So many of us spend our days hoping and wishing for things, but never actually reach our desired goals. We sit around waiting for a sign that will point us in the “right” direction. In reality, nothing is magically going to happen for you. True motivation begins within. Without self-motivation, you will never get far in life. Self-motivation is the key to unlocking your greatest abilities. It requires taking the initiative, and pushing yourself to do better. Motivation is the driving force behind everything that you do. It wakes you up in the morning and gets you out of bed at 5am when you know you have to be at work. It pushes you to go back to school and earn a degree. When you are unhappy in your current situation, motivation encourages you to make a change. Others cannot put in the work for you – you must create these opportunities for yourself. There are tons of simple things that can be done to motivate yourself. First, make a list of everything that you want to accomplish in your lifetime (You can even get creative with it, and make a poster board) Go down that list, and try figuring out what steps you must take to accomplish these goals. Without bragging, talk to several people about your goals… you never know what type of connections these individuals may have, or how they can help you achieve your goals Associate yourself with like-minded individuals. The more you surround yourself with positive people who are working toward similar goals, the more motivated you will be. Keep yourself away from negativity. This sounds obvious, but it has proven to be difficult for many people. Don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t do something. You can accomplish anything that you truly work hard for. When you reach a goal on your list (or poster board), check it off!! It will give you a sense of accomplishment, and take a weight off of your shoulders. There is nothing better than physically seeing an obtained goal. The sense of accomplishment that you feel after completing a goal on your list, will give you more motivation to complete the rest of your goals. The biggest factor stopping most people is fear. Many individuals are afraid of the unknown. However, this doesn’t have to kill your motivation. If you know that you are working hard, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, and achieving everything you said you would, then you will have more confidence in yourself, and there will be nothing to fear. Janae Grier.