You know that feeling when you get when you’re with someone who goes after all of their goals and totally believes in themselves? That feeling is infectious and can leave you feeling super motivated to pursue your own dreams. But what happens when the motivation wears off?
Henry Ford once said, “whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.” The secret to our success lies within our mindset. If we believe that something is possible, or if we believe that we can achieve something, we are much more likely to keep going when things get tough. Or, on the other hand, if we believe that we are not capable of doing something, the second things get tough we will be more likely to pack it in and give up. The reality is that nothing happens overnight – almost every overnight success took years of handwork to get there. It will be your mindset and your dedication that get you there, instead of just your motivation.
Motivation vs Dedication
A good way to think of the difference between motivation and dedication is to think of motivation as a super fun friend that you want to party with in college. They show up to have a good time, are always down for a tequila shot and seem to always know where the best parties are. They are super fun, but not someone you would want to rely on to watch your kids on a Friday night. Our motivation may be our driving force to start something (to make more money, to launch a business, or to start a new fitness routine), but will be totally unreliable when the excitement wears off and the daily grind starts to kick in.
Our dedication, however, is what relies on our mindset. Being dedicated to our goals is what will keep us working on a side hustle on the weekend, or pull ourselves out of bed at 5 am to go to the gym. It is what keeps us going even when things get tough and help us look for a solution that we may not have otherwise seen.
10 Mindset Hacks
1. Get crystal clear on your goals
A lot of us may dream about the future (“one day, I’d like a bigger house or newer car”), but we may not have a specific goal in mind. Part of working on our mindset means getting crystal clear on our goals and feeling excited about them. Drive around and look for your dream neighbourhood, check out new cars, to get a clearer vision of what you want. When things get tough, it will be easier to stay dedicated to your goals when you feel excited about something specific (such as a brand new black Jeep Wrangler, with an 8” touch screen), as opposed to about something general (just a new car, who knows what). This doesn’t mean that if something better comes up that you can’t switch courses, but it just helps to stay dedicated when your goals are crystal clear.
2. Identify your thought patterns
Your thoughts and your beliefs are what shape your mindset, which is why they aren’t exactly something you should ignore. Check-in with yourself: are you thinking positively about yourself? Others? Your future? Pay more attention to what you’re thinking, and try to focus on the possibilities, as opposed to the limitations.
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3. Decide your future
As Yoda once say, “do or do not, there is no try.” If you want to wake up at 5 am, say “I am going to wake up at 5 am” as opposed to “I am going to try to wake up at 5 am.” If you are going to make more money, say “I am going to make more money” as opposed to saying “I am going to try to make more money.” When you hold onto the word try, your subconscious brain is basically telling you, “I really don’t think we can do this, so I’m going to make sure I have a way out.” Instead, realize that you have the power to decide your own future, and make it happen. Don’t get too focused on how you’re going to do something, but instead, decide on the end goal, and be open to different paths to accomplish it.
4. Believe in yourself
Your success lies within you, you just need to believe in yourself. Believe that you can achieve it, and you will be more likely to keep going when things get tough. Believe that you deserve it, and you will be more likely to go out and ask for it. Believe in yourself, and it won’t matter if others understand your goals or not.
5. Be grateful
Gratitude is one of the most important things for your mindset. Instead of criticizing yourself for not being where you want to be yet, not having your dream home or not having your ideal clothes, be grateful. The reality is that everything in life is temporary – where you are now is not necessarily where you will be in one year, 5 years, or 10 years. Saying thank you or showing gratitude for the life you have now doesn’t mean you’re going to stay there forever. What it does mean, however, is that when your mindset is in a place of gratitude and love, as opposed to lack, you will likely find it easier to achieve your dreams.
This may be your least favourite mindset hack, but it’s extremely important, so don’t skip it. We live in an extremely busy world where we are always on the go. It’s important to get in the habit of calming your mind, even if it’s just or 5 minutes a day. You can follow a guided meditation practice, or just set a timer, but focus on your breath and tune out the outside world for a couple of minutes a day.
7. Recite affirmations
If you realized in #2 that you tend to think negatively about yourself or others, one way to rewrite those thought patterns is through affirmations. For example, if you constantly think, “I’m not smart, I always forget things,” you could try saying, “I am smart, I’m able to remember things.” The more you say that, the more you will believe it to be true, and the more likely you will start to do things to confirm the thought.
8. Take note of the people around you
They say that we are the most like the 5 people we spend most of our time with. Take note of who it is you spend time with: what do they think about, what type of money do they make, and what are their goals? This isn’t to say that we can’t be friends with people who don’t want the same things as us, but it does mean that sometimes we need to connect with or seek out mentorship from people who are where we want to be.
9. Prioritize sleep
For some reason, we live in a society that wears lack of sleep as a badge of honour. We brag about only needing 5 hours of sleep a night or joke about relying on coffee to go about our days. The reality is that sleep is almost like a magical little pill that can heal your body, recharge your batteries, clear your mind, and calm you down. It is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves, and should not be something that we skip out on.
10 Always do your best
Like, actually do your best… in all that you do. Even if you are not exactly where you want to be, don’t think that you can half-ass something for the time being. If you are a server but have plans on being a successful actress, make sure you are the best server you can be for the time being. If you are single and dreaming of your future spouse, don’t wait until you are married to start to do the things you dream of. The reality is that we are only here for such a short amount of time, and constantly waiting for more to be happy is only going to hurt you. Focus on always doing your best, and you will feel more fulfilled by realizing that you can accomplish literally anything you set your mind to.