Motivation is not just a hot buzz word that is bandied around by pedagogues! To be a superstar, every student must aim to have it in him and make serious attempts to retain it. Though it is easy to utter the word ‘motivation’, it is rather difficult to understand its nuances and follow them. There is nothing like ‘motivation simplified’, there can only be uncharted guidelines that can be followed. Thus, staying motivated is simple when you use these steps.

Have faith in yourself and like yourself.
Like every good thing in life, the initiation is always with YOU! Remember that your life starts and revolves around you, your faith, and your involvement. On a broader perspective, if everyone has faith in his or her own self the results will be pleasing. This is possible only when you like yourself and the way you accomplish deeds.

Set rational, inspirational and quantifiable goals that challenge you.
Give yourself a date to complete your goals. This method gives you a way to tell when and if you achieve your goals. There is an advertisement on the television these days that shows a boy aiming to be a tennis player and later he realizes that his talent lay in playing cricket. This boy turns out to be Dhoni! Now that is an example of rationalizing your target. Performance, if it isn’t measurable can tend to give impressions that may not give you the fastest and surest progression.

Create a vision for your goals.
Create a mental picture of yourself as reaching each goal. What will it look and feel like for you? For example, if your goal is to crack CAT 2007, go to the right mentor, be in a group with similar aspirations, look for tips on the internet, and remain focused! Each of these steps will also exist as an image within you and reinforce and strengthen your desire to fulfill your goal. The end result will be that you will be spending all your time in the environment created by you and this will make you take firm steps towards your goal!

When you feel overwhelmed, focus on your goals in solitude.
Recall the mental picture of your goal again and again. Write out your goals again. Writing is very powerful and helps you realign yourself to your aspired aim. It helps you clarify and embrace your goals. Remember what’s really important to you and why you want it.

The feeling of overwhelm is caused by lack of decision. Even the poets admit that the best and most creative thoughts come in solitude. Sitting in solitude think about any dilemma you may be facing. Make a decision on how to move forward. You will feel like a fifty pound weight has just come off your shoulders. You will physically let out a sigh of relief. Putting off making decisions affects your ability to stay motivated. So start making decisions. Remember that feeling overwhelmed by any situation is because of procrastination in decision-making and will generally retard your progression towards your aspired goal.

Identify a plan and develop action steps.
Goals and aims remain mere abstractions in the absence of a concrete plan! Stay in action daily moving forward towards achieving your goal. Do something every day to keep the momentum going. Think positive! This movement has to be in the real world, which is based on the identification of a tangible and viable plan. Remember that plans are successful only if they are made up of small, achievable steps.

Let learning be a continuous process.
Read books, articles, listen to tapes or watch movies to build new learning around your goal. New learning brings you to insights which are very powerful. Insights will keep you energized, motivated and inspired. Insights provide you with a high similar to the feeling you get after an intense work out. All those happy chemicals- adrenaline and serotonin are stimulated and rush to your brain filling it with excitement and motivation. You feel happy and energized. The key to success and motivation is continuous learning and reaching new insights. This is exhilarating plus its good exercise for your brain.

Seek the support you need.
Identify resources that will help you reach your goal and achieve success. Ask for support when you need it. Celebrate each accomplishment as it is important to stay motivated. Mentoring is a proven and powerful tool for helping people stay motivated and achieve the success they are looking for. Search for mentors who have both time and inclination for involved discussions that are based on intelligent expertise. Look out for mentors who are not what they profess to be. Remember that really great people make you feel that you, too, can become great. Search for mentors who can really help you get to your dreams!

To conclude, it must be said that reading is beneficial once a certain degree of implementation is initiated. How soon ‘not now’ becomes ‘never’ is what every aspirant must be careful about. Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try. Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what! Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful. Start now, practice these steps and you will be amazed at the results. Have fun and good luck.

[Arvind Passey]
Written for PT Education