How Do Motivation And Positive Thinking Connect?

Discover how motivation and positive thinking can help you achieve what you want

Motivation, according to, is "the set of reasons that determines one to engage in a particular behavior".

Generally speaking, when we say that we are not motivated to do something, we mean that we don't feel like doing it or that we don't find any reason that would make us want to do it.

Motivation and positive thinking make a difference on facing fears, on keeping on doing what you are busy with, and on taking up new challenges.

Motivation can even help you to keep on working hard at your job. Check out these positive quotes for the work place, these affirmations for the work place or this list of eleven reasons to go to work.

I distinguish between two types of motivation:

  • Motivation to do the things that we want to do. That is easy: sometimes you may want to do something so much, like painting or writing or going for a run, that you don't need any motivation - you just feel like doing whatever that is.

  • Motivation to do the things that we don't want to do but we have to, such as a project at your job, or (taking from an experience of my own) to find a new flatmate.

    Here it is where we want to feel motivated, so that we get on with our tasks without procrastinating and feeling bad about it.

In this second group I also include things that we don't really want to do but that are the path to a goal that we do want to achieve, such as exercising in order to lose weight.

For example, your goal may be to be thinner, but you may not necessarily want to actually exercise every day for fifteen minutes.

The strength of motivation and positive thinking combined

I have used motivation and positive thinking to reach different goals.

It is much easier to get on to doing anything when you clearly know the reasons why you want to do it and you can identify the benefit you'll get when you achieve your goal.

The following steps combine motivation and positive thinking:

  1. Decide what you want. Many people cruise through this life not even knowing what they want, and just reacting to what comes along, either by accepting it or by rejecting it.

    They don't choose, as such. You know, you have the power to choose what you want.

  2. Why do you want it? This is your motivation. Your reasons to have, be or do something must be strong enough to carry you through the path to your goal.

    This is so you don't give up, and you actually end up having what at the moment you can only imaging.

  3. Use motivation and positive thinking together. You could use visualization techniques and positive affirmations to make you create now the feeling you will have when you achieve your goal.

Visual motivation

For some of us, motivation and positive thinking work well together when used in a visual format.

That is why some people choose to make a little drawing, even if symbolic, of that which they want to achieve, and have it on sight in their bedroom.

At a certain time of my life when I was focused on achieving goals in several areas (like relationships, work, money, health, or creativity, among others) I did a little drawing that would show me at a glance what I was working towards. In this way I also created my own positive images.

Motivational posters also serve to find our inner core of motivation and strength. Follow the link to find motivational posters at

'The path of least resistance'

The book 'The path of least resistance' by Robert Fritz gave me an insight on how to keep motivated to achieve anything.

This book comes to explain that the main thought pattern that we have oscillates between extremes (I'm summing this up for you very quickly, but the book really goes in depth about it in a very insightful way).

That is why we don't seem to achieve goals, because we go from pushing towards a goal to pulling away from it, back and forth all the time.

Robert Fritz proposes a different thought pattern that I found extremely useful, which is that of the creative people. Fritz explains that there is a certain tension between the reality we see and the reality we want.

This tension or difference between realities, far from discouraging, can be used to our convenience no matter the circumstances:

  • The bigger the discrepancy, the more force there is to play with; in other words, the more there is to do to achieve the reality you want, the more "playground" you have, which is enticing and gives you motivation to take action.

  • The smaller the discrepancy, the closer you are to the end as the process gathers momentum. In other words, the less there is to do to achieve what you want, the easier it is to take action and feel motivated.

From my point of view, this is a way of combining motivation and positive thinking because it holds the belief that if you work towards your goals, you'll achieve them - which includes a positive attitude towards yourself and what you can do.

This new thought pattern that Fritz proposes follows these easy steps, and it can be applied to anything:

  1. Define the reality. Look at what is and define it: "I am 4 kilos overweight"; "I do not enjoy my job"; "I am renting a flat"; "I do not know how to paint".

  2. Define what it is that you would like instead. For example: "I want to weigh 60 kilos"; "I want to work in a job I enjoy"; "I want to be own a house"; "I want to paint well".

  3. Formally choose what you want. Loudly or silently, state it: "I want to weigh 60 kilos"; "I want to work in a job I enjoy"; "I want to be own a house"; "I want to paint well".

  4. Move on. Take action, do something else, or do something that you may feel inspired to do regarding your goal. Believe it or not, opportunities will come to keep you in the path of what you want to achieve.

I followed these steps for a number of things in different areas of my life with success. Like magic, it does make you discover a well of motivation and positive thinking.

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John's story

This friend, whom I will call John, was busy preparing his thesis for a higher degree, and worked as a customer service agent to pay the bills. His end goal was to obtain a post at the university he was doing the research for.

One day he got fired from his job. He couldn't really understand why, as he thought he had always done a good job, so he asked his manager.

His boss explained that John was in fact a very good customer service agent, but due to company regulations they had to fire a number of people. It really didn't have anything to do with him.

John felt quite let down by the company and "the system", and questioned whether it was worth to keep on writing his thesis. He lost his motivation for a while.

At that time he came across some positive thinking books, and chose to change his point of view about the whole event. He decided that the fact that he had been fired was not so bad after all, because it contained positive facts.

He had gained good experience in the field of customer service and could look for a better job with something to show in his CV.

Furthermore, he realized that until he found another job he would have more time for his thesis, which would bring him closer to what he really wanted.

Combining motivation and positive thinking, John actually decided to see the event of being fired as a very good thing, and kept on writing his thesis.

The best thing was that within three weeks he was called from the same job for a permanent position. He decided to see that in a positive way, too!

As you see in the story above, you can combine motivation and positive thinking to help you achieve a desired goal. In the end, keeping yourself motivated is entirely up to you. Help yourself to a motivation quote.

Motivation and positive thinking have a lot to do with the attitude you choose to have towards life.

Find here some great tools to keep an optimistic attitude: positive attitude quotes and motivation poems.

"The current reality is always your new starting point."

Robert Fritz

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