Personal Development or Personal Growth has become increasingly popular over the last 20 years. The 2006 release of the movie “The Secret” starring Bob Proctor and Jack Canfield, written by Rhonda Byrnes raised awareness on the topic significantly in recent years.
Over the past few years, I have been quite fascinated by the whole area of personal growth and development. In particular, I have developed a great interest in the area of spirituality and mental health. Initially I started watching inspirational videos from great motivational speakers like Les Brown, Earl Nightingale, Jim Rohn, Bob Proctor, Tony Robbins and many others.
Normally when you start something like this, it completely pumps you up. Every video you watch, every article you read and every speech you listen to motivates you to take action and encourages you to change yourself. However after a while I realized that there was a pattern to these things. I realized that all of them were saying more or less the same things.
Things like you need to take action, dream big, give up your limiting beliefs, we can “think” our way to success and many other similar messages.
Initially I achieved a lot of things. 2013-14 was a great year for me if I look back at all that I achieved. I published my book, gave up smoking, lost 10 kilos, ran my first 10K, stopped watching Television, started pursuing my passion for speaking by joining Toastmasters and started this blog the same year. I was really excited that year on achieving so much.
However the next year was not the same. While I did manage to do a few more things, it was not like the previous year. I thought to myself that this is probably because I was not motivated enough and due to the fact that I watched fewer motivational stuff that year.
While this was true, but the actual reason was that, most of us struggle with sustaining the initial momentum. We are fired up at the start but as time goes by we start falling back into our old habits. I found that after a while my mind got used to this kind of talk and the speeches and videos did not provide the same level of motivation as before. Many of you would have seen this pattern when you are trying to lose weight or trying to shape your body at the Gym.
Now, this does not mean that motivational talks and articles don’t motivate us. They do. It’s just that like other things, after s while the intensity goes down. We stop taking action. You are smart enough to know that if you stop taking action, nothing will change. I don’t say this. It’s a LAW!. My dear friend Sir Issac Newton made this abundantly clear when he postulated the 1st Law of Motion.
An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.
So the question in my mind was, can we really keep up this motivation for longer periods of time. If yes then how do we do this. The answer to that is simple and complicated at the same time. Action and motivation are inter-dependent. What do I mean by that. We all know that motivation leads to action, but did you also know that action leads to motivation. Mark Manson calls this the “Do-Something” principle
I have experienced this so many times, that I know the principle works. As a matter of fact, this post that I’m writing now is a result of me taking action and not because I was motivated. My last post was over a year ago (Yes that’s how lazy I have been) and I have been procrastinating and not managed to write one till this one. I got up in the morning and was not really motivated to write. However I forced myself to sit down and start typing and now I’m finding it difficult to stop. My motivation is back.
Everything in our life is similar. There will be days when we really feel motivated and charged up and ready to take on the world. On other days our motivation will go hiding in the deepest parts and we don’t feel like doing anything. It is during these days that we need to push ourselves to take that First step.
People often ask me how I wrote my book. To tell you the truth, it was quite painful and frustrating. There were days when I just went blank. Completely blank. I would sit down to write and my brain would not respond. Then there were days when ideas would just flow like a river. What got me through was my ability to “Do Something”.
So the next time you lack motivation, just take that First Step and Take Action. Your motivation will soon follow.
This content was originally published here.