Ever been to Lagos? If you have, you will know what I mean.
Of course, we all need something to push us forward, especially with the complexity and sophistication of life (as a Nigerian).
Well, before we go dissecting anything, let’s quickly go through this short story.
In just a moment, 27-year-old Aron Ralston’s life changed. An 800-pound boulder (a mass of rock) dislodged in a narrow canyon where Ralston was hiking in an isolated Utah canyon, pinning his lower arm to the ground. For the next five days, Ralston lay in the dense, lonely forest, unable to escape. An experienced climber who had search-and-rescue training, he had ample time to consider his options. He tried unsuccessfully to chip away at the rock, and he rigged up ropes and pulleys around the boulder in a vain effort to move it. Finally, out of water and nearly dehydrated, Ralston reasoned there was only one option left short of dying. In acts of incredible bravery, Ralston broke two bones in his wrist, applied a tourniquet, and used a dull pen knife to amputate his arm beneath the elbow. Freed from his entrapment, Ralston climbed down from where he had been pinned and then hiked five miles to safety (Cox, 2003; Lofholm, 2003).
Can you see what motivation can result in?
The short, real life story above only shows how motivation and the need to salvage a situation can sometimes be indispensable to forge ahead.
What really is motivation?
Motivation is the thing, the factor, or the force that directs and energizes the behaviour of humans and other living things.
Things that motivate us
Although they are things that we do quite naturally, there are motivation behind them. For example, when we take water, eat food, etc. our motivation is to quench our thirst and kill our hunger.
What motivates us could be the results of our thoughts, our thinking, our experience, etc. They affect us in various forms and manners.
The need to achieve something can sometimes be the reason we are motivated to do something. For example, the drive to pass an exam, achieve a particular body build, marry a certain lady, etc. can alter our behaviours or motivate us to carry out certain actions.
Sometimes, the reason we do what we do may be unconnected with our drive, instinct, or thoughts—it could be the result of fear or pressure. A young man may be motivated to rush into marriage when he is not really ready because his parents are being persistent and unyielding.
Now that we know the variety of ways we can be motivated, it becomes needful to point out some tips that can help improve our motivation. Because we have certain dreams, aspirations, goals, desires and aim, motivation is needed to push them from our minds or papers into reality.
Here are five tips to help men improve their motivation
“Visualizations remind us that our aspirations are not a mere fantasy, but reality in the making. It makes us stay in touch with the present world while giving us deep insight into that future that would otherwise be foggy and full of doubts.”
- Be Specific
Sometimes, our many dreams, wants, needs, and longings can come in the way of a particular goal we deeply want to achieve. Being specific, therefore, means identifying a particular goal or dream we deeply care about. This helps us to improve our focus because we begin to channel all our energies and inner zeal towards it.
Repeated confession is a way to boost moral or drive. When you consistently make your goals or dreams into a mantra, they tend to sink deeper into our being, increase our consciousness, and help us improve our energy towards bringing them into fruition.
However, aside making confession, trying to visualize our goal plays a role in helping to bring them to reality. Visualizations remind us that our aspirations are not a mere fantasy, but reality in the making. It makes us stay in touch with the present world while giving us deep insights into that future that would otherwise be foggy and full of doubts.
- Stay Positive
Challenges and bad reports can also get in the way of our motivations, and may ultimately result in disinterestedness. Staying positive makes us focus our mind on the good side of life. This increases our inner strength. When the mind is full of the negative, interest, drive or motivation for something is drastically reduced. Because the mind is the source of all our actions, behaviours and decisions, there is a great need to train or discipline the mind to consciously absorb or take in more of the positive. Ultimately, motivation will be increased.
- Develop Interest
Ensuring that your interest in a particular choice, dream, career path, skills or vocation is not dropped can also help to keep motivation and zest intact. Interest, or better still, passion is a very effective way to remain motivated.
- Set Short term goal
The reason we get discouraged sometimes is because we feel all the energies and efforts we are channeling towards something are yielding no result. This may be true because the path to success, or getting to a particular destination, sometimes can take time.
Just like a journey during which there is a traffic jam, accidents can delay getting to the destination on time; getting to the apex of our dreams, goals and aspirations, sometimes could take days, months and even years. Mind you, success has no limit—there is always another layer of success to aspire to.
One way to rescue ourselves is to set short-term goals. If your dream is to be a lawyer, instead of dreaming of yourself in the chambers, why not set a goal to pass each of your exams excellently. I mean, by the time you set a goal to achieve, start by doing something small each day to bring you closer to your dreams; study for a particular exam, and when you do pass well, then you set another short-term goal, then it comes to pass; then another, and another; and before you know it, you are a lawyer!
One thing setting short-term goals helps us to do is to maintain focus, motivate us to go for the next step, keep interest burning, and enjoying the joy of a fulfilled goal.
So, we have mentioned that being specific, making a confession and visualizing our goals, staying positive, developing interest, and setting short- term goals are some of the ways we can keep ourselves motivated as men.
Remember these things and keep them in mind.
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