Self-Improvement: How can I motivate myself to work hard?

When I was in 20 years old and studying at UCLA, I flunked an Economics class. I was devastated.  Guess what happened?  I bounced back.  I got an A when I retook the course.

When I was 22, I interviewed with 4 different managers at a Fortune 100 company and was ranked pretty much last in every interview.  I didn't get a single job offer.  I was frustrated.  Guess what happened?  I bounced back.  I have my dream job now.

When I was 25, I created 9 iPhone apps, all of which failed miserably.  I spent a ridiculous amount of time and money building them and felt really bummed.  Guess what happened?  Since then, I've built another 4 iPhone apps and all 4 of them hit the top 100 in the Business, Lifestyle and Entertainment section. 

When I was 28, I found out my mentor and friend Erik, who was like a brother to me, passed away from cancer.  That was one of the toughest times in my life. Guess what happened?   I bounced back.  Because that's what Erik would have wanted.

What I've noticed over the last 30 years of my life is that there is a recurring pattern to successfully motivating myself.  This pattern helped me get back on track, even during times that felt like rock bottom.  I've also asked numerous executives from Cisco, MTV, Bank of America, VMware, Box and Optimizely what their secrets to motivation are.  In addition to that, I've also read numerous books on motivation from authors like Tony Robbins to Daniel Pink (Author of "Drive").

I've put together a list of the 10 things successful people do to motivate themselves.

I've never shared this list – until now. 

Here are the top 10:

1.  Understand your why:

"The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why."  – Mark Twain

Understand your purpose and it will fuel your drive.

If I told you that it was your job to sort through a box of potatoes and to throw away the rotten ones, would you feel a strong sense of purpose?  Or would you feel like a cog in a machine?  Now – what if I told you that by sorting out the bad potatoes you were helping out the local food bank in supplying fresh food to needy families in the area – would that change your perspective and your sense of purpose in the work?

Now that you understand the purpose of the work – does it potentially change your attitude or perhaps even your choice of work?

I’m not here to dictate what purpose is. Everyone’s got a different definition based on their experiences in life and their own set of values.

But what I do want to ask you is:

What does purpose mean to you?

Find your why.  If you don't know what it is, create it.  That will motivate you to make a difference.

2. Stay Focused on the Big Picture

"Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life, because you become what you believe." – Oprah Winfrey

Admit it.  There will be days where work will feel boring.  When tasks feel repetitive.   When you feel like you have 100 things to do on your checklist.    Or when you're just plain irritated.  The easy thing to do is to feel frustrated and to give up.  Or you could stay focused on the big picture.

When I worked at Fortune Global 2000 company, I started a weekly partner training program that quickly grew from 20 attendees to well over 150 sales reps at its peak.  One of my co-workers was upset because he felt like it would end up creating more work for him.  (ie, if Nelson is doing it, then we'll all have to start doing this!) 

If I caved and stopped doing the trainings so that my co-worker wouldn't feel obligated to do more work, do you know what would have happened?

We wouldn't have created $1.6M in pipeline, that's for sure.

That's why you've got to keep your eye on the big picture. 

3.  Get Active

A lot of times it's hard to get motivated if you're not in a good mood. Research has shown that working out multiple times a week for a reasonable period of time can reduce the symptoms of depression.  Exercising for 30 minutes can also increase levels of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine which can help to reduce stress.

I've noticed that when I exercise for at least 30 minutes (especially in the morning), I'm a lot more relaxed throughout the day, less stressed out and am able to think much more clearly. 

Also, if you're pushing yourself in your workouts, you're testing your boundaries and this can be really healthy.  For example, I had never run a half marathon before and I decided to step up to the challenge this year.  It was painful, but after I finished, I immediately thought, "if I can do this, what else I am capable of?"  

Pushing yourself physically will also motivate you to push yourself intellectually and in other parts of your life – like your career.  #WorkoutsElevateYourGame

4.  Have an accountability buddy

"Surround yourself with people who push you, who challenge you, who make you laugh, who make you better, who make you happy." – Anonymous

Let's say you set a goal of signing on 100 new customers within a year.  Now share that goal with some of your closest friends and colleagues.  Guess what? You've just signed up for peer pressure and this is a great way to keep yourself motivated at work.  Don't believe me?  Just wait until you hear someone down the hall say, "Hey (Insert Your Name Here), how are you doing in your goal of 100 new customers?" 

Still don't think that's motivating?

How about an additional 50 coworkers also asking that same question?  I think that'll motivate you. 

Just a hunch.

5.  Motivational quotes.

I know, I'm writing a post on how to get motivated and included motivational quotes and then suggested that you use motivational quotes to get motivated.  This just got meta on you. 

Whatever motivational quote you decide on, print it out and tape it to your mirror.  Or if you want to get fancy with it, take a marker and write it on the mirror! Or if you want weekly motivational posts, you can always subscribe to my blog.

That'll get you going in the morning!

6.  Create small, bite-sized goals

There's a reason donut holes are so lovable.  They're easy to eat.  Before you know it, you've eaten a dozen of them. 

This is how goals should be too.  Of course you should have a really big, audacious goal. 

But make sure you break down that goal into bite-sized, consumable goals.  This way you'll feel like you're making progress in your journey and you'll also feel a sense of accomplishment when you complete the smaller goals.  A feeling of progress and achievement is a beautiful combination. 

7.  Have the time of your life

"There's no fun in a perfect life.  So make a risk.  Take a chance.  Go where the wind takes you.  Have fun." – Jenny C.

If you're having fun, you're going to be more motivated to do great work.  This is true for 90% of the people.  Okay, I have no proof that is statistically true, but I'm pretty sure for most people this holds true. 

Do you notice that when you're having fun, you're more charismatic, upbeat and optimistic?  Do you notice that you're more productive because you're actually enjoying the work?  Do you notice you're motivating other team members because you're making the work environment awesome?

Thought so.

Go out there and have the time of your life!  (Go to 3:19 for the good part)

8.  Meditate

"Meditation is not a means to an end.  It is both the means and the end." – Jiddu Krishnamurti

We live in a world of information overload.  Because of that, our brains sometimes get overstimulated and that's not a good thing.  That's why we need to meditate. 

Calm down.   Close your eyes.  Lie down. 

Ok fine, you're probably sitting in front of a computer – just sit up straight then.  Breath slowly in and out.  Do you feel a sense of calm wash over you?  Do you notice thoughts starting to creep in?  Push them out and focus only on your breathing. 

Meditation will help you motivate yourself in a few different ways:

*Focus – By clearing your mind, you'll have a renewed sense of focus.

*Happiness – By meditating, you'll likely feel happier since your stress will be reduced.  When we're happy, we tend to be more optimistic about the

future.  That optimism can often be a very powerful motivational force. 

Check out the Headspace app to help you with your meditation needs. 

9. Brainstorm your ideas and write them down

Not all of your ideas will be good.  It doesn't matter.  Write them down anyway.  I got this idea from James Altucher (the guy is brilliant!).

Your great ideas will come when you least expect them.

Eventually, after you jot down 100 ideas, chances are that you'll have at least one good idea.  That's incredibly motivating when you discover you can come up with good ideas.  So start jotting them down.  Now.

10.  Visualize the future and go make it happen

Need motivation?

Think about what you're going to achieve.  Think about the impact you're going to make.  Think of the future you're going to create. 

Visualize it.

Go make it happen.  NOW.

Because it's never too late to be awesome.

Here's an awesome visual that summarizes the ten points I wrote about above:  (kudos to Ahmed for sharing it)

For more motivation subscribe to my site CEO Lifestyle.

19 Replies to “Self-Improvement: How can I motivate myself to work hard?”

  1. Don't bother

    If you have no motivation to work hard then it is unlikely that you will.

    Most people want to diet. Most fail
    There is little evidence that those who succeed are much better off for it.

    Most people want to be fitter than they are. Most fail.
    Just staying reasonably healthy and taking care of yourself is good enough.
    There is little evidence that those who have to be motivated to stay fit can keep it up for long.

    Most people want to be better educated than they are. Most fail.
    There is little evidence that being educated beyond what is needed for your work and vocational interests has any benefits.

    Most people want to be more attractive than they are. Most fail.
    There is little evidence to suggest that being more attractive offers more benefits than being more reliable, honest, generous, trustworthy, kind, or have any of the attributes that we value in others, and are the basis of good relationships.

    Most people want to be more famous than they are. Most fail.
    There is little evidence that fame in itself promotes a better lifestyle unless the lifestyle is itself dependent on fame. In which case it is a very fragile lifestyle to sustain.

    Most people want to be richer than they are. Most fail.
    There is a tendency to spend extra money in compensating for the effort and demands required for making extra money if you have to earn it. If the money comes without working then fine, but winners of lotteries are notorious for regreting it.

    Unless you have a passion, a dream, a goal, an inspiration, a desire, or a purpose to reach, then working hard (beyond what you would do in a normal course of events) is a waste of time.

    The worst thing you can do in life by far is
    waste time.

    Divide your time into two sections

    1. Committed time
    2. Disposable time

    Committed time includes

    • Your work
    • Your travelling time
    • Your study time
    • Your duties, obligations, routines, and upkeep of belongings

    Disposable time includes

    • Shopping
    • Entertainment
    • Social events
    • Relaxing
    • Hobbies
    • Any time where you can
      Choose to do something or not do it
      Choose to do it now or later
      Choose to do it or get someone else to do it

    Analyse your Committed time Work

    • Can you spend less time to earn the same money?
    • Can you earn more money for the same time?
    • Can you get more than money from your work?
    • Can you organise your work to do it with less effort?
    • Can you use your work to gain benefits beyond your workplace?
    • Can you use the contacts you make at work beneficial outside?
    • Can you extend your work experience into your spare time?

    Look at your work as a place to earn, a place to learn, a place to  socialise, a place to test yourself, a place to explore ideas, a place to identify with, a place to develop your personality.

    Committed time Travel

    • Can you make your travel time shorter?
    • Can you make it cheaper?
    • Can you make it more pleasant?
    • Can you make it useful?
    • Can you incorporate other things into your travelling?

    Committed time Study

    • What is the least you need study to achieve your purpose?
    • What is the fastest way to learn what you need?
    • What are the best aids available to you?
    • What are your main costs in equipment and materials for study?
    • Can you reduce the study costs?
    • How soon can you apply what you have learnt?
    • What are the main benefits of your studies?
    • Are the benefits ongoing or do you stop studying?

    Committed time Duties, Routines, etc.

    • Shopping, cleaning, repairing, upgrading, and all the tasks that need be done to keep your life in a running order.
    • They fall into two categories of
      Urgent (must be dealt with quickly)
      Important (must be dealt with properly)
    • These are divided into:
      What you can do yourself
      What you can get someone else to do
    • You can also see if any of these tasks can be eliminated, shortened, done more quickly or cheaply, or done temporarily.

    In all, you should not be looking for ways to motivate yourself to work harder, but looking for ways to work less (or Smarter, as they say)

  2. This is my photo when I was in Stanford.

    I've failed a lot of times in my education as well as my academic career. However I have no regrets. Most certainly, I am sometimes a little sad, but I am the kind of person who has a growth mindset and does not wallow in misery. For me, failure is a learning process allowing me find and correct the cause of that failure. Some of my failures include.

    1. I've failed a lot of times to get a scholarship abroad.
    2. I failed to enter the university that I dreamed of.
    3. I never worked in industry, because I always failed to get a job.
    4. I failed in becoming college teacher.
    5. I failed to become a professor at one of the various universities in Japan.

    Nonetheless, I have currently been accepted into 8 Masters and 3 Ph.D. programs in different countries. I am also currently a research associate at the best university in Japan. My failures were more than my successes, but people only saw my successes. They never saw my failures.

    Whenever you fail, do not worry about it. Forget it, fix it and just do it again. I’m going to teach you the attitude of "repeating, repeating and repeating".

    Do you know Jack Ma? The founder of alibaba?

    1. Jack Ma applied to several companies at that time and many of them refused to hire him. There was a particular time when Jack applied to a KFC fast food restaurant. In total, there were 25 applicants for the various positions available. Out of these, 24 people were hired, meaning there was only one person who was not accepted and that was Jack Ma.
    2. He recounts that he also applied to be a cop. In all, there were 5 people applying and only one who was not accepted to be a policeman was Jack Ma.
    3. Jack Ma also failed at becoming a teacher in the same school twice. At that Jack only earned a salary of about $ 12 per month.
    4. In his bid to be school at one of the best universities in the world (Harvard University), Jack Ma had to swallow the bitter pill of failure 10 times, and in the end was forced to abandon his dream of studying at Harvard University. He was also rejected at his 2 favorite universities in the city which also forced him to enter the university as a teacher-student in Hangzhou where he graduated as a scholar of English literature.
    5. In 1999 Jack and 17 other founders started to work on the Alibaba Ecommerce project. For 3 years they did not make any profit from Alibaba, but by the end of 2001, Alibaba started to see the light and for the first time, Alibaba made profit of 500.000 Yuan.

    Approximately 30 companies have refused to hire Jack Ma, nevertheless Jack Ma never despaired at that time.

    Good luck

    Pambudi

  3. Great question! This is a topic that resonates well with me. Personally, I've been studying the art of motivation for years, but not only through text books. Through my career as an entrepreneur and a columnist for publications such as Inc. and Forbes, I have had the opportunity to not only experience what motivates myself first hand, but gather insights from some of the top leading professionals in the world on the topic of motivation.

    What I ended up receiving wasn't just theory as stated in the textbooks, but proof of this happening in the real world.

    I started my entrepreneurial life at the age of 16. I’ve had a few successes and a few failures. But at the end of the day, motivation is something that I have become quite familiar with. However, I'm not nearly as accomplished as some of the professionals I've had a chance to interview. With that said, my successes did give me insights to see why I was able to motivate myself as much as I did through my life.

    As a contributor to Inc., I was blessed with the opportunity to go out there and meet people ranging from a former Fortune 500 CEO, the founder of USA Network and the Syfy channel, the founder of 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, and many other successful entrepreneurs who have built multimillion dollar companies.

    These are the types of people who want to share their insights with the world on how they were able to accomplish such feats as staying motivated, yet they are so busy running their successful enterprises, they just don't have the time to sit in front of a computer and structure their thoughts together on a site like Quora.

    Luckily, my career allows me the time to sit on the phone with them, structure all their thoughts, find the research behind it and share insights like this with people who are searching for this exact information.

    Think about motivation this way.

    It’s 2:00 p.m. Your lunch sits snugly in your stomach causing fog to settle over your brain. Your energy is low. Thought processes stop mid-stream. You know what needs to get done, but your body is resisting it.

    We can all relate to this feeling.

    How people respond to this daily situation is significantly different though:

    1. Most people fall prey to chronic procrastination and fail to turn their intentions into actions.
    2. A small group of people consistently power through low-energy moments and lead more impactful lives.

    But what is it that separates these two groups?

    According to a growing body of academic evidence, the divide is not some unchangeable character trait.

    It’s our habits.

    Luckily for us, habits are flexible.

    I needed insights into figuring out what actually works, not just for my own personal benefit, but so I could share it with others. Because of that, I interviewed many of the country’s most successful entrepreneurs and business leaders whose records speak for themselves.

    After I gathered the information, I was able to decipher the 10 easiest ways to stay motivated:

    10 Easy Steps To Keep Yourself Motivated, Backed By Science

    1. Leverage the Chameleon Effect

    Brian Scudamore, founder and CEO of 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, You Move Me, and Wow 1 Day Painting

    When focus fails me, I find an empty desk in the office and sit next to a focused employee who I don’t really know. Even if you aren't entrepreneurial or maybe you are a student, you can still find the right people to sit next to at co-working spaces, study rooms and cafes.

    This approach keeps me focused in three ways:

    • It helps me feed off the person’s concentration.

    The well-studied chameleon effect shows that we unconsciously copy the postures, mannerisms, facial expressions, and other behaviors of people around us.

    • It makes me want to be a good role model.

    We often try to please the people we know the least more than the people we’re closest to. As the leader of our organization, I feel extra pressure to stay focused when I’m sitting right next to someone I don’t know as well.

    • It gets me out of mental ruts.

    “Many of our repeated behaviors are cued by everyday environments,” according to studies conducted by Wendy Wood and James B. Duke, professors of psychology and neuroscience. So changing my workstation changes my behaviors.

    2. Turn People You Have Relationships With Into An Accountability Partner

    Aaron Steed, CEO of Meathead Movers

    The constant motivation to enhance your image to others is a core part of what it means to be human and has been widely studied. I’m a big believer in channeling this never-ending pool of motivation into important things I want to get done. I do this through finding the right accountability partners and adding positive and negative consequences.

    For example, I’ve been a nail biter for as long as I can remember. It became so much of an insecurity that I hid my hands under the table during business meetings.

    Finally, one day, I was getting a manicure, and I noticed that my manicurist bit her nails too. In a friendly manner, I teased her on the irony and we hit it off. That’s when I got my big idea: “What if we stopped biting our nails together?”

    Here’s the deal I came up with:

    • If I bit my nails, I would pay double for my next manicure.
    • If she bit her nails, my manicure would be free.
    • If we each win or lose, it would be normal cost.

    We shook on it, and three months later, I have yet to pay for a manicure.
    Imagine how you could transform your relationship with your vendors (accountant, lawyer, employees, etc.) by becoming accountability partners.

    3. Precommit When You Know You’re Going to Procrastinate

    Rohit Anabheri, founder of Circa Ventures

    I can tell what I’m going to procrastinate on before I procrastinate on it. We all can.

    Feeling resistance when I think about doing the task in the future is a solid indicator. When this happens, rather than waiting, I snap into action and precommit. Precommitment means that I very specifically:

    • Decide what I’m going to do.

    Instead of writing down “Work on XYZ,” I will be specific and either write “Work on XYZ for one hour” or “Complete ABC.” It should be very clear when the task is finished.

    • Plan when and where I’m going to do it.

    Instead of hoping I’ll have enough time, I make time by scheduling the task on my calendar.

    This type of planning is known as if-then planning in the academic world. In a review of 94 studies on the topic, researchers Peter Gollwitzer and Paschal Sheeran found that if-then planning increased success rates at an astounding level.

    I use StickK to manage my precommitments. StickK was developed by Yale University economists Dean Karlan and Ian Ayres, and has been shown to more than double follow-through when people add an accountability partner and a consequence.

    4. Reconnect With Your Deepest Reservoir of Inspiration


    Doug Conant, former CEO of Fortune 500 company Campbell Soup Company and founder and CEO of Conant Leadership

    When I feel resistance, I find it helpful to take five minutes to completely stop what I’m doing to reconnect with my purpose by visualizing the parts of it that inspire me the most.

    My purpose is: to help build world-class organizations that defy the critics and thrive in the face of adversity. It is what drives me in a unique and profoundly personal way. I developed it over time, in part, by answering the questions below:

    1. Why do you choose to lead?
    2. What leaders throughout history have inspired you the most?
    3. Which of their qualities do you admire the most?
    4. Why will it be worth the steadfast devotion to spending more of your waking hours at work than anywhere else?
    5. Why will it be worth tackling the challenges that come with that commitment to work (i.e., hand-wringing over forecasts and budgets, the reports, the travel)?

    Studies show that having a purpose leads to being happier at work, which leads to being more productive. If you do something you love, you’ll have a reservoir of vitality to draw upon when the going gets tough. This reservoir is often what separates great leaders from mediocre ones.

    5. Be Like Steve Jobs. Set Aside Time to Think in Places That Spark Creativity.

    Ryan Simonetti, co-founder of Convene

    I do a weekly 90-minute “one-on-one” with myself where I think strategically about my life and business and plow through critical tasks I’d honestly prefer to avoid.

    Having consistent one-on-one meetings with your team is a leadership best practice. For example, I have one-on-one meetings with the top leaders of my 150-person company weekly. They’re essential. So it only made sense for me to do this with myself!

    Similar to Steve Jobs’s approach of holding walking meetings to get the creative juices flowing, I go to an offsite place that inspires me to be creative and focused: the Smyth Hotel lounge in New York City. The space is amazing and really helps me get into the right state of mind.

    For every one-on-one, there are two fundamental questions I ask myself over and over:

    • What is the most important thing I need to get done this week to help me achieve my goal (or my company’s goal)?
    • Why is it important?

    With compelling answers to these two questions, I’m excited and ready for the week.

    6. Take a Daily 15-Minute Walk to Eliminate Brain Fog

    Sevetri Wilson, CEO of Solid Ground Innovations

    I take a daily 15-minute walk through the neighborhood where my business is located in order to clear my head. The extra space helps me creatively:

    • Reflect on my “why”
    • Think about “big picture” goals
    • Focus on critical, non-urgent needs

    Counterintuitively, mental fatigue isn’t caused by the exhaustion of the part of our brain that focuses. It is actually caused by the exhaustion of the part that blocks distractions. Studies show that taking a walk (especially in natural settings) helps restore our brain’s ability to block distractions because it allows our mind to wander.

    7. Work Out Before Making Hard Decisions

    Kay Koplovitz, founder,USA Network and Syfy

    When I have a tough choice to make and execute, I go to the gym for 30 minutes in order to get my heart rate up and feel more energized. This helps me when it is something I’ve got to get myself up to do.

    A 2006 study published in the British Journal of Health Psychology found that a consistent exercise regimen has a significant positive impact on willpower.

    8. Make Following Through a Core Value


    Cameron Herold, author of Double Double, CEO coach, and globally renowned speaker

    I believe that the most important productivity hack is making follow-through a core value by developing an image of yourself as someone who follows through.

    Once something is part of your identity and you share that with other people, research shows that you will become very motivated to make sure your actions are consistent with your identity.

    To solidify your self-identity as someone who follows through, I suggest:

    • Promoting your core value of follow-through to others.

    By letting all of your stakeholders know how important follow-through is, it becomes much harder to not follow through.

    • Practicing following through on all of your small commitments.

    Stanford researcher on habits BJ Fogg has found that every action you take builds your identity. He’s found that even very small actions have a surprisingly big impact.

    Success largely comes down to execution. And execution cannot happen without following through on commitments to yourself and others.

    9. Get the Ripple Perspective

    Benji Rabhan, founder & CEO of Apollo Scheduling

    When I have a task that I don’t enjoy doing or that depletes my energy, I dedicate two to five minutes to writing down:

    1. How the task fits into the bigger picture.
    2. The impact to other people, dependent tasks, and clients.
    3. How the task fits into my audacious goals.
    4. The long-term worst-case scenario of not completing it (for particularly mundane tasks). For example, this includes things like our company going under, a department losing an important team member, or a client leaving us.

    I call this “Getting Ripple Perspective” because it helps me see how my immediate actions create positive or negative ripple effects over time throughout my business.

    The process is powerful on two levels:

    • I take action. The benefit of getting it done and the pain of not getting it done become significantly larger than any resistance I have to doing it.
    • I can more easily delegate the task. I can very compellingly explain why the task is critical to help my team avoid motivation-related issues.

    10. Start the Day by Closing Open Loops

    Jason Duff, founder and CEO of COMSTOR Outdoor

    Contrary to popular time-management approaches, I set aside the first hour of my day to work on tasks that are sucking my energy–not the ones that are most important. I set aside this time in the morning since that’s when daily reserves of willpower are the highest.

    With each task, I force myself to either delegate it, delete it, or complete it. Once all of these open loops are closed, I move on to my most important tasks of the day.

    When we have open loops in our brain, we perform worse. This is known as the Zeigarnik Effect. By closing the loops in my head, I set myself up for success on my most important goals for the day.

    As a resource for this article, I put together a report that includes nine science-backed habits successful entrepreneurs follow to plan their day and focus on what’s important. I put it together because I think it will help you prioritize what’s most important in your business and life.


    Personally, I have followed all ten of these steps to keep myself motivated. I've created these new habits and in my personal life and it has shown such a significant increase in productivity that I have been able to achieve much more than I ever thought I could ever accomplish myself. I'd love to hear how helpful these tips are for you and if utilizing any of these ten steps helps you increase your own productivity.

    —-

    This Quora answer is a modified version of an article I originally wrote for Inc.

  4. Read it once…the story of the macho magnate

    Richard Branson is an english business magnate and investor. He is the founder of Virgin Group and has owned more than 400 companies.

    He is the only entrepreneur to build eight separate billion dollar companies in eight different industries and his net worth is $5 billion.

    Known for his daredevil personality, Richard Branson’s business venture included Virgin Megastores, Virgin Mobiles, Virgin Airlines and Virgin Galactic; the Virgin Spaceflight Company.

    There is a very interesting story behind the start of Virgin Airlines, have a look at the success story of Richard Branson.

    The Success Journey of Richard Branson

    Dropout from School and Started Student Magazine

    Having no interest in studies, he dropout from school at the age of 16 years to start magazine named “Student.” It was a mail-order record business. He made a quick buck by selling advertisements to local businesses.

    He writes about the education in his new book, Like a Virgin: Secrets They Won’t Teach You at Business School.

    Had I pursued my education long enough to learn all the conventional dos and don’t of starting a business I often wonder how different my life and career might have been. -Richard Branson

    Founded Virgin Records

    He started selling mail records to the students who bought the magazine. His idea worked so well that within one year, he opened his own recording label and recording studio and named it as “Virgin Records.”

    His record company witnessed a huge success as high profile performers like the Rolling Stones and Sex Pistols signed under the label.

    Branson became millionaire by the age of 23. Nowadays, his Virgin Records is popularly known as Virgin .

    How he Started Virgin Airlines

    Branson was in his late twenties and was going to Virgin Island to meet his girlfriend. At the airport, his final flight to the Virgin Island was cancelled because of some reason.

    It was the last flight of the day and he was really desperate to go there, but he couldn't unless he chartered a private airplane that could take him to Virgin Island.

    But he didn’t have much money and at the time, an idea clicked in his mind. He picked up a small blackboard and wrote “Virgin Airlines $29″ on it. He sold the tickets to the people who too wanted to go to Virgin Island.

    He used that money to pay for the chartered plane and everybody reached their destination with the help of “VIRGIN AIRLINES.”

    And after that, he acted upon that idea to make it the real business and founded Virgin Airlines.

    Successful People Start before they feel Ready

    This is the Ultimate lesson which we can learn from him, successful people start before they feel ready. They don’t wait for the perfect time to arrive and guaranteed success plan.

    He lives his life with only one mind set and that is “Screw it, Let’s do it.” And he has even written a book on it name, “Screw it, Let’s do it: Lessons in Life.”

    He fully justifies it because he actually lives life that way. At the age of 16, he quit from going to school and started his own business. He and his friends were virgin at the time when they started their business that is why they named their business empire as “Virgin.”

    Today he owns more than 400 companies including many ventures, businesses, expeditions and various other business. But his educational qualification is too small for all this.

    He had never flown any plane and didn’t know anything about planes, but he started airlines anyway. Actually he was never prepared for the things he did in his life but he took the initiative anyway to make that happen and guess what? He was successful at every step!

    The Bottom Line:Start Now

    Don’t waste all the time in making yourself prepared rather jump into the situation and act! Successful people are always ready to take off because they believe in learning while doing concept.

    When you are working on something important, you will never feel ready, you've numerous doubts in mind and you’re pulled by the confusion and pushed by the excitement at the same time.

    It doesn't matter what you want to accomplish, you want to write a book, start a blog, lose weight or anything. Always remember that the things or time you have right now is enough to make a good start.

    At the starting everyone is at the same level- no money, no resources, no experience, nothing- but winners start it anyway. So be smart and act now!

    Richard Branson Quote

    You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and by falling over.

  5. Below are the things I try to do daily. When applied each day it has a noticeable impact on my motivation levels.

    Have Purpose

    My simple answer to this question is to have a great "why". Why are you doing the things you are doing in your career, relationships, projects, business, ect… Do you truly know why you're going to work each day? If it's to pay for the bills, think a little deeper, and if there's not much more reason than that, you're not really living a life full of purpose. I suggest you find a great purpose behind everything that you do. A purpose that makes you feel alive and energetic!

    Purpose has always been the biggest reason I tend to lack in motivation.  If you ask yourself why you're doing what you are doing daily, you'll eventually start to dial in and develop a clearer image of what you want in life, the impact you want to have, and where you want to ultimately end up in life. Always remember to do things that truly make you happy. Develop a personal mission statement for yourself: Why, How, & What.

    If it's from the heart it will spread into everything that you do.

    Wake Up Early

    This has been incredible for me. Waking between 5 and 6 AM should give you several hours to sit down and read in the peace and quiet of the early morning with no distractions. That also leads me to my next step…

    Read Daily

    Make sure you carve out time in your day to read. (I recommend the early mornings before everyone is awake). Read for at least 1 hour a day. If that's too much, start with 20 minutes and do it for 1 month (habit). Develop a belief that reading is the quickest way to success. It will make reading a breeze, and extremely fun/rewarding (if you're driven by success).

    The most successful people in the world attribute their success to reading a LOT of books (Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, ect…).

    I recommend self improvement books and books that are in your line of work/passion. You'll gain an upper advantage in no time.

    Exercise & Eat Well

    This is crucial. Exercising for 15+ minutes per day, and eating a healthy diet improves every aspect of your life. You'll be healthier, more energetic, less stressed out. You'll be more intelligent, confident, and attractive. Move your body and eat well. It's extremely good for you!

    To Do Lists

    This one is simple. It keeps you focused and on track. Each night before going to bed write out tomorrow's to do list. Make sure you cover everything that needs to be completed, and be honest with yourself.

    Meditate

    Meditate every night before going to bed. I do it to ease mental and/or physical tension, and to get into the right state of mind before falling asleep. Every time I do this I wake up the next morning feeling calm, motivated, and at peace. The entire day is better because of it.

    Sleep Enough

    A lot of entrepreneurs talks about burning the midnight oil and "living on 2 to 3 hours of sleep". I think there's a time and place for this, but if you're not doing it properly it will take a huge toll on your health. Each person is different, but 8 plus hours of good sleep a night is ideal.

    One of the vital roles of sleep is to help us solidify and consolidate memories. As we go about our day, our brains take in an incredible amount of information (more today than ever in the history of human kind). This information, and experiences first need to be processed and stored; and many of these steps happen while we sleep. Our bodies require long periods of sleep in order to restore and rejuvenate, to grow muscle, repair tissue, and synthesize hormones. Source & more info on sleep here.

    Repeat

    Try to repeat each of the above steps daily. If you can do it for 30+ days it becomes a lot easier. You'll develop each step into habits that when applied/followed will motivate you in an incredible way. Try these steps out and see the difference they make!

    I would love to see comments from others following any of the steps/routines listed above. How have these steps affected your life?

    —————————————————————————————

    Like this? Find more information on my new personal lifestyle design blog heavily focused on reading, traveling, and entrepreneurship.

  6. Screw motivation what you need is discipline :
    If you want to get anything done, there are two basic ways to get yourself to do it.
    The first, more popular and devastatingly wrong option is to try to motivate yourself.
    The second, somewhat unpopular and entirely correct choice is to cultivate discipline.
    This is one of these situations where adopting a different perspective immediately results in superior outcomes. Few uses of the term “paradigm shift” are actually legitimate, but this one is. It’s a lightbulb moment.
    What’s the difference?
    Motivation, broadly speaking, operates on the erroneous assumption that a particular mental or emotional state is necessary to complete a task.
    That’s completely the wrong way around.
    Discipline, by contrast, separates outwards functioning from moods and feelings and thereby ironically circumvents the problem by consistently improving them.
    The implications are huge.
    Successful completion of tasks brings about the inner states that chronic procrastinators think they need to initiate tasks in the first place.
    Put in simpler form, you don’t wait until you’re in olympic form to start training. You train to get into olympic form.
    If action is conditional on feelings, waiting for the right mood becomes a particularly insidious form of procrastination. I know that too well, and wish somebody pointed it out for me twenty, fifteen or ten years ago before I learned the difference the hard way.
    If you wait until you feel like doing stuff, you’re fucked . That’s precisely how the dreaded procrastinatory loops come about.
    Source of picture
    At its core, chasing motivation is insistence on the infantile fantasy that we should only be doing things we feel like doing. The problem is then framed thus: “How do I get myself to feel like doing what I have rationally decided to do?”. Bad.
    The proper question is “How do I make my feelings inconsequential and do the things I consciously want to do without being a little bitch about it?”.
    The point is to cut the link between feelings and actions, and do it anyway. You get to feel good and buzzed and energetic and eager afterwards.
    Motivation has is the wrong way around. I am utterly 100% convinced that this faulty frame is the main driver of the “sitting about in underwear playing Xbox, and with yourself” epidemic currently sweeping developed countries.

    There are psychological problems with relying on motivation as well.
    Because real life in the real world occasionally requires people do things that nobody in their right mind can be massively enthusiastic about, “motivation” runs into the insurmountable obstacle of trying to elicit enthusiasm for things that objectively do not merit it. The only solution besides slackery, then, is to put people out of their right minds. That’s a horrible, and fortunately fallacious, dilemma.

    Trying to drum up enthusiasm for fundamentally dull and soul crushing activities is literally a form of deliberate psychological self-harm, a voluntary insanity: “I AM SO PASSIONATE ABOUT THESE SPREADSHEETS, I CAN’T WAIT TO FILL OUT THE EQUATION FOR FUTURE VALUE OF ANNUITY, I LOVE MY JOB SOOO MUCH!”

    I do not consider self-inflicted episodes of hypomania the optimal driver of human activity. Athymic compensation via depressive episodes is inevitable, since the human brain will not tolerate abuse indefinitely. There are stops and safety valves. There are hormonal hangovers.
    The worst thing that can happen is succeeding at the wrong thing – temporarily. A far superior scenario is retaining sanity, which unfortunately tends to be misinterpreted as moral failure: “I still don’t love my pointless paper-shuffling job, I must be doing something wrong.” “I still prefer cake to brocolli and can’t lose weight, maybe I’m just weak”. “I should buy another book about motivation”. Bullshit. The critical error is even approaching those issus in terms of motivation or lack thereof. The answer is discipline, not motivation.
    There is another, practical problem with motivation. It has a tiny shelf life, and needs constant refreshing.
    Motivation is like manually winding up a crank to deliver a burst of force. At best, it stores and converts energy to a particular purpose. There are situations where it is the correct attitude, one-offs where getting psyched and spring-loading a metric fuckton of mental energy upfront is the best course of action. Olympic races and prison breaks come to mind. But it is a horrible basis for regular day-to-day functioning, and anything like consistent long-term results.
    By contrast, discipline is like an engine that, once kickstarted, actually supplies energy to the system.

    Productivity has no requisite mental states. For consistent, long-term results, discipline trumps motivation, runs circles around it, bangs its mom and eats its lunch.
    In summary, motivation is trying to feel like doing stuff. Discipline is doing it even if you don’t feel like it.
    You get to feel good afterwards.

    Discipline, in short, is a system, whereas motivation is analogous to goals. There is a symmetry. Discipline is more or less self-perpetuating and constant, whereas motivation is a bursty kind of thing.

    How do you cultivate discipline? By building habits – starting as small as you can manage, even microscopic, and gathering momentum, reinvesting it in progressively bigger changes to your routine, and building a positive feedback loop.

    Motivation is a counterproductive attitude to productivity. What counts is discipline.

    Source:http://www.wisdomination.com/scr

    PS:There's a part 2 for that blog post

  7. Hi!
    I don't know if this is what you are looking for as an answer, but the word Motivation has a completely different meaning to it for me.
    So ok, I would like to answer this question based on my personal experience.
    How did I motivate myself to work harder is the context of this message.
    To start with… I as a young kid in school, was someone who was smart, but din't work hard enough, was a little awkward in social situations, but had few close friends, was funny and usually self deprecating with his jokes…
    I struggled through my school days with various issues of peer pressure, not living upto expectations, and Always underperforming so that I don't come into the limelight that often. I was a shy kid. Usually, you wouldn't expect someone like me to grow up to be a motivated, hard working individual.
    I then moved on to college and was a happy go lucky id, but in between all this, there was a personal storm in my life. I wanted to end my life, die and just give up.
    For us back here in India, a broken family is a matter of shame. To top that, I went through a messy scenario where my parents went through mud slinging in public, extreme abuses at home, violence, court cases and a lot lot more! I din't want to live, I din't want to continue to live my life. they always had a tough relationship, from the beginning. I've been left with my mother at her family's place many a times by my dad, uncertain of my furute, my studies, my school, my friends, my city. seen my mother cry. seen my father go through tough times. Seen him struggle in his business. They were both at fault, and not at fault, as its human to make mistakes, but then, I was hearing all sorts of things about my mother, standing in courts at the age of 14 to 18, trying to figure out what is happening. Seeing abuses and violence, and all this while I was protecting my little sister from all the stress, like keeping her away from hearing all the bad stuff by taking her to her room, or sending her to play etc. I would separate my parents the entire night, and then would go the next day to write my board exams. Liek the 10th standard and my 12th standard exams, which are crucial, I was going through all of this. I jsut wanted to DIE! but my love to ensure that my mum and my dad and my sister have a good life ahead made me live.
    I did motivate myself to live, to work hard, to overcome the struggles, for my family, to give them a better life in the future.I somehow managed to pass with decently good marks in the exams and got myself an exngineering seat.

    But after the storm, is when you realise the toll it took on you.
    The storm in my life since the age of 8 to 18 had taken a very very heavy toll. While I joined my engineering in a different city, getting accustomed to hostel life, I realised the stress, the fatigue and the mental disturbance I had been through.
    Although my first Year, I made it to my college cricket team, and was the captain and made some landmarks in the sports field, I always found it difficult to study. I never found it easy to study.
    My mother was living alone, trying to scrape a living for herself. She was lonely, and without too much money but she was working at various places liek schools and banks to earn herself a living.
    My dad was a broken man, but he remarried only to know after marriage that the woman he married was a short tempered psycho. She was someone who had lived alone for 45 years of her life, and after living alone for close to 20 years its never easy to stay in a family. She came into the family, and straightaway had huge problems with my sister (her stepdaughter). They would fight, abuse and hit each other, and everytime my sister cried on the phone, I would catch a bus and make the overnight trip to Bangalore to sort things out. My father initially was in her favour as it was a new relationship for him too. he was blind to the fact that his children were being subject to verbal and physical abuse. She would hit me too. She started spreading words around socieety that all I wanted from my dad was his wealth when in reality all I wanted is just his love and Support. All through this I went through break ups in my love life, and had an online/phone girlfriend too. I was that desperate for Love, not sex, Love! Was I motivated, not really. Did I work hard, yes. How? By knowing that if I managed to work hard eenough, to ensure my sister is safe (not happy, safe), My dad somehow becomes happpy, my mother is safe, then I will be able to live or die peacefully. My main motivation was to ensure that my Family is safe.

    I then failed in my exams, for a lack of interest in studies. I would think of really bad things, Imagine bad situations from my past, of how while studying in my 12th in a dark room, I could hear my dad and mum scream and hit each other in their room and then cry cry and cry. I flunked exams, tried to shift back to Bangalore (my hometown) from the city I was studying my engineering in, all of that happened. I was a smoker by now. But that din't matter. It was a phase of my life, that motivated me to die and die only, but i wanted to keep moving on in life.

    I then came back to Bangalore, quit my studies, of course with some extremely disgusting remarks from relatives, socirety, my dad yelling the hell out of me for months together, mom worried, stepmom worried I would stay at home for long periods of time. While contemplating quitting for months, I would hear sentences like "ohh, wasting dad's money sitting at home. Useless 21 year old son you have." It was devastating. What motivated me? To keep my family happy!
    I got myself a respectable job to everyone's surprise! As a journalist to be precise. God was kind. I worked my ass of in the company and grew in stature and financially. Had a good love life. and was doing well. All through this though my family was at my back along with half of the entire community of my language pasting me left right and centre for quitting studiees. No one backed me through out. I eanred some money but then my love life (office rromance) went from bad to worse and it got to a point where to be away from her I quit my job.

    I was at crossroads again. Jibes form relatives, Stepmom taking evry chance to verbally abuse me and physically too, whenever she had the chance. Me of course being a 23 year old man by now, did not raise my hand on her, ever. I kept quite only cause of what I've been taught as a kid, and cause she was my dad's wife!

    I then started my own company, taking a loan of 40 lakh rupees and investeed that into a dream project. This was after almost a year of quitting my job and going through 12 months of hell! When I did odd jobs, stayed at home and searched for work! The 40 lakhs i invested in my dream project was a turning point in my life. But guess what? The 40 lakh project was a LOSS! I, at the age of 24 by now, had a loan of 40 lakh rupees on my head, with no degree, a broken family, daily demotivational messages and jibes, and a mother to take care of!!
    I again was this close to giving up, but hey, Didi I want to leave my dad like this? Did I want to leave my mum alone in old age, the woman who took care of me as a child? My sister, who would stand up for her if she faced troubles in life?
    I din't give up. I continued in the same field, the one in which i lost 40 lakhs. I took every single job that came to me. From something that made me Rs 5000 to what made me Rs 2 lakh! I quickly became a name to reckon with cause I worked days, nights and 7 days a week! I always was working to get more projects, create more projects, earn money and repay the loans as well as take care of myself.
    My father is financially well off and he helped me through this. But then he got worried and so did my sister. They don't trust my business. through this, my stepmom and dad got divorced as he finally realised that his children were being subject to physical and emotional violence!
    My father and sister out of their worry again thought that being negative is the best policy! As luck would have it, they then started pressurising me with statements sushc as, you are 25-26.. You are supposed to be earning good money now! What do you do? You have taken 20 lakhs from your dad, you earn whatevr little you can and give it away to the previous loan lenders, you are not stable with your projects, you have had many losses in business (byy then i had quite a few losses) and you are so useless you can't help your 58 year old father with 50,000 rupees a month? They dint mean harm, but they wanted me to have a stable life and a stable income.

    All through this I worked 24/7! If there was a legal contract, I read legal articles on the internet and redid the contracts myself. I saved moneey on lawyers. I dint take an office space. I worked out of coffee days to save the rent money! I never hired an employee, I only hired freelancers! I had loney days when I cried and howled myself to bed at night! If I made Rs 1 lakh on a contract, I would give Rs 15,000 to mum, Rs 25,o00 for myself and my expenses, Rs 40-50,000 to the previous loan lenders. Through all this I would also be worried about where my next income would come from cause in a business, you always have to worry. I was setting up a startup and simultaneously being abused at home unfortunately by mistaken close family, who instead of holding my hand thought it better to mentally harrass me. They feared holding my hand (supporting me) would make me complacent.

    Through all this I continued working hard. For my family, for myself. To ensure that I can take care financially and emotionally of my mother who is now 50+ herself, my father who is close to retiring from his own business and my young sister who might have to get married soon.

    I am now in a better place, with work being good, having cleared my debts and starting to contribute quite well financially at home as well. It is only through hard work that I managed to get where I am todday, and if I can do it, anyone can!

    I motivated myself to live and work hard for a better life and never ever gave up. yes, I was close to giving up a lot of times.

    What is written is only that much which I could put into words 🙂 There of course is a lot lot more  I can share, but time and space for the same would not be appropriate right now 🙂

    I hope you do realise now, that motivation and Hard work come from WITHIN, and not through various statements or quotes that you read around you. It is YOU and YOU only who can chart your own path to glory.

  8. When I was 14, I participated in International Astronomy Olympiad 2013 and failed to win a medal. I was devastated and cried when I returned home. Fast forward two years? I have won record-breaking 4 International Science Olympiad medals in a single year (6 medals in total).

    When I participated in my first National Basketball Championship, do you know how many minutes I played in the finals? Zero. But fast forward two years, and I was playing in the Youth Basketball Team of Armenia.

    When I first began writing, my articles were getting 100 views at most. Fast forward several months? I am getting paid to write in my second language.

    Over the years, I have realized that motivating oneself to work hard is a skill that anyone can master. Whether you are studying for your exams, writing a book or launching a new business, the process of motivation is the same.

    Socializing with many hard-working individuals — both in International Olympiads and business spheres — while also having extensive personal experience, I have compiled 8 keys to motivate yourself to work hard.

    8 KEYS TO MOTIVATION AND ACHIEVING MASTERY

    1. KNOW YOUR GOALS

    One of the top reasons why many people cannot work hard is the lack of clear direction. In my life, I have seen hundreds of people who are aspiring a goal without knowing their reasons.

    In school, people try to get competitive grades because they are told “it is good for you.” Young kids aspire to become engineers because their parents tell them “it is good for you.” In result, many youngsters (and adults) have goals which are not desired by their hearts.

    If you do not wake up dreaming of your goals, then you are already at a disadvantage. Find what you truly want and follow your path.

    2. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH LIKE-MINDED INDIVIDUALS

    As humans, we have a natural tendency to imitate people we are socializing with. If your friends enjoy jazz, you will sub-consciously become interested in jazz; if your friends spend hours talking sports, you will sub-consciously become interested in sports.

    Similarly, when you surround yourself with individuals who are hard-working and passionate, you automatically develop a tendency to imitate them.

    3. LEARN TO SAY NO

    An important aspect of motivation is to avoid the things that distract you — be it social media, the party next-door or the song that you desperately want to stream. Each time we face a situation where our minds boggle to wonderland, we have a choice: “yes” or “no.”

    It is exactly that moment which will decide your day. When you choose “yes, scroll down the news feed”, you will lose your motivation to work hard and joining the next-door party will become a habit for you.

    Learn to say no.

    4. PRACTICE HEALTHY COMPETITION

    When I was preparing for International Science Olympiads, each Sunday we had a science club. I was not productive at the science club but I tried to never miss it. Do you know why? Because, each time, I went and saw my friend solve more problems, I got motivated to work harder than.

    As humans, we have a natural tendency to want to be better than our peers. As long as our ambitions are healthy, using them as a source of motivation can be a great tool.

    5. TRACK YOUR PROGRESS

    Imagine you are traveling a rocky road on foot. Your legs cramp and you are hungry. However, you keep going because you know that with each minute you are getting closer to your goals.

    Achieving mastery is like traveling a rocky road. You have to keep track of your progress and achieve small goals first. Otherwise, losing your motivation before achieving the ultimate goal might happen without even your realization.

    6. PLAY A GAME OF SELF-DISCIPLINE

    When I was practicing physics and astronomy, I had a daily goal of solving 10 problems each day. When and if I reached my daily goal, I rewarded myself a candy bar. After some time, solving 10 problems each day became a habit for me and I did not need the initial motivation of getting rewarded with candy bars.

    Humans are habitual creatures. Keep a calendar. Make an “X” over each day (or week) you successfully achieve your habits. Once your calendar is filled with crosses, following your habits will become easier.

    7. WATCH AND READ MOTIVATIONAL VIDEOS AND ARTICLES

    One secret that many people are unaware of is that almost all successful people have failed numerous times in their lives.

    Reading about their failures and relating to them will make you realize that you are not the only one who felt like giving up. Moreover, listening to motivational music and videos can be a great source of motivation.

    8. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF

    You can do it. You can do it. You can do it!

    It doesn’t matter what I say. It doesn’t matter what your boyfriend says. It doesn’t matter what anyone says.

    If you have a vision, nobody will see it better than you do. Listen to your heart.

    Fight! Roar! Struggle! Win!

  9. EMBRACE THE PAIN

    My personal time-tested method is “fear”. It may not be right for everyone, but it can be a good motivator to begin with. As you will mature in life, fear can be replaced with the other positive motivators like “love for learning”.

    Awareness of consequence creates “willpower” in you. Willpower is the fuel, to move you forward.
     
    As described by Phil Stutz and Barry Michel’s in their marvelous book ( I highly recommend this book) – “The Tools: Transform Your Problems into Courage, Confidence, and Creativity”, fear is a tool that will generate the spark of willpower.  To act, you require a sense of urgency. This urgency happens when you are in danger of losing your job, losing something precious. Just before an important exam, you may read whole night, before an important presentation you may stay up whole night working. Sense of urgency, Phil and Barry called it – “Jeopardy”.
     
    It triggers a burst of energy you can’t get any other way. “The Tools” explains –
     
    You need to find a permanent source of jeopardy.” You are at risk to lose your future every moment. This raises the stake. Your future is in jeopardy every moment. You have to accept, time is limited. You couldn’t afford to waste it ruminating about the past or fantasizing about the future. The only thing that mattered was what you are doing at the moment.

    Get out of your comfort zone.
     
    Again quoting, Phil Stutz and Barry Michel’s – “We barricade ourselves behind an invisible wall and don’t venture out because beyond the wall is pain. This space is called the “comfort zone”. Phil and Barry describe comfort zone as “This alternate world feels like soothing, pleasurable warm bath, as if, for a moment, you’ve found your way back to the womb. These “Warm-bath” activities just cripple us further. The more you hide in the warm bath, the less willing you become to deal with the cold shower of reality.” Comfort zone is supposed to keep your life safe, but what it really does is keep your life small. And we have an extraordinary ability to rationalize this weakness. Instead of admitting we’re avoiding pain, we tell ourselves that we are virtuous. We avoid the pain of forward motion at all costs.
     
    Spending time on internet, browsing aimlessly, flipping channels on TV all are very relaxing activities, this can be very comfortable; state of “no stress” on mind can be your comfort zone. This is ok for few hours a day, but absolutely lethal if you stay in this mode more than couple of hours a day.
     
    Getting out of this comfort zone is painful.
     
    You must face the pain, pain of getting out of your comfort zone, pain of using your mind. Go and embrace this pain. Phil and Barry have described this as a reversal of desire. You should desire pain. The more intense the pain – and the more aggressively you move into it – the more energy you’ll create. Your experience of pain changes relative to how you react to it. When you move towards it, pain shrinks. When you move away from it, pain grows. If you flee from it, pain grows. If you flee from it, pain pursues you like a monster in a dream. If you confront the monster, it goes away. You are not desiring pain because you’re masochistic; you are desiring pain, so you can shrink it. Only when you desire fear, will you be able to take action in its presence-which is what courage consists of.
     
    This answer is a rehash of my blog Embrace the pain

  10. So let's review the problem:

    • You have an exam in 10 days
    • Your knowledge level for that exam is very low
    • Your motivation to study is low

    So we're having a time-constraint for something that must be done, but that you can't get yourself to do despite your best mental efforts.

    Ahead of you there's a mountain tough to climb.

    First of all, I think that all the advice in the lines of you have to find a way to consider the subject interesting or you have to get intrinsically motivated is useless. If you could find motivation by itself, you'd have it by now.

    Instead, the greatest mentality shift resides in knowing WHY you're studying for that exam, at all times. Is it to become a doctor? Engineer? Lawyer? To finish your college education? What compels you to go out of your way to study in college/university?

    Then, you'll have to find a method that forces you to do a minimum amount of useful work per day. Think about it, even if it's just 30 minutes of uninterrupted, productive sessions per day, that's 5 hours after 10 days. Not bad. During these sessions:

    • Eliminate distractions.
    • Study where you can concentrate.
    • Grab a cup of your best coffee.

    It's easy to fool your brain with method, because it's just 30 minutes. No more. You can open Facebook immediately after if you so desire.

    Ideally, you should also try to work around the situation. Try a couple of tricks/hacks to score as highly as possible in the exam:

    • Exam Engineering. A joke name I came up with to describe the exam digging efforts. Find exams from previous years, try to find out what the teacher usually asks and adapt your studying accordingly.
    • Apply knowledge and solve problems. You'll learn faster if you solve a lot of problems and answer lots of questions, even if they're MCQs.
    • Calm yourself down. Breathe deeply with your eyes closed the minute you sit to start the exam. It'll eliminate any feeling of anxiety or nervousness.

    The next 10 days, try your best to prepare yourself for the exam. Once you're there, just enjoy the experience (there's nothing else you can do anyway). It's not impossible to reach the peak.

    1. Establish Compelling Reasons To Work Hard – We struggle to find motivation due to a lack of compelling enough reasons to work hard. When you establish goals for yourself take time to find deeper reasons for why you want to reach these goals. The more important the reason the stronger your motivation.
    2. Give Thanks – This is a fantastic piece of advice I learned from the great Tony Robbins. When you are trying to improve yourself, we tend to focus solely on the things we don’t have or the things we need. Take time to recognize the things you do have, your personal strengths, and accomplishments. Doing so breeds additional fuel for motivation which in turn helps you work harder.
    3. Accept Failure – Failure is expected. The sooner you accept that you will fail along the way the sooner you will reap the rewards of your hard work.
    4. Surround Yourself With Hard Workers – You become like the people you hang around the most. Surround yourself with people that will continuously motivate you to work hard and achieve your goals.
    5. Review Your Goals Regularly – Monitor your goals and track your progress. If you don’t regularly review your goals you will lose sight of them.
    6. Reward Yourself – Whenever you meet a goal reward yourself. If you lost the weight you wanted to for the week, treat yourself to a pizza. Rewarding yourself for your efforts releases dopamine which reinforces the need to keep working.
    7. Allow Flexibility – Avoid sticking to rigorous schedules that don’t allow room for mistakes. If you are too strict on yourself it becomes easier to lost motivation if you fail.

    If you liked this answer and want to hear more advice, subscribe to my YouTube channel: ThisisJoshO

    Photo Copyright: Konstantinas Algimantas Klimavicius

  11. Feeling down? Again?

    I know how that feels. One day you feel like " Yeah! this is what I want to do for the rest of my life! " and the next day it comes down to " Why am I even doing this? "

    And this cycle goes on. You read, see, hear something motivational, you think you've got the motivation needed to do what you wanted and bam! next hour/day/month, it is gone. *Totally lost*

    You again hit a dead-end.

    What to do then? How to gain that motivational boost whenever you need it?

    Well, you can try these:

    • Ask yourself: The best person who can motivate you, is you. But first clear your mind of any doubts. Doubts about your will to do it. Ask yourself, do you really want to do it? If yes, then I've one more question for you, which will definitely put you from procrastinate mode to action mode, the question is : "Why you started doing <the work you're doing>? If you wanted to give up, why did you held on for so long?". And there comes your answer!           

    • Reasons : If you're feeling like giving up, find out the reasons for it. Are the things that are hindering your progress, in your control? If yes, then you should do something about them. For example : If you've to exercise in the morning, you've to get up early. You want to exercise but getting up late is your problem, then you'd have to try by yourself to change your sleeping habits.

    There can be other reasons too, which are not in your control, then I suggest, you should change, according to circumstances. The point is to adapt.

    • Rewards: A good reward is its own reward. Seriously. Give yourself some incentive. Reward yourself. After every small success. This always works when it comes to motivation. Think about schools, colleges, think about the games you like to play. What do you get after every win? Marks? Points? You keep on playing because of those points and you like winning something. You like getting something! Everyone does. So, have a little something for yourself whenever you do a good job. The reward can be anything like an hour on quora, hanging out, eating a pizza, anything you like. Try this. This will keep you going. Definitely!

    • Breaks : Working on anything for too long, takes it toll on mind. Have a break! In fact, take breaks regularly in proportion to your working schedule. Do something different than what you've been doing/working on.

    • Be evil : Not literally. But you know how every bad guy in movies has a plan to take over the world? I mean, it's SUCH a big task and here we see a guy who has it all sorted out, "in detail". That really makes sense!

    We can put this to our use. No! Not his plan to take over the world, but the idea of making plans! You too should have a plan and you should keep updating it after every successful completion of little milestones, also remember to change your plan so you can get around any present obstacle on your journey.

     And whenever you lose your motivation, take out your plan, feel good to have made it this far, *insert evil laugh* and get back to completing it.

    • And lastly:


    "If you can be motivated by a pretty picture and a few clever words,the world would probably be a safer place if you weren't motivated."

    If you really like what you're doing, then the motivation you need, will come from inside. Feed yourself external motivation to keep the fire burning!
    🙂

    Here's something to get you started for now : What is one sentence you remind yourself of in order to stay positive?

    Good luck.


    Image source: Google Images

  12. Answer Requested.

    1. I firmly believe in the Law of Conservation of Energy in life. Whatever time and energy you dedicate in your preparation will surely bear the fruits, maybe not immediately, but definitely.
    2. Don’t be stuck in WHILE loop of life. ( C language ref.). Enough Said.
    3. Success in life is not clearing some exam. Success is the completing your goal or objective. Don’t keep your obsession limited to a particular exam. Broaden your vision, reach beyond the horizon, aim for the bigger picture.
    4. Understand that there exists a threshold level in the scale of preparation. I don’t remember much far down the memory lane but there used to be an experiment, a light of certain frequency used to fall on zinc and all that happened was nothing. Again we increase the frequency of light and fire the zinc plate nothing happens. When we increase the frequency of light to a little more extent, (eg: Ultra Violet), the magic happens! . Electrons start emitting, not one, not two but millions of electrons raining as if they are celebrating the victory. This was photoelectric effect. Similar thing happens with the preparation.
      Until your preparation is to a certain extent, nothing will happen , there will be despair and hopelessness all around. When it crosses a certain level, you suddenly start seeing your name in the selected list of every exam result.
    5. Never study in a stressful environment or with stressed mood during your preparation. This the the path that you have chosen, without any influence and you have to cherish it a long way.
       I still clearly remember Sholay movie which I saw in my childhood but can hardly remember anything of geography I learnt in my 10th. This is because I literally enjoyed the movie viewing and in turn took geography as a big headache. I never associated myself with the subject and hence, all it gave me was headache and haunting memories.
    6. Be mad in your preparation, let it consume you, study like a maniac because if you aren’t doing it, many are doing it currently. Have some ready, self made quotes with you , like this,

    Lastly, don’t ever fear from the hard work. You have to taste the flavor of success by hook or by crook, whatever it takes.

    Jab hosla bana lia uchi udaano ka
    Fir kya dekhna kad aasmaano ka

    (When you have decided to fly high ,then even the distance between zenith and nadir can’t stop you from reaching your goal)

    Thanks.

  13. Might you consider making your passions your "work?"

    Let me explain:

    When I was 15, I liked to play video games too.  A lot, actually.  So much so that I pretty much gave up every other pursuit in my life (including my love for hockey) so that I could play more video games—specifically, World of Warcraft.

    Contrast this with my father, a renowned spine surgeon, and my mother, an active performer and beloved voice teacher in the music department of a local college. My dad always placed a heavy emphasis on grades, work ethic, "booming industries," and spent much of my childhood hinting at the possibility of my going into the medical field, just like him.  My mother, on the other hand, constantly preached "doing what you love" and "following your passions."  She said it was a better quality of life being a poor, happy artist, than being a rich and unhappy businessman.

    I was born with a heavy dose of the creative gene, so I often sided with my mother and poked fun whenever my dad encouraged me to chase straight A's and honors credits.  I professed to them both that I was going to follow my passions.  I was going to become a professional gamer.

    Well, that wasn't exactly what my mother meant.

    "You should follow your passions, absolutely Cole, but they should be, you know, something respectable.  Like music!  Like performing!  Video games aren't a passion."

    I disagreed.  I took my mother's original advice to heart and I stuck with it, despite both their attempts to derail me from my ambitions of becoming a professional gamer.

    By the time I was 17, I was one of the highest ranked World of Warcraft players in North America and I had a gaming blog with ~10,000 daily readers. I was being paid to write.  I made more money writing about video games than I did at the dead-end job at the ice cream parlor down the street my parents forced me to get so that I would "learn life lessons." 

    Most of all, I was happy.  I took the core of what my parents had taught me—do what you love, and be the best at what you do—and applied it to something I enjoyed doing every single day of my life.  They weren't happy about it, but that didn't matter.  I was happy, and I was living a life that I had created for myself.

    I tell you this story because I think it reflects what you're saying.  You want to become successful, you want to make money, you know you're smart and you know you are capable, but the work you're doing isn't make you happy.  So who are you doing it for? 

    If you can't get yourself to do the work, that means you aren't doing what you love.  You're doing what someone else loves.  You're following their dream.  You're trying to be someone you're not, and you know it.  Deep down, you know it.  Because when you're doing what you love, you can do it forever.  You forget to eat and poop, you're so focused on it.  You stay up all night doing it.  You wake up excited to do it.  You can't stop doing it because you can't stop being YOU.  That's what it's like living in line with your passions.  And suddenly, it's not work.  You're just doing what you love.

    I could fill in here the countless examples of billionaires who have revolutionized entire industries with their creativity, but the truth is, we live in a day and age now where you can become successful at just about anything.  You can make money in the strangest of ways.  We as a society no longer need permission from anyone to do what we love, and even as a 15 year old, neither do you.

    So to answer your question directly: How do you change this?  Do what you love.  Do it relentlessly.  Do it with so much heart and excitement that people call you obsessed and try to tell you to stop.  Watch what happens.  You'll have more energy than you know what to do with.  You'll accomplish things you never knew you could accomplish.  And you'll be happier than you've ever been in your entire life, because you found success on your own terms.

    Ready go.

    Me at fifteen with that "try to stop me" face.

  14. Here are six daily reminders that help me create more discipline in my life, and I hope they will help you, too!

    1. No one is coming to save you

    No matter what your goals are in life, there is one great law that you need to obey in order to be successful: No one else is going to climb the ladder of success for you. No one else is responsible for your health, wealth, happiness, or success. From the day you leave your parent´s house and start to make your own choices, you are responsible for your life and the choices you make. You choose the job you work in, the person you live with, and how much you exercise every day. Only you can choose how you spend your time, and the decisions you make on a consistent basis will make or break your life.

    If you want a better life, you need to make better decisions. You can blame other people for your lack of results or happiness all life long, but doesn´t change anything. Only you can change your life by changing the choices you make. Take responsibility for everything in your life, even if you can´t directly influence it. Even if it´s not in your direct control, you can always choose how you respond.

    2. THE BIG ENEMY OF SUCCESS

    According to motivational speaker Brian Tracy, the biggest enemy to success is the path of least resistance. If you choose what is fun and easy over what is necessary, you will never reach the levels of success and happiness you are capable of achieving in your life. That´s because every great victory requires great sacrifice. If success was easy, everybody would be successful. But because success in any area of your life requires hard work and sacrifices, most people will never reach their full potential.

    Whenever you decide not to what you should be doing, you not only waste your opportunity to grow as a person, but you also lose confidence in yourself. You start to see yourself as lazy and unsuccessful, and that self-image will become a successful prophecy.

    To achieve any goal you have, there are only three things you need: A clear vision for what it is you want, a plan to get there, and massive action consistently repeated over time! While the first two parts are the easy part of the equation, most people struggle with the last part: Hard work.

    There is nothing that you can´t achieve with hard work, so it is necessary that you build the habit of choosing what is hard and necessary over what is fun and easy to do. Doing this is probably the surest way to succeed in life.

    3. THINK LONGTERM

    To quote Abraham Lincoln, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” If you ever wonder where you will be in 10 years from now, look at your current life. What actions are you taking to make your goals reality? How many books are you reading to grow as a person, and how many new things are you learning? Which people are you associating with? Are you putting in the effort necessary to achieve your goals today?

    People oftentimes think that there lives will suddenly change through some magical event in the future, but that is not the case. Your life changes only to the extent that you change. If you are not happy with your current circumstances, are you taking actions to change them? If not, you are just daydreaming. Nothing will ever change if you don´t change what you do daily. As Aristotle noted over 2000 years ago, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”

    A great way to actively create your future is to ask yourself: If I already achieved my goals, how would I act on a daily basis? What books would I read, how often would I work out, and how would I spend my time at the office?

    Once you answer these questions, you know what to do. Act as if you were already successful.

    4. OBSTACLES ARE PART OF SUCCESS

    In life, nothing worth having comes easy. You have to make sacrifices in the form of time, effort, pain, and hard work if you want to succeed. There will be many setbacks, and any time you get close to finally succeeding, there will be some more adversity testing how bad you really want it. Only after passing one more test, and then another, will you be able to succeed.

    The great tragedy of life is that most people give up right before achieving success. They already made it to the five yard line, and all they need is one final push to make the touchdown and bring home the sweet victory. But right before they do that, there is one final obstacle standing in their way – one last failure that they need to overcome. Way too many people give up right then and there, without realizing how close they are.

    If you just take one thing from this post, let is be this: Whenever you encounter failure and adversity, keep going! Success is supposed to be hard because that´s what makes it so special. If it was easy, anybody could do it. But it´s hard, and that´s your chance to separate yourself from the people that don´t want it as bad as you.

    The only way to grow as a person is by facing the biggest challenges in life and enduring long enough to succeed. No matter how long it takes or how hard it gets, always remember the words of motivational speaker Les Brown: “It´s not over until I win!”

    5. REWRITE YOUR GOALS EVERY DAY

    To maximize your self-discipline every day, it is necessary that you keep the bigger picture in mind. Only by remembering why you do what you do will you take the necessary actions and follow through even if it gets hard. After all, you don´t just work so hard for no reason. You have specific goals that you want to achieve that make all the effort worth it.

    As Nietzsche said, “He who has a “why” to live for, can bear almost any “how”.” I believe this to be absolutely true. If you know what you want to do, and you have enough reasons to do it, you will do whatever it takes.

    The problem is, we tend to get so caught up in working and achieving our goals that we forget why we started in the first place. We forget why we do what we do and instead get overwhelmed by a seemingly endless to-do list. No wonder that most people seem to unexcited and even bored with life: They have no goals to strive for!

    The easiest way to counter this problem is by rewriting your goals every day and imagining the future as you want it. Every morning after waking up, write down the most important goals you have for your life. This will not only immediately get you motivated and excited, but also crystal clear on what you need to do to succeed. Only when you are focused on your goals and your vision for your life, you are able to make decisions that contribute to those goals.

    6. DECIDE IN ADVANCE THAT YOU WILL NEVER GIVE UP

    To make sure that you stay strong in the face of adversity, make sure to resolve in advance how you will respond once it occurs. You need to have a plan for what to do when all hell breaks loose, or else it is too easy to just give up. When writing your goals, commit to making them come true, no matter how hard it may be. Determine how you will respond to failures and setbacks so you can bounce back stronger and better than ever before.

    If you make this commitment and never break it, you will succeed at anything you set your mind to. Maybe not immediately, but definitely.

    To get more tips and tricks on mastering your willpower, you can download my FREE guide to mastering your willpower here.

  15. "Don't offer your attention to anyone, until and unless you think they deserve it."


    Let's Proceed 🙂

    "Work such that even the 'Work' is proud of you …For having it Done."

    • Get Clear on your end (Clear your why) : Once, You made the choice to do something. Try not to think so much about, how difficult or frustrating or impossible that might be; Just think about, how good it must feel to be that or how proud you might be to have done that!

    Keep your focus on that End Vision : Like, If you are a student,

    Imagine that you topped the exam, feel that feeling, Imagine the smile on your parents face… and the expression of those, who say you can't do that !

    • Survival of Fittest : No matter how motivated you are, If you are not fit and healthy, Your mind is not gonna cope with you!

    "It's really hard to get and stay motivated to work hard if you're not feeling your best,"

    • Habits Over Motivation : Motivation/Willpower is short term solution, the resource is limited, whereas it can help you to build habits, Which is Permanent. Once, Hard Work will be in your habit…Motivation won't matter much !

    Start will smart habits that might make you more productive and makes you feel good. For example: You could aim to walk 15 minutes a day or meditate or whatever!

    • No Pain, No Gain :"Athletes train for 15 years, for 15 seconds of performance"

    There's no way to expand your abilities without going outside your comfort zone, so stop letting a little bit of unpleasantness sap your motivation. In fact, struggling a little is a good sign.

    Take the case of Michael Phelps. Two years before his spectacular Beijing Olympics performance, he fractured his arm and doctors told him he wouldn't be able to swim. But he did and defeated Mark Spitz to win 8 gold medals, besides breaking his own record!

    Don't you think he had enough excuses for not doing what he did, But he had a reason a to do that and he did!

    • Reward and Punishment : "Make Yourself an offer that You cant refuse"

    For Example :-

    Suppose, You want to read a book, Set a deadline and reward with it. Say, if you like Ice-cream, You could eat some as soon as you finish the book.

    "If you can't fulfill your own commitments, How can you even expect that you will stand on those you promise others"

    Note : If you think it will help you, write it somewhere or make a copy of it and give it a read every other day … Don't Get to Normal life Back Again!

    You are Genius, yes you!… because you born genius… God never discriminate !

    That's for today from my side….Too Much Gyaan(Knowledge) haha!! Thank you guys….!

    Keep Smiling 🙂 and Stay with me ..>! –

    Love you all..!

    Source: Google.com/images

  16. If you've seen movie The dark knight rises, you might know this scene when Bruce Wayne wants to be out of the prison. he tried to come out with the rope tied with himself and thus he's not afraid of falling and dying, but he fails twice. Then the conversation of the Bruce Wayne and the blind prisoner is as follows:

    Blind Prisoner: You do not fear death. You think this makes you strong. It makes you weak.
    Bruce Wayne: Why?
    Blind Prisoner: How can you move faster than possible, fight longer than possible without the most powerful impulse of the spirit: the fear of death.
    Bruce Wayne: I do fear death. I fear dying in here, while my city burns, and there's no one there to save it.
    Blind Prisoner: Then make the climb.
    Bruce Wayne: How?
    Blind Prisoner: As the child did. Without the rope. Then fear will find you again.  
    Source: IMDb

    And we know that he successfully comes out of prison when he comes out of his comfort zone, without rope. without any back up.

    If you really want to stay motivated and achieve something for your passion related thing, the best course for you would be to come out of comfort zone.

    You stay in your comfort zone thinking that if you fail staying in the comfort zone, you'll never fall far into the depth. But, the truth is you'll never progress either. If you keep the back up for every thing you want to do in life, you'll never accomplish a single thing because you think that 'if I fail this, I have always another option'. And you know what happens next, you fail it.

    So, I would suggest to come out of comfort zone, and you'll feel the real thrill of life and find the excitement within to live a wonderful life.

    Hope it helps you. 🙂

  17. Though,I have never told my story in detail to anyone.But I guess this is the right time to.

    I was an average student during my college days and had very little exposure to the real world. I did my schooling and bachelors from a small town in West Bengal and my father worked as a driver cum fire operator in a government organisation. He had hardly passed his matriculation and was sent into the defense forces at a very young age. From there he got a job in a Govt. undertaking company due to the skills he had learnt in defense. So, as you can expect I lived in a very low income background where most of my friends also came from that background. So, I didn't have exposure to computers or internet. Though I was a book lover from childhood,no one was there to explain about good books and I read run of the mill things like comics and cheap story books occupied that place, so frankly my knowledge was very limited in nature.

    After my graduation I joined for a Management Program in a Tier 4 college as they were providing me the cheapest course in Kolkata which is the nearest Metro city to my hometown and also one of the cheapest cities in India.

    As everybody in India knows that due to the mushrooming of Engineering and Management colleges in the country very few students get placed from these colleges and whatever placement happens for the MBA's are in mass employer and high attrition industries like Insurance and Mutual Fund. Where after your training period is over you have so much pressure to sell there financial products,that you end up selling it to your own family members to save your job. I also got a job in one of India's premiere financial company. Within a week I realized that this place is not for me. After getting my first months salary I quit the job though I had nothing in hand and huge education loan to repay, since I knew that I was wasting my time here and the amount of time the job consumes will only hamper my chances of getting a good one.I survived on my single months salary for 3 months and on the 4th month I got the kind of job I was looking for and started paying off my loans.I was so happy and delighted that my first year of the job was a perfect dream come true for me.

    I could have succumbed to the financial and societal pressures, instead I decided to fight back and eventually got the job which I wanted.

    After a year in corporate life I felt that I need to do something more meaningful to my life and thus ventured into entrepreneurship. I continued with my job and did part time work for my venture and this provided my baby the much needed consistent cash flow required for an early stage venture. After many ups and downs in a span of 2 years I got a major break for my venture when it was at a stage where it needed my full time attention.I thought that this is the right moment when I should leave my cushy corporate life and be a full time entrepreneur.Things were tough from the very start and there were razor thin margins in the business but we thought that we will figure it out with increase volume in sales and focused more on sales than profitability.Within 6 months our venture started to bleed heavily. With increased volume of sales, the losses were also hurting us very deeply, my partner left me in the middle of nowhere stating that he had to get married as per his previous commitments, our investor backed out on us stating he was tired of us guys and it was the worst decision of his life.I didn't know what to do. At that moment I became a part of a new venture which was India's first multi-city same day food based e-commerce.That venture saw a good growth in the initial months and it helped me to pay some of my debts.

    I could have stopped my entrepreneurial quest and become bitter, Instead I tried to give my luck another shot and dived into it.

    It saw a phenomenal growth in the initial months and it also helped to pay off my monthly expenses for few months. The customers were just loving our concept and were very happy to pay the premium for the product. But god had some other plans for me. As we all know that how Startup friendly Indian laws and taxes are, we quickly realized that if we have to grow we need to solve out the issues. But alas!!!! There were so many licenses and registrations one needed to conduct this business that only someone with a good amount of capital will be able to execute the thing.We went to different angel investors but no one was ready to help us out on the legal and tax issues. Slowly we started to wrap up the venture and I with a heavy heart started to look out for jobs.

    But who knew a completely different story was waiting there for me. Traditional companies were not willing to take me as they thought that I may soon leave there company to start another venture or maybe I was someone who likes to be his own boss and feared insubordination though I clearly explained to them that I have a huge amount of debt on me and there is no need to have unnecessary fear. Startups on the other hand were looking more for coder and app developer kind of profiles.

    My girlfriend left me when I needed her the most. Doing Startups and all may be the latest fashion for the youngsters but girls and there families wanted a stable job at the end of the day. Specially the world is all alone for a failed person.

    Since I was alone I desperately needed to talk to her and she was getting more pissed of my constant stalking, it seemed like I had become a stranger to her all of a sudden. Then that fateful day came. I wanted to take her over a bike ride like we used to do in our happy days and I thought that things will be sorted out if I just take her for a 10 mint.drive. I had called and texted her a couple of times,but she didn't reply. Uninvitedly I was waiting for her in front of her office gates. She came out a little early from the office that day, that raised my hopes, but what followed completely surprised me. She humiliated me in front of the road and started to shout so loudly that some pedestrians began to think that I have done anything to molest the girl. My eyes were flowing with tears but somehow I managed the situation.

    This is not the pic of that day so you can see me smiling,but this is the only close up pic which I have of me in my bike, which I used to travel with my beloved. I always used to carry the extra helmet for her which you can see at the end of the bike.

    When destiny screws you, it screws you from all ends

    Meanwhile, I tried all the possible ways to get in touch with companies where I wanted to work. Including sending direct mail to the founders of some of the well known Startups in the country which are generating multi million dollar revenues.

    Got replies from some while others didn't respond. Attended a good number of interviews but nothing was working out.Though I knew that I can get an entry level or BPO kinda job any day since the pressure of debtors was piling up everyday. But didn't want to compromise my dreams and ambitions due to monetary and family pressures.

    This continued for 3 months and as luck would had it I exactly got the job I was looking for. It was a Startup in Delhi but it was profitable and doing exactly the kind of work which I wanted to do. I quickly left my hometown(Kolkata) and joined in a company which was the much required water for me in the middle of desert.

    You got a dream..You gotta protect it

    My dream quickly crashed as on 23.5.14 ,on the 40th day of my working.The founders asked me to resign as "I was not fitting into there culture".My world crashed around me.I said how can I resign, you guys know my financial condition so well, there are hungry sharks who would tear me apart if I don't pay them there EMI's on time.

    I cried to them, begged them, requested them with folded hands. Had I been in a Big company it would have not affected me so much, but I thought of this Startup as my own baby. I had tried to make the founders and there company famous which I myself haven't been able to do. Only to be part of something big and actively contributing to it. God knows how honest I was with my work.

    But fate had other plans. These people exactly knew how vulnerable I was and hit me in the right place where it would cause me the maximum pain. I still don't understand how can people be so ruthless. It would have not been so tough, if my family was here but at this point I was all alone.

    At this point in my life I am jobless in a new city where I don't know anyone.I have 2 options in front of me

    • Either forget my Startup dreams and go back to my hometown and try to find something which will take care of my survival but will never allow me to grow as the job market in Kolkata is very bleak compared to the other metros and there are hardly any quality Startups in that part of the country OR
    • Try to give another shot, this time double the power than the previous ones and try to be more careful with the people.

    I have chosen the 2nd option,I will not let my dreams die due to some A** H**es.

    I was thinking of posting this anonymously, because they are ruthless. But just 2 days back I got my Full &Final cleared. So now I have nobody to fear.

    As of 1.6.14 I have exactly a months cash in hand to survive in the city even if I do bare minimum expenses. But I hope that at least this time luck remains in my side and I get to join a very good team. Because hope is a good thing ,maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies :).

    I have also encountered some strong changes within me due to all these.

    • Become a strong believer in the concept of Gita and Karma.No matter how difficult situation you are in Gita always shows you the direction of Life.You can find my detail view on Gita on this answer Quora User's answer to What is one of your favorite quotes that always lifts you up when you fall? Why? and 'Karma' It is a Bi*ch

    So I try to do as much good to people as I can and strongly believe that my past negative Karmas can only be overcome if I do good to people and serve myself for the betterment of mankind,no matter how small the contribution is.

    • Try to enjoy the small pleasures of Life to my fullest and Live each day on earth rather than just exist.

    This is me after enjoying the first rain of the season.Healing rain is a real touch from God. It could be physical healing or emotional or whatever.

    I will keep this post updated regularly as an when some changes happen in my life.Because despite so many failures my story is still not complete.Picture abhi baki hai mere Dost 🙂

    Edit-I have got a job in one of the Top companies in the country and have been given a very good role in developing a product which in a few years will be synonymous to everybody's life.Feeling glad to know that I am working with the future 🙂 But as you all know that how destiny has tested me again and again I have become a little bit superstitious and will let you all know the name only after things have settled down a little bit.Thanks for all your well wishes.It really helped me a lot.Be part of my journey as I will keep this post updated regularly on developing the next big thing which will touch all of your Lives 🙂

  18. It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today, and the reality of tomorrow.

    Robert Goddard

    Do you have the occasional bad day at your job? Not every work day can be met with unbridled enthusiasm, can it? We all have moments when our mood lags far behind the "to do" list in front of us. In many cases, we can't identify the root cause of the issue causing the problem. Ultimately, the "less than optimal" mood spells serious trouble for the day ahead. But there are actions you can take to turn your day around.

    Certain days demand that you get your head in the right place in a hurry. Simple strategies can help. But, changing the negative dynamic — pronto — becomes the first order of business.

    Employing a few well-traveled paths can help. A great piece music often helps me a great deal. Also thinking of family or looking at their pictures. Another quick option is re-reading a few all-time favorite quotes about work, career and inspiration. It can help to get "lost" in a couple of these and reinvent your day.

    Use of checklists? Ever given them a try? Lots of ways to use them. We like their use for attitude adjustment to start every day.

    After college, I spent almost 2 years training as a naval aviator.  An important element of that training was the use of checklists in the learning and refresher process. Checklist utilization remains an important part of my business life. It is always a good idea to have a helpful checklist for daily reminders of improvements for your business or your personal life. 

    I keep a stack of 10 or so checklists that I rotate and update occasionally. I pull out one checklist to read and contemplate for five minutes as a way to start each day. 5 minute review of the checklist puts my thinking in the right frame of mind.

    Related post:

    Here is one checklist example on my favorite "perspective changing" quotes. Hopefully, these will impact your day for the better as they often do mine.

    Doors of happiness

    When one door of happiness closes, another one opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.

    – Helen Keller

    Helping others

    One of the most beautiful compensations in life is that no man can help another without helping himself.

    – Ralph Waldo Emerson

    How you see

    When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

    – Wayne Dyer

    Use your imagination

    Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.

    – AlbertEinstein

    Related material: Albert Einstein Facts and Wisdom

    Careful for what you settle for

    You are what you settle for.

    – Janis Joplin

    Feeling good

    People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

    – Maya Angelou

    Reality

    A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be.

    – Albert Einstein

    Decisions

    Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.

    – Abraham Lincoln

    Risk taking

    To avoid situations in which you might make mistakes may be the biggest mistake of all.

    – Peter McWilliams

    Explore

    Explore … only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.

    t.s. elliot

    Kindness

    The two most powerful things in existence: a kind word and a thoughtful gesture. 

    –  Ken Langone

    Making a difference

    Unless you walk out intothe unknown, the odds of making a profound difference in your life are pretty low.

    –  Tom Peters

    Optimism

    The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.

    –   Winston Churchill

    Learning

    We learn something from everyone who passes through our lives. Some lessons are painful, some are painless … but, all are priceless.

    Unknown

    Problem solving

    No  problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.

    Albert Einstein

    Mike Schoultz is the founder of Digital Spark Marketing, a digital marketing and customer service agency. With 40 years of business experience, he blogs on topics that relate to improving the performance of your business. Find him on G+, Twitter, and LinkedIn

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