How do I stay motivated and driven?

I get asked about motivation on a semi-regular basis, and after being asked again on twitter this week, I decided to do a little blog post about how I stay motivated.

I definitely wasn't always a driven person, and it took quite a few people to ask how I stayed so motivated before I finally accepted that yes, I am a driven person now. At school I did well, but fortunately didn't really have to try that hard. As a teacher myself, I didn't think I worked particularly hard, but was often surprised at how little other teachers did in comparison to me ;-)

Now, as a business person (I guess that is what I am now!), I have realised how consumed I am with my amibition. I don't switch off, and am pretty focused on being productive at most opportunities.

So what changed, and how do I remain motivated to get stuff done?

1. I filled my thoughts with success. I devoured business books and podcasts. I talk about business with my friends and family. I watch business tv shows. In an odd way, business has become my hobby as well as my living. I enjoy it, in its many forms.

2. I created concrete goals for myself. You can't really expect to get somewhere that you won't recognise when you arrive. I spent a lot of time figuring out exactly what would be make me happy, and what would continue to make me tick. Having such a clear vision makes the motivation easier to find - I know where I want to go, and just have to work on getting there, little by little, every day.

3. Being productive helps makes you more productive. My Mother always says that if you want something doing, you should ask a busy person, and it has definitely rung true. I guess it's about momentum. It's harder to break a lazy period of time, and to get motivated over again. But if you're constantly just rolling with it, more stuff just seems to get done, which leads to more stuff you want to get done.

4. Focus on the action. It can be easy to be really busy but not achieve much, which is pretty demotivating. However, if you take time to reflect on where to focus your energy, you can ensure your efforts are rewarded, which motivates you to continue your efforts. All that matters is action, so try not to waste your time on the small stuff.

5. Find something you enjoy, the ideal way to stay motivated is to have a happy balance between reaping rewards and loving what you do. 


How do you stay motivated? Do you find it hard?