So, we have entered the final week of January 2017. Some of us may look back over the past few weeks and think “Wow, I have actually achieved a lot”, and some of us may think, “Where did all my time go?” and then there will be the mellowed ones amongst us that may think “oh really, that’s nice”. Wherever you are on the fulfilment scale, and whatever your response may have been, just remember that as long as there is an inkling of optimism inside you, then that is success. When there is success, there is still room for improvement. Once we identify the need for progression, we acknowledge our achievements, and to do that we have to highlight our motivation.
Yes, this familiar word again.
Throughout this entire month, we have stretched, and battered the word motivation so much with the hope of letting you all know that there is not one single definition for it. We all have our own versions of what motivation is for us. We gave you lots of psychological theories, and then took you through a “ladder” of different possible levels whilst asking you where this ladder should be rooted. To finally identify what the foundation of our motivation should be built upon.
A few top tips on how to stay motivated. We go into a bit more detail with life coach Sister Fatima in this month’s podcast, secrets of effective motivation – so be sure to listen in.
- First and foremost, why are you doing what you are doing? In order to stay motivated, we need a long lasting concept or belief that is not temporal in nature, or for worldly things. Let’s use a classic example, weight loss/gain. Some of us may want to lose weight to look and feel good, to fit into a particular item of clothing, for our spouses or an upcoming occasion – and whilst we are not saying this is wrong or forbidden. What we are saying, it is an incentive that does not have a strong basis. That item of clothing may go out of fashion, or that party may get cancelled, the point is, we should get fit for Allah Our bodies are a trust from Him and we have been ordered to look after it for that sake before any other reason.
- Secondly, are we being realistic? If we are not being realistic of our goals then the chances are, we will not see any outcomes, we will get fed up and soon enough give up or just plough through with unsatisfactory results. We will become unproductive and definitely not see any results, and we know the link between productivity and motivation. We always encourage aiming for the stars, but you also have to look at all the hard work that comes before that, you have to train yourself to be an astronaut and construct your craft in order to get to that place.
- Thirdly, are you giving yourself any credit? Recognising small achievements go a long Identifying what an achievement is for you is the first step. If getting out of bed 10 minutes earlier is an achievement, tell yourself that. If smoking one less cigarette a day is an achievement, give yourself a high five. If not self- harming once in a day is an achievement, highlight it, underline it, make it bold, and sprinkle it with glitter.
- Fourthly, is the reason behind your de-motivation due to lack of passion? Not doing something you enjoy can be hugely burdening. Now, we are not saying to drop out of your degrees, or give up your full time jobs. However, there are plenty of other ways you can remain motivated. You could do something outside of work and studying that you love, pick a hobby, volunteer, research, and find something good in whatever it is that you are not passionate about. It may lead one thing to another, and it may be difficult, but not impossible.
- Which brings us to the final point, you can be your own hero but you have to remember you are not a super human. You will always have lovely human flaws, and pretty imperfections, but that’s a part of the challenge. It’s a bruise on your motivation, nothing more. If you fall once, you pick yourself back up again. Even if it is just 1 centimetre, you still gained that 1 centimetre of strength. It is also a reminder of how motivated you are, how motivated you can be and how much motivation you have left in you.
A point perhaps a little unrelated is, to always look at those below us in terms of worldly things, but elevated in terms of deen. The Ummah is in various different states around the world, and when we struggle to stay motivated, it may be helpful to remind ourselves what we have, who we have and how we can utilise these special resources that others may not be able to take advantage of.
Also, never forget that you are huge motivator for Inspirited Minds!
We pray that Allah grants you a super successful and super motivating year which we hope we can be a part of, Ameen.