Igniting motivation with your money is a starting place to build financial discipline, create strong financial habits, and change your life! Here are a few thoughts that have personally helped us to succeed in our financial goals! Hopefully, they can help you capture motivation with your money. Remember, practice makes perfect!
Igniting Money Motivation by “Playing to Win”
Table of Contents
- 1 Igniting Money Motivation by “Playing to Win”
- 2 Financial Motivation anchored in a Proper Mindset
- 3 Cultivate Motivation with your Money
- 4 Parting Points on Motivation with Your Money
We’ve all heard something like this before: Life doesn’t play favorites and doesn’t care how you feel, what you want, nor does it care about you. Get serious if you truly want to accomplish your goals; don’t wait for the “good luck fairy” to pop you on the head with a serious dose of the easy life. Ok, great. We’ve all heard something along those lines before, right? Honestly, some of the “motivational” content I’ve read, leaves me wanting more…
A close colleague told me the other day “If you’re not growing you’re dying; if you’re not playing to win you’re withering away.” I really liked that for a few reasons. Firstly, the focus on the long-term is realistic. Motivation is something that you need today, here and now, but it is also something that you need to be able to sustain. Sometimes, that means grinding it out one step at a time. Other times, you’ll be so full of vitality that reaching the sky only seems like the beginning. If you go hard for just one day, you’ll never make it in the end. Develop your motivation and money will work for you instead of you working for your money.
You were Made for This: fanning the Spark into Flame
I really like the Alexander Hamilton “I am not throwing away my shot” song, and I think there are some core elements to draw on for motivation. In life, you essentially get one pass. I certainly believe in second chances, but the concept of not wasting your money and your life and instead of making the very most of your time is highly motivating. On that note, doing each day the best that you can bring satisfaction and is worth striving for. I’m not talking about being perfect; no one is. Rather, I suggest approaching each day knowing you are uniquely equipped and built to conquer the tasks at hand. Use the money in your care to make a positive difference in the world. That starts with the choice to take command of your money.
Will-Power and Execution to Sustain Motivation with your Money
When you find yourself at the starting line, and the starting shot sounds: don’t overthink it – just run. Run like you’ve been training for, run your legs off. The same is true when the daily routine, the weekly budget, or the No-Spend Challenge present themselves. Yes, there is a time to think, plan, develop strategy, and practice. However, when the race is on, it is time to RUN. Just dig deep, drive legs, execute the routine you’ve been building on and working towards, and get. it. done. Fall back on the Mêtis you have been cultivating and use it to master your finances.
Never Underestimate the Enemy – Don’t be Your Worst Enemy
The concept of “never underestimate your opponent” is ancient, and while I am not sure where it originated, I remember hearing about it during my time in the military and I have seen it in one form or another in various books as well (e.g. The Art of War). It also applies to getting motivated with your money and staying motivated with your money.
As stated previously, “play to win” and take action today so you can be in charge of your personal finances. Don’t approach money “not to lose” because then you surely will. Be aggressive, and think of your tasks as opportunities to attack. Conquer what you set out to do. The enemy is being complacent, sleeping in just a little more, buying one more luxury item, etc. Having trouble with those sneaky subtle snares in your budget? Try a No Spend Challenge where you can call it out, declare war, and get it done. You’ll be surprised how far you can go once you take the gloves off.
Financial Motivation anchored in a Proper Mindset
The perspective of playing to win is only part of being motivated. It is also important to build a robust foundational mindset. When all else fails, and the going gets tough, the tough get going. That stems from a proper mindset.
Vision and Voracity for Victory
Write down what you want, or memorialize it somehow. Have a mantra that you can fall back on in difficult times. Personally, I have a few Bible verses that I think about. I also like a couple of Latin phrases that can help capture the essence of what you identify with (i.e. carpe diem). Latch on to what makes you tick! Think back to that first vision that inspired you, and play it over again. Get that voracious appetite going for it as well, and then focus on victory by accomplishing the task.
Humility in the Win
Treat people with respect, and don’t rub your victory in their faces. No one likes a bragger, no one wants to hear 12 times in a row about how ‘rad’ that victory you just had was. Celebrating wins is important, but be humble. Give credit to those who contributed, and use the moment to strengthen your relationships instead of focusing the spotlight on yourself. When the budget starts working for you for the first time, and you successfully accomplish some financial goals, remember to include those in your sphere who helped you. Taking time to say thank you will help build life-long relationships.
In that same spirit, keep in mind the Golden Rule. I think there are misconceptions in the world today that being respectful and courteous in success is actually a sign of weakness. The opposite is true. A strong leader will take the victory (and defeat for that matter) and rally others to the cause. Be a formidable opponent, but know when to turn the switch back ‘off’ at the end.
The final note here is to avoid a common trap. When successful, it may become easy to think you have nothing left to learn. You might find yourself subconsciously easing up on the drive forward toward your goals. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you have nothing else to learn or improve upon.
Be Willing to fail, Fail, FAIL
Get back up after you fall. This is an enormous part of staying motivated. By getting back up when you fall, you are setting an example to your family, friends, and colleagues about what it means to go after a goal. It starts with something as simple as learning how to ride a bike.
Failing is part of this process. Use it to fuel your motivation. This is where you take a moment to review what went wrong, identify the weakness, develop a solution, and then get right back out there and get it done. Each failure is really one step towards your destination. You choose if that is to let yourself be defeated. Or, is it really one step closer to a better plan, better execution, and ultimately successfully accomplishing your goal? You dictate that course.
Cultivate Motivation with your Money
It is time to cultivate that garden of motivation now that you have the raw effort in place. After a hard, long day, the desire to just kick back and pass on the money management can be a challenge! Don’t let complacency gain hold of your finances. Don’t let your motivation garden get overrun!
Habits, Routines, and Cold Showers
Prune, trim, and cultivate your money motivation by establishing a solid routine. It takes time to get a well-oiled routine machine firing on all cylinders. For me, this started with a small spark, and that acts as a catalyst to more good habits. That “spark” was the exercise of putting myself through a cold rinse in the shower for 3 minutes. The mental control required something so simple, yet not immediately comfortable, is enough for me to stay in the driver’s seat (we’re talking ICE COLD water – give it a try!). Make a list of the things you want in a day, and build out a routine that covers the most important features.
Charles Duhigg’s ‘Smarter, Faster, Better’ has some great material on habits. I highly recommend the read! Take advantage of the small features of a day to build-on, and capture the larger goals.
Still having trouble getting that budget balanced? Try Time-Blocking! This has helped in cases where a detailed, step-by-step routine is sometimes too rigid for the day.
Listen (to your elders), Learn, and Leap…
Don’t reinvent the wheel. Take a moment and listen to what others have already figured out, documented, perfected, and effectively published for the rest of us. In general, consider what has already been done, and save yourself the effort of failing just to prove that it still doesn’t work before setting out on a better course of action.
Think of a sign that warns drivers that the road is out and that they should turn around. Why drive down that road just to realize, yes, that road is out?
In the same way, build on the successes of others, incorporate strong habits and positive concepts from others into your day so that you can move the mark higher. You can then focus on where they left off, grow, benefit yourself, and then share the information with the next generation as well.
I think this especially applies in the sense of picking inspiring people as role models. Jocko Willink, a retired Navy SEAL, had a great point on one of his podcasts or YouTube videos. He’s also written several books. One of my favorites is “Extreme Ownership.” He was asked what advice he would pass on to someone who was aspiring to be in the military. His response? Learn what he (Jocko) did well, capitalize on that effort, and then do better!
How true and applicable when getting motivated, building habits, and establishing routines to manage your personal finances (and life!) today and going forward.
Parting Points on Motivation with Your Money
My friend, don’t stop trying, grinding, putting yourself out there, growing, and otherwise getting work done. Put in the (EXTRA) time, and do something hard: manage your money. Your life will benefit, and the lives of those you care about can be blessed by YOU. You’ve got this!