This morning, before leaving for school, my son came to me and said, “Mama, do you think I will win today’s match?” As he’d won his last match, he had hopes and expectations of what the outcome might be. Trying to give him the best reply, I said, “Dear, I don’t know if you will win the match or not… but I know you will play your best. If you concentrate on winning, you will never play your best. So just go and give it your best. And after giving your best, if you don’t win the match, don’t be disappointed or feel bad. Work on improving. If you do this, you are very close to winning.” I saw his expression change from one filled with worry to one full of hope. I felt like I had conquered a battle.

It is very difficult to keep motivation and inspiration alive all the time. Nobody can vouch for this statement more than me. I have seen myself moving from motivated to disappointment, to inspired, to feeling that nothing is working for me, sometimes all within 24 hours. Over time I realized that if you are dependent on external sources to keep you motivated, very often you face disappointment. You will keep looking for inspiration. For example, if I get X number of people in my workshop, I feel motivated. If everyone appreciates my speech/talk, I feel motivated. If this happens, you will keep searching for inspiration… Once I realized this, I really understood the difference between motivation and inspiration. Motivation comes from external sources and inspiration is your own driving force – your own zeal to accomplish things. As icing on the cake, I happened to read a book called “Mindset”  by Carol Dwek, where she wrote about goal-oriented and growth-oriented mindsets.

Goal-oriented people only focus on results; they are performance-bound. They target only winning or getting results. They believe that one’s skills and intelligence is predetermined and innate. In contrast, growth-oriented people focus on efforts and practice. They believe that they can grow their intelligent and efforts with practice.

As I look back on my professional life, I realize that, many times, I was in goal-oriented mindset. In the past, if something went wrong in a project, I used to feel disappointed and take the blame on myself. If I received no appreciation from colleagues or managers, I would feel demotivated and disappointed.

As I started moving from being motivated to being inspired, I realize what changes I made in myself, and the book “Mindset” really helped me to clarify my intention and clear my doubts.

I worked on myself. I started giving importance to the planning, the process, the effort, and the journey. My practice in yoga helped me strengthen this thought. I analyzed how it takes effort to practice one asana or posture consistently to achieve the steady and comfortable pose. It takes many days of practice to be able to do each pose with ease and comfort. This journey sometimes gives disappointment, sometimes joy, but if you keep consistency in your effort, you gradually get closer to your goal.

I follow the same learning in all my endeavors in my personal and professional life, which is helping me reach my targets and goals.

Do you also feel demotivated very often?
Do you want to keep your internal driving force active and alive always?
Do you want to be inspired all the time?

Then read the below tips:

1. Practice and consistency in your work/activity is very important to achieve perfection. DO it over and over again until it becomes part of you.

2. If you don’t get the results you expected, don’t get disappointed and spend time and energy thinking about it; instead, think about how you can improve. Strive for continuous improvement instead of perfection.

3. If you are honest and passionate about your goals, you will get results slowly and gradually. Passion is the oxygen of the soul. It will gradually lead you to your goals.

4. Instead of focusing on what you receive (the result, e.g., money, fame), focus on what you can give; this will shift a lot of the burden. Giving is not only about making donations but also about making a difference. See how you can make a difference to others’ lives by your acts.

5. Remember, there is never a failure; everything is learning. Each failure brings you closer to your goal. Success is not final, and failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.

6. Don’t blame or feel shy about your mistakes; look at your mistakes as being a key to improving yourself. Making mistakes does not mean you are a failure, but it means you are trying and learning in life.

7. When you are in doubt, angry, tense, or tired … PAUSE. It helps you to buy time to stay inspired rather than get demotivated.

8. Make deep breathing your friend. This simple act can give you the best advice when you are in doubt, stressed, or angry. Sometimes you just have to stop, take a deep breath, and put things into perspective.

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