How To Increase Motivation And Succeed Thumbnail

Motivation is hard to come by sometimes, especially when you’re a normal person with a regular life. If you’ve got your health, some spending money, a family, a pet chihuahua and a couple friends… what more do you want in life? There’s really no need to break your back to do much of anything really. Life is simple, yet so perfectly mundane.

I have a problem with motivation.  I know I should be working harder many times, but I encounter the “good enough” syndrome.  In tennis, “isn’t being a starter on the team good enough?  Do I really need to try and play #1?”  At work, “isn’t a AA performance rating and 10 hours a day good enough?  I used to work 11-12 hours a day, but my hunger has normalized.  Online, “Isn’t posting 3-4X a week, commenting/interacting with 10 other bloggers a day while maintaining good enough?”  I should probably do a better job with @Yakezie on Twitter and stop by the Yakezie public forums more.

It’s easy for me to be happy with what I have and tire because of “good enough”. There isn’t much more that I want, or need, except for unsprainable ankles and more free time.  Anybody else content like this? I have very little desire to want more, which is a far change of attitude up until my mid-20s.  I’m surrounded by constant innovation and wealth in the Bay Area, yet I’m so happy to have a regular job and maintain the Yakezie Network.  I think all of us like the tight-knit group that expands slowly, rather than build it quickly and lose a lot of our culture.

Practically everything I do, I try and fly under the radar. I want people to think I’m slow on the tennis court, dumb during debate, and know little about any venture I undertake. Just the other day, I brought up the idea of creating a personal finance and lifestyle network with my poker buddies to see what they’d think, and they laughed off the idea saying I was too much of a “twit”, and don’t have the “creativity” or the “know-how” to make it happen. I was so happy they made fun of me for the idea because it’s exactly the type of motivation I need.  With every project I undertake, I purposefully seek rejection to give me that inexhaustible energy to forge on through.


* Make yourself have nothing. At the end of each month, I channel ALL my income out of my main bank so that I literally have nothing left. The money gets spread across six different channels (CDs, savings, and investment portfolios), which hopefully earn a decent return.  They are all not to be touched again until I stop working.  When you have no money, you become motivated to make sure you don’t slack off at work or on your endeavors, and your mind starts thinking of ways to build wealth and stay on track.  Whenever I’m exhausted, I think back to my 8 hour days at McDonald’s making $3.12/hour and think, stop being so weak and unthankful, keep on going!

* Seek humiliation and rejection. One of the main reasons why I go to this obnoxious poker game on Friday nights is because many of the people there cut each other down and brag about how great they are. The game is filled with lawyers, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and internet folk who are very smart, but also quite arrogant. Meanwhile, I like to dress homely in my sweats and baseball cap and just listen. Every single time I bring up a business idea, they poke fun at me because they think I’m stupid and don’t have any financial means or connections to get things done.  It’s also part of the reason why I will never host a game for them at my house, because they will instantly change their perception of me.  It’s so gratifying to get cut down because it just helps put a couple new logs in the pit to let my motivational fire rage.

* Make some enemies. They don’t have to be mortal enemies, just people you dislike enough to help give you the energy to push you farther than them. Think about college or professional sports. There is always some deep rooted rivalry that gets a team up more than any other match up. It’s the same thing with your own endeavors. Nobody gets a long with everybody anyway, so you might as well pick someone you don’t really like and magnify your tension.  He or she will keep you on your competitive toes so you don’t get complacent. I have less-than-friendly opponents in tennis, business, blogging (blogemies), and poker.  Enemies are great sources of energy!


Count your blessings if you live in America, or any country that allows you to live freely.  Americans are one of the top income earners in the world!  Sure, we are currently in a re-distribution of wealth phase.  However, you don’t want to fall in that camp of depending on the government and others for you to succeed.  You have to depend on your own motivation to win your own success!

It’s so easy to get complacent. We eat our hearts out while millions of people are starving. We disrespect our parents even though they worked hard to provide us a good upbringing. We expect instant gratification, because that’s all we’ve been use to. It’s one thing to be happy and complacent. It’s another to be complacent and never do much of anything.  Believe you will succeed and you will have all the motivation you’ll ever need.

Readers, what are some of the things you do to increase your motivation and succeed?

Photo credit: National Park Service