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5 steps to unstoppable self-motivation

Published:Wednesday | June 10, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Kemmons Wilson, founder of Holiday Inn Hotels, once said: "A successful person realises his personal responsibility for self-motivation. He starts with himself because he possesses the key to his own ignition switch." This realisation is critical, especially now as more people lose their drive and passion for their jobs.

The reasons people share with me why they are unmotivated vary. Those reasons include low pay, rude and overbearing bosses, boredom, and conflicts with their co-workers.

Here's what most people miss in attempting to elucidate why they're not charged at work, however: Feeling enthusiastic and energised about work isn't ultimately about the common reasons usually cited. Motivation isn't primarily determined by one's external circumstances. It's an inside-out job. That truth is at the heart of Wilson's quote above.

Whether you're feeling motivated or unmotivated is your personal responsibility. You decide. And you practise.

Here are five keys to ignite the flame of your unstoppable inner drive.

1. Make self-motivation

a priority

This involves a deliberate effort to maintain a motivated state of mind, as an important daily focus. As motivational speaker Zig Ziglar said, "Motivation is like bathing and eating; you don't take a shower or eat today, and expect that to last for the entire week."

2. Have compelling goals

World-renowned results coach and author of Awaken the Giant Within, Anthony Robbins, relates that people would ask him, "Tony, where do you get your energy? With all that intensity, no wonder you're so successful. I don't have your drive; I guess I'm not motivated. I guess I'm lazy."

His usual response, he says, is to tell them they're not lazy; they just have impotent goals.

Unless you have compelling goals for your career and life, you'll struggle to stay motivated.

3. Design a daily

motivation plan

Sustaining motivation doesn't just happen by itself. It's the result of deliberate, strategic effort, practised daily.

This plan involves inspirational reading for at least 15 minutes daily; watching or listening autobiographies of someone successful; memorising or repeating one motivational quote; listening to self-help audio programme while driving to work or during lunch time.

Also include in your plan adequate rest and 20 minutes physical exercise minimum.

4. Surround yourself

with winners

Avoid or limit your association with complainers, blamers, people without goals and who give excuses for failure. The law of association states that we become like the people we spend the most time with.

5. Succeed

Nothing motivates quite like success. Acknowledge even small wins at work - completing a report or project on time, for instance. The more successes you have, the greater your motivation for more.

n Glenford Smith is a motivational speaker and success strategist. He is the author of 'From Problems to Power' and co-author of 'Profile of Excellence'. Email: