Many years ago I went camping with some buddies. One of the first things we decided to do was to build a campfire. The only problem was that it had rained and the wood was very wet. So, what were we to do? We had to find some dry kindling, something that would ignite the fire. Finally we found enough dry leaves and sticks that we were able to get a small flame going under the wet wood. Lots of smoke erupted as the water evaporated off the wood, and it finally burst into a healthy flame.
Motivation is like wood. If you are un-motivated (wet wood), it takes a lot to get the fire going.
Principle 1. You can only motivate someone who wants to be motivated. We have all experienced trying to get someone (spouse, child, employee, friend) to do something that made perfect sense, but they simply did not want to do it, so we both get frustrated. It is especially frustrating to see someone dousing themselves with water when someone is trying to help them. You can’t light a fire if they don’t want it lit.
Principle 2. Starting a fire with dry wood is easier than wet wood. The same holds true for people in regards to motivation. If you start with an open heart and mind, you are ready to receive the motivation (the fire).
Principle 3. It is easier to keep motivated than to get motivated. Once a fire is lit, keep it burning.
Principle 4. Once you become motivated, others will naturally be attracted to you. Just like a moth is attracted to the light, so others will be attracted to you. They will want what you have.
How do you stay motivated (keep the fire lit)?
1. Start with an open heart and open mind to self-improvement. Work on making you a better person. (Start with dry wood)
2. Read motivational books, magazines, and articles. If you fill your mind with positive motivating thoughts, then you are more likely to be motivated. (The kindling)
3. Watch motivational movies. I love films like Hoosiers, Rudy, Miracle, The Blind Side, just to name a few. (The spark)
4. Surround yourself with motivated people. If you hang out with lazy people, you are probably going to become lazy yourself. Hang with people that are self-motivated. (Stirring the coals)
5. Attend motivational seminars and lectures. (Adding wood to the fire)
6. Journal. When you are having a down day, go back and read the successes you have had. It is always good to remember that tough times come for us all, but they don’t last forever.
7. Quit the negative self-talk. Next time you find yourself beating yourself up for mistakes you have made, STOP IT. Start by forgiving yourself. We are all human. We all make mistakes. Speak life over yourself by affirming all the positive things about yourself. This isn’t about pride or strutting your stuff. It is about affirmation and believing the best about yourself. If you don’t believe the best about yourself, how do you expect others to?
So, as you look at your own life, are you on fire? Self-motivated? Purpose-driven? Or, is your wood wet? The question is, if it is wet, what are you going to do about it? It has to begin with you and your own desire to improve. So, quit making excuses. Quit blaming others for where you are, and light the fire…then keep it lit.