Getting and Staying Motivated

motivation“Nothing great was ever achieved without motivation” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Motivation is a state of mind that is powerful enough to actualise our innermost goals and objectives; provided we know how to access, direct and maintain a motivated state of mind. It is a heightened sense of ambition that once accessed pushes us past a state of inertia and propels us in the direction of our most desired goals and dreams. Motivation is the basis of any form of success – small or grand; and the degree of success achieved is more or less directly proportional to ones degree of motivation.

The fact is that as human beings, we are designed and hardwired with an intrinsic sense of motivation – which is obvious not only in the evolutionary leaps we have made thus far as human beings, but also in the blistering scientific and technological progress we have made to date.

Our motivation has simply been the key to our survival and whether we accept it or not, wired into the blueprint of every single human being’s design, is a natural ability to remain motivated to survive and to succeed.

However, somewhere along the line we allow life’s challenges and problems to psychologically affect us, consequently, dulling our sense of motivation. This by no means implies that we cannot be “re-motivated”, it only means that we have somehow lost knowledge of how to effectively access our motivated state of mind.

The tricky thing about motivation is that to be truly motivated, you need to find a purpose, goal, reason, objective or passion that is compelling enough to motivate you to achieve a particular objective. Without a strong enough reason, accessing or even maintaining a motivated mind-state can prove to be a challenge.

The fact of the matter is that there are no short cuts to achieving success in life and any achievement in life is always preceded by a strong motivation to achieve that goal – great or small. There are 3 powerful steps to developing and sustaining a powerful sense of motivation. These are:


A significant sense of motivation can only be developed once we establish what it is that we really, really want to achieve. Many people often struggle with this first step and consequently flounder from one unachieved goal to another. The process of establishing what one really wishes to achieve cannot be rushed through. The process of identifying compelling or powerful goal(s) often involves a screening process where one begins with a number of goals and gradually screens them out or establishes them in order of importance. Some questions (in no order of importance) that could assist in the process include:

  • What are the top ten goals I would like to achieve in my life?
  • Why are these goals important to me?
  • Which of these goals would thrust me closer to my dream life?
  • Which of these goals play to my strengths?
  • Which of these goals would truly turn my life around?
  • Which of these goals will I work day and night until I accomplish it


Once you have identified these goals or goal, the next step is to establish your commitment level. Ascertaining how much you are willing to commit, also serves as a screening process, serving to identify only the most important goal or goals. To establish your commitment level, ask yourself the following:

  • What am I prepared to sacrifice to achieve this goal? E.g. less leisure time, less sleep, waking up earlier, dedicating 2 hours a day towards the goal etc. Often times, once you have identified a goal you really wish to achieve, you will find that making the necessary sacrifices is not as difficult as you may have initially thought.
  • Am I prepared to go against all odds until my goal is achieved? If you are, then the goal is worth going after; if you’re not, then rather direct your efforts and energies at a goal worth achieving.

Remember, it’s not worth doing if you’re not prepared to pay the price…

Femi Adebanji

Scroll Up