Today, I want to give you the tools to stay motivated by reflecting on the three virtues of persistence, zeal, and magnanimity.
What is Motivation and Why Is It Important?
Motivation is our capacity to remain driven and focused on a goal. When we are motivated, we accomplish the various goals we set for ourselves. Additionally, people who are highly motivated can persist through distractions as well as have the fortitude needed to remain focused.
Motivation requires a large amount of vigor and passion. When you lack motivation, your efforts become uninspired at best and nonexistent at worst. Without eagerness, you’ll give a half-ass attempt on a project or fail to finish a task. Additionally, when you lack motivation, you’ll find it nearly impossible to pursue your dreams during the toughest times.
If you’re unmotivated to do a work project, you’ll only provide mediocre results. If you’re unmotivated to clean your house, you’ll give up midway through the cleaning project. If you’re unmotivated to finish your goals, you’ll stop trying after the first sign of difficulty and struggle. A life of uncompleted projects, poor work ethic, and abandoned dreams will leave every individual feeling depressed, lost, and powerless.
What Are The Three Ways To Remain Motivated?
All individuals take pride in being reliable, capable, and determined. All of these positive character attributes derive from remaining motivated when pursuing a goal or finishing a task. It’s essential to develop the traits necessary to remain motivated no matter how much we want to give up. Therefore, we need to cultivate persistence, zeal, and magnanimity to help us overcome our weaker natures and achieve the greatness we are capable of.
Persistence gives us the forward momentum we need to push past distractions and reach our end goals. Zeal provides us with the fuel to remain passionate about our cause. Lastly, magnanimity defines the nobility of our journey which enables us to stay focused on the benefits we’ll receive once we accomplish the tasks set before us.
By practicing and adhering to these three virtues, it becomes much easier to remain motivated.
1. Afraid? Persistence Helps You Push Past Your Fears
Persistence is the art of keeping on when the going gets tough. Those that lack persistence will falter at the first sign of trouble and always lack the blind obsession necessary to accomplish one’s goals. In other words, persistence is all about action, no matter what. Without forward momentum, it is impossible to remain focused on one’s goals. Stagnation is the enemy of motivation, and if we feel as if we are not moving onward, then we will give up.
Therefore, it’s important to set goals. By setting tasks, you are providing yourself the end destination you wish to reach. Remember, persistence is all about action and with sound goals in mind you can direct your efforts towards a worthwhile cause. Without clearly defined, realistic aims, it becomes easier to drift into nothingness.
Persistence and Pushing On Through Mistakes
In other words, I’m urging you to move forward with your life even when you stumble. Many people take the smallest setback as an indication that they should give up. However, mistakes are the way forward and show us what we can improve. Learn from mistakes and your way forward will be much better.
2. Use Zeal To Understand “Why” You Need To Stay Motivated
Zeal is your passion and measures how excited you are for a particular person or subject. Enthusiasm is all about the energy and commitment to whatever goal you set your sights on. Without a passion or love of what you’re doing, you will quickly lose motivation.
People who lack zeal give up too easily when faced with difficulties. They see a challenge, and they recoil instead of pushing onward. Furthermore, when we have persistence but no zeal, we lose the capacity to move forward productively. Motivation requires constant movement. However, we can burn out if we don’t understand why we’re persisting in the direction we are going.
Persistence is the momentum, but zeal is the fuel. Without a firm understanding of the “why” behind your goals, you’re more likely to give up. Therefore, to cultivate zeal, you’ll want to understand why you’re doing what you’re doing.
How To Develop Your “Why”
Developing an understanding behind your actions requires self-reflection. My suggestion would be to start at your life goals and the legacy you wish to leave behind. When you choose a life goal and reflect on your legacy, ask yourself the following questions:
- What do I love about these goals?
- Since I can only choose a maximum of three goals, what goals did I discard and why?
- What virtues do I need to follow to accomplish these life goals?
- How does accomplishing/pursuing my life goals benefit my close friends and family and, to a lesser extent, the world as a whole?
- What is my legacy going to be? What do I not want my legacy to be?
Understanding the answers to these questions will give you the insights you need to remain motivated and fueled. Without a “why” it’s easy to burn out or to lose sight of what you’re doing.
Your “Why” Can Always Be Practical
Lastly, let me highlight that your “why” can be practical. What do I mean by practical? Why do you go to work? To earn a living. Why do you brush your teeth? To ensure oral health.
Every goal doesn’t have to have to feed directly into your life goal or legacy. It’s practical to engage in basic hygiene because it’ll save you time and pain in the long run. It’s practical to work at a good paying job you dislike because you need to build your financial future.
However, never settle. Don’t obsess over your oral hygiene if it distracts you from your work and isn’t producing practical results. Don’t work at a job you hate forever; seek to understand your financial situation and formulate a plan to leave your unwanted job in due time.
We all have to pay taxes and take care of our physical needs. No one can keep their heads in the clouds forever. So, whenever you need to come back to Earth and do the necessities, don’t fret. Remember the practical nature of your work, plow through it, then get back to pursuing your life goals with zeal.
3. Magnanimity And The Importance of A Noble Goal
Magniminty is all about having a feeling of nobility as well as possessing freedom from vindictiveness. Zeal describes one’s passion, but magnanimity describes the awesomeness of our actions. To develop magnanimity, one must have impressive and substantial goals that will leave you proud and humbled.
When we are trying to accomplish a goal, doubts and pettiness always attack us. No individual is free of the inner-critic. Through fortitude, we may silence this critic, but a significant piece of fortitude comes from magnanimity.
Never Settle For Small Goals
If our goals are small, petty, and undeserving, then we will lack the motivation to win. For example, if your goal is to eat junk food, you’ll lack pride in such a pathetic aim. Doing what we already do by default, particularly if the activity is enjoyable for us, will not produce rational pride. We will despise the low aims that we set for ourselves and resentment towards our lives will grow.
Additionally, setting such petty aims in one aspect of our life will infect other aspects of our life. For example, if you want to be a master farmer but refuse to eat healthily, then you will lose inspiration to be a master farmer. The doubt and shame you have for not pursuing a healthier diet cannot be kept away as one aspect of your life. You are a whole being, and everything you do influences everything else. Weakness in one part of your life will spread. Therefore, it’s crucial to develop magnanimity when looking at your goals and your actions.
In conclusion, you will never be motivated to do easy, simple tasks that barely change your life. However, you will be inspired to do the impossible, larger than life projects that will radically improve your wellbeing. Therefore, you have to set larger than life goals by developing your sense of magnanimity.
How Do You Develop Magnanimity?
Answer: By setting meaningful goals that inspire the best within you. We are made for greatness, not comfort, thus setting goals that never push you out of your comfort zone will zap you of motivation in other areas of your life. It is important to develop meaningful goals whether you’re cleaning your house or trying to solve hunger in your local neighborhood.
The important thing here is to always set goals that elevate you and others. The pursuit of your goals must challenge you to become a better person. Additionally, when you accomplish these goals, you’ll grow as an individual.
For example, “getting in shape” as a goal should significantly challenge you to workout harder than ever before. The results will be a stronger, leaner body. The nobility of having good health and an improved physical appearance will help you remain motivated as you march on.
Lastly, great goals allow for great play. When you work your ass off to accomplish an amazing goal, you can rest without stress or shame. No more regretting your break time – if you challenge yourself and win big, you can enjoy your play time. Therefore, always shoot big and try to accomplish as many great goals as you can.
Successful Motivation Requires Unmatched and Genuine Love of Virtue
Motivation is all about staying the course to reach an end without fault or failure. Motivation is hard to come by, but you can cultivate it within yourself by practicing the three virtues of persistence, zeal, and magnanimity. Persistence will keep you plowing forward regardless of roadblocks. Zeal will give you the fuel you need to keep going forward. Magnanimity will keep you inspired as you reach your exciting destination.
Have a noble spirit and keep your head held high as you march forward. Never lose sight of your greatness.
- Do you find it difficult to be motivated? What don’t you want to do? Why?
- For the list you created in the previous question, ask yourself what you would gain if you did the activities you didn’t want to do.
- Look at your list again – how would you feel if you didn’t have to do these activities? Why are you currently responsible for these activities?
- Take the items you don’t want to do and figure out ways to adjust your life so you don’t have to do them. For example, if you hate your job, take steps to find a different one. If you dislike doing dishes, take steps to get a dishwasher, and so on.
Please remember that it’s important to do the actionables. You’re not on this earth to simply read but to do. To become an individual, you must act more than you consume.
*Image credit to Unsplash.