How to Motivate Yourself to Success

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When it comes to learning how to motivate yourself to success, which is better? Using rewards or punishment? Is one better than the other? 

Will rewarding yourself when you succeed produce better results than punishing yourself when you fail? 

You might be surprised at the answer, but the truth is that both will cause you to struggle more than you need to.

Rewarding Yourself

Common belief holds that rewarding yourself for reaching milestones along your path to your big dream will motivate you to stay active in your pursuit of your goal. 

The idea is that your behavior caused a good result, so you want more of that behavior, so that you will get more of the same type of results.

This type of positive reinforcement has long been a recommended way to help you change your habits or actions. 

You have probably done this yourself when dealing with your goals. 


You decide that if you lose 3 pounds this week you will let yourself splurge on an ice cream sundae. Or you promise yourself that if you 

finish that project or that paper or that big job that you will reward yourself with some goodie.

Punishing Yourself

On the opposite end of the motivation scale is the method of punishing yourself for your failures or when you slip up and stray away from your intended behaviors. This technique is more of a scare tactic, and is designed to keep you on your toes.

For example, perhaps you are dieting and while out for lunch you indulge in a decadent dessert, but you punish yourself for eating it by telling yourself that you will have to add an extra work out session this week. Often you don’t think of this as punishing yourself, but in essence it is.

Why Neither Works

In order to motivate yourself to success, to the levels of happiness and joy that you want, you have to understand that true motivation comes from within yourself. It comes from your passion to achieve your dream. Nothing less.

The reward vs. punishment question turns out to be a meaningless question, because neither one will provide you the long-lasting motivation that you need to get past your challenges and reach your dreams. Both are external events. Both are dependent upon things outside yourself and apart from your original goal to keep you motivated.

You have to keep coming up with new rewards for each step along the way, or you have to keep coming up with meaningful punishments that keep you on track.

But the biggest problem is that both rewards and punishments take your attention and your focus off of your big dream! 

The number one success principle is that your life will follow your attention. 

If your attention is not on your desired end result – in other words, your BIG DREAM – than you are not tapping into your full power to achieve your dream.

True Motivation

True comes from within, from the strength of your desire to make your dream a reality in your life. Things outside of yourself may change, but your desire does not. 

+When you have a burning desire to achieve something, it does not matter to you whether it is cloudy or sunny outside, it does not matter what happens outside of yourself.

Stop wasting your energy worrying about rewards and punishments and let your desire to achieve your dream motivate you to the levels of success that you want.


Source by Bob Crawford


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