The Best & Less-than-Best        Motivations for Learning

 I tend to frequent this amazing website when in need of any kind of motivation, be it habit forming, goals setting or learning strategies. None of the material is my own but I thought I’d share it with you guys on here 

                                         The Best Motivations
These five things are great motivators that can last beyond a week or two, in my experience:

1. Curiosity. This is my favorite motivator! When I take on a new learning challenge, it works best if I’m genuinely curious about something. If something is mildly interesting to me, I probably won’t stick with it for long. But if I want to go deeper and deeper, and learn everything I can about something, I will stick with it. So try to examine how much curiosity you have for the thing you’re learning. You can spark the curiosity sometimes, but other times it’s better to scrap what you’re learning and find something that really gets you curious.
2. Exploring something new. For me, it’s often not about accomplishing something cool or reaching some ideal or goal … and more about exploring. This is obviously very related to curiosity, but for me, allowing myself to explore in a less disciplined way is often the more sustainable method of learning. I let myself play, let my curiosity lead me, let the discovery be the goal. Try loosening up on your learning and allow yourself to have fun discovering.
3. Doing it with someone else. I love this method — often I’ll take on a challenge with Eva or a friend, or one of my kids. It’s fun doing something with someone else, and often if one person loses motivation, the other person will help keep you both on track. I also am very motivated by wanting to help the other person, and while doing something for myself is also a great goal, doing it for someone else helps a lot.
4. Caring deeply about it. As I mentioned above, we sometimes don’t care that much about creating an ideal self, or reaching big long-term goals. So what do we care about? That’s a question we have to ask ourselves, and if you have an answer, that’s a great thing to devote yourself to learning. If you don’t have an answer, then devote yourself to exploring that question by learning different things.
5. To prove that you can take on difficult things. For years, I quit when the learning got difficult. But that’s when real learning happens — when things are difficult and you push through, when you are failing and wanting to quit. We learn by pushing ourselves into uncomfortable areas, and if we always quit, we’ll never get very deep into anything. So my best motivation recently is to prove to myself that I can stick to difficult learning challenges. So far, I am proving myself right.

                            On to some less-than-best motivations:

1. A big goal. People are often very motivated in the beginning of any challenge by setting a big goal for themselves, and there’s nothing wrong with this at all. However, I’ve found that without other motivation, you can lose steam after a week or two. Why? Because you don’t achieve the big goal in a week or two, and in fact if it’s a long ways away, after a couple of weeks you might not be much closer. So go ahead and set a big goal, but have something else that will motivate you in the short term.

2. Wanting to make quick progress. This is something I’ve experienced, and I’m not alone — we want to make a lot of progress in a short amount of time, and it can be frustrating and disappointing when we don’t make the quick progress we’d like. The truth is that any real progress takes time, and while you might get a quick spurt of learning done here and there, most often it comes with dedication and months of work. That said, if you have realistic expectations, seeing yourself make modest progress can be very motivating.
3. It sounds nice. Lots of times we take on a challenge because we think it would be cool to complete it. I think it would be cool to be able to do some amazing magic tricks, for example. But in the end, I’m not that motivated to put in the hard work required to do some really skilled magic tricks. That takes hours and hours of practice, weeks and weeks even, and I don’t care that much about it. I just think it would be cool. If you don’t care that much about the learning goal, you’ll quit when things get hard.
4. Creating your ideal self. Often we have a list of things we’d like to learn or improve, because we want to reach an ideal we have for ourselves. We want to be fit, healthy, mindful, talented, multi-lingual, accomplished and more. And while there’s nothing wrong with having these ideals, the truth is that you lose motivation after a week or two if this is your primary driver. Why? Because at some point, you stop caring about the ideal. You feel that it’s not worth the effort. You’re already pretty cool as you are, without needing to improve.

Haterz gonna hate! My buddy keeps saying shit like this to get me mad. Someone is jealous that I’m making progress. So instead of sitting on your phone drinking a case of beer and playing xbox, get your ass to the gym. He constantly makes fun of the fact that before my back surgery I tried to go to the gym and after a month I quit. Yeah I quit. I’ll be the first to tell you that. I wasn’t motivated then.

If you are that think that by constantly saying shit to me is going to derail my progress, you’ve got another thing coming.

Yes I post selfies, because I’m proud to show that consistency works. Today I’ve completed 90 days of healthy living, changed my diet, exercise 3-5 days a week, lost 40 pounds and at least 5% fat.

I’ll scream my progress at the top of my lungs. I have big plans once I get to my ultimate goal. I found a new passion in fitness. Once I graduate college, I’d love nothing more than to work in this industry. Why? I know first hand the impact that others have had on me and I want to pay it forward. I have no idea in what capacity yet, but you are going to see me give it my all. This is a great lifestyle, one that I hope I can help others with in the future.

bbbenwilliamson I know you’ve had others tell you that you couldn’t be who you are today. Believe me, when I read your story, I realized for the first time to stop letting the haterz control my life. You sir are an inspiration! 👏

So guys, don’t let others drag you down. Let it be the motivation you need to push harder.