Me in the morning before my motivation kicks in...
Let’s start off serious then we’ll get to the fun bit. Self motivation, put simply, is the force which drives us to do things. It’s a big part of Emotional Intelligence including, personal drive, commitment, initiative and also optimism. Personally I prefer to think ‘Be happy, it drives people crazy!’ but that’s just me and my weird sense of motivation. If we’re self motivated we tend to be more organised and have better self esteem and confidence, we also find it easier to motivate others. Just that thought alone motivates me and it supports last week’s blog on the broader meaning of success and giving back. Our motivation can change even hour to hour as our goals and needs change. First thing in the morning my motivation comes from coffee, the goal being to wake up! At lunchtime my motivation is food and the goal? To shut my grumbling stomach up! Here’s the ‘science’ bit... Intrinsic motivation is based around personal satisfaction i.e. We love because we want to. Extrinsic motivation is driven by our need for reward i.e. We work for the money. If you want a list of skills that can help with self motivation here’s one. Don’t stop learning and acquiring new knowledge, build relationships with people who are enthusiastic, stay positive, know your strengths and weaknesses, don’t procrastinate, ask for help and give help back where needed.
I’ve always found that one of the best ways to stay motivated is through humour. Becoming a better person while having fun appeals to me and, looking at the number of quotes out there that reflect that, it clearly appeals to a lot of other people as well. Here are some of my favourites...
“Life is a shipwreck but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” Voltaire.
“A diamond is merely a lump of coal that did well under pressure.” Unknown.
“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” Will Rogers.
“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” Albert Einstein.
“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” Zig Ziglar
“If you hit the target every time it’s too near or too big.” Tom Hirshfield.
“You grow up the day you have your first real laugh – at yourself.” Ethel Barrymore.
OK here’s a thought...Is Facebook the motivation needed to stop cleaning...or... is the whole cartoon supposed to be motivation to spend less time on social media? Think about it...
Humour is a huge motivator in my life. I find I respond far better when I can laugh about something than when it’s all way to serious. That, in itself, is a big motivator. If you’ve read Jo’s book, Web to Success, you’ll have been introduced to Nismo, our Somali cat, and the source of a lot of humour and therefore motivation at home. This was him asleep the other day...
How can you not laugh at that?
One of the quickest ways to get motivated is to keep to hand a list of some motivational one liners. Yes it’s another list!
‘I’m a nobody, nobody is perfect, therefore I’m perfect.’
Failure is not failing down, it is not getting up again.’
‘Keep the dream alive, hit the snooze button.’
‘Improve your memory by doing unforgettable things.’
‘Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.’
‘The deeper the pit you’re falling into, the more chance you have to learn to fly.’
‘The only knowledge that can hurt you is the knowledge you don’t have.’
‘Your life doesn’t get better by chance. It gets better by choice.’
‘Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.’
‘It doesn’t matter how hard you work, there will always be an asshole that works less but gets more.’
‘The road to success is always under construction.’
‘Five secrets of successful people: 1. Don’t 2. Tell 3. Anyone 4. Your 5. Secrets.’
‘Knowledge is power and power corrupts, so study hard and be evil.’
‘Sometimes the best helping hand you can give is a good, firm push.’
If you’ve never tried using humour as motivation then now’s your chance to start. Find out what kind of humour works for you, visual, written or practical and then make sure you have examples to hand, or can call on the memories to motivate you, when you need it. When humour isn’t the best motivator for Jo or me we fall back on reading ‘The Desiderata’ by Max Erhmann. A copy of this awesome poem can be found on the ‘Behind the Scenes’ tab of our website, and if you want to read more about the importance of humour for motivation? Here’s a great blog we can wholeheartedly recommend.
Last, but not least, here’s something just to make you laugh because life really is too short to be serious all the time.