To become a stage 2 wolf you need to do more than submit a post about how you really rocked it at the gym. Taking your life to the next level takes a little bit of work, but I can tell you that time spent on these exercises will be time well spent.
- Identify your reasons for getting motivated
First off, why are you trying to get motivated? I can think of two main reasons:
I want to get motivated to get off my butt and make my life better.
I want motivation to get this work done that I've been putting off, I don't even really want to do this.
If you think of another reason, let me know and I'll address it!
In both of these cases, it is likely that part of the reason for lack of motivation is that – in my mind I have put a lot of focus on the reasons why I don't want to do the work/action. Any time you give in to your temptation of skipping a run or doing work in favour of sleeping in or browsing reddit, you weaken your willpower. That isn't to say that I should work and run every minute of the day, but I should have a sensible schedule for various activities and get them done during the time I've set aside for them.
So in general I want to get motivated to make my life better. Even if I want to get motivated to do my 9-5 work, the end reason for doing this work is to get paid and promoted so I can improve my life.
Getting motivated isn't limited to your profession and your exercise. Every part of your life can and should be improved. Take 10-15 minutes now to make a list of all the categories of your life, even your recreation and anything you spend time doing. If you've done a list like this before, go and find it now and update it. If you can't find it in 5 minutes, stop and make a new one. Here is an example.
The trick is you need to check this often to keep yourself aware that life is so much bigger than the small stuff we get caught up in day-to-day. I would recommend keeping this in your diary and checking over it every day, add stuff as you gain new responsibilities, make new friends and seek new interests.
- Task: Take 10-15 minutes to create a life list and put it in your diary so you can check it each day.
It sounds cliche, but it really is important. Have a think about what you want your life to essentially be about.
Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather must recognize that it is he who is asked. In a word, each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible. -Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning
What do you want your life to mean? Answer this now without paralysing yourself by thinking you can never go back and change it. Write down what you think sounds good for now and make regular changes to it, you can keep it in your diary with your life list.
- Task: Take 2 minutes and draft a life purpose and keep it in your diary. Reread it often, revise it often.
Every person should know their strengths and continue to improve them. Equally valuable is knowing ones weaknesses and bringing those to a level above what some consider strengths. Being clear about your strengths gives you a better frame of mind when dealing with testing situations. I think if someone came to me and said “I have a test of your problem solving abilities!” I would respond more favourably than if someone came up to me while I was stressed and said “I need you to do this!” Even though the tasks and even my stressed state might be the same in both cases, in the former example I would start with the frame of mind of “Time to call on one of my strengths” rather than “OMG another thing to deal with.”
- Task: Spend 5-10 minutes writing down your strengths and weaknesses and keep these in your diary. Note down how your strengths and weakness have been tested each day.
What habits would greatly increase the quality of your life if you could add an activity you perform daily into your everyday life? Running? Planning? Reading up on discussions of how best to do your job?
- Task: Take 5 minutes to identify some habits worth forming. Pick one and focus on it until you've done it 30 days in a row. Then move on to the next one.
Becoming a stage 2 wolf means you need to spend time regularly on the activities above. These planning activities take you out of your daily grind and get you to stop and think about why you're doing what you're doing. Often people get so caught up in getting stuff done that they forget why they're doing it.
Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall. “You can quickly grasp the important difference between the two if you envision a group of producers cutting their way through the jungle with machetes. They’re the producers, the problem solvers. They’re cutting through the undergrowth, clearing it out. The managers are behind them, sharpening their machetes, writing policy and procedure manuals, holding muscle development programs, bringing in improved technologies and setting up working schedules and compensation programs for the workers. The leader is the one who climbs the tallest tree, surveys the entire situation, and yells, “Wrong jungle!” But how do the busy, efficient producers and managers often respond? “Shut up! We’re making progress.” As individuals, groups, and businesses, we’re often so busy cutting through the undergrowth we don’t even realize we’re in the wrong jungle” – Stephen Covey
The tasks I've set for you are leadership exercises. This is getting you to stand up the tallest tree and peer as far forward as you can, to the end of your life, to see where you'll end up if you continue in the same direction and to get you to change your course if necessary.
(0) Introduction to motivation
Previous motivational mondays:
(1) Tips for study
(2) Continuous Improvement – Kaizen
(3) Fighting Depression
(4) Optimizing sleep