I recently started reading Brendan Buchard’s ‘Motivation Manifesto’, and I love this equation:
AMBITION + EXPECTANCY + ATTENTION = SUSTAINED MOTIVATION
To break it down: first, have a specific ambition to succeed, and decide what you want - i.e. "I want to achieve X targets by Y date”.
Second: believe you can do it; visualise it, see it – understand that by actively expecting it to happen, you will create the first spark of energy.
The secret however, to motivation over time, and the ability to create continuing momentum? The answer is in the third part of the equation that he argues is ATTENTION. The attention you pay to yourself, to your business, to your focus, to your entire roadmap of success.
This final piece of the Motivation Equation got me asking some questions of myself.
Was I honestly paying attention to the journey I am on? Am I doing the hard work that I originally committed myself to when I started this new path – that my ambition was demanding of me - or was I starting to follow the bright, shiny, easy stuff, reverting back to my old self?
Have I been paying ATTENTION to my goals, and am I COMMITTED to taking the right action at the right time? Is there something else going on that is taking my attention off the bigger game?
Funnily enough, ATTENTION is the part of the model that lets most people down. We have a bad habit of entering into comparison mode; we listen to the dream stealers who take us off course, and we lose our focus on what we started doing. Instead, we follow the easier or the shinier thing. Why? Because life gets in the way. We run before we are able to walk, and as a result end up reverting to toddler steps which ultimately slow us down, forcing the proverbial slap and kick up the ass.
SUSTAINED MOTIVATION needs ATTENTION. The only person who can give this attention? You. You have to quite simply DO THE HARD WORK - it is the only way forward. What it also means though, is recognising that when we aren’t paying attention, there could be a very good reason for it.
I know I have let the attention on my own practice go in the last few weeks – yes, we have secured the month’s target, but I personally haven't been giving that ‘+ attention’ part of the equation any – well, attention. Why? It's because I am in need of rejuvenation. The demands of practice delivery, the end of term for my kids (and the accompanying rattiness), the hectic storm that is EOFY for my husband’s business – all of these things took me away from my own focus. What really tipped me over the edge, though, was a member of my team and, more to the point, my friend, being diagnosed with cancer and having urgent surgery.
Combined, these things all meant a big fat finger was placed on my attention span pause button.
I needed to get my attention back. So I approached it from a completely objective point of view:
She takes 24 hours off on her own. She sits, and simply pauses and thinks. She acknowledges that she is exhausted, that she has been in intense GIVING mode, and she consciously chooses to be kind to herself. She OWNS the decisions of the next week’s commitment to things that she WANTS to complete - and she DECIDES that she is going to switch off totally for ten days in July with her family on holiday, and rejuvenate. She pays ATTENTION to her mindset, her journey, her vision, her here and now. She acknowledges that her AMBITION and EXPECTANCY is a constant while her ATTENTION was taken off course.
This was a new way for me to work out this kind of problem. And my learning? I am not a bad person for caring, or for putting others first, or even for resenting the fact that busyness has come before my business. Life is full of ups and downs; we are thrown situations out of the blue, and we simply have to accept them. The key to not wallowing in self-pity or resentment is to OWN THEM, OWN YOU, OWN YOUR AMBITION and WHAT YOU WANT. And above all, OWN YOUR OWN HUMILITY. Ask for help from your tribe. Share the challenges.
And bring on that holiday, and a new equation, I say.
SUN + POOL + COCKTAILS = YAY!!