Get Motivated! (But Learn How First!)

Psychologists have been telling us for years that there are two ways we can motivate ourselves. The first is called “motivation toward.” The second is “motivation away.” These describe a general orientation. In other words, we all use a combination of these “motivation strategies,” but each of has a preference, a default strategy, and either, we are told, can be made to work. But when we think about these two types of motivation in the context of the Law of Attraction, there is a critical difference…a difference which makes ALL the difference.

“Motivation toward” is a strategy used by folks who know what they want and who go after it. This is most effective when combined with techniques such as visualization, goal setting and affirmation. Coaches and authors of self-help books going all the way back to the early 1900s agree that having a clear objective is essential to obtaining the things we desire, whether these be material wealth, a fantastic relationship, a new house, a new career…whatever we desire. A clear objective, passionately held, provides both the direction and the energy needed to sustain us over the rough spots. This is “motivation toward.”

Those who habitually prefer the other strategy, “motivation away,” focus their attention on avoiding the things they DON’T want. Their energy is aroused in response to a perceived threat: a notice of foreclosure, the electric company shutting off the lights, a “serious talk” with the boss. When such things occur, they spring into action and remain active until they have somehow eliminated or reduced the circumstances that threaten them. I know all about “motivation away.” For fifty years, it was my usual way of dealing with life. Not acting but reacting. But no more! Here’s why

The Law of Attraction states clearly that “what we think about, we bring about.” If you are thinking with focus and passion about the things you want, you draw them to you. BUT…If, instead, you are thinking, worrying, obsessing about the things you DON’T want, you draw them to you as well.

Stop and consider that for a moment.

If, for example, you are worried about no having enough money, if that perhaps is why you’re hear reading this, then you are asking for more “no money.” Your anxiety about insufficiency is drawing more insufficiency toward you. You will get more of what you don’t want, especially if your anxiety is acute, if you’re REALLY worried. That extra extra (negative) just makes the process more rapid, more dramatic.

So what do you do?

First, understand the principles of The Law of Attraction. Watching the movie “The Secret” is a simple and user-friendly way to get started. The thinkers, authors and coaches included in the presentation each have their own websites and most have published books or released audios or DVDs. Do an Internet search on The Law of Attraction. In seconds, you will have an abundance of resources. Check the user ratings. There’s gold out there!

Second, practice techniques that help you observe and change your habitual “self-talk.” I recommend techniques such as NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) of self-hypnosis. Or start a journal or a blog. Get your thoughts out there where you can see them, and then begin to make difference choices. Focus on the positive. I’ve never met anyone who didn’t have something to be happy about, to be grateful for. Shift your attention to these things, and you will find the clouds of stress and anxiety begin to lift.

Study motivation. Here’s some titles to get you started.

* The Portable Coach, by Thomas Leonard

* The 7 Hidden Secrets of Motivation: Unlocking the Genius Within (Your Coach in a Box), audiobook by Todd Beeler

* 100 Ways To Motivate Yourself: Change Your Life Forever, by Steve Chander

* Awaken the giant Within, by Antony Robbins

Here’s another tip. Work on your environment. Create a personal space which helps you remain calm and focused. This applies to both your physical space (make your bed!) and your emotional space: stay away from people who bring you down. And don’t spend the day watching the news. It’s nearly always bad.

To those of you who are blessed with a habitual “motivation toward” strategy, keep up the good work. You are an example. As for the rest of us, we need to stand guard “at the gate of thought,” and shift our attention away from what we fear to the abundance we desire.

My name is John Lord. I am a teacher and a personal coach based in New York city and Puebla, Mexico. My personal mission is to help individuals who at mid-life are looking for proven ways to achieve personal transformation and success. You can find out more about me and the work we are doing at: