By June 4, 1940, Nazi Germany had already rolled over Poland, Belgium, France and much of Europe and was now setting its eyes on England. The British had just completed the evacuation of its Allied troops from Dunkirk, France, and its people were frightened, anticipating a German invasion at any moment.
Prime Minister Winston Churchill, seeking to reassure his people, went to the House of Commons and stood before the packed chamber to make a nationally-broadcast address.
“Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail,” told his rapt audience. “We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France. We shall fight on the seas and oceans. We shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air. We shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches. We shall fight on the landing grounds. We shall fight in the fields and in the streets. We shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender!”
England, with the help of the Allies, went on to defeat the seemingly unstoppable German war machine and saved the world from Nazi domination. As Churchill proved, with the right attitude, anything is possible. You can even change the world.
Whether your goal is to further your career, succeed in love and romance, become a sports champion, gain fame and notoriety, lose weight, quit smoking or drinking or any other personal ambition, staying motivated and keeping your attention focused on your ultimate aspiration is critical. Becoming distracted or letting failure derail your plans will never let you get what you want.
The only way to win is to keep on trying. As basketball superstar Michael Jordan put it, “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
In this article, you will find 70 tips to keep you on track so that you can continue to strive to achieve your dream despite any setback, any failure, any distraction, and any mistake. In the words of American industrialist Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.”
1. Worst Case Scenario – At the start of the day, think about the absolute worst thing that could happen. How likely is it that things would get so bad? Probably not very. Remind yourself that even if the worst occurs, you have what it takes to overcome any situation, no matter how terrible.
2. It’s the Journey, Not the Destination – Living in the moment is the best source of motivation you will ever find. Enjoy the day to day experience of living your life, both when things are going well and when you are dealing with problems. It will give you a better appreciation of who you are and what you can contribute to the world around you.
3. Power Up! – Success requires a lot of energy. To get what you want, you’ll need the physical strength to achieve it. Take care of your body, exercise regularly, eat right and eliminate processed foods, fast foods and other toxins from your environment. This will strengthen your body, your mind and also your will, and give you the endurance you need to do whatever you want to accomplish. When you feel better, you’ll be better!
4. Today Is All You Can Influence – Accomplishing long term goals is a moment by moment activity. You can’t change what has happened in the past, but you can influence what will happen in the future by focusing on achieving the goals you set for yourself each day. Do the very best you can with what you have to work with right now. If you do, the future will take care of itself.
5. Be Inspired Passion — People who don’t care, don’t succeed. Passion is one part emotion and one part commitment. If you have committed but no passion, your work will be dull. If you have passion, but no commitment, your work will be undirected. But when the two come together and you bring real passion to what you do each day, there can be no stopping you.
6. Create a Motivational Environment – Your workplace needs to inspire you, whether it’s an office, a playing field, or wherever you are going to spend the biggest part of your day. Make it a place that you will want to look forward to going. Make sure it’s always neat, organised and trash- and clutter-free. Personalise your space with family photos that make you smile or a small plant. Include motivational triggers that will remind you of your goals and dreams and inspire you to keep striving to achieve them.
7. Your Word Is Your Bond – Living up to the promises you make, both big and small, is what defines you in the eyes of other people. Always stand by your words and take what you promise others with the utmost seriousness. This will improve your personal and professional reputation and also motivate you to get things done. By locking yourself into living up to your verbal commitments, you can create the inspiration you need to live up to the biggest promises you make to yourself: Achieving your ultimate goals.
8. Share Your Knowledge with Others – When you share what you know with others, you will create new confidence in yourself, especially when you see other people achieve their goals with your help. When we help other people, it also can create clarity in your own mind about where your true talents lie and what you are capable of achieving.
9. Nurture Positive Habits – About 80 % of the things we do each day are habitual, meaning we do them without thinking about them. Developing good habits and breaking bad habits will allow you to spend more than half your time working toward your goals on autopilot. Make a list of the successful habits that you need to develop, then train yourself to start performing them daily until they become second nature.
10. Jump Out of Bed – Begin your day with a flourish and that intensity can follow you the rest of your day. Give yourself a great reason to get out of bed every morning, then attack the day with a high level of passion and intensity. Every day holds at least one exciting thing. Ask yourself, “What will today’s be?”
11. Use Measurable Objectives – You can accomplish any goal by breaking it down into a series of smaller steps. Set a long-term goal for yourself, then create milestones to measure how close you are getting to achieving it each day, week and month. Mark your milestones down on a calendar and hang it somewhere that you will see it each day. Celebrate victories and course-correct when you fall behind your objectives.
12. The Power of In-TEN-sity – You can do anything for 10 minutes, right? Whenever you are feeling tired, beaten or worn out, or are facing an unpleasant task, commit to working intensely for just another ten minutes. Usually, by the time the ten minutes are up, you will have found a new solution or something else to inspire you to keep going. Pushing yourself to get started can give you the momentum to push past obstacles.
13. A Mighty Oak Comes from a Tiny Acorn – Remind yourself that the small tasks you perform each day are leading toward your ultimate objective. Focus not just on what you are doing, but why you are doing it. What will be the long-term result of the thousands of tiny short-term tasks you perform each day? You can motivate yourself during the “small stuff” by thinking about how they will shape you as a person.
14. Be Grateful – Say “thank you” more often than you do now. People appreciate it when you appreciate them. Being grateful creates humility, and humility leads to grace, which is a fullness of the heart. By practising gratitude until it becomes second nature, the list of things in your life that you are grateful for will grow larger each day. Gratitude is also the opposite of complaining. So being positively grateful, you can avoid the negativity of complaining.
15. Use Web Research to Make Yourself Better – One of the greatest things about living in the 21st Century is that you have access to virtually unlimited resources right at your fingertips via the Internet. During free moments, go online to look for motivational blogs, forums, articles and other resources you can use to get tips on living a happier, more productive life. Bookmark the places you like best so you can return to them whenever you need inspiration.
16. Prep for Success – Whenever there’s a big job ahead of you, get ready by doing all the advance work you can ahead of time. Gather the tools and resources you will need and set them into place so they are ready when you need them. The very act of preparing can reduce the anxiety of being unprepared. Plus, you will be able to dive right in and get started without stalling when it’s time to get the job done.
17. Clarify Your Thoughts by Giving a Speech – It often helps to work through a problem by pretending to give a speech on the subject. This requires you to frame the problem in a recognisable structure: Outline what the problem is, what’s causing it, what are the possible solutions, and which solution you recommend. Not only will it help you find ways to work through problems, but you will already be prepared whenever somebody asks your opinion on the subject.
18. Make It Easy to See Your Goals – If your goals are hidden under a pile of papers or stuffed into a drawer, it will be harder for you to stay focused on them. Make your targets highly visible: Print up colourful signs or write them on Post-Its and leave them around your workplace, car and home. Set up your Outlook to send you daily reminders to keep you focused. Do whatever you can to keep your goals in the forefront of your attention.
19. Don’t Forget to Relax – Nobody can succeed if they are stressed out and anxious all the time. Take an occasional “breather” by using deep breathing techniques to relax your mind and body.
Inhale deeply and slowly through your nose, then exhale slowly through your mouth, pushing all the air out of your lungs. Repeat this three times and the additional oxygen it pushes into your bloodstream will help you relax and achieve mental clarity.
20. Keep Your Gas Tank Full – What happens if you drive around all day without ever stopping for gas? In the same way, you eventually will run out of fuel if you don’t give yourself the revitalisation you need to keep going. Schedule breaks at regular intervals to have a leisurely cup of tea or coffee, take a brisk walk outside, or call or text a friend to check in on how they are doing. You will return to your work refreshed and re-energised.
21. Optimise Your Working Environment – A great working environment is defined by three things: It’s a place where you can be proud of what you do; It’s a place where you enjoy who you work with, And it’s a place where you trust the people you work for. If any of these three elements are missing from your work, it’s going to be harder for you to achieve your goals and it may be time to consider making a change.
22. Fake It ‘Til You Make It – If you don’t always feel motivated, act as if you are motivated and you can create the desired feeling. Once you’ve gotten the ball rolling, you will find yourself genuinely engaged in your work.
23. Be a Doer Not a Thinker – It’s easy to overthink a problem and lose your momentum or inertia. This process sometimes referred to as “paralysis by analysis”, can be dangerous because it can sidetrack you from your objectives. Be a person of action and don’t be afraid to make decisions. Mistakes are going to be made, but you can learn from these mistakes so that you can do a better job next time. The only way not to succeed is to not act. Indecision leads to a disaster every time.
24. Enter into a Contract with Yourself – A contract is a legally binding document that sets a defined set of requirements on both parties. Enter into a contract with yourself that requires you to achieve your objectives within a set period of time. Write an actual contract, sign it, date it and put it somewhere safe. The knowledge that such a binding contract exists can help keep you motivated toward achieving your goals.
25. When You Get Stuck, Aim for Small Victories – You can keep your forward momentum going even when you get stuck on a problem by targeting tiny triumphs. Accomplishing quick, easy goals generates positive feelings that you can use to keep you moving past obstacles and toward your ultimate objective. You will be inspired to keep repeating that satisfying experience of crossing yet another task off your list.
26. Rewards Matter – Psychology tells us that humans respond most productively when there is the promise of a reward at the end of a given task. Create rewards for yourself for achieving your short- term objectives. They don’t have to be grand, expensive prizes. Find affordable, healthy rewards that you will appreciate. When you know there is a tangible reward at the end of your day, it’s often enough to keep you going even when you don’t want to.
27. Visualise the Payoff – Visualisation exercises help create the proper mindset for success. Take the time to focus on what your life will be like once you achieve your objective. How will you feel? What will other people think about you? Will there be physical, emotional and psychological rewards for reaching your goal? Put yourself in that picture and it can keep you inspired as you work toward achieving your ultimate objective.
28. De-Complicate Complicated Tasks – If there is a particularly complicated task lying ahead of you, it can seem overwhelming and unachievable. But if you break that task into a series of simple, uncomplicated steps, you can remove the stress and focus on achieving only the next simple task in front of you. As you move through each simple task, it will motivate you to keep going.
29. Use Positive Self-Reinforcement – Have you ever noticed that an employee or co-worker will work harder after they’ve been recognised them for doing a good job with a pat on the back or some sort of public recognition. Use that same type of positive reinforcement to motivate yourself. Recognise when you’ve done something extraordinary and take pride in your work. It will make you more likely to work even harder next time.
30. Acknowledge Negative Feelings, But Don’t Hold On to Them – It’s not healthy to suppress negative thoughts or let bad feeling bottle up inside you. When you are having negative thoughts or feelings, it’s okay to acknowledge them. But it’s also necessary to release them. You will accept a negative feeling if you ignore it or let it keep eating away at you. Recognise them for what they are, give yourself a few minutes to let yourself experience them, then move on.
31. Use Checklists – Checklists are useful in keeping yourself on task and not skipping or missing any steps. Before you being a task, break it down into a series of steps and then use those steps as the basis for your checklist. As you move through the task, put a check mark next to the steps you’ve accomplished and move on to the next task on your list. This will help you move through the job smoothly and efficiently.
32. Pay Attention to Opportunities – There are always two ways of looking at things: Something can be either an obligation or an opportunity. Problems can be either setbacks or learning experiences. Instead of thinking, “It’s my job to do …”, approach tasks with the mindset of “This is an opportunity for me to …” That way you will do things because you want to, not because you feel you have to.
33. Clarify Your True Desires – What is it you truly want? Clarifying your real objectives makes it easier for you to achieve them because you don’t waste time chasing secondary or tertiary objectives. If you aren’t sure what you want, answer this question:
“If you never had to worry about earning money for the rest of your life, what would you do with your life?” The answer is your true desire.
34. Create Energy Flow in Your Body – You can’t have mental, emotional and physical energy if you are sedentary all the time. Make it a point to stand up and move around frequently. Keep your heart pumping, your muscles loose and your mind sharp by standing, stretching, walking and moving. It’s the best way to keep energised, even better than a cup of coffee or a power drink. Plus, it will help you sleep better at night.
35. Surround Yourself With People Who Share Your Passions– Enthusiasm is contagious, so when you are around people who are passionate about the same things you are, it’s easier to remain motivated toward achieving your goals. Don’t waste time with naysayers or negative people. Seek out friends, co-workers and acquaintances who share your goals and interests and who will be supportive of your efforts to achieve them.
36. Seek Out the Answers to Secrets – Success leaves clues. Follow these clues to learn the secrets successful people have used to stay motivated. Ask questions. Seek out advice. In most cases, successful people will be more than happy to share what they know with you and are generous with their wisdom.
37. Procrastination Is Your Enemy – In the groundbreaking motivational guide “Success through a Positive Mental Attitude”, Napoleon Hill famously interjected “Do it now!” as a rallying cry for successful people. Never delay or procrastinate or your opportunities may be lost. Your time is the one thing you can never get back. Treat your time like it’s a valuable commodity.
38. “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” – Obnoxious as it was, that song from the 1980s carried a powerful message. Happiness is something you choose, not something that happens to you. When you are enjoying your life and your work, you will approach challenges with vigour rather than with dread. You will be energised to succeed, and all it takes is making up your mind to be happy.
39. Don’t Keep Your Goals to Yourself – Open up to other people about what it is you want to accomplish. This creates a support system that you can rely upon for encouragement when you need it. It’s also harder to go back on the promises you make to yourself when you know other people are expecting you to keep them.
40. Focus on Positivity and Tune Out Negativity – It’s always easier to find excuses or reasons something won’t work, but that kind of thinking never created anything great. It’s okay to acknowledge flaws, but don’t let them be your sole focus. Instead, keep a positive attitude and truly believe that you can overcome any obstacle, achieve anything you truly desire and become the person you were meant to be.
41. Continually Challenge Yourself – When you reach plateaus, bust through them by continually challenging yourself to do more and to work harder. Don’t rest on earlier successes. Discover what you can do to take it to the next level so you can reach your ultimate objective more quickly.
42. Prepare Yourself for the Day that Lies Ahead of You – Rather than diving into the deep end, ease yourself into your day by thinking about what lies ahead, analysing the challenges you can face, and visualising how you can succeed. In the same way that stretching helps prevent injuries when exercising, preparing mentally for your workday can increase your productivity, prevent you from being stressed, and ultimately help you progress toward your goals.
43. Use FIDO – The US Marines have a saying that goes, “Forget It and Drive On”. When you make a mistake or encounter something negative, don’t get caught up on it or dwell on it too long. Wallowing in the past won’t help make your future better, it will only delay you and make you more negative. If mistakes were made, pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and start all over again.
44. Don’t Let Negative People Affect You – Not everybody is going to be as motivated as you. Every day, you will encounter people who have a negative attitude toward life. Don’t let them get to you. You may not be able to change the way they think, but you can change the way you think about them. Share your dreams and ambitions with people who will appreciate them. Don’t waste your time with those who aren’t going to support you.
45. Treat Every Day as if It’s Your First Day – Remember the enthusiasm and curiosity you brought to the first day of school or the first day of a new job? Sustain that type of interest and ambition every day and you will continually strive to succeed and impress other people. This is especially helpful when you are facing an unpleasant task. Act as if you are auditioning for your current position and you will find that you will be giving it your best effort.
46. View Mistakes as “Teaching Moments” – Everybody makes mistakes. But not everybody learns from them. When you mess up, think about what you did wrong and promise yourself that you will do better next time. Set a time limit for analysing your mistake – a few minutes or so – then move on and never dwell on it again.
47. Immune Yourself Against “Destination Disease” – Destination disease is another term for complacency. For some people, when they achieve their goal they become comfortable. This prevents them from growing and achieving more. But not you. Never be satisfied, even after you achieve your ultimate objectives. There’s always more that life offers. It’s up to you to go out and get it.
48. Be Organised In Everything You Do – Organisation makes your life easier. Disorder causes distraction and delay. Why do you think the military is so compulsive about organisation? Your workspace, schedule, activities and everything else in your life need to be as organised as possible so you can stay on task without losing momentum and commitment. Clarity and orderliness allow your mind to focus on more important issues because you don’t have to worry about the small stuff.
49. View Your Life as a Movie – Hollywood movies have happy endings because somebody sat down and wrote them that way. Script your own life, giving it the happy ending that you want. Then stick to the script. You may have to rewrite some parts as you go along, but if you follow your life’s screenplay, you can arrive at where you want to be when the credits roll.
50. Smile – Psychological studies have shown that people who make an effort to smile are happier than people who let situations dictate their emotions. Keep a smile on your face as much as possible and other people will be more comfortable with you, will like you more, and will want to help you achieve your goals. Your smile may even be infectious!
51. practice Self-Discipline – Discipline is the ability to do what needs to be done even when you don’t feel like doing it. Train yourself to separate your feelings and emotions from the job and just do what needs to be done. Soon, it will become second nature and you will always have the self-discipline to keep moving forward toward your goals.
52. Find Inspiration in Other People – Turn to inspirational books, movies, speeches, courses and other resources to keep yourself motivated. There are many successful people who have made it their goal to help other people improve their lives. Take advantage of this generosity by seeking out inspiring personal stories about other people’s accomplishments.
53. Look at Problems from Different Perspectives – When facing challenges, call upon the knowledge and experience you already have accumulated in your life. Ask yourself, “What do I know about this problem that already works?” “What do I know won’t work?” and “What don’t I already know and still need to learn to resolve this issue?” This helps you approach problems from different angles and use your life history to work through them.
54. Calculate Your “Hours of Power” – Different people are more energised at certain times of the day than others. For example, there are “morning people” and “night people”. Keep track of your energy level every hour for a week, writing down on a notepad how energised you are on a scale of 1 to 10. At the end of the week, look for patterns where your energy was the highest each day. Those are the “hours of power” when you can be most productive at working toward your goals.
55. Don’t Get Hung Up on Money – Most people think of money as the way we keep score of success, but this is a flawed viewpoint. There are lots of rich people who aren’t happy and lots of people without money who are successful. Money won’t buy you true happiness or even success. So don’t think that you are going to find contentment once you achieve a certain income level or bank account.
56. Change the Scenery Occasionally – Getting away for a while is a great way to recharge your batteries and get you ready to be more energised so you can keep fighting for what you want when you return. Plan a trip someplace you have never been before and soak in the scenery. Take a relaxing vacation from your worries and ambitions, even if it’s just for a day or even a few hours. You will return refreshed, rested and stronger than ever before.
57. Be an Example for Others – Provide positive support for the people around you and live your life as if you are in a fishbowl and somebody is always watching you. This will prevent you from making stupid mistakes and experiencing unnecessary setbacks. It will also inspire other people to be more like you, which is rewarding on its own.
58. Constantly Seek Ways to Improve – There’s always something you can do to make the outcome better next time. Find it.
59. Build Your Foundation First – Any structure is only as strong as the foundation upon which it is built. Your life is no exception. Make sure you have a firm sense of values and purpose and you can withstand any difficult times life throws at you.
60. Be an Explainer, Not a Complainer – Avoid the temptation to blame others for mistakes or shirk responsibility. Instead, when you make an error, have the maturity to admit it, figure out what went wrong and move on.
61. Learn from Other People’s Mistakes – When others err, learn from them the same way you learn from your own mistakes. This has the double benefit of providing you with valuable lessons and not having to deal with the “blame game” and the consequences of making errors.
62. Become a Collector of Motivational Quotes – Some people collect stamps. Others collect exotic beer cans or fishing lures. Make your hobby something that will help keep you on track toward achieving your goals. Collect motivational quotes and keep them in a file that you can access whenever you need inspiration.
63. Set Your Alarm 30 Minutes Earlier – People complain that there are never enough hours in the day to accomplish everything they need to do, but here’s a great way to “find time”. You will be amazed at how productive you can be when you simply get out of bed a half hour earlier than you normally do.
64. Avoid Comparing Yourself to Other People – Everybody is unique. No two people had the exact same experiences, opportunities and choices. While it’s helpful to find inspiration in other successful people, it’s not productive to compare yourself negatively to them.
65. Use Affirmations to Shut Down Negativity – Often, negative thoughts can get in the way of what we want to accomplish. But you can silence that tiny negative voice in your head by shouting over it with affirmations whenever it starts speaking to you.
66. Keep a Journal – Every day, write down what you did to further yourself toward your objectives. This will motivate you throughout the day so that you will have something to add to your journal later.
67. Embrace Change – The only thing we know for certain is that nothing is for certain. When change happens, don’t resist it. Instead, embrace it as the next chapter in your life. As long as you are motivated to achieve your success, change can never set you back very far. And it often offers an opportunity.
68. Don’t Get Obsessed with Perfection – Getting it right is important, but trying to get it perfect every time will only delay and distract you on your path toward success. Do you very best, but don’t expect perfection every time. Even the best hitters in baseball only connect with the ball once every three times at the plate.
69. Ask for Help When You Need It – No man is an island. Everybody occasionally needs the help of other people in order to succeed. Don’t be too proud to ask others for help. That’s what your support system is there for in the first place.
70. It’s Not Always All About You – Everybody’s life has its ups and downs. Going it alone won’t make it any easier. Let other people into your life so you can celebrate your successes and make your failure s more endurable. Nobody is an island. Your life touches many other people. Be aware of this and let it help make your journey easier.
In this guide, we have provided 70 tips designed to motivate you to never give up on your dreams and ambitions. But the truth is that nobody can motivate anybody to do anything. The only thing a person can do is offer them the inspiration and incentive they need to motivate themselves.
The 70 techniques described here can all be boiled down to three keys to successful living:
Being willing to leave your comfort zone
Not being afraid to make mistakes
Not indulging in self-limiting thinking.
As has been stated repeatedly, mistakes are going to happen. You can prepare as much as possible, but the unexpected will always occur sooner or later. Successful people don’t let setbacks and obstacles stop them from moving toward their ultimate objectives. Instead, they continually commit themselves to happiness and positive thinking, no matter what happens.
By keeping your eye on the prize and daring to dream big, you can achieve anything you want in life.