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- “Motivation is one of the most important things we have to master in our total emotional toolkit.”
- For so many people, motivation seems to come and go with little control. In this episode, learn how to finally master your motivation so you can summon it on command!
- “Motivation is an emotion we feel by either luck or by purposeful, conscious design.”
- Feeling motivated consistently can be a struggle. Learn how to connect with your ambitions to gain the momentum you need for your long-term goals!
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[The following is the full transcript of this episode of The Brendon Show. Please note that this episode, like all TBS episodes, features Brendon speaking extemporaneously–he is unscripted and unedited. Filmed in one take, The Brendon Show has become one of the most viewed unscripted, direct-to-camera self-help series in the history of YouTube. It has also been the #1 Podcast in all of iTunes and is regularly in the top podcasts in Self-Help and Health categories around the globe. Subscribe to the free motivational podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.)
The utmost most important area of emotional mastery is mastering motivation. Now, when I say emotional mastery you’re like, “Wait, isn’t motivation like a topic, an area?” I’m like, “No. Motivation is an emotion, right?” A motivation is an emotion that you feel, that you feel a drive, a sense of hunger, a sense of want and a sense of desire to make something happen.
I believe motivation is one of the most important things we have to master in our total emotional toolkit.
‘Cause if you can emotionally feel motivated every day, almost everything else can fall in line, right? If you’re emotionally motivated to be a better mom, be a better caregiver, be a better parent, be a better lover, be a better entrepreneur, be a better business person, be a better contributor to the greater world…
When there’s a motivation pulling you forward, out of bed each day, into the office, into real life to be your best, then everything changes. When you lose motivation you and I both know that loss of motivation is the first gate to suffering.
You lose motivation. Now you don’t feel like doing anything. You don’t feel like doing anything, you don’t work out. You don’t feel like working out, you don’t feel like doing anything. You don’t feel like doing anything, you don’t want to do your goals. You don’t feel like doing your goals, you feel unfulfilled. Feel unfulfilled, feel unsatisfied. Feel unsatisfied, feel like life is meaningless.
It is a slippery slope when you lose motivation.But the issue is no one has motivation 24/7 all the time. Motivation is an emotion you learn to cultivate by using your mind, your body, and your greater consciousness to ensure that you feel that pull of purpose, that you feel that energy inside that says, “I want to create, I want to contribute, I want to be my best self, I want to connect with people.”
And so motivation is something we’re going to have to generate on a consistent basis. I know many of you are at HPA and you hear me say, even all the time, you have to learn to bring the joy ’cause the power plant doesn’t have energy, it generates energy.
Motivation is something me, the motivation guy, I have the bestselling book of the entire century with motivation entitled, it’s called The Motivation Manifesto, if you haven’t read it. And The Motivation Manifesto is like, if anything is imbued in that book, it is this ferocity and this fierceness into this attention to living our best lives, but it has to be generated ’cause even though I’m the motivation guy, there’s plenty of days I wake up and like, blah. I don’t feel like it. There’s plenty of days, there’s plenty of moments where just like you, I’d rather be lazy and do nothing right now. And that’s okay, that’s part of homeostasis. That’s part of our human body. To want to power down, to relax, to chill out. But too much of that can lead to an unfulfilling life. So, you must learn to generate the emotions of drive, desire, go-gettedness—whatever you want to call motivation. And so it’s something that we have to learn to stoke.
Motivation is an emotion we feel by either luck or by purposeful, conscious design.
I just choose to design it into my day, every single day. For those who were with us at HPA, here’s a little quick idea for you, a little quick reminder that motivation is driven by certain things. You have a spark, you have something that sustains it and you have something that grows it, okay? The spark of motivation, which is how I anchor into being motivated each day is ambition. All motivation begins with a desire or a hunger and ambition for more. Whether that’s more depth or more connection or more contribution or more abundance or more wealth or more love, we just want more of something. And that’s ’cause it says, “I want to go get that.”
We see a fancier car, it’s better than our car, “I want to go get that.” We see a deeper level of relationship between two people, we say “I want that in my own life.” Sometimes it’s a visual cue, something we see makes us want something, right? Not too far from here, there’s a beach that I strolled on vacation, I don’t know, a couple years ago and I said, “I’m going to live here.” And it was a motivation. It was a cue. I saw something, desired it, wanted it, went after it. So sometimes it’s a visual, it’s a cue out in the world that says, “I want more of that thing.” And ambition can be visually cued.
For some people if you just wake up, I mean think about it. You wake up, you grab your phone, you’re like, “Aah.” And all of a sudden you don’t have any motivation and instead you look through all this stuff and all it did is make you feel like you’re not enough or it distracted you or it upset you or it created anger, anxiousness. You got to be careful how you’re using cues to start your day. I use cues to start my day motivated.
And those cues to start my day motivated are things like, I literally wake up and I’ll think of things that I’m grateful for and that I want to give in life. Or wake up and I’ll think about someone I want to do something nice for or surprise today. Or I’ll think of something I can be excited about today. Or as soon as possible in the morning, I’ll revisit my ambitions list, my goals list. I’ll look at them. I’ll not wander through the day looking at social media and then, “oh, I guess it’s time to work and look at my goals.”
It’s like my goals. I mean, in the first few minutes of the day, I’m revisiting them and what I’m doing when I’m looking at my goals or my agenda or my schedule, I’m looking at it and I’m thinking, “Okay, why do I want this? What would life be like like this? How could I go get it? What should I do today to make that happen?” And that motivates me. That’s my list of goals, my list of ambitions, the things that can excite me. In other words, it’s very intrinsic goals, it’s intrinsic rewards that I’m after. I’m like, “If I go do that, I will feel better. If I could have this, I’d be happier, right?”
It’s not that I can’t be happy now, but I want a pull. If I can have that future pull, that’s going to motivate me to go do stuff, right? I have to literally generate that in my mind.
And so, when I have that connection in the morning, then my takeaway for you is connect with your ambitions every morning, very first thing in the morning.
Somehow part of your morning routine, connect with your ambitions. Look at them. Why do you want them? What would you get from that? How would you feel from that? What would that generate? Why would that be more meaningful?
Really connect with that ambition every single morning and you’ll start to notice, you feel better.
Because remember, if you’re at HPA, if you’ve ever attended our event or seminar, you also know this reality.
That motivation wanes with attention. Meaning, if we don’t give our ambitions, our goals a lot of attention, the motivation just goes away. Because motivation is either fueled by our attention or by momentum, right?
It either takes reflection or action to generate serious sustained motivation, either reflection or action because ultimately from the reflection, that gives us clarity and clarity can give us confidence or action can give us momentum.
And when we have momentum, motivation is way easier to cultivate, generate and sustain obviously.
So, these are really important concepts. Every morning get very close to your goals, ambitiously. What are those things that you want, desire, need, and would enjoy? And what do you need to go to get them? Those are the intrinsic type of things. The things we’ll feel good about. The drive, satisfaction, fulfillment, meaning excitement in us.
But I also have my extrinsic, meaning my external cues or goals or rewards that also I revisit. So for me, for example, when I always tell you, wake up each day and at some point say, “Who needs me on my A game?” For me every morning, I re-anchor down into my relationships. I think about, okay, if I don’t show up today and do a good job, then my wife and I have a lower quality of life. Then I can’t support my mom, then I can’t support my team. Then all these people who count on me every day for motivation or count on me for leadership or count on me for support, they don’t get that from me.
And you know, I tap into that reality that if I don’t show up for somebody today, then you know what, by the end of the night, I’ll feel worse about myself. But also, it will impact other people.
Because you cannot have real high-powered mental motivation without a connection to other people.
We are social animals. So we have to think about, “Okay, what should I do? How can I contribute in a way that serves other people?” So, where that internal one is about self and satisfaction and fulfillment and meaning, personally, that’s happening to our own passions, desires, wants and hungers. That external one is ultimately about service, about giving or taking care of or being the caretaker of other people.
And you cannot just keep starting your day, “I guess I’ll get some coffee and read the news and see what’s on social media or hop into the car and listen to trash talk radio or turn on the TV and hope to find motivation later in the day.” Like you want to kick off the day, kick off the day with motivation. Get all ready in the morning, immediately you’re in a good state of mind. When I’m in a great state of mind, it’s like, bam, the day goes. And you know what, if you start the morning in the right frame of mind, motivated, driven, ’cause you’re connected to what drives you and what will serve other people, then when you start like running out of gas at noon, one, two or three, it’s easier to re-spark that flame than to fuel that flame then start a new fire, right?
‘Cause some people just keep waiting, they don’t even think about, “I guess I should be motivated,” until they’ve lost it. I want you to start the morning with it and sustain it throughout the day by revisiting.
Remember, the secret to all of motivation is revisiting those whys. It’s revisiting that ambition that you have for your life, for more, for others, for contribution, that’s everything, right?
That’s everything. And if you get away from that too many days, too many weeks, too many months, I’m just here to tell you, you’re really going to struggle. So, I hope that helps. Every morning everybody, every single morning. I really want you to connect with that, okay? Why am I motivated? What am I driven by? And that’s going to really, I can’t explain how much that’s going to help you, you will feel it and you will know it if you do it every morning, okay? Motivation starts in the morning but it’s also sustained by that morning frame of mind. So, that’s really key. That’s the first idea behind motivation. Connect with your ambitions, first thing every single day. Give attention to that every single day.
Here’s something I don’t often talk about but it’s important for me because it’s very easy for me to be really effective in the mornings and then that afternoon by two, three o’clock and I could just be like, “Man, I want to go outside, take a walk, come back, turn on some Netflix, eat some carbs.” You know, that can be my afternoon if I’m not careful.
So, here’s what I do. I have a checkpoint in the midafternoon to recognize, reward, appreciate anything that I have done today. Anything that I’ve done today. And that midpoint checkpoint for me on my phone, I just have an alarm. Mine tends to go off around 2:30 or three o’clock in the afternoon. It just flashes to me and it says, what’s been great today? And so, that will cue me. All right, it’s time to revisit, what’s been great today? So, I’ll just think about something I’ve done. It could be like I answered 10 emails today that I’ve been avoiding. Good job. It can be as simple as I made that one call. I said I was going to call, did it. I shot that content, created that thing, whatever.
Listen, motivation is often driven by recognition.
So, recognize what you have done so far in the day, early afternoon. Then what I do in order to keep myself motivated even more because I’ve set my mind that I want to be a person who’s excellence-driven, what I will do is I say, “Okay, here’s what’s great so far.”
And then I ask just a simple question. How do I complete this day with excellence? Just a simple touch point in the afternoon. How do I complete this day with excellence? So, I will look at the rest of the day whether that’s two hours more, four hours more, five hours more, six hours more. Whatever it’s going to be for me and I go, “Okay, how do I think through the rest of this day with real excellence?”
And when I can connect with that I’m telling you, it’s just so part of me and it really makes me want to serve. So, please think about having a midafternoon connection point to keep yourself motivated. You’ll feel a whole different quality of life come in. I promise it’s a different experience for people because most people, they’re just running and gunning through the day, they don’t realize or understand or accept how challenging it is to lose motivation and so they’ve gone.
Many people, they’ve gone weeks without being motivated. They’re going through the emotions but there’s no energy. There’s no emotional pull towards something better. And because they’re lacking that emotional pull, what ends up happening? They dog it, they don’t contribute as much. They react and sort of create and all of a sudden a couple weeks later, they’re like, I don’t know why I’m so unfulfilled. Well, no doubt you’re so unfulfilled because you haven’t been tapping into that emotion of motivation. When we lack motivation, it is a slippery slope to suffering. So, please recognize that you must cultivate more motivation.
What else can you do? Well, I’ll tell you it’s like, ambition, attention to those ambitions, effort towards those things. I think all of that is really, really, really clear. But I also really believe that a lot of motivation is simply lost because of fatigue. So, let’s say you’re doing all those things but you’re wiped out, you’re tired.
A lot of motivation really rests on how you feel physically.
If you feel lethargic, you feel tired, you have the flu, it’s harder to be more motivated. You can still do it by doing what I’ve talked about. Re-cue yourself, reconnect with those things. But health-wise, it’s really critical for you to say, “Okay, if I want to be motivated long term, I need to feel greater levels of mobility and energy in my body.” So, if you’ve ever hung around me, I’m constantly bouncing and moving and breathing. And if you’ve been with me at HPA, you see some of these practices. This breath work that I do that I’m activating and opening up my body so that my body says, “let’s go” over versus, “ugh,” right? So my body’s not like, “Oh, I hate this terrible thing.” Instead my body says, “I feel refueled. I feel ready to go, let’s go.”
So I manage my sleep, my diet, and my health in ways that support my mental clarity and energy. And I know sometimes people think motivation is just a mental game. I’m like yes, but your mind and your body are connected. If your body is lethargic, so is your mind, right? That brain body connection is real and I know you know that. You’ve been sick, you’ve been tired. There’s times when you’ve been out of shape, you feel terrible.
So, I’m here to encourage you as I always do. If every single month, that in high performance I have to cheer you on, to get in better health, to prioritize your health, to sleep good, to eat well, to move, if I have to do that every single month, I will do that. I will be your champion, I will cheer you on. I want you in excellent health this year. So, please hear me cheer that on every single month ’cause I just know I get you in better health, I get you in better mental health. We get you in better mental health, it’s easier to sustain that fire and that drive. That purpose, that motivation. That thing will bring you satisfaction, joy and meaning. I know you guys get this but I want to fire you up today. This is something you must fire up on your own. This will be fleeting. Of course it’s fleeting if you never look at it. I tell you all the time. No wonder you’re not motivated. You haven’t thought about what motivates you in three days? Just think about that. No wonder you’re not motivated. You haven’t thought about what motivates you in three days. Every morning I’m going to deep dive in what’s going to motivate me. I get excited about it. I look at it, I’m like, “Okay let’s go.” If I didn’t do that, I need coffee.