I’m not the biggest fan of the motivational poster, as is obvious by the title. The “well meaning” yet entirely self-serving message loses whatever intended value the more the author agonises over font choice and background. “Should the font be like Code or maybe like Futura instead? Does it have more impact over this snowy mountain or this girl sitting uncomfortably in this meadow?” I’ll decide while I sip my free trade peace water and contemplate which scarf best matches my moustache”.
Give me a break! Do us all a favour, STEP AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER AND PUT DOWN THE PHOTOSHOP. NO ONE GIVES A FUCK!
The point I am trying to make is that these are not only distractions from the real message; they are all just stylised writing over a heavily instagrammed picture of a lake.
The second reason I take umbrage to the motivational poster is that the resulting, if any, inspiration is fleeting and lasts for as long as it takes for someone to skim over it on their news feed or, in most cases, ignore it completely.
MOTIVATIONAL POSTERS AREN’T GOING TO CHANGE THE WORLD PEOPLE!
The affects they have do not last; they do not inspire prolonged and lasting motivation.
Motivation comes from you and those you spend time with, your goals, your vision and your willingness to get off your arse and do something! Self-motivation baby!
How do you create self-motivation?
Get a reason to get up in the morning.
Everyone wants to hop out of bed with a spring in their step and a fire under their butt. We want to be ready to conquer the day as soon as our feet touch the floor. For this you need a reason, a calling, a purpose, meaning (or whatever they are calling it these days, whatever works for you).
Whatever your purpose is find it, this doesn’t mean you need to find a single speciality and just stick to that. It doesn’t have to be your job. It can be helping people, inspiring people, anything! It’s the thing that you want to do, something that makes you happy.
Here is a great podcast on the subject to help you add purpose to your life.
Having purpose is HUGE for sustaining self-motivation, no matter what happens you know why you are doing what you are doing and that allows you the fortitude to carry on when you don’t feel like it.
A mentor not only guides you with the knowledge they have already acquired, they hold you accountable. Not doing what we said we were going to do can create huge problems. It makes you seem unreliable and breeds distrust. Once you break trust in that way it is VERY hard to earn back, especially from a mentor.
This person will be extremely busy running a company, training athletes or conquering the world (more in the figurative Elon Musk way as opposed to the literal Adolf Hitler way). Their time will be valuable and it is important to be aware of that.
Find a mentor, life coach, brother, uncle, whatever, you look up to and start asking questions. Find someone who can challenge you and your thinking, connect you to others, cheer you on through your triumphs and failures and coach you when you don’t know what to do. One person, sometimes, can’t be everything to all people. You may need to find different people for different situations. Just be prepared to be challenged and feel uncomfortable, it’s essential for growth!
I’ve discussed this before and I will continue to, that’s just how important it is! Your routine holds you up when things get difficult. It also allows you to get small achievements throughout the day to maintain your motivation and boost your confidence. Here’s an example of a morning routine, feel free to add/subtract to tailor to your lifestyle and needs.
Sleep – Find out how many hours work best for you. Personally I can manage on 6 but I am best at 7 hours per night.
Make your bed – I know this seems trivial but just this small thing can make a huge difference. You start the day off with accomplishing something. Even something small like that can make a huge impact on setting you up for the rest of the day!
Exercise – It adds confidence and gives a sense of accomplishment instantly! It gives you energy for the rest of the day and makes you happy through the production of endorphins.
Eating – We’ve all heard the phrase “you get out what you put in” this applies to the body too. Eating a healthy breakfast sets you up for the day, keeps your mood elevated and your mind active.
Planning – Take time to plan your day, this prevents overwhelm, allows you to prioritise and you will inevitably conquer more day to day.
A modern gentleman knows that sustainable motivation comes from within. He seeks out people on the same path as him, defines his goals to obtain what he wants, is driven by a higher purpose and knows that nothing will ever happen without action. Cultivate self-motivation and you won’t need a poster to remind you how!