We all know of someone who seems to accomplish anything, they seem to have an unlimited amount of willpower and a desire to achieve like no other. This person may be your friend, co-worker, or someone you follow on social media. However, they are no different than you and I. They have insecurities, doubts and fears. So what is there secret and why are they more motivated to succeed than others? I believe there superpower is their ability to stay focused on one goal at a time and there is research to back up this claim. Emily Balcetis a social psychologist from NYU recently gave a TED talk on motivation and how focusing on the finish line can improve your success with exercise.
Three months ago I couldn’t muster up the strength to accomplish any goals I had set. During my month of laziness I was eating poorly and not exercising as much as I usually do. I lacked motivation which lead to a decrease in work productivity. I was a little depressed to say the least. So I did some research and tried to find out what was responsible for my lack of motivation. After countless articles read, I came to the conclusion that dopamine is a big influencer of motivation and that if you wanted to become more motivated you needed to increase this powerful brain chemical. Dopamine is a neurotransmitters that is responsible for learning, motivation, curiosity, pattern recognition and habit formation. Writing, reading, exercising, sleeping, and a healthy diet increase dopamine levels in the brain. Nevertheless, increasing your dopamine it isn’t everything. From a genetic standpoint, some people are born with higher or lower levels of dopamine, which means they are wired to learn more or learn less. However, your genetics aren’t everything and don’t determine your fate. Drugs like caffeine, alcohol and cocaine increase dopamine and our energy levels, but we don’t necessarily get motivated to accomplish our goals, unless those goals involve reproduction, but I digress. Therefore, there must be a missing link and that missing link is focus. In order to master motivation, you must increase your dopamine levels through physical and mental activity. The four activities below will help you do just that.
During my two day fast I was leaving work and walking to the metro station to head home for the day. I was hungry, but I wasn't starving and I was functioning perfectly fine. As I walked down the street of downtown los angeles, I came across a woman sitting on the street corner with a sign,
'Need money for food, haven't eaten in days, thank you"
At first glance, the sign did nothing for me and I walked passed her. I continued to walk, but something pulled me back. I can't explain it, I just knew I had to do something. I walked to the nearest restaurant and asked for a menu. I took the menu and brought it to the lady. In today's society she would not be considered beautiful, and her eyes were no different. They lacked life, they had no hope, and they were filled with pain. She was older, skin scarred, wrinkled and lacked muscle. It was obvious that she was malnourished and needed a meal.
So I handed her the menu, "Go ahead, pick whatever you want from the menu, it's on me."