Finding Intrinsic Motivation

We all know what motivation is – that thing that makes us drag our butts out of bed every morning to accomplish the things we care about.

But do we really know how to tap into it to gain the most out of our lives and our passions?

Here’s a few things that you can practice, to tap into the motivation that means the most to you.

Make a list of things you’d love to accomplish.

Sure, we have the basics in life – get the bills paid, feed the family, try not to strangle that annoying stranger that won’t stop rambling to the check-out cashier… but this list needs to be focused on the big things. The things that scare you a little bit, but also make you kind of excited even though you’re scared of failing – those are the ones that are really going to matter to you. You wouldn’t be so afraid to fail at it if it didn’t mean something to you, right?

Make a list of things that are important to you.

These are the things in life that mean the most to you, and see how they line up with the things you’d like to accomplish. If there are a lot of connections here, you’ll find that you’re really on to something. For me, helping others find their path is in a top position (not quite the first – as I have to remember to maintain my health and path too), and the things I want to accomplish (and have accomplished) cater directly to those priorities. For instance, by combining my passion for writing and researching with my need to help others, I’ve created a book that will help fellow felons get back on track.

Find the connections, and transform them into goals.

Once you’ve found the things that really connect for you, between the ideas that ignite your passion, and the reminders of what you actually need and want to do in life, you can meld this information into a goal list, complete with important steps and milestones! Once I wrote out my lists, compared the information, and decided on goals that related to both, I made a rule that I would take my first step towards that first goal within a month of creating the goal. I had to write the first 1,000 words within a month.

Simply by setting that milestone, it helped push me past my reluctance to put something out there into the world for judgment by others. Once I made myself begin those first 1k words, something happened. The information I was finding catalyzed my desire even more, and I ended up writing over 4 thousand words in my first couple weeks!

It became clear to me that had I not taken a deeper look at myself and the things that motivate me to continue doing more; I’d still be stuck in a dead-end job with absolutely no goals in sight other than paying my bills and feeding my family. It isn’t easy to push past those basic needs sometimes, but it can be done. You simply need to look within yourself and find your spark!