The Ultimate Motivator

Posted: June 25, 2010 in what makes us tick
Tags: , ,
[tweetmeme source= “unmaskd” only_single=false]Motivation. The Holy Grail of anyone who wants to achieve anything. Apparently it is not enough to want something badly. We also need to be motivated, whatever it means. We need a reason to go and do things we think we want. Just wishing isn’t sufficient. “Motivate me!” we demand, looking around for help.

And we turn to wise quotes and self-help books, motivational speakers and Dr. Phil, insightful movies and success stories. We want the world to bless us, as we set about to do things. We want that tap on the shoulder. Or a good kick in the butt — whatever works. And we get this motivation somewhere and start working on that thing we’ve always wanted. But then a day, a week, a month passes by — and we run out of motivational fuel. And we start seeking it again.

If this sounds familiar, I have good news and even better news for you. Good news: I’ve found the one, the only, the ultimate Motivator. The better news: I’m about to share it with you. But wait, it gets even better. Unlike many sources of motivation, this one can be used as often as you’d like. And every time it will be as good in producing that tapping/kicking effect as the first time.

Interested? Ready? Sure? Keep in mind, it won’t be pretty. Still interested? Okay, here’s the best way to motivate yourself in 3 simple steps.

  1. Think of that goal you’ve always wanted to achieve. You know, like writing that book, learning that skill, visiting that place.
  2. Think of the maximum age when it’s still going to be possible and meaningful. You won’t be learning how to surf when you’re 60. And when you are 50 most stuff gets harder to do than when you were 30.
  3. Go to any countdown counter site like this one and enter the date when you will be turning that age.

You will see the number of days, hours, minutes and seconds that separate you from that moment. The moment when your dream will no longer be possible to come true. Now watch the seconds. Watch them ticking away, taking the time left slice by slice away from you. Better yet wait until you see a minute go away. This is all the time you will ever have to achieve your goal. This is your life being wasted right in front of you. Watch it. Feel it. See it getting away. Nothing can stop that counter. Nothing.

If this doesn’t motivate you, nothing will.
  1. Jolanda van Ammers says:

    Auch… This hits home!


  2. Diane says:

    How are you? Liked your recent post. Thanks. Love the countdown timer. Will use.
    I was struck by your Tweet about having the “guts” to turn the key. I got the impression you were referring to courage, more than drive (though, the two are related). I’ve had this mantra with me for years -> “On the other side of my barriers, is everything I’ve ever wanted”. What’s the worst that could happen? Plan for how you would deal with it IF it did. Now, move yourself forward. You are either taking up more of the apace that is rightfully yours on this planet, or contracting from it. What’s it gonna be? The world NEEDS you to live as large as possible. Be the big you. We need it.


  3. Moti says:

    In my opinion, this is a great motivational tool for those who fear death. If you happen to not fear death, your motivation is always “on”.

    By the way, happy for your return 🙂


  4. Ashley says:

    Well this should serve as a reminder to you then! If you were lacking the “guts” it took to use your key, this should be the kick in the butt needed to use it! You have nothing to lose, except time. And time is far too valuable to lose! It can never be replaced, it can never go back. This is a very sobering reminder indeed. But alot of people NEED that. I’m so glad to see you (or anyone!) doing all this for yourself. 🙂 Take care of you!


  5. Philmcrkin says:

    My ovaries just shuddered.


  6. Jennifer says:

    *all smiles* I like your thought process. I think I’d like to indulge in this excercise 🙂 Stay strong masked man! I’ll be counting.


  7. Dawn says:

    You are so right about time being the great motivator. I found that out for myself a while back. It was exactly the swift kick I needed and it’s what keeps me motivated to do all those things I put off for so long. It also serves not only as a motivator but also puts things in perspective. When you finally realize you only have so much time left, your priorities change. Money and material things are much less important, while family, friends and living life to the fullest move to the top of the list.


  8. Felicia says:

    Actually this counter while being a good idea is a little scary. What if you realize that the goal you have in mind for whatever reason is not attainable and here you are watching this counter being the constant reminder of failure. This might force one to face and evaluate a dream that may have been all wrong for him or her.I still think that the best motivation that one can have comes from within.


    • unmaskd says:

      Personally for me re-evaluating an unattainable dream would be a good thing. I’d much rather work toward achieving a goal that I believe I can achieve even if it looks crazy, huge and mind-boggling to everyone else. The counter to me is not a reminder of a failure — it’s there to stay focused on things that matter.


      • Felicia says:

        So for your “key”, did you give yourself a countdown to make you use it? I have to say that fear in itself is nasty motivator. It can force one to only doing what is safe. I guess it’s time for me to step more out of my comfort zone for the goal I have in mind. I have an extreme fear of flying but since I have an event to go to next month in NYC so using a countdown worked to force me to book my flight. One day I will let you know what happens with the counter and the crazy goal I have in mind.


      • Phil says:

        What constitutes an unattainable dream? How do you know? For example, say you have a goal…well, what if you try and try and on the 200th try, you make it? It would’ve sucked to let that dream go on the 190th try.

        AND…what if your dream involves others? You can’t control others, and you can’t be dependent on them to achieve your goals (yet in the example of wanting to start a family, it is a default starting position). Well the more I write, the more it all stinks of needing an overall revision-the dream, I mean–ok I’ll be back with another question on that one… 🙂

        AND…When do you say f#ck it, toss a dream to the wind and turn your back, letting it go?

        I’m not trying to be an asshole or contrarian at all. These are the things that are important to me.


  9. Amy says:

    In time I think all things are possible. I feel when we push hard to motivate ourselves and we aren’t willing to participate to the fullest, the outcome can be less than desired. I’ve found that the motivation comes from within and not forced by a time table or by others. I’m most happy with life when the unexpected happens at the most unsuspecting of times. Maybe there is a reason the motivation is not there? Choose a different path and maybe that will be the motivation you need.


  10. Jennifer says:

    Let’s talk about time. You do know that today is all we have yea? Just now. You ever just wanna talk this out?

    Why is your mask still on hun?

    As time goes by… things feel harder for me. I grow more afraid of knowing who you are instead of embracing it ya know?

    Talk to the key.


  11. Marie says:

    I truly enjoy reading your Blog posts as well as your Twitter posts…thank you for putting my mind to work! It needs it BADLY


  12. psychicsarah says:

    Errr….no dream is unattainable really…except perhaps walking to the moon!


  13. psychicsarah says:

    We all deserve the freedom to think, choose, feel without someone else’s agenda dictating to us what these thoughts, choices and feelings should be; whether it be parents, spouse or boss!

    God/The Source grants us this personal freedom because at the end of the day; regardless of what we do or do not appreciate in the material world we are only answerable to him/her/it!…

    In a big way though we are also answerable to ourselves. Wherever we go in this life we take the thoughts in our head, and even when we croak there is no escape from our essence…WHO we are.

    WHO are you now? Who are you going to be in the future?

    How will your motivation and successes dictate the shape of things to come?

    Who we are is the given and it is all we have to work with.
    Even though we appreciate them, people, circumstances and material goods can come and go. Indeed they DO; there is no escape from this reality and the changes we so often resist.

    Sometimes there comes a day when for the sake of our Soul’s authenticity we have to follow through on choices and action which rock the Status Quo. (ie) munching on that red pill!)

    We ALWAYS have the freedom to choose. Indeed it should probably be a moment by moment choice when we are (spiritually) conscious.

    Some people think it is a selfish concept to follow our heart and desires.But spiritually speaking it is NOT.

    Desire, passion and love are really the only authentic impulses we possess. Following these impulses can be very controversial and unsettlling to the Status Quo. Indeed if we are doing it right they could cause a revolution…(a different kind of *world Domination*)

    Following our (conscious) hearts amidst change does not mean that we do not appreciate what we already have or who we have been to date. BUT it can be necessary to make an acknowledgement that what we have been experiencing and appreciating now needs to change.

    So we need to be self aware and realise that when changes are in the offing we would in fact be pretty stupid to resist them.

    If we are holding on too fast to the past and what we have appreciated to date we may get stuck and miss out on the future and all the things it might bring. Even the future contains blessings which can also be appreciated.

    Our desires change and rightly so. They ebb and flow so that we can grow.

    If we do not grow we stagnate.

    Okay if we resist we might get to hold onto our security; and co-dependent situations. BUT if we do not eventually acknowledge that growth is actually appropriate and desirable we get stuck and everything changes anyway. In short we create our own personal prison if we resist the flow.

    Where is freedom if we try to hold onto what is actually past its sell by date?

    The skill is discerning when something has run its course for us. Is a new chapter in the offing or not? It is always our choice.

    We can do a pre emptive strike on the matter and make the tough call; which may well involve some *clock* glazing (as recommended by unmaskd).

    OR we can wait until the Universe brings about the change; a process which may not always be comfortable.

    At least with the first option we have a semblance of control!

    However, if we are keeping it real (in-the-flow) radical change can happen pretty frequently. This is admittedly a very difficult way to live; for more often than not it takes us through unchartered waters in a direction we had not anticipated.

    Going with the flow, especially when the current gets high and full and we feel out of control, is very challenging.

    Go with the flow; and all will be well. Because at the end of the day the *Source* steers our ship; not us!


    • unmaskd says:

      Perhaps this is just a matter of terminology. But for me going with the flow is doing what’s easy. It’s not the same as doing what you’re good at naturally. You may be good at singing but going with the flow is sticking with that okay-paying safe job instead of trying to do the best with your natural talent.

      As for “If we do not grow we stagnate” — couldn’t agree more.


  14. Lisa says:

    This is the perfect blog post to go along with my procrastination article! Thank you for stopping by and pointing this out to me.



  15. Shannon says:

    As much as time motivates me, it’s unconditional love that motivates me more. And I’m hoping that the there isn’t a time restraint put on finding it. The ticking is ever so present in my heart and mind and always a reminder that I’m getting older. With that brings the fear that I won’t be the mother that I’m aching to be and having a family I so eagerly desire. I’m scared I’m going to spend my life without a companion. But I also believe talking something into being – If I talk about being alone enough, I will believe it and it will result it in it’s being. I will not speak the negative outcomes that I don’t want to happen. I will only speak of what I hope and aspire for. And I’m doing my best not to listen to the REALLY LOUD clock and have faith that the love that I give will return to me.


    • unmaskd says:

      Agreed — turning clock gazing into obsession would be bad. For me the ticking clock is not about imagining the failure. It’s about focusing on the goal. It doesn’t replace the reason you want to accomplish that goal, it only reminds you why you wanted it in the first place. Wish you luck.


    • Sunshine says:

      Hi Shannon–Like you, I wanted to be a wife and a mom and got married in my early 30’s. In all my dating, I discovered that love peeks it’s head in when you’re not looking. You have to completely let go of it, do what you enjoy and don’t think about finding that person. Get yourself out there. Hang out in places that are interesting to you so that you are more likely to meet someone who shares at least one of your interests. 1.) Be approachable–eye contact is important and SMILE! Talk with people of all ages–even if you’re on the shy side. 2.) Increase your odds by going on lots of dates even if the guy doesn’t quite seem like your type. (Kind of like a job interview–the more of them you go on, the more comfortable and confident you feel). 3.) Have you tried internet dating? Supposedly it takes an average of 7-10 duds to get one you’d consider dating long term–I never did this so I wouldn’t know but know people who have found lasting love this way. 4.) Read a book on finding love (the work of Judith Sills, PhD is brilliant). Now go out there and live (it doesn’t matter if all your friends are already married and have children–be comfortable hanging out by yourself sometimes). I bet there are even websites that will inspire you and give good advice. Marriage is not a fairytale after the first few months…it’s wonderful and fun and comfortable with it’s challenges and ups and downs. Add kids into the equation and it’s even more wonderful–beyond what you can imagine, but a lot of hard work too! Life changes in a good way but then becomes a busy juggling act, especially if you have to work. All the extra time you have now with it just being you, enjoy it…life changes tremendously with a husband and children. Oh yeah, my mom said when you meet, “the one” she said you just know and I said, “how do you know” and she said, “you just do”…I knew! It’s not a forced, “is he the one”…you just know. There was something that I never had with the other guys I dated, there was magic in the first kiss and after about 2 weeks of dating, we both knew and he even tossed around the idea of marriage in those early stages (of course, the love had to run it’s course and we broke up on 2 different occasions for several weeks, but that was just ironing out the things that needed adjustment as two independent people in their 30’s have to do to come to conclusions)–you can also tell it’s real love when you break up and you cry your heart out over that person and miss them tremendously. Go for it!


    • Sunshine says:

      Oh yeah, true unconditional love can be found in a pet dog better than in a human!


      • Sunshine says:

        I want to share someting I wrote recently. My husband liked this, but beyond that, how do I know if it’s any good? This website has helped free up my mind and words are flowing again, but I want to get better at writing. My writings are short (unlike my posts) and may be better developed as lyrics with a little tweaking. Is writing lyrics a talent that you either have or don’t have? Putting words in unique combinations to express thoughts and emotions is fascinating to me. I’d love to understand the process and technique if there is a technique. How do you know if your stuff is any good? How do you make it go somewhere? Critique, advice, suggestions anyone? It’s okay to say it sucks–I have a tough skin (but be gentle). Here it is:

        Test of Time

        Half a centruy ago
        I wouldn’t have known
        What I now know
        The things you do to show you care
        All speak to me in my ear
        Whispering I love you

        You carved a heart on our wooden table
        You plus me is our tale
        The rain has fallen
        The sun has baked
        And weathered the table beside the lake
        And still you meet me there
        In the middle of our years

        Worn and weathered
        From life’s journey
        Our love grows on…
        We’ve endured
        We’ve sustained
        Our precious love we have maintained

        And I’m so glad you’re mine
        I’m so glad you’re mine
        We’ve stood the test of time.

        No, I haven’t been married for 50 years–I wrote this when my husband turned 50 in August. He really did carve a heart on our picnic table in the back yard and as for the lake, the ditch out back fills up with water during the rainy season.


  16. psychicsarah says:

    @unmaskd *Going with the flow is easy*>>>Yep we are just talking different semantics I think.

    Cos going with the *Spiritual* flow (re what one is required to do next; having popped a red pill or two) is anything but easy. It is in fact the only option once you step onto the rollercoaster of free will and personal responsibility (IE) Once you take the *high* road)…

    The easy option is staying in that safe job and there won’t be much *flow* there; only stagnation and frustration.

    So I guess *going with the flow* is a phrase open to interpretation which is interesting too!!!


  17. psychicsarah says:

    I ‘ll just requote this bit…

    *Going with the flow, especially when the current gets high and full and we feel out of control, is very challenging.*

    The rest of the sentence is the KEY bit…


  18. psychicsarah says:

    The *KEY* is surrender and trust … perhaps in a Divine Plan…(if you are that way inclined)… or at the very least trust in ones talent, ability, and *place* in the world…

    (Really don’t think this is the same as having a burning *Mission*…that’s usually just ego!)


  19. 15conundrums says:

    Well ego is the key word here, as we are dealing with a man who has two public twitter accounts and a tumbler, a word press etc, etc, etc. as well as a whole slew of fan sites dedicated to him. I read all these manifestos he pours out and think: What an intelligent man, and then I think what a shame he can’t pull all the resources that are at his fingertips together and just get on with his happiness. Come on J, your ego is holding you back. Your fear of commitment, your intense need of finding out if the grass is indeed greener on the other side, when all along your heart knows that you had it all in the palm of your hand and you let it slip away. You have had more than your share of chances to get this all right. So get off the pot or piss in it. It’s been far too long to still be expounding on this crap. I don’t want to still be reading about this stuff when you are in your 40’s or 50’s or worse still, see your name in some dusty foam board marquee in vegas, in the small room in the back of a washed up casino.

    I know the last few years have been shit for you, but take advantage of what you have and utilize it. Stop looking for that ego boost, it’s not a boost, it’s just a crutch. Get enough people ( that you don’t know or that you have not bought) to fawn over you, and suddenly you think you are all that, and this becomes nothing more than an excuse for putting it all on hold once again.


    • unmaskd says:

      You’re mistaken me for someone else. As I said many times before I am not John Mayer and have absolutely no relation to him.


      • 15conundrums says:

        of course, but again this exercise fulfills a need for more public validation. So onward.
        Just hope you find a place someday where you can still the voices inside and find that sense of self worth from within.


    • xxx says:

      wow “the venting community” arrived! On behalf of everyone who have as many accounts and as many names as they please, thank you for stopping bye, and may you continue your journey somewhere else.


    • Felicia says:

      @15conundrums I don’t see anyone here talking about John Mayer but yourself. There are plenty of sites that you can go to to express your distain for John Mayer but has been stated, whoever Unmaskd is or chooses to be, he/she has previously stated that it is not John Mayer.


  20. psychicsarah says:

    @15conundrums What a *Conundrum*?

    You think @unmaskd is a pure *ego* trip? Is it not a mutual sharing?


    Also slight ID problem? … @unmaskd is NOT @johncmayer >Just cos everyone thinks he is; doesn’t actually make him so…


  21. Ashley Clifford says:

    Are we even still on this? It’s a shame. You know, maybe if we spent more time on the message, contemplate OUR lives and just enjoy the discussion…we’d get alot more accomplished here! Personally, I’m tiring of people yelling out guesses and then unmaskd having to deny them and then we are 2 steps back in the process again. It’s natural to be curious…sure! I’d love to know this person I’ve been conversating with for 2 months! But the truth is, we can’t! If we can’t deal with it, unfollow. It’s his process and his boundaries that we knew before we got involved. Right? Stop judging. For heavens sake, there is even judging of someone who we do not know who came here to probably escape judgment! Just go with the flow or just go.


    • zwee says:

      @15conundrums, could you be any more pathetic? YOU are obviously obsessed with JM. Wait, not obsessed…INFATUATED. Who are you to say anything to John anyways? Has he done anything to you? Is he even in your world? NO. So why do you find it necessary to pass judgment. You’re the one with the ego problem, buddy. Get well soon from your jealously. Now piss off before I unleash the mafia.


      • 15conundrums says:

        First of all, who said I thought this was John Mayer? I only called him J. Could be a number of people. If he recognized what I said in that connotation, well that is all him, isn’t it? Thought it was interesting, that he himself jumped to the need to defend. I addressed him here because, unmaskd, as well as J seems to revel in these public forums.

        But carry on, I am finished now. I said what I needed to, perhaps you should heed your own words. *So why do you find it necessary to pass judgment.* Yes precisely, why indeed.

        And threats are silly, and infantile, especially since we are all only words on a page. Sticks and stones, my dear, sticks and stones.


  22. @brokeassgirl on twitter says:

    i don’t think it matters who this person is in the general scheme, but i’m fairly certain it’s not JM. and who cares if it was?

    and for the record, i think the poet unmaskd is most inspired by is kurt cobain. or someone who has passed.

    but as i said, that’s not the purpose of this unmaskd experiment. he’s trying to engage us in a conversation between the “real” him and “real” us. trying to GET PAST this prejudice thing we’re all a part of if he were to use his real mask.

    because we can anonymously attack him on here, and he can anonymously be bigger than that. it’s happened. still happening.

    OR…we can try to be our authentic human selves and he can do the same and we can all learn something from this instead of turning it into

    a: a kiss ass VIP fanchat
    b: a new place to go to bully someone anonymously

    can we all *TRY* to go for c? being civil human beings to a person reaching out? if not, there are plenty of other sites to go to…


  23. psychicsarah says:

    Too often the shortcut, the line of least resistance, is responsible for evanescent and unsatisfactory success. Louis Binstock #quote


  24. Sunshine says:

    Picture Commentary:

    Are they free falling through the squeeze of time into the soft sand or getting sucked up by the golden whirlwind of their lives? Turn it over and what vacuumed them up is now spewing them out propelling them into the air as the grit hits. Lay time on it’s side and you roll into your eternity, frozen in the hour glass of what was your life to the moment your time stands still.
    Excellent motivational advice unmaskd! I’m thankful for your sharing/teaching heart and I’m listening. I’m getting reconnected and more back to the me I put aside. I didn’t think anything was wrong with my life until you challenged me against this hour glass and shattered my life (in a very good way)…you made me realize so much of my life is on auto pilot and now I see clearly the parts that need to change.

    I’ve lived in a cave of habit
    of the things I have to do,
    you shattered the glass of my life
    restoring my heart anew.

    Now I can see clearly
    and no longer dread the mundane,
    I’m tickled with delight each moment
    while walking through my life’s train.


  25. microcebus says:

    if you think a 60 year old is unable to learn to surf you have an extremely limited or immature life view.


  26. dancergypsy says:

    This is a great quick read for where I am right now… I’m not out of motivation as much as slightly exhausted. It reminds me of how we hear of a “second wind”. Sometimes I think of my life like one of those really cool European cars on a desert landscape on the verge of running out of gas. You cannot help but laugh when you think about it (viewing it in the mind) but when it’s your real life, it can get a bit tough since you really need to get forward but you’re running out of gas. The car starts sputtering. Eventually you start pushing the car, but then you can only go so far. You leave the car behind and start walking. What’s left to do? Right… Sometimes life is like that. It’s not a matter of motivation, and really you cannot afford to stop. You cannot afford to give up, yet you still feel time pass. You just accept there’s not much else you can do but your best.

    Doing my best is my motivation. I like thinking of that more than the time passing, because we cannot stop time no matter how fast we run. Eventually, it will run out.

    At some point you have to decide to be happy with walking instead of driving at Fast n Furious speed.


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