In 1976 a relatively unknown actor, Sylvester Stallone, wrote and starred in Rocky, a film that grossed $225m and won three Oscars. What a success story, “unknown actor becomes a star overnight”. But there is another story, the story as to how Sylvester Stallone came to write the script and got to star in the film.
This is even more interesting and it’s not about boxing or Hollywood it’s about motivation.
I wrote about motivation back in January 2012, but it is so important because it impacts on your ability to study and as a result exam success I think we should explore it in more detail.
If you’re motivated you will work harder, study longer and if you study longer guess what, you significantly improve your chances of passing.
In my earlier blog I described motivation as the wants, needs and beliefs that drive an individual towards a particular goal or perceived outcome. I went on to talk specifically about goals and how to set them, but there is much more to being motivated than simply setting goals.
A structure to help with motivation
I recently came across a framework* that provides a great way to think about motivation.
Engage – with yourself
Firstly ask yourself a few simply questions. How come you have got this far, what has been your motivation, what is it you want and why do you think that passing this exam will help you? Okay the idea of talking to yourself might seem odd, but trust me its normal.
If you can identify what it is that has motivated so far and there will be something, you can use it to motivate yourself even more.
Stallone recognised in himself a hunger to be an actor; he fed that hunger because he knew that it would help him succeed.
This is where the goal setting fits in. Set yourself a goal, exactly how to do this is described in detail in my January blog. Click here motivation – how to want to study.
Most thoughts and ideas have structure, motivation is no different.
Stallone clearly had a goal, it was vivid, very much within his control and positive, something he wanted as appose to something he didn’t want.
Ask why is this goal important to me? What will it give me that I don’t have now? Repeat the questions several times, what pictures do you see?
The goals that you set have to be relevant to you, they have to have meaning for you, they are personal.
There was something that made wanting to be an actor highly relevant for Stallone. From this story we are not exactly sure what it is, just that it was powerful.
What do you believe about yourself, do you believe you’re clever or not? Do you believe you should pass? What do you believe will make the difference to your exam success?
Beliefs are probably the most important element of motivation. As Henry Ford once said “Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right.” Challenge what you believe and ask yourself one very simple question – Does this belief help me achieve my goal or not – if not change it!
Stallone had a huge amount of self belief; he first turned down $250k, said no to $325k and finally accepted $35! Ask yourself would you have done that, honestly I don’t think I would.
Listen to Tony Robbins tell the Stallone story
Click this link to hear Tony Robbins, I would recommend you listen, it’s well worth it.
*A framework for motivation – Motivational Drivers, Alan McLean