How to regain motivation when the going gets tough

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When the going gets tough, how to regain motivation becomes a pressuring question to which you have to find an answer in order to maintain a life balance. Be it you face personal problems or career path disruption due to recession, you must preserve a structure in your life.

Where does motivation come from? And if you lose it, how can you get it back?

Self-motivation is not only highly important in our personal lives, but is often listed as a trait desired by employers.

How do we better develop this much-needed life skill?

There are eight key tools or skills for being more productive and these reveal where self-motivation stems from.

We trigger self-motivation by making choices that make us feel in control. The act of asserting ourselves and taking control helps trigger the parts of our neurology where self-motivation resides.

We either have an internal locus of control, which means we believe we control our own fate, or an external locus of control, which means we think things just happen to us and we’re powerless.

The first and most important thing to remember is that self-motivation, and motivation in general, hinges on believing we are in control of our own life.

The other seven key traits of being more productive are:

Focus – we train ourselves how to pay attention to the right things and ignore distractions by building mental models, which means we essentially narrate to ourselves what’s going on as it goes on around us.

Goal setting – Everyone actually needs two different kinds of goals. You need a stretch goal, a big ambition, but also pair it with a specific plan on how to get started tomorrow morning.

Decision making – People who make the best decisions tend to consider the probabilities at first. They envision multiple, often contradictory, futures and then try to figure out which one is more likely to occur.

Innovation – The most creative environments are ones that allow people to take clichés and mix them together in new ways. And the people who have their feet in many different worlds know which ideas can click together in a novel combination.

Absorbing data – Sometimes the best way to learn is to make information harder to absorb. This is known in psychology as dis-fluency. The harder we have to work to understand an idea or to process a piece of information, the stickier it becomes in our brain.

Managing others – The best managers put responsibility for solving a problem with the person who’s closest to that problem, because that’s how you tap into everyone’s unique expertise.

Teams – Who is on the team matters much, much less than how a team interacts.

Although most of the above are geared more towards workplace productivity, it isn’t unheard of to transfer their usefulness into the personal realm.

In the end, losing motivation happens to most of us at times, but maybe with the right information as arrows in our quiver we have the opportunity to better hit the bull’s eye of our goals and life aspirations. Knowing where our motivation goes and how to get it back, it becomes one of our eight life skills in becoming more productive.

It always feels great to get things done and a large majority of us would agree being highly motivated at all time, is something most of us would not say no to.

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