Motivating Yourself To Superlative Performance (2)

by Amechi Chukwujama

What separates the super achievers from the underachievers, the successes from the failures, the happy from the unhappy, the fulfilled from the unfulfilled, the peak performers from the nonpeak performers?

Roadblocks to Motivation

Belief System: A belief is something we accept as true. It could be an idea or phenomenon. Limiting or disempowering beliefs are beliefs that put a limit to what we can be, do, learn or change. Conflicting beliefs pull us in two different directions.

Values: Values are beliefs we have about what is good or bad, important or unimportant, desirable or undesirable for us. Waking up early, trust, hard work, etc., are values.

Attitude/Perception: Attitude is our mental disposition to a fact, event or idea. The way we interpret what happens is part of our attitude. If a client says you could see him by 2.30pm, you get there, you don’t see him, your attitude is the decider of what you feel or do.

Aptitude: Your knowledge and skills in the given subject area is of critical importance. Information helps to reduce uncertainly. Lack of strategy could bring fear. The more knowledgeable you are in what you are doing, the more confident you are.

Poor Health & Vitality: Someone who has a poor health will have a hard time staying motivated.

Not Being Fit Physically: When you’re not fit physically, you can’t stay motivated for long.

Environment: Your environment, where you live, is a major determinant of whether you can stay motivated or not. If your environment is negative, noisy, crowded, you will have to be a super man to remain motivated for any length of time.

Friends: If your friends are negative people who do not see anything good in any idea, and who are forever gossiping, condemning and disparaging others, you will also be inflected by their disease.

TV/Video/Radio: If you watch a lot TV, watch a lot of movies, especially the violent type, you will develop tunnel vision and your dominant state will be one of tension. A lot of what is on TV is violent and negative.

Newspapers: The newspapers are to be read with discrimination, and preferably in the evening. The headlines are almost always not uplifting.

Reading Materials: If you want to remain motivated and you keep reading books that depress you, what do you think you are doing?

Motivation Snuffers

Fear: Fear is a negative mental emotional passion which comes from negative fantasy, illhealth, past distress or excessive self-love. Fear leads to anxiety and worry, and anger.

Hurt Feelings: Hurt is mental distress or anguish, which manifests as physical pain, painful emotions, and painful memories. People who are hurt go into self-blame, withdrawal and apathy, or display anger and violence.

Frustration: Frustration is a generalized stated of heightened emotionality, characterized by insecurity, dissatisfaction, confusion, annoyance and anger. It occurs whenever goal-seeking behaviour is interfered with, or from unresolved problems and unfulfilled needs.

Anger: Anger is a reaction to pain and comes from undue attachment, fear, impatience, lack of love and compassion, pride, and hunger and other physical conditions.

Guilt: Guilt is the anger we feel toward ourselves for doing something “bad,” “nasty,” unapproved,” or “wrong,” Frequently guilt is suppressed.

Envy: The primary motivating force in envy is wanting what another person has, say a quality of that person, for example a personal characteristic, or a material possession of his, because that quality is valued highly by members of your environment or social group.

Disgust: Disgust springs mostly from a passion of the mind called attachment, and it depends on the value system of the individual. A feeling of antipathy ties up our attention and energy.

Apathy: Apathy is a near death, zero-potential state characterized by the absence of emotion in which the individual is at the lowest scale of aliveness. The person in apathy feels he has no choices.

Unworthiness: Unworthiness is the feeling that one is not good enough (or not as good as others), that one does not deserve to tap from the unlimited wisdom, joy and freedom that is within and around us.

Boredom: In boredom, the interest or enthusiasm and commitment of the individual in an activity or goal has waned; it has gone down. One way to respond to boredom is to reduce involvement.

Discouragement: Discouragement is to lose courage or enthusiasm for a pursuit, because of repeated failures, frustration or obstacles.


– Mentors

– Models

– Plans

– Visualization

– Affirmations

– Journals

– Inspirational books, audiotapes, video etc.

– Positive friends and associates

– Healthy eating

– Physical exercise regime

– Training and retraining programmes

Daily Disciplines

Can we expect to have the motivation to always deliver consist superior performance? YES. The secret lies in your routines, your daily disciplines. What are these daily disciplines?

  1. Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. Or use nutritional supplements.
  2. Start an exercise program. To achieve and maintain fitness, doctors say a person needs to exercise only 30 minutes three times a week. To avoid injury schedule workouts 48 hours apart to allow muscles, joints, bones and tendons to recuperate. (I exercise every morning.)
  3. An hour before you go to sleep every night, mentally review what you did in the day and note down the most striking experiences in a Day Journal. Call it “What I Happily Did Today.”
  4. Take a record of five things that you’re grateful for. Call this “I’m Grateful For…” Also, make a list of five outstanding success of the day in “5 Great Successes.”
  5. Plan how you intend to spend the next day and note down the tasks you wish to accomplish under “What I’ll Enjoy Doing Tomorrow.”
  6. Visualize, picture, and “emotional” yourself engaged in those activities.
  7. Just before you sleep and again when you wake up in the morning, read (or listen to) something uplifting or spiritual and contemplate or meditate or pray for at least 15 minutes to raise your awareness.
  8. Select some of the nonroutine tasks you’ll have to accomplish – an appointment, a meeting, a visit, a presentation, a report, etc. Mentally run through how you intend to approach it. Look at a lot of alternatives. Look at the likely obstacles that might come up and define options for resolving them.
  9. In all the activities that bring you in contact with other people, ask yourself this question: In which way am I making it easier for this person?
  10. Learn something from every one of your encounters, or from every person you meet. Ask inwardly, “What can I learn from this person? What can this person learn from me?”
  11. Live deliberately in the moment. Present time is all there is. Each time your attention strays into the past or future, pull it back into the present. Live in the here-and-now.
  12. Never put off of tomorrow what you can do today.

Go For It!

What separates the super achievers from the underachievers, the successes from the failures, the happy from the unhappy, the fulfilled from the unfulfilled, the peak performers from the nonpeak performers? It is the ability to take action consistently in the direction of their dreams. And what is the prime requirement for taking action? What is the force that moves you to take action? It is called motivation.

So how do we get motivated? By doing what we love, and loving what we do. The willingness to do creates the ability to do.

Go for it! Put these ideas into practice. Do it! (And keep a journal of your progress.)

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