The problem is that we have lots of puzzle pieces, and knowing which ones to toss is a challenge. But we get better at it and over time almost all the pieces we have all fit the same puzzle, our puzzle. Put them together and voila, we have a vision.
@dick, It’s really the same concept. Whether you take charge and shape the vision, or just let it “come to you” over time, it’s really the same process. How deep something is in your mind, is really mostly about how “real and important” you consider it. You can burn something into the depths of your mind, or you can just let it build up over time. It’s the same process, but one method is faster and more under your control.
Input from your surroundings, and input from your thoughts, are basically the same to your subconscious mind. It doesn’t discriminate, info is info. Whether it’s from “out there” or “up in here” makes no difference to it.
Goals and values are shaped mostly by repetition.
Which puzzle piece to toss? Which one do you want to toss? Toss that one. Done deal. There really is no right or wrong piece to toss, you decide which one to toss and whichever one you toss is the right one.
It’s a circular thing. Vision leads to motivation, which leads to action, which leads to achievements, which leads to new visions, etc. Whatever direction to take it is 100% YOUR CHOICE.
A vision is just a vivid understanding/belief, you can create (or remove) them yourself, or you can let them generate and morph in uncontrolled forms. But they’re both equally real and both are the same phenomenon.
If you want a vision, just think/meditate hard on figuring out what you REALLY want the most out of life. Once you find what it is you want (which is basically an old vision which wasn’t acted upon and thus repressed,) you’ll find yourself almost propelled into action.
@manimal, “There really is no right or wrong piece to toss, you decide which one to toss and whichever one you toss is the right one.”
I think this is where our concepts diverge. People make bad decisions all the time because they haven’t taken the time to analyze the core driver behind the decision. What I REALLY wanted 40 years ago isn’t what I REALLY want now. What I want now has a context in the real world.
“Once you find what it is you want (which is basically an old vision which wasn’t acted upon and thus repressed,) you’ll find yourself almost propelled into action”
This assumption doesn’t fit with my perspective either. This suggests that our personal growth is, in a sense, regressive, that our life experiences do not change us but simply remind us of who we have always been. In some ways I see it, like to enjoy life like a child, to be playful, and to not care about the social complexities of the world. Perhaps I have just forgotten that what I want now I also wanted as a child.
@danfontaine, All things change, but I would focus on getting out of debt. I was in debt from the moment I started university until 2 and a half years ago. It was the single most limiting factor to me getting on with my life. It was like being duped into a life of slavery. Maybe when you are out of debt people will like you more ;)
@dick, If we look beyond our “diverging concepts,” is there really such a thing as a bad action? How is anything ever good or bad, outside of personal opinion?
Is there really such things as “different drivers behind the decision?” Is it not you that chooses what you do? Sure, various parts of your ego can give you suggestions, but can they make you act upon them? (They really can’t.)
Everything has a context in the real world. How could it not?
Forget about what fits a perspective or not. What WORKS? As long as you’re more interested in perspectives than what works, of course you will have trouble moving from point A to point B. And the only thing to find out what works, is seeing it for yourself, without trying to fit it into some pre-set perspective. Perspectives are nice, they have many uses, but they never tell the real truth. You gotta be able to think outside the perspectives, “outside the box” so to speak.
NEVER did I say that life experience doesn’t shape you. All input does, whether it’s a thought or something seen, heard, smelled, etc. Personal development is in your hands, it can take on any direction, it’s all up to your decision.
We’re born with very little mind-stuff, the mind in its default state is almost blank. Everything in your mind, other than the bare necessities for functioning as a living organism, is stuff you’ve collected/created throughout your life. Stuff that was “saved to your harddrive.”
There is no real or original form of being, you are what you make yourself. Even the deep set stuff like personality, values, deep desires, it’s all just what you chose to fill your mind with. There is no “real you,” because your very personality, your whole damn ego, has no real substance. It’s just an empty vessel to fill with information, the more deep set stuff forms your idea of self and so on. But there never was a “real you,” whatever way you are, it’s temporary, the “self” is constantly changing.
So when I say it’s “old visions coming back” I’m not saying it’s something you were born with and can’t get away from. I’m saying it’s visions you had in the past that you didn’t act upon, and thus repressed them.
To see this stuff for yourself, there’s a nifty little method called meditation. When you can temporarily get yourself back into a less cluttered mind state, you will see upon return a lot of the stuff that you think was “always there” (the “self”) is just a temporary program you’re running. And you will easily notice what you want, due to the contrast of really not wanting anything vs wanting things. When you come back to wanting, you will know what you want, because you can clearly see the difference.
You don’t need that kind of stuff though, you could just create a vision and go for it.
Enjoy and prosper
I am speaking to the meditatively borne vision, cutting to the core of who you are sans all the accumulated baggage. I have done, but don’t meditate in the traditional sense. Over time I tackle each preconception, each opinion, each feeling and give it a thorough analysis. This is my house cleaning process. I toss out the bad and keep the good. The more I experience in life the more efficient the process. The keepers are the core of who I am. This is what I see as the necessary prerequisite for a vision. Otherwise it is merely a goal that maybe good or maybe bad as far as attaining personal fulfillment goes.
Maybe I’m just making up definitions again…A vision must lead to personal fulfillment.
Thank you for posing the topic and elaborating on it a lot here… My discovery over the last 12 years has lead me to recognise the distinction between purpose and having a compelling vision and how they catalyse each other.
Here is a powerful article on developing a sense of purpose and how it relates to developing a vision :-)
@dick, My culture tells us that visualization is far more powerful than most believe. In fact, my culture says that no physical manifestation would exist if it were not first visualized and meditated on, that the Dreaming is the foundation of reality, not a non-reality bi-product as most think. The idea of “Thought-form” is very relevant in my culture.
Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.
Carl Gustav Jung
This is one of those threads I keep going back to without replying, because having a vision is one of the most important things to me. As I distinguish it from having goals, purpose, perspectives or dreams, I don’t think a person’s vision could develop, change, or get lost, because for me it is like the core of human perception and the display of a person’s qualities. It’s not something you can lose (unless you die) or take, because it’s always there, but sometimes can get blurred by a lack of clarity and blocked by stressful memories. You can’t lose sight of it, because it is the sight. To envision or to be a visionary is nothing more than knowing the peak and depth of your own emotions. It is said that without an outside societal world a person does not have a personality. In that sense, every vision would be like looking through a scope of every possible emotion and everything could be perceived as real, worry or excitement that never happened yet. Not spectating through the scope of possibilities and distracting yourself from yourself, but introspecting and simply not holding back from spontaneity gives you vision you can feel with your gut. And it’s fascinating.