Strategies For Staying Motivated

Reader Contribution by Robert Maxwell
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As a self-directed entrepreneur and homesteader, I’ve always struggled with laziness. For as long as I can remember, the temptation to lay back and do nothing has been a stubborn obstacle to my productivity. But over the years, I’ve discovered strategies that have helped combat laziness in myself. Maybe they can help you, too. 

Choose Work You Love

It’s a whole lot easier to grow despondent about the task ahead of you

if you hate it. That’s why it’s important to choose work that you’re passionate about. Doctor Howard Thurman said it best: “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go do that. Because the world needs people who are alive.” If you’d rather build a hand-hewn log cabin than plant potatoes, by all means break out the adze.

Choose Work With Potential For Success

One of the best ways I’ve found to feed the fire of my motivation is by tasting success. There’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of watching the fruit of your labour start to ripen. If you happen to like planting trees, this might just apply literally. But whatever work you choose, try to think in terms of how you can make it profitable, in the widest sense of the word. Then pour your energy and resources into it until the profits start to appear. If you keep the pressure on, nothing on earth will keep you from success.

Realize That You Won’t Always Feel Enthusiasm

It’s natural to experience occasional dips in motivation, even for work that normally interests you. These slumps can have many causes: tiredness, self-doubt, and uncertainty about your future to name a few. But it’s our response to these rough patches that makes all the difference. The key is to realize that if  you stick with the task at hand, in time the well of your enthusiasm will refill. Sometimes you just need to take a break for a while, giving your mind and body a chance to rejuvenate. When I get sick of a particular job, I find refreshment by heading out to the woodpile to stack a few chords, before returning to whatever I was doing.

Think of the Alternatives

Chances are you gave your work some serious thought before choosing it. That means you likely ruled out many other options in favour of what you’re doing now. So during times of doubt and demotivation, remind yourself that you had your reasons for choosing to be where you are now. There are an infinite number of enticing opportunities in the world, and many of them tempt us each day. But real success comes from making a choice and sticking with it, no matter how many attractive offers try to pull you in other directions.

Robert Maxwell is a videographer, photographer, web designer and young homesteader who lives in Ontario, Canada. Learn more about Robert’s work, life and projects at

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