You wake-up bright and early. You have every intention to kill it today. Then, three hours later, you realize that you’ve accomplished absolutely nothing.
What’s the deal?
To be fair, we all have one of those days when we’re not a peak performance. And, that’s alright. But, if this becomes a chronic problem, then you’ve probably lost your motivation and passion.
If this is the case, use this eight mental hacks to regain that motivation and passion so that you can become a success story.
1. Focus on intrinsic motivation.
There are two types of motivation; “extrinsic” (or external) and “intrinsic” (or internal). When your boss sets a deadline for a project and your bonus is tied to that deadline, then that’s an example of extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation, however, would learning a new skill or hobby during your spare time because you’re striving towards personal satisfaction or accomplishment.
Extrinsic motivation often relies on “if, then” rewards. This can be an effective motivator in certain contexts. For tasks that are simple and require more physical effort or time to complete, “if,”then” rewards work.
But, it’s not effective for repetitive or creative tasks. In fact, researchers have found that “if, then” rewards can actually worsen performance.
Instead, focus on intrinsic motivation, such as the three elements required for intrinsic motivation from author Dan Pink. This includes autonomy , mastery, and purpose.
2. Tap into your bigger purpose.
When you find that your motivation is lacking, focus on the bigger picture. For example, think about the purpose behind what you are doing or how it plays into the larger goals you’re looking to accomplish.
This provides the feeling of working on something that’s more important than yourself.
If you need a starting post, think about how what you’re doing is adding value to other people or making the world a better place. For example, your small business is improving your community because it’s providing jobs. Those blog posts you publish are helping customers make more informed purchasing decisions.
3. Ditch the negatives. (One of my top mental hacks)
“The brain is a complex muscle that solves complex mathematical problems, creates innovative ideas that have put humans on the moon, invented the internet which changed the way we live and the mind gave us the intelligence to cure serious diseases saving countless lives. But the mind can be tricked,” writes Chris Delaney for Addicted2Success.
Delaney suggests that you read this statement out loud: “I Love London In The The Summer Time”
Did you notice the double use of word “the?” Most of us didn’t. This same psychology can be used to trick the mind into making us more motivated.
For instance, “Think of a task that you need to complete but procrastination has stopped you in your tracks. When thinking about this goal, do you imagine how hard this task is, the amount of steps you have to take, and do you second guess how you will fail?”
When you only focus “on the problems and pain of the goal, your mind magically deletes the positives, the potential fun and your optimistic outcome.” Instead, focus on the positives by tricking your mind.
One way to do this is by imaging the negative thoughts or bad memories getting smaller and dimmer, like you’re watching a tiny black-and-white TV. Now add fun, silly, and less threatening details to that thought or memory. If you do this five to ten times you’ll actually be able to change your perception.
4. Stop overthinking it.
Overthinking an easy task can actually make things more complicated. This is because you’re busy anticipating unlikely problems instead of focusing on getting it done.
This eventually leads to more stress and pressure. And, according to research, chronic stress and anxiety can actually shrink your brain. When you mind is relaxed, you’re able to focus more and solve problems.
The best way to thwart overthinking a problem, is by making sure that your goals simple, small, and realistic. Start by breaking your objectives into more manageable chunks so that you only focus on accomplishing one step at-a-time.
When you’re able to see that you’re accomplishing your goals, you’ll be more motivated to keep moving forward.
5. Connect with your values.
“Passion is a natural fuel for motivation. If your goals aren’t truly connected to your deeper values, or you don’t believe wholeheartedly in your mission, you’ll have to summon a huge effort to motivate yourself through training,” writes Dr. Jenn Bennett.
“We naturally invest more effort and find more enjoyment in activities that are connected to what we value. Make sure your goals are truly aligned to what’s really important to you in life.”
6. Block off one day of your week for passion work.
Google discovered years ago that giving employees 20% of their time to explore and do creative side projects, they became more productive, motivated, and creatively inspired. The Big G eventually scrapped the program, but plenty of other companies, such as Apple’s Blue Sky followed suit.
But, what if you’re self-employed? You can do the same by blocking off an hour each day to work on a passion project – even if it’s not related to your job.
Can’t spare that time daily? Try setting aside at least one day per week to working on a side project.
7. Tap into good memories.
Was there a time when you successfully accomplished your goals? How awesome was that feeling?
When motivation and passion are low, think about how you felt when you succeed at conquering that goal. Sounds simple, but it’s an effective way to spark your motivation and inspiration.
One way to do this is by imagining the memory being projected on an IMAX screen. This makes the memory bright, loud, and huge. Do that five to ten times and that experience will become so vivid that you’ll want to repeat that feeling over and over again.
8. Know how you’re helping others.
Regardless if you’re an online marketer or surgeon, when we realize how we’ve helped someone else we tend to work harder.
There’s even a study lead by psychologist Adam Grant at a University of Michigan fundraising call center that validates this statement. Students who had benefited from the center’s scholarship fundraising efforts spoke to callers for 10 minutes. After one month the callers were spending 142 percent more time on the phone than before and revenues increased by 171 percent.
“It was almost as if the good feelings had bypassed the callers’ conscious cognitive processes and gone straight to a more subconscious source of motivation,” the New York Times reports. “They were more driven to succeed, even if they could not pinpoint the trigger for that drive.”