Whether you move ahead or languish is all on you. Undertaking a program of self-development and growth depends completely on self-motivation. Nobody is going to tell you to become better. If you are waiting for a mentor, friend, family member, or coach to appear one day and say, “c’mon, let’s get moving” you are going to wait your entire life. No one will push you to level up but you. That initiative has to start from within you.
If you do not put in the time and work on your own self-development no one else will.
Are you ready for it? Some people are not ready yet. They plan on developing themselves down the road, but now is not that time. At times this is an excuse for people to never get started, and at other times this is true. Especially if you are in your early twenties, you have an immense amount of time to do your thing, whatever that thing is. I wish more people understood this. They might choose the right career then, travel a bit more and develop some empathy for others, and then pursue a life that fits their passions. Instead, young people rush in to things that do not make sense for them. They chase the money or end up with a negativity bias.
Invest in Yourself
What are you doing today to make your life better? A path of self motivation means doing things that make you better in the long run, not serve as distractions in the short term. These self investments are such things as reading and constantly learning, eating healthy, working out, and developing good sleeping habits set you up for success in the future.
Habit building activities matter. Too many think that they will start performing in a certain way once a good opportunity comes along, and forget that our actions are not controlled like a light switch. Good opportunities come to those that prove they have self motivation every step of the way, not just when the getting is good. If you can be motivated when your work sucks then you can be motivated when your work is great. In fact, motivation during the worst times is the most important.
Those able to think across disciplines, or combine multiple things that they are good at to be spectacular at one thing succeed.
Worry about your performance at all times, in all things, noticing where you slack out of boredom, frustration, or annoyance. Either change those things to find motivation, or work even harder in those parts of your life to find motivation. I cannot stress the necessity of making self motivation a pattern to live by, versus a one off thing you embrace when you must. The latter is a temporary solution to a permanent problem.
The pattern of self motivation starts with curiosity. Find things to be curious about, and you will stay excited about self development. You can always find something of interest if you search for it. A lack of self motivation stems from not finding anything you can sink your teeth in to. It could be drone racing, renaissance festivals, sand art, or boomerang throwing. At this point, what that topic is doesn’t matter as much as the act of being motivated about learning more in a certain area of life.
Over time curiosity will hone itself to other topics of interest, and self motivation will spread to encompass other areas of your actions as comparisons are drawn between different parts of life. In education this is called being interdisciplinary. In life this is called winning. Those able to think across disciplines, or combine multiple things that they are good at to be spectacular at one thing succeed.
Some are ready to take their lives to the next level, but they are waiting for someone to show up and tell them how to do it. That will never happen. Your success or failure will depend only on your self-initiative. If you do not put in the time and work on your own self-development no one else will. Humans respond to where value is, and if you do not value yourself enough to grow then no one else will value you enough to invest in you. You have spoken and said you do not matter.
If you are ready to level up then you need to start right now doing it. No one cares if you do or do not. So, when you start taking the initiative to grow do not expect praise or accolades from others. Instead, expect quiet. Everything else will fall away, and the things you once thought mattered begin not mattering. I call this stuff the noise. Those voices in your head, and the distractions from media that prevent you from stepping out on your own. When you practice self motivation none of those things matter anymore.
Life becomes more exciting because you see possibilities and not just the practical. Most things become opportunities to challenge yourself to be better, and instead of approaching a potentially negative situation with anger your find excitement at the possibility to grow. Self motivation also makes you a target, but in a good way.
The most important aspect of self motivation, what continues to drive people forward when they want to quit, is seeing other people who are still grinding away. Self motivation feeds self motivation. Seeing the hard work and motivation of others eases the mind and lets one know that the ambitions one has set are not insane. You have colleagues in that crazy realm of possibilities. The hard part is starting, but once you take a chance on yourself the rest is just perseverance.