Sunday, 20 January 2019

Maintain Your Motivation & Strengthen Willpower (Part 4)

Plan for Success

Imagine a wooden plank between two buildings – both 80 stories high. The buildings are 50 meters across, and there is a wooden plank to connect them. The wooden plank is very narrow. Now, if I say to you – if you cross the wooden plank and reach the other side, I will give you one million dollars. Would you do it? Would you risk everything to walk the wooden plank to reach your vision?

Now, if I tell you – at the other side of the building is your family, and you crossing the wooden plank is the only way to save them. Now, would you take a risk to walk the wooden plank?

Here we find a difference in perception. In the first scenario, getting a one million dollar reward was not a strong motivating factor to cross the bridge (except maybe for few brave souls!). But for the second scenario, when your family’s life is at stake, many would decide to take the leap.

When you knew if you didn’t cross, your family members’ lives were at stake, you found a motive. What you just experienced is a change in purpose. If the vision is to cross the bridge, the purpose is the reason for crossing it.

Here’s another scenario using the example of exercise:

Imagine you want to exercise and have been putting that on your to-do list. And yet, you have been ignoring it for a long time – giving the excuse of not having time or being lazy. Now suddenly, you get ill, and you go to see the doctor.

The doctor says – the only way we can avoid heavy medication and a potential surgery is if you exercise every day.

From that day on, (I hope) you would start exercising no matter how busy your schedule is. Now, you have a powerful purpose (to avoid medication and surgery) to achieve a vision (to exercise everyday).

If we don’t have a strong purpose, we will lose motivation.

For many of our visions in life, we don’t have a purpose – and most of us don’t achieve them. If we want to achieve and live our dreams, our vision should be backed with a strong purpose. We should have a strong purpose for every area of our life.

If you feel you are not sticking to a schedule that you have put to achieve a goal – ask yourself, is my purpose strong enough to achieve this goal?
Before any motivation program, you need to know what really motivates you.

Below are questions to help you understand better in a way you never explored before. And the answer you write down will give you a clue on what you really want to achieve by getting a particular result.

Dump your to-do list

It is good to take action in life. But, if we don’t focus on results and purpose, we just take action in our life without a clear system to measure our results and then we may end up feeling our life is a to-do list. We need to upgrade our to-do lists.

Create a RPM – Result, Purpose, Massive Action Plan

Just look at your to-do lists: you will have almost 100 items to do. But, if you really look at it, you will see you are only trying to accomplish 4-5 results this week. Focusing on 4-5 results for the week is in most case more productive than 100 items you think you should do.

Identify a couple of results you want to achieve for the week: and then, ask “Why”? you want to achieve them. You will find the energy to do it during the week rather than staring at a to-do list without any emotions.

What is RPM?

RPM stands for Result-oriented, Purpose-Driven, Massive Action plan.

1. Result

Why are we doing a particular task? What result do we expect from that task? Once we are done with the task, what kind of result do we expect?

So, the first question in RPM method is to visualize the result- the change which we intend to see as result of our work.

2. Purpose

Purpose refers to the ‘why’ element. This means to answer the question: what is our purpose of a particular action i.e. what is our purpose? Why are we doing what we are doing? At times it happens that people achieve what they wanted to achieve yet they are confused after achieving it. The reason of their confusion is the lack of purpose.

3. Massive Action plan

Once we decide what we want and why we want it, we need to have a proper action plan.

How are we going to achieve our goal?

For this, it is advisable to meet people who have achieved the goal which we want to achieve. This gives us strength and a clear understanding that goals can be achieved.

An action plan is our commitment towards the path of attaining our goal. We must also understand that once we decide our action plan, we need to implement it. If the desired results are not achieved, we need to change the course of action. We should remember that “those who win never quit, and those who quit never win”. So, to be a winner, we can learn from lives of successful people. We need to remain focused and persistent upon our path.

Practical example

Result: Let’s say we decide to lose some pounds! Now, this is a result i.e. weight reduction.

Purpose: Why do we want to reduce weight? We want to be fit to worship Allah (Ta’ala) well, we want to look after our bodies, we want to look good for our family, we want to be healthy.

Massive Action Plan: We decide to adopt fresh-food, whole-grain, lean-meat diet and exercise fixed times per week. What if we don’t implement the plan? We won’t get the results we desire!

It is advisable to have a weekly RPM.

Professional and Personal life

Pick up the result (RPM) that you want motivation on, and schedule it in your calendar, and make sure what is in your calendar gets highest priority (remember the power of ritual).

Have 3 most important professional RPMs and 3 personal RPMs for the week, and schedule them. Don’t think you need to fill your calendar from morning to evening to make you productive. Having 6 results you want to aim for can be more motivating to your mind/body than 25 items on a to-do list.

Remember, your life is not a to-do list. Focus on results, with strong purpose following by massive action, and you will have the motivation you need, in sha’ Allah.

Read Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 5

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