We’ve all run into them; those invigorating people that we see and ask ourselves, “Sheesh, how do they stay so motivated and upbeat all the time?” And that makes you wonder if you too can learn to motivate yourself the same way?
In my world that person continues to be none other than Richard Monteilh. He was the Director of the Department of Housing in Washington, D.C. where I worked right after getting out of grad school.
Richard is a rather tall and lanky fellow, but I tell you he’s a boundless spring always overflowing with contagious energy. His attitude helped him carve out a tremendously successful life, part of which included serving as the Executive Director of the Metropolitan Atlanta Olympic Games Authority. He also served two terms as Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Newark and was appointed to the U.S. Congressional Control Board to direct the economic development for the District of Columbia…wow! Right?
Want to know what really rocked my boat back then, before I myself started branching out professionally?
Despite all of his high office responsibilities he always manages to make time for social events, and this a guy who probably knows nearly every important figure at the party from New York to Arizona. On top of everything else, he maintains a regular exercise regimen (which includes jogging a whopping 5 miles every morning) AND he is a great husband and father.
Working first-hand with Richard for several years was itself a mini-education; a compact grad school experience in itself. I watched closely and paid attention to the tools and things he used on a regular basis to keep himself going with such momentum and ferocity.
- I promise that his inspiration and enthusiasm did not come from anything external.
- He always made it a point to be conscious of the things he needed to do to stay on point.
- Integrating these principles into my own life at such a young age, from such a fabulous mentor, played a big role in my own success.
6 Things to Help You Motivate Yourself
With him in mind, let’s delve into the things that not only Richard but most (if not all) really motivated and successful people draw on to keep their internal engines churning onward and upward.
1) Start Experimenting with New Possibilities
Every single time you learn a new skill you’re creating new neural connections in that absolutely marvelous brain of yours. It’s like building lean mass at the gym, except when you breach comfort bubbles and explore new possibilities you not only increase the quality of your life and living standards, but increase your value to the world. Here are some ideas so you catch my drift:
- Go have a cup of coffee somewhere you’ve never been before. Try a new restaurant. Check out the sights from a new lookout.
- Go the magazine isle at the supermarket and buy one that you’ve never considered reading before.
- Make it a point to have a sincere conversation with a perfect stranger at least once a week.
- Expand the list of things you believe you’re capable of.
- Start investigating something you once thought impossible; like going on a two week vacation on the other side of the world within two months from now.
- In your spare time pursue a completely foreign hobby.
2) Begin Upgrading Your Vocabulary – The Verbiage of Greatness
If you miraculously decided to study five incredibly successful people, perhaps self-made billionaires like Elon Musk, you would discover they all use what I call, “The verbiage of greatness.” They don’t use self-defeating terminology; they refrain from setting limits on themselves through speech; they don’t talk about things that defeat their purposes in life.
In your research I advise you to watch as many interviews as you can. What you’ll soon see is that whenever they’re asked about “how they achieved success” or “how they got to be so smart” or whatever, they draw on similar personal narratives, declarative statements, and uplifting quotes.
- Take a closer look at your internal personal narrative. What are the words/sentences/quips that constantly pop up in your life that keep you where you are?
- When no one’s looking or listening, what kinds of words do you use when judging your life?
- What kinds of words are you using to set restrictive limits are reinforce comfort bubbles?
When Richard spoke it was in motivational terms. When Elon Musk talks about how his company SpaceX is going to lead humanity to Mars he doesn’t use pessimistic phrases. If you want to feel and be more motivated in life and learn how to motivate yourself, then start using the verbiage of greatness more often!
3) Reevaluate How You Challenge Yourself
When motivation seems to dry up in our lives it’s typically due to a lack of challenges. It’s literally in our DNA to overcome obstacles. How else did our species and our ancestral cousins survive and evolve for millions of years? It’s intrinsic; a lack of challenges in your life will have negative effects on your mind, body and soul.
- Take a closer look at your goals. Are they challenging enough?
- Are your goals and aspirations all long term? If so, create some short and medium term goals as well, like stepping stones of lofty motivation.
- Are you setting yourself up for failure on a regular basis? This is incredibly deflating and a huge energy sucking bad habit.
4) Surround Yourself with Richards
Studies over the years seem to indicate that we are in many respects the average of those we keep closest to us. Look what I did by working along just one Richard for a couple years. Imagine what you could do with four or five? If you’re yearning for inspiration and motivation, find people who are motivated and inspired and hang out with them! At our “2nd Paycheck Without a Second Job” Live Seminar on Saturday, June 22, 2013 in Plano, TX, we’ll be teaching people how to develop their own accountability groups with others who are motivated to achieve similar goals and willing to support them in pursing success.
It’s not always about rock stars, movie stars or billionaires. It can be the man or women standing behind you in line at the grocery store or sitting next to you at a conference that can supply you with immensely powerful nuggets of inspiration.
5) Enhance Your Body & Brain Fuel
Is it a coincidence that Richard and countless like him continue to extol the virtues of physical fitness and healthy eating? Do you imagine it would have been possible for Richard to operate like he did on sugar, fast food, and corporate junk?
- Being in shape enhances the motivation level of literally all aspects of our lives.
- A healthy diet leads to a healthier professional and personal life, not just a slimmer waist line and less visits to the doctor.
- Motivation takes fuel. Make sure that the fuel you’re depending on is conducive to a better you.
6) Mind-Mapping & Commitment
Mind-mapping is another way of looking at brainstorming. Richard was always going over his daily choices and his routine. I swear the man would recommit to his life, goals, and aspirations every morning during his jog.
Very few things are more powerful than truly unhinged and unleashed commitment. Most successful people will tell you that when they committed themselves, sincerely and genuinely, it immediately started to seem like the universe itself opened up before them.
These things work. They do. Bottom line: life is too short and far too long to live in the trenches. Get out, get free, and get motivated!