The traditional methods of motivation are based on the theory of push and pull. In management, this principle is called carrots and sticks. Your boss is standing behind you with a stick, and if you don’t move forward, you will be punished. But at the same time, he is hanging a carrot in front of your eyes to make you want to reach the reward. This represents a double force. You are pushed by the negative and pulled by the positive.
This motivational method is mental because it is based on a simple principle of the mind. The mind is always trying to seek pleasure and avoid pain, this is its basic nature. However, this also means that you need to be reminded of the carrots and the sticks all the time. If not, you lose the motivation. This is exactly what happens to most people when they try to motivate themselves or others this way.
The other weakness of the push and pull technique is that it is external, even if you internalize it. Somebody has to be there to remind you, or you have to remind yourself. You need to keep a voice in your head that keeps telling you to take action. But with time, this voice weakens, and your motivation fades away. Sometimes, you are simply too scared to take action while other times you procrastinate too much.
Psychologists categorize motivation based on another criteria, as well: external and internal. You are externally motivated when you expect some kind of external reward or punishment for your actions. For example, you expect a salary raise if you are good at your job, or you think your wife will break up with you if you cheat on her. You do things for others, but for your own sake.
On the contrary, internal motivation is about self-fulfillment, enjoyment, discovery and creativity. You are internally motivated when you don’t expect any result from your behavior; be it good or bad. You take action simply because you enjoy doing what you do. You do things for yourself for your own sake.
Everybody agrees that internal motivation is preferable. It lasts longer, and you need less willpower for it. External motivation uses the psychological trick of the so-called delayed gratification. You are willing to endure pain in the present to enjoy some kind of reward in the future. This is a trick we taught to all children, who couldn’t wait to eat their chocolate bars later. They are inherently not willing to do anything they don’t enjoy, and you should learn from them.
Fortunately, it is possible to break through the barrier of your mind, procrastination, and fear. You can achieve lasting motivation without the use of willpower. Death awareness is the key. It kills fear because it faces you with the source of all fears, the fear of death. It kills procrastination because it takes away the illusion of time. And finally, it kills your mind because it helps you find who you really are beyond your ideas.
Authentic motivation is not external, but internal. Not mental, but existential. Instead of hearing voices, you become silent and get into a state of flow. You take action just because you enjoy it, just for the sake of it. You don’t need external motivation anymore. The action is authentic because it comes from the basic nature of who you really are.
This type of motivation is truly lasting, and the action it produces is effortless. Besides, the awareness of death makes you re-evaluate your goals and reminds you of what is really important in life. You will not only reach your goals easier, but create better goals, as well.
There are countless motivational stories of people who were diagnosed with a terminal disease. They used their hopeless situation for good and pushed through all the barriers that stopped them before. Suddenly, taking action seemed urgent, and deciding what they really wanted to do was easy.
But you don’t have to have a terminal disease to be acutely aware of death. Some people, like Steve Jobs, choose to remind themselves of death voluntarily. The following is a quote from a Commencement address he delivered at Stanford University:
„Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.”
Value is created when there is a shortage of something desirable. But you try to make yourself believe that you will live forever, and you have an infinite amount of time at your disposal. The problem is that you think you have time. But in the face of death, you suddenly have no more time. Life seems now painfully short and infinitely valuable. Death gives real value to your life.
Start remembering that you will certainly die, and you only have a certain amount of time to achieve your dreams. Besides, you can never know the timeframe, because you can die any moment. So, do everything as soon as you can, there is no place for procrastination.
In this free report, I’ll reveal my number one secret to spiritual enlightenment that almost nobody else speaks about. Download it now below, to find out what it is! I can guarantee you, you’ll be surprised!