Motivation: What is It and How Do You Sustain It?

[This is a news story about Willard Wigan, microsculptor. When you finish the article, watch the video at the end to learn more about this amazing man who turned childhood pain into lifetime triumph.]

Motivation is that energy, drive, and desire that makes us want to pursue a goal. We all have it in some form at different levels of intensity throughout our lives.

It can be as simple such as hunger pangs that drive us to seek a meal or as multifaceted as in going after a college degree in preparation for a given career, or as in the case of the microsculptor, Willard Wigan, to make masterpieces in a microscopic world.

When your motivation is strong, you have a clear picture of what you want to have or experience and you set out with determination, enthusiasm and persistence to go after it until you achieve it.

Since you are human, however, it’s likely that no matter how strong your initial motivation, it may wane as you move toward your goal. As a matter of fact, you may get downright disgusted and even consider giving up.

Zig Ziglar, famous motivational speaker said,

<margin:0;font-size:12″>“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”>

Feeding your mind with those things that stimulate your energy and pump up your determination is the secret to sustaining motivation.

Unfortunately, what motivates one person is not the same as what motivates you, so you’ll have to actively find what bolsters your spirit, renews your determination and sets you enthusiastically back on the road to achieving what it is you want.

One thing that motivates me are stories of people who turn childhood hurt into something grand not only for themselves, but for the rest of us as well.

Here are some ideas that work for me and others to help you get started your own search.

1. Hang out with people who are positive and motivating.

When you are around people who are actively seeking their own goals, it encourages you as well. They will also be able to share workable ways to stay motivated.

2. Fill your mind with stories of people who have plowed through adversity and setbacks to achieve their goals.

This can be in books, movies, or other media. I’m often moved when I discover that the challenges I face pale when compared to what some folks have pushed through to reach success.

I was very moved by the video above, for example, to hear that the micro sculptor was made to feel small when he was in school. He confesses that he can’t read or write, but he took the concept of “small” and made an art of it.

3. Research subjects that interests you.

You’ll discover that your goal has parts and pieces. Making a plan to tackle those pieces one by one is the start of your move toward success.

4. Focus your thoughts on your success

You may do this through affirmations, prayer, meditation, listening to stirring music or motivational recordings. If you commute a lot this is a great way to flood your mind with the positive thoughts that will keep your enthusiasm and determination high.

5. Visualize yourself achieving whatever it is your want.

As a child you had no trouble daydreaming about the things you wanted. Even though you were discouraged from it, you still visualize. It’s just that you were likely made to feel foolish  for dwelling on what you wanted, so you turned your thoughts to what you don’t have. You can change that today.

6. Create physical reminders.

Vision boards are a powerful way to keep before you what you want to achieve, be or do. Post photos clipped from magazines showing those things and experiences you desire. Then keep your board where you can see it daily. This facilitates directing your goals uppermost in your mind.

7. Be kind to yourself.

Avoid beating up on yourself when you discover that you are stalled in your efforts. As you drive your car it will eventually run low on gas. When that happens you probably don’t get mad with your car,  ditch it on the side of the road and start walking. You probably visit a gas station and get a refill.

When you begin to feel discouraged, drained, frustrated, or overwhelmed, go back to those things that can refill, refresh you and renew you.  In addition to things listed above, enjoy things that make you laugh or visit beautiful settings to feast your eyes on wonders of Nature and mankind’s monuments and creations.

Running low on motivation is inevitable. Your job is not to let yourself get empty, but always have a repertoire of ways to nourish your motivation so you will achieve those positive goals for your life that you visualize.

To get more motivation and inspiration, get my Everyday Happiness inspiration cards at

Take a Little Motivation and Pass It On

Beverlee Gopp--Walking in the Now

Beverlee Harbour Gopp

Do you receive lots of chain email asking you to pass it to ten people in 10  minutes or else?

If you’re like me, you hit the delete key in a flash.

It’s not that I don’t like sharing good stuff, it’s just that I don’t like chain spam from people insisting that I continue the spam assault on my mailing list.

But when you receive an email from someone with whom you’ve built a relationship, it’s a different story.

For example, a few days ago I received an email from my friend and fellow coach, Beverlee, from www.WalkingintheNow. It was an original motivational poem she wrote.  She agreed to let me share it with you.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

There are times in this life when my smile is real
My eyes shine with mirth to express my zeal
I walk much lighter with a carefree step
The commitments I make are all proudly kept
People are drawn to my inner light
I’m like a beacon they follow even out of sight
These are the moments when I am most proud
To help those around me let go of their doubt

Then there are days when the reverse is true
I hide under covers feeling quite blue
I worry and stress about all that might be
Forgetting the NOW that I practice with glee
What can I do to make this moment count
When bills and debt seem hard to surmount
I sit down and write my thoughts to inspire
Words dancing on pages as my mood transpires

Soon the creativity brings light to my heart
I am ready to begin all the tasks I must start
I look forward to the challenge of who I can be
A beacon of light for all to see
I’m excited and scared as I plan out my dream
Aware of the pieces and parts of my scheme
I let go of perfection as it gets in my way
My smile is real for the success of today

Beverlee Harbour Gopp
Author, “Choose Gratitude Not Attitude Even When Sh*t Hits the Fan!”
Motivational Coach, Creator of

Get a Buddy or Coach for Motivation and Productivity

Photo by crossfitpeachtree on flickr

Photo by crossfitpeachtree on flickr

Even the most industrious of us can benefit from an occasional push to get or keep us going.

My efforts to get out and walk for exercise, for example, were sporadic until I joined a neighbor who walks her dog. We both were happy to join forces because it’s just easier to show up when someone else is expecting you. Even though we have had days when one or the other has to cancel because of our schedules or vacations,  we have rolled with the changes and consider our walk as a priority.

One of my writing goals was to create quality articles frequently and in a more timely manner. When I heard of Jeff Herring’s 100 Articles in 100 Days Challenge I jumped on board and began to churn out articles faster using his videos, ideas and the camraderie of the other participants. There were no prizes  other than the gratification and sharpened skills at the finish line in July 2009.

In the early stages of writing my book, Color Your Life Happy, I worked with a motivational coach who gave me ideas and encouragement, and was my accountability partner. As I moved closer to the later phases I hired a publishing coach who gave me more specific tips, guidance, inspiration and again, was my accountability partner.

Why does coaching help?

Look at the top achievers in the world, such as Tiger Woods and Tony Robbins and others in sports and entertainment. Even though they live their passion and enjoy dream lives, they have coaches. As a matter of fact, I didn’t make as much progress in my own coaching and writing career until I hired a coach.

Is coaching for you?

Are you working toward a goal and pursuing your passion? Do you sense that you could use an accountability partner, a sounding board and a gentle guide. I urge you to consider getting a coach or buddy to help you stay motivated and increase your productivity.

I have a few coaching slots available in my practice. I’d be delighted to help you set priorities, make action plans and achieve the success you deserve. Get a complimentary session, then decide. Learn more here.