Once you have clarity about what is your aspiration/purpose, next you need to magnify it, so you get more energy for your journey. Big purpose equals big motivation.
How do you magnify it? Here I suggest a thought exercise and a meditation practice.
The thought exercise is to enhance your awareness of the rewards of fulfilling your aspiration and the pains of neglecting it, in all key areas of life. I often call this the “Black-and-White Exercise”.
Deep inside our brain, our core drives are all about escaping pain and experiencing pleasure. Therefore, associating fulfilling your aspiration with benefits in different areas of your life, and not fulfilling it with different forms of pain, will help you become more motivated. Your aspiration grows in importance.
Here is an example, exploring the aspiration “To be always calm and centered”, and the goal of Meditation.
|Impact of neglecting my aspiration (pain)||Impact of fulfilling my aspiration (pleasure)|
|Health||Harmful stress hormones in my body; poorer health||Better immunity and mental health; increased longevity|
|Career||Making impulse decisions|
I later regret
|Being a natural leader, more reliable and professional|
|Finances||Emotional spending||Saving more|
|Love Life||Lack of trust and connection||My partner feels safer with me|
|Fun||My mind is so busy that I can’t enjoy fun activities anymore||More present and relaxed in leisure time|
|Family and Friends||Reacting out of fear and anger,|
|Creating more positive experiences for those I love|
|Social Contribution||Working on my mission wears me out and feels like a chore||Headspace and energy to serve at my best|
|Growth and Spirituality||Repeating the same mistakes; not fully practicing my beliefs||Spiritual development, feeling peaceful, and really applying what I learn|
Here are the steps:
- Create a table with three columns and nine rows, on paper or digitally.
- Write your goal and aspiration in the top left. (Do this exercise once for each aspiration.)
- Write the eight areas of life in the first column.
- For the second column, describe how achieving your aspiration/goal may help each area of life. Think of what you will gain. Feel the joy, excitement, and satisfaction.
- For the third column, list how neglecting your aspiration/goal may make life harder. Think of the regrets, missed opportunities, and challenges that may come up. Feel the pain.
- For steps four and five, list as many items as you can, aiming for at least three to five.
- To enhance this exercise, add an image that represents your current self (your conditioned life) on the left, and an image for your aspirational identity (designed life) on the right.
- Once done, step back and review. Appreciate how important your aspiration is for you. Allow your feelings to motivate you to action.
The meditation practice I recommend for this purpose is the Yoga Nidra meditation, using a resolution to deeply internalize your aspiration. This is a practice from the wisdom tradition of Yoga which imprints your aspiration deep in your subconscious mind, in the form of a resolution (sankalpa). There are many different types of Yoga Nidra, each with a slightly different purpose; in the Mindful Self-Discipline app you will find a guided meditation specifically for this purpose. Follow it daily for a few weeks until your intention is fully internalized.