Leo of Zenhabits recently answered some key questions on motivation & habits. Here are few of them, beautiful insights on most common issues of our life.
- How do you motivate yourself to get work done after trying many things and failing over and over again? Motivation is first just about taking that first step, just getting excited about something enough to get started. Then it’s about focusing on enjoying what you’re doing, right now, instead of worrying about how you’re going to get to a destination.
- If for a moment you start to feel overwhelmed by the complexities of life, how do you simplify to get where you want to be? Take a deep breath, and let all the chaos and frustration flow out of you. Focus not all all the things you need to do, or that are coming up, or that have happened, but on what you’re doing right now. And just focus on doing one thing, right now. Then, one small step at a time, start making it happen.
- What’s the habit requiring the least effort that makes the greatest difference? This will sound trite, but I’d say positive thinking. It’s not the easiest habit, as it requires that you start listening to your self-talk, and start telling yourself positive things instead of negative ones. But it’s the one thing that will make the greatest difference, because it will enable all other habit changes.
- My hubby lacks interest in anything except boating. How can I motivate him to get off the sofa? I don’t think you can motivate others — if they want to do something, they’ll do it. If they don’t, then don’t make them. However, you can influence others in positive ways. I’d recommend setting an example by doing, and sharing how great it is, without judgment for what he’s doing. If he’s happy doing what he’s doing, then that’s great. If he’d like to do more, then be there for support — but don’t push. In the end, worry more about what you’re doing and less about what he’s doing — he’s living his life and you’re living yours. People don’t like to be pushed or judged or badgered, but like to be loved and accepted.
- How to minimize tension/frustration with others who are less organized than you are? It’s a matter of only worrying about what you can control, and accepting that which you can’t. You can’t control others or their organization level, so don’t even try to. Instead, learn to embrace a degree of chaos, accept that the world is out of your control, and love it. The world is a wonderfully unpredictable, wild, and beautiful place. Learn to let go.
- How do you stay motivated in business when you have never done something before & the results won’t show up until down the road? Learn to love the process, and don’t let your happiness be so dependent on the outcome. Be passionate about the actual things you do, do them because you love it, and you’ll stick with it. The great things that result will be a natural by-product.
- How do you sustain self-motivation when you suffer a setback toward your goals? I always try to enjoy what I’m doing. If there’s a setback, that’s not a problem, because the progress I’m making isn’t as important as doing the activity (running, reading, writing, cycling, whatever). And because I enjoy the activity, I’ll keep doing it, even if there’s a setback. Just realize that setbacks are not the ending points, unless you let them become so. They’re just a little stone on the road — kick it aside, go over it, walk around it, but just keep walking. And enjoy the journey.