Ok, wait. I’m about to laugh so I gotta hang on for a second. Ok.
Hey, it’s Marie Forleo and you are watching MarieTV, the place to be to create a business and life you love. Now, if you can’t seem to get motivated because your hard work never pays off, this episode is for you. Today’s question comes from Chris and he writes:
“Hey Marie, I’m 19 years old and here’s my dilemma. I have a massive lack of motivation to do anything or really live my life. I look deep within myself for answers and see that I’ve always felt no matter what I attempt to do, my hard work NEVER (in all caps) pays off. School, volleyball, work, even friendships. It never seems to be enough. I now realize hard work isn’t enough, so I want to know, what is? What can I do to re-motivate myself and make my hard work smart work? How can I make my efforts count so I can live a meaningful, fulfilling life? Thank you for everything that you do. The beauty in your soul transcends my small computer screen and no amount of words will ever be enough for me to express my appreciation to you. With love, Chris.”
Chris, I adore you and not just for that really sweet and poetic thing you just shared with me. I’ve gotta tell you, it is beyond awesome that you are so self aware. Self aware enough to really ask these important questions at this point in your life. While there’s so much we could talk about today, I want to focus on one important shift that you can make that if you really do it, Chris, and you make it a habit, it can change everything.
First you will instantly start to experience more of that meaning and fulfillment that you’ve been craving. Second, that motivation and excitement for life, that’s going to come flooding back to you. And third, this approach will give you the best possible chance of ensuring that your hard work will actually pay off. Now, while it can’t guarantee results, because honestly nothing can, it does give you the best possible chance of creating them.
Here’s the habit. If you want lasting motivation, you’ve got to focus on the action itself, not the outcome. Now, it doesn’t matter whether this is about school or work or sports or relationships. Moving forward, Chris, here’s what you’ve got to do. You have to consciously shift your attention to the action you’re taking instead of the outcome or the result that you’re trying to achieve. In other words, start giving your full attention to the present moment, to the actual process itself, not the end goal. It’s a practice that I call making isness your business, which we talk about in more detail in this video over here.
This is both a spiritually satisfying way to approach your life and it will give you the best chance to get that payoff that you’re looking for. In fact, there is some research to back this up. It shows that this one habit can help you stay genuinely motivated and experience that meaning and fulfillment that you’re lacking right now. Here’s a quick summary of the science.
Two researchers, Fishbach and Choi, from the University of Chicago and Korea Business School conducted a study with over 100 students working out at the gym. They divided the students up and one group was told to describe and focus on their end goal, like losing weight. The other group was told to describe and focus on the process itself: warming up, stretching, running on the treadmill. Both groups were told to keep that same focus throughout their entire workout. Now, check out the result. The end goal focus group actually ran for less time than the process focus group, 34 minutes versus 43 minutes. And, this is what’s relevant to you, Chris, the goal group reported that the workout felt like more of an effort compared to the process group, who found the experience itself more enjoyable.
Then they repeated this process with things like doing origami and flossing your teeth and the results were consistent.
Must have perfect mouth health! I’m really enjoying the feeling of flossing my teeth! Winner: Most likely to floss for life!
The bottom line, if what you’re looking for is lasting motivation, meaning, and fulfillment, you have got to focus your attention on the actions you’re taking, not the end goal. You know, high performance athletes and sports psychologists, they have known about this and they’ve practiced it for eons. Right? Once you’re clear on your goal, they all talk about the fact that if you really want to win you have to train yourself to engage fully in the present moment and really get into that state of flow.
So this is your mission, Chris, if you choose to accept it. It will make a tremendous difference in both how you feel and what you achieve for the rest of your life. Now, two more quick notes before we wrap up.
Number one, you’ve gotta commit to being a lifelong learner and ask for feedback from people that you trust and respect. Because who knows, Chris? I mean, maybe there is stuff that you’re doing that you could actually improve. For example, you might want to ask your soccer coach if he or she has any feedback for you that can help your performance on the field. There is always another level of mastery to reach in any area of life. So be proactive and get the feedback that you need to keep on growing.
Number two, whenever you feel down and demotivated I want you to do this. You’ve gotta help somebody else. Just take a look around and ask yourself who might need a little encouragement or some support or some appreciation? I mean, is it a family member or a friend or someone in your community? It doesn’t have to be some huge, monumental act, just something simple from your heart, and you’ve got a big one. I mean, one of the best ways to stay rooted in your own happiness is to help someone else experience their own.
So let’s wrap this one up with a reminder of this week’s key habit and, yes, it’s also our tweetable.
The secret to staying motivated: focus on what you’re doing, not what you’re trying to achieve.
Now I would love to hear from you. So can you relate to what Chris has been feeling lately? Like you’re working really hard and yet it never seems to pay off? Do you have any personal habits that help you stay in that state of present moment flow in your own life? I want to hear from you.
So the best conversations happen after the episode over at MarieForleo.com, so go on over there and leave a comment now. Once you’re there, be sure to subscribe to our email list and become an MF insider. You’ll get instant access to a powerful training called How to Get Anything You Want and you’ll get exclusive content, special giveaways, and personal updates from me that I just don’t share anywhere else.
Stay on your game and keep going for your dreams because the world needs that special gift that only you have. Thank you so much for watching and I’ll catch you next time on MarieTV.
Ready to find your voice and sell with heart? We’ll show you how. Get started now with our free writing class at TheCopyCure.com. Side effects include enlarged profits.
Oh, great. We’re rolling.
That just means I’ve got to make sure that I’m doing more things.
Do you think we can get Rihanna on just to go, “I really love my work, work, work, work, work”?
Imma go for it. Imma go for it.
We put that in your can? No. We put that in our can. It went in the can.