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Don't Tell People Your Dreams. Show Them.

So, you got a dream and you’ve set some goals to accomplish it. But how do you get there?

You must get motivated. Yes, that urge you get to do something is what can make a big difference in how you find fulfillment on the job and around friends and family.

Newton’s first law of motion tells us that an object at rest, stays at rest, and an object in motion, stays in motion. The same can be seen in other aspects of life such as academic performance, personal relationships, health and exercise, and personal goals.

Getting motivated can be tough. Yet, the most successful people are those that motivate themselves. According to the Self-Determination Theory is based on the belief that people are inherently motivated to grow and possess intrinsic needs to be self-motivated without external influence or interference.

Here are five secrets to motivation from some of Clayton State’s faculty and staff that can help you find success in your personal and professional life.

1. You need grit.

Oprah and Steve Jobs experienced significant challenges in their careers, said Dr. Leon Prieto, associate professor of management, but it took grit––the ability to remain determined in the face of adversity––to keep them going.

“Corporate America is indeed quite competitive, and according to research, the people who tend to be successful are those who are passionate about what they do, and those who are willing to persevere and overcome the obstacles that they may face...Failure is often an inevitable part of success. The important thing is to learn from any mistakes made.”

2. Actually, you can win for losing.

There’s nothing like feeling defeated. It can cause your dreams to be derailed. But it’s in those hard moments, according to Head Men’s Basketball Coach James Link, that you get inspired to take action to turn a setback into a win.

“The hardest thing to do when you lose a game is to move to the next game and not let a slump happen,” the PBC Coach of the Year says. “We lost this season to UNC-Pembroke on the road after being ahead at halftime. We came back after a quick pep talk on the baseline by myself and won 14 in a row to win the regular season championship over UNC-Pembroke.”

Coach Link says you’ve got to be optimistic to push through tough moments.

“You aren’t going to win if you can’t motivate 18- to 25-year- old men to play at a high level. We won 24 games this year and there were times I needed to motivate them, whether it be a pregame speech or timeout, it had to be positive mostly. I definitely am a cooperative and transformational coach.”

3. Hard work pays off.

Dr. Prieto notes that entrepreneurs and business-people alike can find motivation by reminding themselves that there is a relationship between good old-fashioned effort and performance.

He explains, “research shows that when people spend 10,000 hours learning their craft they usually become experts in their profession and chances are they will be successful. We have to remind ourselves of past successes that involved hard work which lead to success.”

4. Sometimes, one last push can get you across the finish line.

Coach Link remembered a time when the men’s basketball team was down 10 points at halftime against Francis Marion. It had been 11 years since his mother had died, and he always made his pre-game speech about her. But this time it didn’t seem to work.

So, he had to switch up his motivation tactics to keep the team charged and focused on finishing strong.

“I came in the locker room and said, ‘Look man, my mom speech didn’t work and maybe that motivates me now to coach as hard as I can, but your last name should motivate how hard you play. Your last name of your family and parents is your legacy so go out and play for that.’ Well needless to say we ended up winning that game and played really well in the second half.”

5. Write, create, and eliminate.

Dr. Prieto relies on three ways to stay motivated to achieve your dreams:

  • Write down your goals and aspirations.
  • Create an action plan on how you intend on accomplishing them.
  • Eliminate bad habits.

“It helps when you visualize your goals and try to concretize them. You must also do your best to eliminate practices like procrastination and excuses that may derail you from achieving success in your career. It is also important that you identify the negative routines you engage in when you feel stuck and try to replace it with a more productive routine.”

Be it starting a business, winning a championship, or achieving your dream of graduating with a degree, motivation is not just about setting a goal in motion, but the work you put in to finish on top.

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