Spread the love

There are two major forces that give us motivation to change our life: Pain and Desire.


When I was growing up, I hated being poor. It was my pain. I despised the lack of everything. Food, a regular bed and a lack of a safe environment to live. The pain to get out of those circumstances compelled me to study, gain knowledge, learn skills, look for a job and work hard.

Pain worked because it forced me to do things I didn’t like or necessarily want to do. Pain became the motivation to change my life because I hated my present situation at the time and I was willing to do whatever it took to get out.

Pain is the side of a magnet that helps push us away from a terrible place.

But go where?

I couldn’t just run away and wander around aimlessly. I need a place to go. And that’s when I needed the other force:


Along with pain, desire gave me the motivation to change my life because it helped identify a place to go. As a kid, I had this burning desire to be successful. To make money because I wanted to help my struggling family put food on the table. At the public library in Flushing, Queens and then in the small town in New Jersey where we moved at the time, I would read magazines and books about famous business people and world leaders and would aspire to be like them.

Desire became the motivation to change my life because it forced me to identify, visualize and move my mind and body towards a specific type of life that I badly wanted. It was something concrete providing the much needed target by which to express my energy. Desire helped identify a goal.

That burning motivation was so powerful that it pulled me out of bed in the morning to do things I once thought impossible.

Desire is the other side of the magnet that pulls us towards something great.

How to find the motivation to change your life when there’s no pain nor desire? When we’re feeling a little stuck?

As I live in these extraordinary times of profound change and uncertainty, I realize that often we may not have that severe pain nor severe desire. But we feel a need to grow in our career, our business, our health, our relationships and our life. We want to find the motivation to change our life and get unstuck. Over the last several years of my own personal transformation from someone who worried about the future all the time to someone who is less stressed, more engaged and productive and often more fulfilled, I would like to share that to find the motivation to change your life requires four things:

1. Clarity

What do we want? Who do we want to become? What is our goal? Is it a happy marriage where you feel fortunate everyday to be with your partner? Is it a thriving business that makes this much money?

Know what you want, specifically. Be crystal clear about you and your wish list of the things you want out of life, your relationships or your business. It has been said repeatedly by others because it’s true: Having a goal gives us the clarity of purpose and allows us to focus our energy and effort towards something. Clarity about our purpose doesn’t have to be so grand. It can be very simple allowing us to give our mind the motivation to align our thinking and actions towards something meaningful.

2. Contribution

Who are we changing for? Ourselves? Our loved ones? Focusing on ourselves only takes us so far. The motivation to change cannot be about me. It has to be about her or him. It has to be about something bigger than ourselves because after we have satisfied our basic human needs, we don’t feel so motivated when we’re only thinking of ourselves. Building a business focusing on how our product makes a contribution to someone’s life will help to motivate us more so than how much money we can make from that product. Financial success comes when we dedicate ourselves to making someone’s life better through our offering.

Making a positive contribution to the lives of our loved ones, a customer, a colleague or a reader of our blog can become one of the most powerful motivations to change our life. Thinking about contribution compels us to do the hard things and helps get us through countless obstacles because we someone is waiting for us, relying on us and counting on us.

3. Committment

What are willing to sacrifice to change our life? Whatever it is we want, we have to be committed fully in our deepest sense of self. Sure, times change, plans get off course and chaos disrupts our life. But we have to keep committed to moving forward towards a better future. We have to be dedicated spending time, resources and energy on whatever goal we want to achieve turning our nice to do into habits that we must do at all cost.

When I was in career chaos some years ago, no matter what change was going on all around me, I was committed to giving myself certainty of purpose. I was committed to a very specific goal. I didn’t care if I had a job tomorrow but hook or crook I was committed to putting my energy into achieving something specific and meaningful. That intense committment gave me the motivation I needed to keep going through obstacles.

A committment to getting it done…to seeing it through despite the obstacles gives us strength of resiliency powering us with a motivation to change our life.

“Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes… but no plans.” -Peter Drucker

4. Action

When we take action, no matter how small it is, we get to see an effect. That drop of water reverberates. It shows us that when we make a call, send out an email, go meet someone, write a business plan, pitch our idea, pursue a love…when we take action, something happens. It changes our chemistry because we realize that there’s a consequence based on something we did.

Get to work! Do something. Anything. The motivation to change our life lies not in some outside windfall of opportunity but in the small step forward of our hands and feet put on a path headed somewhere.

“Thinking will not overcome fear but action will.” -W. Clement Stone


Let me summarize: how do you find the motivation to change your life? Stop looking outside and start looking inside. Use these forces to ask yourself these powerful 6 questions:

What is my pain?

What do I desire more than anything?

Am I clear about what I really, really want?

What contribution can I make to better the life of someone else, a customer, a friend, a colleague or a loved one?

Am I fully committed?

What actions can I take right now to move me forward?

Look around. All of us start somewhere. No one is born a great success. Every meaningful personal change requires work, effort, perseverance, dedication and energy. If other people can find the motivation within to change their life, so can you.

All you have to do is to stop waiting for something to change outside of you or some magical sign to fall from the sky to motivate you and use the forces of change that is already within you.

How to Find the Motivation to Change Your Life | Bob Miglani | September 2015

By Bob Miglani

Bob Miglani is the Author of the Washington Post Bestseller, Embrace the Chaos, which is about learning to move forward in times of change, uncertainty and disruption. He grew up running his family's Dairy Queen store, the subject of his first book, Treat Your Customers. He worked in corporate America for 23 years. Left to pursue a life of passion working in a startup, writing, motivational speaking and learning how to live a life of contribution.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

one × three =