Focus on What You Stand to Lose
I wish I could tell you that most people only need to read more for them to get properly motivated, I wish I could tell you that they only need to focus on this ideal state of their lives for them to get the motivation they need to enter a state of flow consistently. After all, this is what the media tells us.
When you look at standard advertising, you are given an alternative view of reality. It’s something that you desire. It’s something that you hope for. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works in reality. It turns out that most people can appreciate the things that they should be doing. Most people won’t have a problem when you tell them the kind of life that they should strive for. In fact, they would agree with you.
The problem is most people would not lift a finger to achieve that ideal state. They know that these are the things that should happen, but the problem is they’re too bugged down by their daily lives. They’re too focused on day-to-day survival that they really don’t have much time and energy left for the things that they should do.
Tony Robbins said that people are focused on what they must do. They tend to ignore the things that they should do. Now, if you were to remind them of the things that they should do, they would tell you that they would agree with you 100%. Who wouldn’t?
The problem is when it comes to the actual urgency and energy needed to actually get closer to those things, they draw a blank. This is due to the fact that most people are reactive by nature. Believe it or not, most people are motivated primarily by fear or the possibility of loss.
You can talk to most people until you’re blue in the face about the things that they stand to gain. You can paint all sorts of bright picture and mental imagery regarding how they stand to win if they just reach out for their dreams.
This all sounds awesome. The problem is people are not motivated by proactive promises. Instead, they will only lift a finger to change their situation and alter the course of their lives if they feel that their backs are against the wall. If they feel that they are about to lose or fail, that’s when they develop a sense of urgency.
This is why it’s very important that if you’re looking to achieve a constant state of flow through motivation on command, that you also focus on what you stand to lose. Often times, this is all you need to do.
Let’s face it. If you have a lot of things that you need to get through, it’s very easy to think that, “I need to get rid of this stuff first before I can start thinking about the things that I should do to take my life to the next level.
Well, those sticky notes in your mind and that to-do list deep down in your heart will never go away. If you get rid of some entries, some newer entries will take care of them. This goes on and on and on until people lower your body in a box.
If you want to get out of this trap, focus on what you stand to lose. Focus on fear to motivate you. How do you do this? Think about the disappointment you’ll feel when you fail to achieve a state of flow. How much of a let-down would you feel?
You know you’re capable of making things happen, but because you did not push hard to motivate yourself consistently, things didn’t happen. You have to raw ingredients, but it didn’t pan out. You have yourself to blame.
Also, think about the hassle of starting over and over again. You have to understand that if you are not living your life based on your purpose and you’re not looking to achieve a state of flow, you’re basically just starting over and over again every single day.
Things are not falling into place to the point that things become easy. You’re constantly struggling with getting things done, but nothing seems to happen. You’re always starting from square one.
Similarly, think about how pointless it is to wander around aimlessly. That’s really what you’re doing if you lose focus, if you’re not motivated by a sense of purpose, and your ability to trigger your state of flow is random. You’re just going around in circles.
Finally, think about the regret. Think of yourself as 70 years old or 80 years old and you’re thinking back on your life. Did you overcome you fears? Did you refuse to take no for an answer? Did you push back against the challenges that life sent your way?
There’s a sense of regret when the only thing you can focus on is your appearance and other worthless, shallow, and temporary concerns. The flesh breaks apart with time. What cannot be taken away from you is your sense of purpose.
If all of the above fails, feel free to slap yourself around mentally. Ask yourself, “I need to wake up, what am I afraid of? Why am I not achieving big things in my life? Why am I not tackling big issues in my life? Am I really pushing my life to the next level? Why do I always instantly go for the quick and easy instead of the hard, narrow, and ultimately more rewarding?” Practice a little bit of tough love on yourself. You’d be surprised what would turn up.
Visualize yourself confronting your reactive side
In the 1980s, there was a movie called “An Officer and a Gentleman”. The character played by Richard Gere was given a hard time by his drill instructor. This drill instructor insulted him, shouted at him, and was constantly telling him, “Quit. You’re not fit for this. You don’t belong here. Quit.”
In one of the most iconic parts of that movie, Richard Gere turned to his drill instructor with tears in his eyes saying, “I have nowhere else to go.” I want you to visualize yourself being a drill sergeant to yourself.
Stare at yourself in the eyes and tell yourself, “What are you doing? Why are you wasting your time? Why did you quit? Why have you settled for the crumbs in life when there are big summits that you could scale?” Allow yourself to give yourself a hard time emotionally.
This is going to be very hard because let’s face it, we all have ego. One key part of our ego is self-protection. We don’t like to get hurt. We don’t like to be made to feel that we’re nothing. However, often times, that’s exactly what we need to feel to break us out of the routine because we are performing way below our potential.
If you cannot get motivated consistently and on command, break yourself out of that routine by visualizing yourself as a drill sergeant staring down and telling yourself, “What are you going to do? Why have you settled for this? You’re capable of so much more. Why did you stick to this pattern? Every single day that passes is a wasted opportunity.”