Wednesday, 4 March 2009
Finding The Inspiration To Achieve Your Goals
It looks like this 'ask Dax' series is proving pretty popular. I'm getting so many emails in my inbox at the moment that I'm really jammed up. So I'm giving priority to mails that are posted here on the blog. (This is a polite way of saying 'thank you so much for trusting me with your question but please, can you not fill my email inbox up as I literally can't read any of my mails) : )
Today's question comes from David and it's a very common one that I hear way way too often.
My biggest problem is believing change is possible and that all the positive words have real substance. I'm in my 50s and have been through a lot. When in my late teens I got hooked on motivational books and have read lots of them: Napoleon Hill, Zig Zigler, Brian Tracy, etc etc etc. I did Tony Robbins 30 day Personal Power program, etc. etc. etc. After getting all pumped up I really believed I could conquer anything I would set my mind on.
I have tried many times to act on my dreams but have been knocked down so many times I have lost count. I truly hate what my life has been. I'm just struggling to survive. Now that I am past my prime please tell me how I can believe I will ever have anything other than what fate has given me. Where can I find the energy, the focus, the drive to achieve something new?
I apologize that it's not just 2 short questions, but that's where I'm at. It's just not connecting this time. How can I believe in dreams once again?"
thanks so much for your question. It's an interesting on and one that I think many of my readers will be glad you asked.
First off, it's interesting to hear you talk of all the books you've read as these are amongst MY favourite books and programs too and have definitely shaped my life over the years. I recognise that feeling of being 'pumped up' by reading something motivating and the feeling of 'YES! I CAN DO IT!'
I also recognise the 'deflated' feeling that we often get after reading material like this too. After thinking of all the possibilities and then looking at the actual nuts and bolts realities of our lives, it can often feel like we're even worse off than before... if we let ourselves.
You see, as great as any book or motivational program or seminar is, all they can really offer is motivation and nothing more.
Motivation is an extrinsic factor, meaning that it comes from outside of us and relies on someone giving us the support, the information or simply the feel-good-factor to get up and get on. There's nothing wrong with this, of course, but motivation in and of itself is weak and cannot be relied upon for success.
After all, if it requires the physical presence of someone/something else to make you want to take action, then whenever that person or thing is not there for you... you won't!
So motivation is weak.
Inspiration, on the other hand, is something entirely different.
Inspiration is intrinsic. It comes from within. It's the purpose, power and passion that YOU have already, brought to the fore and focused with laser-like precision onto your goals. With inspiration, you never need to worry about whether or not others believe in you, whether or not you've failed in the past or whether or not there's someone to guide and support you.
When you're inspired, none of this matters.
YOU become the energy source for your goals.
This is REALLY empowering as it now puts YOU in the driving seat of your life again.
So, how do you get inspired?
It's easier than you think!
First, be greatful.
Seriously, take stock of what's gone well for you in life. The experiences you've had, the people you've met, the places you've travelled, the things you've done. Be thankful for it all.
It's important to do this because inspiration seldom (if ever) occurs when you're feeling bitter, resentful and negative about life and yet, seems to find its way to us easily when we feel positive, happy and upbeat.
So literally write a list of everything you have to be thankful of.
Second, focus on what you want. What you REALLY want in your life.
The things you want to be, the things you want to do, the things you want to have?
Write them ALL down. Every single thing that comes to mind. The big, the small, the realistic and the ridiculous.
You see, inspiration isn't a logical thing. It's a heart thing. A feeling. An emotion.
So writing your goals down is about how they will make you feel if they came true. How they would change how you feel about life and yourself.
Interestingly, you don't even have to accomplish them to make yourself inspired. The very act of acknowledging them and starting the ball rolling on seeking them out is enough to start your own inspiration.
Third, play 'What If?'
'What if' is a great game!
What if you got that job?
What if you made that money?
What if you bought that house?
What if you started that company?
What if you wrote that book?
What if you started that charity?
What if is amazing. It opens you up to possibilities that weren't there before and, in doing so, inspires you.
The great thing about what if is that you can stretch it out as far as you like and gain more and more inspiration from it.
What if you started that new business, earned that million dollars a year bought that new house, bought the holiday home in Fiji, retired by 40 and wrote that book? What would like be like then? : )
If you can extrapolate and imagine even a little, you have the power to become inspired and to achieve amazing things. All you have to do is identify the first step and build up from there and you're already changing your life, right?
Finally, for this answer anyway, give back... in advance!
If you know what your 'what if' strategy looks like and you know what you'd like your life to turn out like then you must have a fair idea what you'd do when you finally 'make it' in life. Hopefully that success also means some element of giving back, helping others, contributing, even if only in some small way.
It's only right when you think about it; if you've been allowed to take from the 'pot of life' then it's right and proper that you should put a little back for others too.
So look, instead of waiting for success to happen to you before you give back, try to invent ways to give back in advance.
I've always tried to find ways to give away my knowledge, skills and abilities in the areas of motivation, inspiration and yes, perspiration (my 'day job' is a fitness professional, personal trainer and lecturer in sport and exercise) and have numerous newsletter, blogs, communities, audio recordings, reports and public seminars that I do for for free as part of my own giving back strategy.
Funny thing is though, the more I give away, the more success I seem to attract. I sell more books, audios and mentoring programs BECAUSE I'm putting back into the pot.
How could YOU put back into the pot? Not only is it the 'right thing' to do, but it's profitable too.
The thing is David, (and all) fate has 'given' you nothing. But it hasn't taken from you either.
You're never too young or too old to start pursuing your goals and dreams but the thing is, don't rely on motivation to make them happen. Grab motivation when you can, but don't rely on it.
Instead, use the steps I've laid out above to find inspiration in your life and you'll never have to worry about IF you'll be successful, it'll just be a matter of when : )
I hope this has helped.
Truth, joy and love
The Fastest Goal Achievement Program On The Planet