Ever had a really great plan, clear goals, and actions so obvious it didn’t seem possible to fail… and yet somehow, nothing got done?
Having a fantastic plan but no motivation is like having a brand spanking new Ferrari, but no petrol. Nice to look at, but it’s going no-where!
So how do you find the motivation to act? One way is to take your plan, pull out your most important goal and ‘chunk it up and down’.
To explain what I mean, imagine your goal is a tree in a forest. If you consider that tree in isolation, you’ll notice that it’s an upright structure with branches and leaves, producing food (and oxygen) by photosynthesis from carbon dioxide (CO2) and water.
To chunk that up, imagine floating up above that tree, and seeing it in the context of the forest it’s part of. Chunk up again, and see that forest in the context of the countryside it’s in - how it supports animals and other plant life.
Chunk up again, and you’ll understand the role that tree and its forest plays in the ecosystem of the planet, regulating oxygen, CO2 levels and the global climate. When you chunk anything up like this, you get a completely new perspective. You understand where it fits in, and how it contributes to the overall picture.
Similarly, when you chunk your goal up, you can change your perspective of it stratospherically. You can recognise how that goal fits into your life and your world, and how it plays a significant part in your personal ecosystem.
When you do this, you not only understand your goal’s importance, you feel highly motivated to take the necessary action to make it happen. You fill your emotional fuel tank.
To do this with your goal, consider your most important goal and ask yourself: “If I achieved this, what would it give me?” Take the answer to this and ask yourself: “If I achieved that, what would it give me?”
Keep going with the same question until you can’t take it any further, until the answer is a gesture, a word or a value. When you get there, you will have discovered what this goal means to you - why it matters and why you are doing it.
Now go back to your original goal to see if your feelings about it have changed. Sometimes, this process makes you feel instantly more motivated to make it happen, sometimes you recognise that your goal needs to change. If this is the case, amend your goal, and chunk it up in its new form - all the way to the top.
Once you have found the source of your fuel/motivation, how do you start to pump it around the system to get your engine really motoring?
If we go back to our tree, we need to chunk down now. What could stop this tree from doing its job? To achieve it’s goals, our tree needs to grow tall enough to get it’s share of the sunlight and it needs to sink it’s roots deep enough to get a good supply of water and nutrients, even in drought. It needs to overcome all of the obstacles that might get in it’s way to make sure that it stays standing, to do it’s job for itself, the forest, the landscape, and ultimately the globe.
To chunk down your goal, ask yourself: “What stops me?” Then take whatever the answer is to this and ask: “What would I like instead?” Then ask: “What stops me doing that? Then ask: “What would I like instead?”
Keep going until you reach a point when there are no obstacles. You have then found your starting point.
An example of this might be:
- What stops me? – lack of confidence
- What would I like instead? – to be more confident
- What stops me? – constantly questioning myself and my abilities
- What would I like instead? – to support myself by telling myself I’ve done well
- What stops me? – nothing apart from lack of practise.
The action point here would be to start working out ways to support yourself more and criticise yourself less. When you start to take action on this, you will have the confidence to take the next steps.
Think of it as a ladder of opportunity that you are trying to find the right point to step on. Once you identify this, you just need to step on and you’re on your way. It’s hard to take action if you don’t chunk down to a manageable level.
If, at any point, you find you’re not making enough headway, then park up, take the goal you are currently working on, and chunk it up and down by way of a car service. Do this whenever you need to.
OK, so you have fuelled up your Ferrari by chunking up to what the purpose and point of it all is for you. You have also checked the tyre pressures, charged the battery and filled the windscreen wash. You are ready to jump in, and see what this engine can do!
Enjoy the open road ahead!