It’s been more than two years now since I was asked by my brother-in-law if I would like to be his “pacer” for a mountain marathon. I was excited about the opportunity to get on top of my running again, though to be honest I was just happy that I was able to find my running shoes in the closet. This initial goal made me more passionate about running…a lasting motivation. The question is how did I make it happen, and what did I find inspiring along the way?
When I started out my level of fitness was not bad, but it wasn’t great, and November is not the best month for starting a running program. That first cold and dark run took a toll on me, and it became clear that I needed more of a push in my training than getting from point A to point B as quickly as possible. That’s what inspired me to search for sources of inspiration. Below you’ll find a few approaches that could help you to increase your motivation as you move toward your goal.
When you set a new goal for yourself, it can be a good idea to make a small initial investment…even before you’ve gotten going. A good time to do this is when you are not completely certain that you’ll stick with something. I’m not talking about a big investment or spending a lot of money. I could be buying a new running shirt, going to an exhibition or talking to someone in the know. By making this first investment, you’re making it clear to your subconscious mind that you are serious this time. You can do this right now!
Thanks to the thousands of people who share their experiences online, you have access to inspiration in terms of most any topic with only a few clicks. Start taking the time to make use of these sources of motivation. You could set up a list of inspirational blogs for yourself, create a playlist on YouTube, get a subscription to a magazine or borrow books on the topic that you’re interested in. You’ll be astounded with what people have already accomplished and experienced, and moreover they are more than willing to share this information with you.
On the way to achieving your goal, you’ll be taking many small interim steps. Most of them will directly bring you closer to your goal, but for some steps the connection might not be completely obvious. Nonetheless you can use every single step to keep you inspired over the long-term. This is a lot easier if you have considered exactly what you would like to achieve with the next step you’re taking. I learned this great tip from John Mayer – you can listen for yourself here:
As soon as thing are going relatively well as you move toward your goal, you’ll find another wonderful source of inspiration if you connect with a group of like-minded people. This could be joining an association or a club, taking part in a regular meet-up or checking out an online forum. Someone else on the Goalify team has already written a wonderful post about that – go have a look. One small tip: the less well you know the people with whom you’d like to make a connection, the more stable you should be on the way to your goal. Then you’ll be sure to have the necessary energy to deal with any negative people who you might encounter.
If you begin to spend serious time on your goal, you will also discover more and more that opinions likely differ in terms of some aspects of the topic. You can use these different viewpoints as important sources of information as you form your own opinion and to establish your own path. Be sure to keep in mind that these source of information are only inspirational if they do not push you off the course you’ve chosen for yourself. Once you have formed an opinion, stop wrestling with conflicting or opposing opinions. That also goes for people you look up to – in the end they are inspirational because they chose their own paths. Find out what you can and allow yourself to be inspired by others, but go your own way and remain true to yourself.
That might sound somewhat contradictory, but it’s not. You will open up an enormous source of power and inspiration for yourself if you help others to find their way or to stay on the path. Gottfried Duttweiler expresses it in this way:
Being successful means giving, giving, and giving again – it’s inevitable that it comes back to you.
That works best if you stride through life with an open heart and positive expectations. Really listen to other people. Try to avoid convincing others about how good your path is, instead make people aware of the possibilities they have in their own lives. Let your experiences be an inspiration for others, and enjoy the amazing feeling you get from helping others to succeed.
What inspires you? Do you have any tips on where you have found inspiration on the internet? Are there YouTube channels that you subscribe to, blog sites that you regularly visit or magazines you like to read? We would really like to hear from you as we are always on the search for new ideas ourselves. Inspire us with a comment!
Keep at it!
Michael & the Goalify Team