Tap into your strongest motivations, including love, pride, anger, etc. It doesn’t have to be nicey-nice. It doesn’t have to sound pretty to others. In fact, nicey-nice thoughts are some of the weakest there are. If you want to be the best “to prove those bastards wrong” and that's a really strong motivation that gets you going, use it.
For many people, a very strong motivation can be team-oriented — to come through for the team, to be the hero, to not let your buddy down.
In interviews with soldiers who have done heroic deeds, most of them say they didn’t do it for the “principle of democracy” or to promote the cause of freedom in the world. What actually motivated the soldier was “I didn’t want to let my buddy down.” Their fellow Marines were pinned down by a machine gun in a pillbox, for example, and the hero jumps in to stop it because those Marines are his buddies. He loves those guys, and love is an extremely powerful motivation.
And your wife is your buddy. Your family is your team. The people you work with are another team. Any organization you participate in is another team. If you are naturally and strongly motivated by your loyalty and commitment to any of these teams, use that motivation when you create your slotras. For example:
- She’s counting on me. I won’t let her down.
- I will come through for my family.
- We must get these boys to land.
Use what gives you strength. That is the number one criteria for choosing your slotra: It must give you strength, it must retain your determination, and ideally, it will boost your motivation.
The book, The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom, is about how six men escape from a Soviet prison camp in Siberia and walk all the way across the continent to India. At one point in the story, the men had made it out of Siberia, across the Soviet Union, across the immense Gobi Desert in Mongolia and had entered Tibet. They still had to hike across the Himalayas, and were on the lookout for Chinese soldiers. If they were caught, they were finished. They didn’t have any money. They had no passports. Their chances of making it to India would seem remote to the most sanguine optimist. But they didn’t spend any time talking about what would happen if they didn’t make it. As the author, Slavomir Rawicz wrote, “We could not afford to think of failure.”
Being so close to the edge of death makes you acutely aware of the impact of your own thoughts.
Your thoughts make a huge difference, whether you are in a life-or-death struggle, or simply trying to accomplish a financial goal. It behooves you to use this fact to your advantage.
Find thoughts that help you, that motivate you, and practice them. Focus on the most motivating impulses you have, and build a slotra to capitalize on it.
Read the next chapter: How to Create Serendipity
This article was excerpted from the book, Slotralogy: How to Change Your Habits of Thought.