Every outcome in your life, business or career is a consequence of your actions, and, those actions are hugely driven by your feelings. How you feel determines what you do, and indeed, how well you do it.
When it comes to action, and consequently results, the holy grail of emotions is Motivation.
Unfortunately it can't just be purchased and applied to strengthen people's desire to act. It's a very personal thing and is the outcome of a complex set of factors.
However, we do know that how a person thinks and focuses their thoughts has a direct impact on how they feel, and consequently how they act. In short, to feel motivated, you must have thoughts that are MOTIVATING.
Feeling motivated has got a lot to do with how you see things, and that has a lot to do with your psychology.
To take a simple example, let's say you or your team have a big goal. If you see this goal as being enormous, it can appear overwhelming or unachievable, and consequently you may feel unmotivated about taking the necessary action to achieve it. Conversely, if you see the goal as achievable, if you feel confident in your ability and if you feel it's worth it, then you can feel motivated to take action and achieve the goal.
With motivation, there isn't a one size fits all solution that works for everybody but here are some simple proven ideas to help you or your team feel more motivated about your goals and objectives:
#1 Get very clear and specific about what you want.
Clarity is indeed power. When you know exactly what you want, when you want it, why you want it and how to get it, that can be very powerful and drives your motivation to act. The thought process in answering these questions helps you visualise a successful outcome and strengthens your belief that you can achieve your goal. Without clarity, we are prone to indecision, procrastination and poor motivation.
#2 You've got to believe you can do it.
You've probably heard that famous quote; "whether you believe you can or you can't, you're probably right". If you don't have the self belief that you can do it, well then you won't be very motivated to act. We achieve what we expect we can achieve, not what we are capable of achieving. It comes down to one simple question ; "can you do it?" Strong belief in your ability to achieve your goal will fuel feelings of motivation.
#3 Celebrate Success.
People are very motivated by progress and achievement. So when an individual or team achieves a milestone, praise and celebrate it. Why? Because positive reinforcement builds our self confidence and self belief, and that's going to result in more motivating feelings. Think about how we celebrate our children's first steps.
#4 Training & Development.
Dan Pink's book, "Drive, The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us", identifies Mastery as a big driver of motivation. People like to improve, it gives them a feeling of satisfaction, accomplishment and makes the task more enjoyable. With training, people get to practice, develop competence, build confidence, fuel self belief and master skills. So build training into your plans for more motivated employees.
It is proven that self directed people are more motivated. Seek to give your employees some level of autonomy in achieving their objectives. Get their input in setting objectives, creating plans and managing the achievement of their goals. Achieving the result is your primary concern, not necessarily how it is achieved. Allowing that choice achieves buy in, builds trust, fuels self belief, and ultimately results in more motivated employees.
We want to do meaningful work, we want to make a difference and we are more motivated when we have purpose at the heart of what we do. We look for higher meaning in our work, other than a means to pay the mortgage. If you can add purpose, you'll improve motivation. This concept is frequently used in sales; buy this brand of toilet paper and we'll plant a tree for every packet you purchase. You're not only buying toilet paper now, you saving the planet! It doesn't have to be an altruistic purpose, being the best or a market leader or the most innovative etc. can work too.
And finally, don't forget what your Mamma told you, "Getting started is half the battle", just do it.
By John Byrne, Performance Coach at Mind Coach, www.mindcoach.ie