How to remain fixed on your vision
Has your motivation dipped recently? Keep reading as Roberto explains how he keeps his motivation high while studying.
Staying motivated is an art that few master. For most, it almost seems fleeting. Like waves that graze the seashore, it comes and goes – often receding at the untimeliest of occasions when we need it most.
Like many of you, I dream of building a better future for myself and those in my care. The best way to predict the future, as they say, is to design and create it for yourself. This all sounds simple in theory until one comes face-to-face with the uphill battle itself.
Upon commencing my Master’s programme in Marketing with the University of London, I had to allocate my time and energy to work, family and my personal life. What most challenged me was not the time management; it was the energy management aspect – maintaining high-levels of focus and output in the present moment.
The question then arises: what differentiates those who achieve great results from those who only manage to get by? Many would claim it is talent, but we have seen plenty of inspiring examples of people who, despite their shortcomings, took it upon themselves to prove the naysayers wrong – whatever the domain: business, academia, sports, or even spirituality.
Having said that, I firmly believe that success in any pursuit is dictated by one’s ability to keep their vision and goals at the forefront of the mind, amid the chaos of the “grind”.
I learnt that the hard way back in high school as a member of the varsity swim team. During competitions, once the starting signal goes off and your body dives into the cold water, the grind begins. It is arduous. All you see is water, the tiles at the bottom the pool, and the occasional glimpse of your competitors. The finish line still far off, or (in longer distance events) nowhere in sight. In the few laps, all seems fine, but with each stroke and kick you feel fatigue creeping in. The longer the distance remaining, the more you start doubting whether you can make it. Moral support doesn’t help much either; no matter how loud the crowd cheers, all you hear is the water splashing and yourself gasping for air. Ultimately, it’s you versus your own mind. Some swimmers slow down to try and ration their strength to finish the event. On few occasions, I’ve witnessed swimmers stop and quit altogether. Some manage to charge ahead, driven by something intangible and unique to the individual. Much can be said in other areas of life; whether it be financial gain, the gold medal, the status, the fame, the pride they’ll bring their country, family, or their own name, those who achieve anything noteworthy in life utilized strong emotions backed by a compelling vision to fuel their actions.
The quote that comes to mind is, “Those who have a ‘why’, can bear with almost any ‘how’.”
Those were the words written by Viktor Frankl in his book, “Man’s Search for Meaning”. We all face uphill battles. Many times, we get so engrossed in the routine of ticking off our to-do lists that we lose a sense of excitement, passion, drive, and purpose. Many have stopped taking time off to ask themselves, “What or who am I really doing this for? What am I sacrificing now to gain in the future?”
As motivational speaker Eric Thomas is famous for saying, “When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe – then you’ll be successful.” The more compelling the ‘why’, and the more you integrate it as emotional fuel to drive your actions, the more likely it is you’ll conquer whatever obstacles stand in your way.
So, whenever you feel reluctance to do something– whether it be studying, working, or even exercising - spend some time imagining as vividly as possible what or who you are doing this for. Even better, create a vision board, surround yourself with trinkets that remind you of your goal, or listen to music that you find inspirational. I know some would feel hesitant to allocate time from their already hectic schedules to do this. But someone setting aside five to ten minutes of visualization to fuel two hours of hard work would most likely surpass another who gets to work straight away without any focus or motivation. Purposeful action yields results!
To conclude, remember why you started, and the journey – no matter how demanding – becomes more meaningful, and meaning inspires near superhuman feats. With that, I wish you all the best in your personal endeavours.
Roberto studies MSc Marketing in the Philippines.