Updated: Nov 29, 2020
I am the most motivated person in this world. I am not being cocky. If you have big dreams and goals, you need to believe that. I believe that nobody can stop me from my dreams and that I can go after and achieve anything. Others will always try and limit your potential, but it’s just noise you need to expel from your life. You know that saying from when you were younger, where your teacher told you that you can be anything you want? Well, I believe that. Certainly there are obstacles, but if you want to go after something and are driven enough to reach a goal, only you can stop yourself.
Throughout the years, I’ve learned a lot about myself and motivation is something that constantly pushes me to move forward every single day. Everyone has different events and situations in their lives that shape them as a person. I feel that many events and hands that I was dealt, laid important groundwork for the motivation I have today. As Kip Moore says in his song “The Bull”: “most of all, most of all, thanks to the bulls that bucked me off”. There are undoubtedly people in everybody’s life that have told you that you couldn’t do something, convinced you that you would fail, didn’t have a chance, etc. I thank these people for teaching me things not to do, for telling me I will fail and for trying to put a cap on my abilities. In my younger years, that type of negativity I believed, however, I certainly don’t today. This type of talk is just noise, but it only motivates me to prove those that bet against me wrong. Also, I have learned to weed out negative people. I don’t associate with individuals that try to bring me down (especially if it’s with ill intent). You shouldn’t either. Life is too short. Whether it’s acquaintances, friends or even family (yes, even your own family), it is in your best interest to do what’s right for your mental health, allowing you to grow to be the best person possible. It’s your life and you have the ability to take control. Don’t let anybody stop you.
Weeding negative people out of your life isn’t easy. When I made the decision to completely cut ties from negative people, I felt an abundance of emotions, which included happiness, sadness, and overall, inner peace. This was a difficult decision, but one I knew was best for me. I have my own problems and challenges that I face, without bringing in additional negativity from people intent on bringing me down. This has allowed me to soar as an individual. I take this same stance towards any person in my life that tries to bring me down. If you’re a negative person, I’m probably not going to associate with you, plain and simple.
What motivates me now are all of my dreams and goals for myself and my family. Other peoples opinions of my goals don’t concern me. I have career, fitness and life goals that I’m chasing. I’m lucky to have many supportive people in my life to this day, that support my dreams and goals. Getting to that point wasn’t easy. But, I have learned that surrounding yourself with people that support you, allows you to grow and produces a conducive environment for growth. That’s what I want. That’s what fuels me. When personal motivation brings me to new levels, I notice it has a positive affect on motivating others as well. You then can build off your motivation and others around you to grow a strong support system.
Where to start? Start early in the morning. I wake up at 3:10 AM during the week. On the weekends, I’ll let myself sleep in, but usually still get up around 4:30 or 5:00 AM at the latest. I don’t struggle to get up either. Yes, if I don’t get to bed on time, I wake up a bit sleepy. But, usually I try and hit the sack around 8:30 or 9:00 PM. Now, I bet you are wondering why I get up so early. Well, first I work at 6:00 AM. Second, I like to get a first workout in for the day before work. Third, and most importantly; routine. When you have a routine, it allows you to be consistent. When my alarm goes off, I never hit snooze. I hop out of bed, excited for the challenges that lie ahead for the day.
I know that by starting early, I’m getting a leg up on others that literally don’t rise to the occasion. I’m eager to face whatever obstacles are thrown my way for the day. There are certainly situations, appointments & meetings that I dread. However, I know that tackling them, will make me stronger and allow me to grow as an individual.
My day starts with a half hour drive to work, either by listening to podcasts to educate myself or a little country music to soothe the soul, as I sip on some delicious morning coffee. This allows me to beat the Denver traffic and is one of the most peaceful times of my day. It gives me a chance to see wildlife in the canyon and stars up above, as I head toward civilization. I absolute love it.
Next, I pound out a morning workout. Usually, this involves hitting some weights, followed by some cardio (usually bike or stair climber). My employer has a really nice workout facility, so I can literally workout, shower and head upstairs to start my day. I work 6:00 AM-3:00 PM, so I get my second workout in at lunch, which usually entails a run at a nearby park that has some decent dirt trail to work with.
When I’m done working at 3:00 PM, I can then head home with my workouts out of the way for the day and miss heavy rush hour traffic again. What I like about this schedule, is it allows me more flexibility for anything additional I need to do. Whether that is working on something on the house, chores, playing with the pups, or additional attention needed by one of our rental properties, side hustles, etc. I know by starting my day early, I am able to accomplish what most people can’t in the 24 hours all of us are given.
To truly become motivated, you have to set goals for yourself. Without those, you’re aimlessly drifting through life. You must take control of your own life and create a direction for where you want to go and what you want to do. I find its best to create a list of goals to accomplish the next day before you go to bed so when you wake up you have an idea of the small tasks you need to complete that will lead to your ultimate end goal, your reason, your “why”. As I indicated at the beginning of this blog post, I have learned to sift out people that are a detriment to my life. Start there and your happiness will increase exponentially.
Surround yourself with people that motivate you and make you stronger. I have an amazing wife, friends, and a brother (Evan), that I count on to push me to be better each day. Having a positive support system around me makes me excited to wake up in the morning. I don’t even bother discussing my goals and dreams with people that I know will address them in a negative manner. You’ll always have haters. That’s okay. Personally, that drives me to prove them wrong.
Follow your dreams. An example for me was to live in Colorado. I’m living that dream and I don’t take it for granted. When I go out on the deck and look out at the mountains or up at the stars, I’m always internally grateful for this life I was given, the beautiful scenery and to follow my dream, constantly setting new goals.
I believe in life, you are given a hand. Obviously, everyone has different challenges, circumstances, etc., but control what you can control and take advantage of any and all opportunities you are given. I would say I’ve had a hard and challenging life by most measures. However, I’ve also been given amazing opportunities. I capitalize on those. I don’t sit and complain about things I can’t control and I try to not compare myself to others.
There is almost always going to be someone better than you at something. Someone out there is likely better, faster, stronger at something than you. That’s okay. Be the best you can. Personally, I would rather be pretty good at many things, than the best at one thing anyways. Also, use these people as fuel for your own personal motivation.
Ultimately, motivation comes from within. Nobody can make you want something. You have to want it. When people complain about being overweight, I just roll my eyes. Do something about it. People make way too many excuses and it’s annoying. If you want to be in shape or eat healthy, etc., then do it. There are no short cuts. It blows my mind that people think somebody else is going hold their hand to reach their health, fitness, or any other goal they might have. This goes the same for any goal you have in life. Instead of complaining about your current situation, do something about it to make a positive change.
Motivation is something that evolves. It is a mindset. That is the biggest thing. As you grow older, wiser and learn from past mistakes, you can implement ways to change things going forward. I don’t have any regrets in life. Yes, it’s hard sometimes to look back and ask yourself why you did something, especially if it effected you negatively (i.e. excessive Student loans), however, your choices and challenges lead you to who you are today. That might sound cliché, but it’s true.
I’m motivated to push myself to new heights in whatever I do. I’m also at peace with things I cannot control. That is mindset. I’ll do my best at what I can and with what I can’t, it will figure itself out one way or another.
Now, I bet you are wondering how motivation plays into a frugal life. That’s a good question. It’s ultimately hard to explain, but comes down to having discipline, work ethic and many other positive traits. These things tend to roll over into all aspects of life, including frugality.
For many people, being frugal isn’t something they want to do. It’s too hard, not feasible, etc. I’m going to be vague on this, but I have an acquaintance that talks of how they live “pay check to pay check” and even had to lower their 401K contributions by 2% and not getting the company match for free money because they didn’t have enough money for living expenses. This same person, eats out for lunch every single day of the work week (probably weekends as well) and is frivolous with their spending. This makes me want to scream. Just by utilizing basic math and only accounting for $10 a day for lunch during the week and not including anything on the weekend or breakfast purchases, their total cost for the year would be around $2,600 ($10/day times 5 days a week, times 52 days per year). $2,600, just spent on lunch for the year!!!!! On a $60K/year salary, in this scenario, the individual could bump their 401K contributions up 4% and still have $200 extra if they packed their lunch instead. Well, there is a cost for packing your lunch too, but I’ve found it to be significantly minimal compared to eating out everyday. I’ll break down my packed lunch cost in a different blog down the road. 🙂
It just blows my mind. How can they not see that by making some small changes in their life, they can significantly decrease unnecessary spending and set themselves up for a better today and future? It all starts with self discipline and motivation.
So, why don’t people make these changes? They can’t see past these barriers. They’re living in the now and are afraid of how these changes will effect what they are used to; what they are comfortable doing. I learned a long time ago, that’s it was okay to be different. I’m known as the “cheap guy” at work. I’m always scrounging for free food around the office and have shared several of my frugal tendencies. People laugh and make jokes, but saving money and being smart about spending isn’t really that funny in my opinion. It’s smart and it’s common sense.
So, what are some tools you can use to get more motivated, which will then spill over into a frugal way of life? First, having had tough life experiences, will prepare you like no other. That is one thing that cannot be replicated. You certainly don’t want to go out of your way to make your life harder on purpose, obviously, but learn from what you have lived through and use it to make you a stronger person. Set goals and stick to them. Don’t make excuses. For example, in an exercise program where your goal is to lose weight, or consistently visit the gym, etc., you need to be disciplined and accountable. Set yourself up for positive growth. It’s important to tell others of your goals to stay on the path to achieving them, but ultimately you need to ask yourself why you are chasing them. Don’t throw on sweats and sit on the couch just because it’s 10 degrees outside when you need to get your run in. That’s unacceptable and is just an excuse. Get out there. Build some character and test and challenge yourself. Being motivated to reach your goals will help you to live without regrets.
I leave you with this quote which is a mantra by which I live, also from Kip Moore’s song “The Bull”: “Every knock down in the dirt, every no I ever heard, sure feels good to laugh when I look back and flip the bull the bird”.