For several years leading up to starting my own business, I ruthlessly eliminated anything that even suggested I was powerless and replaced it with concrete proof that I wasn’t. In other words, I deliberately “brainwashed” myself into believing I could do the impossible.
I listened to podcasts and audiobooks that told stories of people accomplishing incredible things for 4-8 hours a day. The goal? Drown out the negative. Anytime I was around negative people or having negative thoughts, I would pop in the earbuds and listen. Tony Robbins, Zig Ziglar, biographies of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Christopher Reeve. Hours every day, I listened to stories and motivational speakers suggesting I could do anything, and in time, I believed them.
Inspirational books and audio programs are one of the best fuel sources for cultivating desire. If you want to quit smoking, read a dozen books written by ex-smokers on how to quit the habit. If you want to start a business, then start devouring business books. Go to seminars on occasion. I advise that you feed your mind with some form of motivational material (books, articles, audio programs) for at least fifteen minutes a day. This will continually recharge your batteries and keep your desire impenetrably strong.
For me the effect is undeniable. After 30-60 minutes of listening to someone like Zig Ziglar talk about goals, I invariably feel very optimistic and focused. And I tend to get a lot of high-priority work done when I’m in that kind of emotional state. But the key was for me was to maintain this as a daily habit.
Just like physical exercise should be a daily habit, I feel daily emotional conditioning is at least as important. Whenever I’ve fallen out of this habit for weeks or months at a time, I’ve invariably gotten sucked down into negative emotional states. Then I remember my solution, plug back in, and my attitude and productivity shoot back up again.