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If you were to climb to the top of the mountain and finally reach that all-knowing guru who holds the secret to life and are granted one question, what would it be?  Some would ask the secret to great wealth.  Others would seek to learn how to live a long and healthy life without aging.  A select few might want to know how to motivate themselves and others.

If we acquire the skills to motivate ourselves and others then we have the basic tools to acquire almost everything else that a good life requires.  It might be disappointing when the old man at the top of the mountain answers simply, “To know thyself and be kind.”

These are wise words and hold much truth, but it’s a pretty broad answer.  To motivate or be motivated requires learning and dedication.  Motivation is a skill that can be easily learned if you possess dedication.  We use motivation daily at home and at work.  Subconsciously we’re striving to motivate ourselves and those we come in contact with.

We use our innate motivation skills to acquire the results we seek.  We use these skills on our spouse, our co-workers and our friends everyday to get our way.  It’s a delicate balance between communication and persuasion.  Maybe the sage knew what he was talking about when he advised to know yourself and be kind to others.  It’s long been said that we attract more flies with honey than vinegar.

Offering rewards is an often used motivational tool.  If you dangle a reward on a stick whether it’s dangling in front of you or someone else it can be quite an incentive.  The greater the reward usually the more productive you get.  Not many people toil for the sheer love of working anymore.

Set a deadline.  Not only do people balk at working for nothing, they must have a deadline or it will never get done.  Would you pay taxes if you were allowed to pay them at your own discretion?  Many still won’t begin a project until the deadline looms near.  You’re more likely to complete a project if you impose a deadline.

Set goals.  Setting a goal lets you know where you’re going.  It’s hard to hit a moving target and a goal helps you focus on where you want to be and at a certain time.  Use both short and long term goals.  The short-term goals can be steps to reach the long-term objective.  Each time you satisfy a short-term goal, you’ll feel your inner motivation swell.

Expect the best and settle for nothing less.  If you’re doing the task or someone else is doing the task for you, insist on the best results or at the very least demand improvement over the last task.  Pride should motivate you to do your very best.

Enjoy your work by making it fun and stimulating.  Work that’s fun doesn’t seem like work at all.  Stay stimulated by doing various projects that take you a step closer to the major goal.  Stay happy and productive and you’ll stay motivated.

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