When I was 20, I flunked my first economics class at UCLA. I was so angry at myself. Guess what happened? I bounced back. I took the class again and got an A.
When I was 23, I was in the worst shape of my life. My diet would consist of fast food, deep fried chicken wings and beers. Guess what happened? I bounced back. I started the P90X workout and changing my diet. Now I’m in the best shape of my life.
When I was 25, I created my first start up: an iPhone app company. I created 9 iOS apps and they all failed. I was really disappointed. Guess what happened? I kept building apps and eventually 4 hit the top 100 in different categories.
When I was 26, I wrote one of my first books and sold it on Amazon. It was a huge failure and only got a few downloads. I’m pretty sure my mom was one of them. Guess what happened? I bounced back. I wrote a new book called “The Resume is Dead” and it has over 40,000 Kindle downloads.
When I was 28, I found out one of my closest friends Erik, who was like a brother to me, passed away from cancer. That was one of the hardest moments I’ve ever gone through in my life. Guess what happened? I bounced back. Because that’s what Erik would have wanted.
Over the last 30 years of my life, I’ve noticed a recurring pattern to successfully motivating myself. Every time I would get off course, this pattern would help steer me into the right direction. Even when it seemed like the worst of moments. For example, after my first two startups failed, I used these methods and it motivated me to start my third startup, CEO Lifestyle, a blog focused on weekly motivational posts that now has over 2,000 subscribers in just a few months!
I’ve also spent the time to chat with tons of executives from companies like MTV, Cisco, VMware, Optimizely, Box and numerous startups to learn about their secrets for motivation. I’ve also read a lot of books on motivation ranging from Daniel Pink to Tony Robbins.
I’ve used these methods for motivating myself even when I’ve hit rock bottom. And now it’s time to share them with you. #PayItForward
I’ve put together a list of the 10 things successful people do to motivate themselves
I hope this helps you live an epic life!
10 Easy Ways to Motivate Yourself
1. Understand your purpose
“The meaning of your life is to find your gift. The purpose of your life is to give it away.” – Picasso
Purpose is what drives us.
If I told you that your job was to pack sandwiches into a brown bag, would you feel a strong sense of purpose?
What if I told you that those sandwiches were being given to needy families in your community?
I bet that would change your perspective.
Find out your why. If you don’t know what it is, take the time to find out.
2. Have donut hole sized goals
Have you had a donut hole before? I have. They’re awesome.
Here’s why people love donut holes.
They’re small. They’re easy to eat. They’re delicious. They give you a sense of satisfaction after you eat each one without feeling guilty.
That’s how your goals should be. Sure, you want to have a huge, audacious goal. But it helps to have small goals along the way. This way you can celebrate your success and have a sense of progress.
Surround yourself with 5 people that inspire you
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn
When I spent more time with my friend Steve, who is an amazing designer, he heightened my awareness of what great design looks like.
When I spent more time with my friend Eric, who is an amazing content writer, he inspired me to elevate my writing game.
When I spent more time with Benny, the creator of the Get Busy Living blog, he motivated me to continue my efforts in building an online business.
Energy is contagious. Make sure you spend your time with people that can elevate your life.
4. Do the 5 minute test
It’s easy to get overwhelmed.
“There’s no way I can do a one hour workout right now,” said almost everyone in the world at some point.
Instead of thinking of that big task ahead of you, one easy way to motivate yourself is to do the 5 minute test.
Just try that activity that you need to do for 5 minutes with 100% effort.
Once you get going, you’ll realize that you have a huge amount of momentum behind you. It’ll be hard to stop at that point.
It’s just 5 minutes. Give it a try.
5. Reframe your thoughts
When we have negative thoughts, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and to give up. Learn to reframe your thoughts.
Ask yourself – how can I think of this challenge as an opportunity?
When I wrote my first book, it was a huge flop. After a few months of writing, I published it. I only sold a few copies. I think my mom bought one of those. Thanks mom.
I could have given up. Instead, I asked myself, “How can I improve?”
I thought about all the things I did wrong in my first book and vowed to continue my writing until I improved.
I spent 2 years writing 21 articles, 6 books, 18 Quora posts and 30 editorial pitches before I finally got published in an online major publication (I’ve now been published on Time, Fortune, Forbes, Business Insider, Inc, Quartz, PopSugar and ThoughtCatalog and now MotivationGrid). My writing output and quality increased dramatically.
Learn to reframe your thoughts. It’ll challenge you to elevate your game.
6. Celebrate your success
When I used to work at Box, we would ring a gong and high five each other every time we closed a big deal.
Your journey is going to be a long one. Make sure you take the time to celebrate your win. Take the team out to dinner. Give each other words of encouragement. Applaud each other’s success at team meetings. Do a fist pump. Strike a gong. Yell out from the rooftops!
Because people love to feel appreciated. It gets them motivated.
7. Learn to say no
If you say yes to everything, you’re going to feel overwhelmed and you won’t be effective. Learn to hone your focus. It’s better to be great at one thing than mediocre at a hundred.
And when you hone your craft and practice it over and over again, it leads to mastery. Mastery leads to success. Success gives you a feeling of accomplishment.
And that feeling is addicting. You’ll want to experience it again and again. That’ll motivate you to keep moving forward.
You’ll have a lot of people in your life. Some will support you. Some will doubt you. Spend time with your champions. They will energize you when you need it most.
9. Remember to have fun
Life’s a lot better when you have a good time. Watch a funny Youtube clip from Ellen or Jimmy Fallon. Sing your favorite song out loud. Dance like no one’s watching. Smile a mile wide.
Do you notice what happens when you’re in a good mood? You’ll feel more energized. You’ll become more charismatic. Your optimism will shine.
10. Remember that time is your most valuable asset
One of my family friends was really frugal. He spent most of life saving up every penny that he could to live a dream life he had always dreamed of.
After all those years of savings, he was involved in a fatal car accident. He never lived that life he had always dreamed of.
Money is valuable. Time is even more valuable.
Utilize money to help you find more time.
Time with your loved ones.
Time with your family.
Time with your friends.
Time is finite. Once you spend it, you can never earn it back.
Remember the value of time. That’ll motivate you to make a difference now.
Get started now. Because it’s never too late to be awesome.
Photo credit: Unsplash.com