Leo Babauta has written a very thought-provoking blog post on Lifehacker describing how he mentally and physically brought himself out of debt and bad health. In terms of content there is nothing revolutionary, and you might have read all these things umpteen times, but it is always good to see these things actually working and some people actually implementing them to come out of their respective pits.
Leo was in seemingly insurmountable debt. He was overweight and he wasn’t ready to face his problems. He was so scared of facing his problems that he used to simply stuff his bills in the drawer, without even looking at them. The same goes for his weight problem. Nonetheless, he is one of the most famous individuals on the Internet who overcame not just his own problems, but has also helped thousands of others overcome theirs. He hasn’t been just able to motivate himself, but also others, through his writings as well as real-life examples.
Here are a few things he did to motivate himself to get out of the pit:
- Focus on immediate, smaller goals: Bigger goals are always daunting and they seem unachievable. You should rather focus on smaller goals. For instance, instead of vaguely thinking about lowering your cholesterol levels, think of eating more vegetables when you are having lunch. In the same manner, instead of focusing on losing weight over a long period of time, just focus on going one for a walk at least thrice a week.
- Feel a responsibility towards your loved ones: Your financial problems don’t just affect you, they also affect people you love, and people who love you, and depend on you. If you are a father or a mother your family depends on you. Your financial problems are their financial problems. Similarly your health problem affects their quality of life. There are some problems that are unavoidable and nobody can do anything about them, but it is unfortunate if you ignore problems that can be tackled. If you want to sort out your financial troubles, think what impact it is going to have on your family. If you want to adopt a healthier lifestyle, think about what impact it is going to have on the quality of life of your family.
- Declare it openly what you intend to achieve: It is very easy to get distracted or lose focus if you don’t feel accountable. Once you have let it be known to people around you – whether they are in your immediate family or your blog readers or your Facebook friends – you feel compelled to achieve your goals. Publicize your resolve to lose weight. Confide in your partner that you are going to sort out your financial problems. The difference will be amazing.
- Interact with people facing similar issues: Get in touch with people who have somewhat similar problems and who are dealing with them head-on. Avoid being in the company of people who have similar problems but aren’t dealing with them. You need to be with people who take action rather than being with those who just mop around.
This is about motivating yourself and helping yourself.
How about helping the others?
Helping the others motivate themselves as a dual benefit: it helps the person you’re trying to help and it also helps you. This is because when you see positive results coming up due to what you have learned so far, your confidence in your own learning gets reaffirmed. Just make sure that when you are helping people, you are not judging them. Always keep in mind that once you were in the same situation. Just like you didn’t want to face your problems, the person you’re trying to help doesn’t want to face his or her problems maybe because he or she is too scared or too worried. So empathize with the person. Step into his or her shoes. And remember that you cannot change people, you can only motivate them to change themselves.