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"Whe Who! I did it!" is where motivation comes from

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"Whe Who! I did it!" It's hard to resist saying this phrase after accomplishing something. In case of work, it comes from closing a difficult deal, solving a difficult problem, being praised by a customer, or moving to a nice office.

"Oh, no..." On the other hand, we also can't resist saying this phrase when something has gone wrong. Losing an important deal, being lost in a mysterious problem, getting a complaint from, or losing an important customer.

Motivation comes from imagining the positive moments; it does not come from thinking about a negative outcome. So, a person who is consistently motivated is a person who can imagine a positive outcome; someone who has strong belief in their success, determined to overcome barriers, and a good understanding of the coming challenges after overcoming one.

Last week, I ran around the Imperial Palace after about a decade of a blank period. At the beginning, the view from Hanzomon area to Sakurada-mon was spectacular and it felt so nice. However, when we got close to Palace Hotel near Tokyo station, with about a half of the distance covered and before the runners' high, my motivation went down dramatically because of fatigue.

In that moment, when the five of us were running peacefully and at a good pace, my shoestring untied. In my mind, a conflict had started; whether I should tie it up or not. Tying it up would make me have to stop. A bad image emerged in my mind, stopping and not being able to get back to the pace. I thought that if I didn't tie up my string, I might step onto it and fall down. It would have been a safety hazard which obviously had a higher priority. So, I stopped and tied it up. When I looked up at the others, they were already about fifty meters away.

I changed my mindset from negative what-ifs to an image of positive accomplishment. Interestingly, running became easier. The last quarter, mainly consisting of uphill breath-shortening slopes, was tough but I was able to run with no mental barriers and accomplish it.

"Whe Who! I did it!" One round gave me the feeling of accomplishment. It felt good. On top of that, it also gave me the vision of my next challenge; the joyful moment of gulping down cold beer! It truly was "the coming challenge after overcoming one." After debating whether to drive back home or not, I overcame the conflict, chose to drink, and I was surely filled with more joy.

Motivation comes from overcoming a challenge and accomplishing it, but even after that we will continuously see more challenges. The challenges are the source of motivation, and having a positive mindset to overcome the challenges, we can continue to be motivated.

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