What do you do when you do not feel like getting up in the morning or getting yourself ready to go? Well from the book Drive I learned three things about how motivation works, mainly to motivate yourself through:
> Joy of the thing itself
So let's see how you could motivate yourself for a specific task using each of the three principles. Let's say you needed to write an essay, but you were not in the mood, then you might:
Motivate Yourself with Mastery
You could focus on how this essay would cause you to grow and deepen your mastery of writing, thinking, argument, communication and critical self-reflection. You could focus on how much you would learn from writing this essay and as a result gain enthusiasm for doing it.
Motivate Yourself with Contribution
You could also focus on how you would help contribute to knowledge, how your essay might be shared with others and help them to learn something. Perhaps it would cause even one person to make their life a little bit better, that alone would be highly motivating.
Motivate Yourself with Joy
You can also motivate yourself by imagining how fun it would be to sit by a rainy window pondering the points you would make in your essay. You could imagine yourself burning the midnight oil in a library carefully crafting each word together. You could focus on the fun of reworking and reworking your writing until it reached perfection.
With whatever you are trying to do I would argue you can often pick one of these three things to motivate yourself. It is even better if you can motivate yourself with all three at once.