It is easy to talk about motivation without a deeper understanding of what motivation is. Life coaches, success coaches, even your boss talks about the need for you to stay motivated. Bless the people you listen to for they try to motivate you, but it is not going to work and here’s why. Only you can motivate yourself.

There are three kinds of people in the world. First, there are the few who have ‘arrived’. These are the people who have everything they have always wanted. Second, there are those who are following their dreams. And third, there are the vast majority of people who do not have a clear path to their goals and dreams.

Which of the three are you?

How many times have you arrived at a crossroad? How many times have you decided NOT to decide which road to take? And when you did, how many times have you taken the wrong road? All these challenges and obstacles in your life, it is plain madness.

Method to Madness

Have you ever asked yourself why of all people in the world, you have to be the unlucky one? Remember what it was, remember all the difficulties you encountered. How hard life must have been for you yesterday, as it is today? Is there a reason not to think tomorrow would be the same?

Everything that has happened in the past has a reason. It was not clear before but when you look at how you are today, it is the result of the past. There is a method to the madness and the only way you can find the solution is to understand the cause. Fortunately, we know how you could motivate yourself to do what needs to be done today that leads to the future you want.

The Root Causes of Failures

To this day, who or what has stopped you from everything that you desire? Why do you keep arriving at one crossroad after another? How do you make sense of madness? No matter how you answer these three questions, chances are that there are two root causes.

It is easy to blame others for your own failures. I agree that there are toxic people around us. These are the people in your circle of connection who cause you harm, intentional or not. Blaming others is one of the root causes of failures and it leads to the second one.

Instinctively, we try to explain our fortunes and misfortunes. And in the process, we have become skilled at finding reasons. Reasons are important and we will talk more about this later. Ask anyone, “Why did you fail?” And you hear all kinds of reasons. Uncontrolled and without the intention of finding solutions, reasons become excuses. Failure dampens your ability to motivate yourself, possibly leading to more failures.

“You can’t go through life obsessing about what might have been.”

The two root causes of failures are blaming others and finding excuses. “There comes a certain point in life when you have to stop blaming other people for how you feel or the misfortunes in your life,” actor Hugh Jackman said. “You can’t go through life obsessing about what might have been.” Great actor, great advice, and one you should heed. Stop blaming others and take responsibility and ownership. “99 percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses,” George Washington Carver said.

The Motivation Within You

Like I said, no one can motivate yourself but you. You can look up to other people or listen for inspiration, but motivation is inside of you. The question is, do you know what your motivations are?

Some people think motivation and life purpose are related. Others think motivation IS life purpose. The easy way to distinguish is to think of life purpose as your core values and principles in life that define why you exist. Motivation is the fuel that lights up the burning desire in your heart.

You have one primary motivating factor. If you understand what yours is, then doing away with the habit of blaming others and finding excuses become manageable.

Primary Motivating Factor

If you were to pick only one, which one do you choose?

  • Have extra source of income
  • Have financial freedom
  • Have your own business or be your own boss
  • Have more spare time or time freedom
  • Continuous personal development (character, attitude, leadership and skills)
  • Help other people
  • Meet new people
  • Early retirement
  • Leave a legacy
  • Have fame or recognition

Which one did you pick? Why did you pick that one? What makes it important for you? If you do not achieve that, what does it mean for you? Does failure worry you?

To find your motivating factor, you really have to STOP right here. Think through the list again, and answer the questions that followed the list.

Friend, what motivates you? The idea of identifying your motivating factor is so that you have a better understanding of yourself. Knowing what drives you allows you to use that to push yourself to become better. Your primary motivating factor is the fuel that helps you burn through challenges and obstacles.

Using Motivation to Turn Around the Root Causes of Failures

Blaming is immature, it has been said time after time. By refusing to take responsibility and ownership of every decision you made, how can a solution be found? On the other hand, accepting the blame allows you to sit down, think through, and work towards a reasonable and viable solution.

People tend to tilt towards the negative. Justifying inaction or wrong decisions by making excuses do not change you or your situation for the better. Having accepted that you are responsible and whatever the situation you are in today is a result of your past decisions and actions, excuses become knowledge. Failure becomes education.

Continuous learning and personal development is the key to building a stronger foundation for your success. No one and nothing can teach you better than failures. The difficulty of learning from failures can overwhelm people, far too often, unfortunately.

No matter how the positive people around you influences you by inspiring you or giving you a pep talk, the negativity or magnitude of hardship can stop you. But there is something inside of you that can overcome that. Remember to motivate yourself by using your primary motivating factor. Remember the benefits of being able to achieve what you had set out for.

On one hand, negativities make life harder than is necessary. On the other hand, turning the negativities into positivity opens you up to greater successes. The very concept of succeeding is brought about by the fact that one could fail. There is no day if there is no night. Similarly, in order for you to achieve success, you have to succeed by failing.

Motivate Yourself and Get It Done

You can be handed a list of things to do to get over the hump. In cyberspace, there are countless inspirational posts to set the positive mood for you to move along. What is it that motivates you? Knowing is one thing. But there is another thing you need to possess.

The process of getting things done begins when you take action. It’s really great when you think of solutions to make your situation better. It’s only right when you make plans. After all, failing to plan is planning to fail, isn’t it? As you read this post, it can be said that you are taking steps to change your life. You have the intention of changing the way you see things.

You should understand that to change the world around you, it begins with you. When you act on changing yourself, the act of putting your plans into actions is the beginning of the road to success. Motivate yourself by small wins. Finish one small task after another, all leading to your grand plans.

Final thoughts

Learning how to motivate yourself is a powerful knowledge. It can help you go farther than you have previously thought possible. No walls can withstand that powerful force of a highly motivated version of you. Even if you could break down the wall with one blow, they key is to sustain it. You can only achieve this if you do things based on the right motivation.

It’s easy to tell you to stay motivated and do things. But understanding where your motivation comes from is how you can effectively use it to your advantage.

Take the time to know yourself and understand your primary motivating factor. Once you do, the way you see the world will be different. Your ability to turn negative situations into positive ones increases. Achieve your tasks one at a time and reach your destination sooner. The greatest story in the world has yet to be completed. It is your story. How you want it to end is entirely up to you.


Meet Ane. Creator of Self Develop Shop. A daydreamer and a night thinker. Blogger. Reader. Writer. Traveller. Coffee drinker.

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