Motivation may be a basic concept, but it can be seen as the most crucial step toward completing any task. Motivation can also be viewed as a cycle, starting with thoughts that influence our behavior, which results in performance that affects our thoughts. Although there are various theories about motivation and its connections, most of the psychological theories state that it comes solely from within the individual.

Source: Visually, The road to success can often be seen as a strenuous climb.

Motivation: A Key to Long-Term Success

On the poker scene as one example, motivation plays a key role, and a lack of ambition is often seen as the most common obstacle that players have to overcome in the long run. Like in any other life arena, both the results and the general state of mind can be a direct expression of one’s motivation and drive for success.

Source: Twitter, It takes a great deal of perseverance and motivation to reach the top.

Because the results in poker tournaments or small-scale games can be sometimes unexpected and have fluctuations, maintaining a balanced state of mind and keeping focus while enjoying the game can be difficult at times. Also, each person has different needs and values, so the amount of effort and dedication involved in every match has to be kept in check, so the experience doesn’t lose its enjoyment altogether.

Understanding the Reasons

Before developing strategies to keep motivation up, it’s crucial to understand the reasons behind choosing to play in the first place. The goals of any poker player are either to have fun playing the game, to get the thrill of the competition or to earn rewards, such as trophies, money or titles. These considerations influence the player’s choices in the sense that a result-driven person will rather choose weaker opponents while someone focused on enjoyment and competitivity would pick the difficult ones. Another aspect that should be considered is that of the challenges. Despite the desire to improve and win increasingly harder matches, it’s also critical to play against weaker opponents from time to time, to maintain self-confidence at a high level. Winning a poker tournament can represent a significant morale boost, but you should also find ways to balance the mental state that comes with it; excesses in either direction is not helpful.

Ways to Keep Focused

Source: Quora: Motivation is the key to moving forward and consistently improving.

Whether it’s the result that matters or the journey to the end, maintaining the energy to keep going can be easier to achieve if we consider some aspects. The most crucial step toward improvement is to act. Although it may seem counterintuitive to some, forcing ourselves to accomplish a task will raise overall motivation and boost confidence. No matter how big or small, any amount of effort still results in progress and should never be underestimated.

Understanding the reasons you’re in the game can help you keep track of the objectives and continue progressing. Being rational and knowing the goals can also make hours of effort feel like minutes, thus making the experience feel less exhausting.

Another crucial aspect of keeping motivated is to not get overwhelmed. No matter how time-consuming or difficult a task can be, it’s always better to break it down into small steps, so that there are milestones along the way and progress can easily be tracked.

Source: Quora, It’s easier to finish a task if it’s divided into small steps.

Getting support from a friend or colleague can be a powerful motivation as well. Whether it’s one-sided or it goes both ways, setting up goals and measuring each other’s progress adds a little competition to the process. Also, making such a promise represents another reason to push harder and keep focused on the task at hand.

Setting clear deadlines and limits, in conjunction with clarifying the steps to take, can be quite a useful tool in fighting a lack of motivation. Establishing limits doesn’t necessarily have to be within a game of Texas Hold ‘em or Omaha, it can be applied to the time spent practicing, the time spent learning new strategies, etc.

Finally, considering the costs of not working toward accomplishing a task can boost motivation as well. Depending on the value of the losses that would occur by not putting in the effort, our drive may increase, even if it’s due to anxiety.

Common Obstacles

Fear is the most common reason for the lack of motivation, and it can stop us from achieving our goals even before trying. Such a feeling can be manifested through countless questions of what if people judge me or what if I fail? When these negative thoughts manifest, not only do we sabotage ourselves and our potential but we also slow down our improvement by not trying to progress. If feelings of fear are coupled with the anxiety of not being validated by others, both the motivation and self-confidence will start decreasing. The best way to overcome fear is to act and have a rational view on things — if we don’t even try, how are we ever supposed to improve or succeed? Even if it means taking a risk, the experience will only enhance your abilities, regardless of the results.

Another barrier in the way of our success can arise when comparing ourselves to others. It’s not only widespread among competitive people like poker players, but it has also become part of our daily lives. Thanks in no small part to social media, which has gained so much popularity over the past few years, nowadays, people are competing to show the best version of themselves, even if the bigger picture is different. The best way to deal with the negative feelings when comparing to others is to always keep in mind that everyone’s path in life is unique and in the situations in which we succeed, others may not and vice-versa.

The bottom line is to keep a clear mind and work with the different feelings that manifest themselves when faced with a task, regardless of its nature. Always remember that excessive work can be as harmful as excessive leisure, and a good balance between the two is the key to being successful in any type of business or activity. Now be the best version of yourself!

The post The Drive That Gets Us Going appeared first on Mike Gingerich.

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