Have you ever watched an amazing YouTube video, or heard an incredible talk that you felt had changed your life? Something that made you cry and decide from that moment on, you will make changes and take charge of your life. Did you perhaps get a glimpse into the possibilities of your potential future?

…Only to have the excitement and feelings of motivation fade, sometimes within moments, maybe a few hours or even days?

There is no shortage out there of inspirational content for those willing to seek it out. Heck, most of the time you’ll just get bombarded with it on your various feeds. So how is it that we can be filled with so much hope and joy one moment and then suddenly find ourselves right back where we started, as if nothing had ever happened?

This is such a broad topic in my mind, and it’s difficult to write something meaningful when entire books have been dedicated to the subject… but here goes.

The first thing we need to understand is that there is a big difference between inspiration and motivation. We can all be inspired by powerful music, movies, speeches or books. But how do we actually turn that inspiration into motivation? I’ve seen a lot of what I like to call “inspiration addicts”, people who will go to the same seminars and events over and over but miss the mark when it comes to making any real personal change. The problem is, those people can’t make the distinction between being inspired and being motivated because they feel similar to someone who has never actually BEEN motivated.

Here is the truth: True motivation comes from within. No one can actually motivate you to do anything. Someone can inspire you, teach you, show you the way, but without your own conscious effort to change your mindset, and your life, nothing will have a truly lasting effect. When you live your life, doing the same things day in and day out, and yet expect things to change… what do you call that again? Oh yeah, insanity.

The first step towards any real change is in your mind. You first have to realize that all the things you think about and focus on every single day are the things that will stick around. You have conditioned yourself to believe that “this is as good as it gets” and so you accept your circumstances as they are, while simultaneously dwelling on all the negative things in your life you don’t like. My house is too small, I’m too fat, no one likes me, I hate my job, I’m always sick, I’ll never find that special someone… any of these sound familiar?

(Dr Joe Dispenza is an absolute genius when it comes to the power of the mind; if you want to go deeper into this subject, you need to watch this video. )

You need to visualize what it is you want and establish your why. When I say visualize, I’m asking: what does your desired future look like? Who is in it? Where do you live? Are you married? Have children? Huge bank account? Figure out everything you desire, truly desire, and paint a picture that you can see in your mind every single day. Then, replace all the useless thoughts you (used to) have with this new desired reality. Your “why” has to be something powerful, something that when you think about it and what it would mean to you, makes you cry. (This is key. I have spoken to a lot of people who think their why is money… only to realize that their shallow dream of simply having wealth doesn’t motivate them to keep going when things get tough.) Kevin Allen used to say, “When your why makes you cry, you cannot be stopped.” This is when motivation kicks in.

Now this is the crucial part – are you ready? You need to believe that all these things are possible for you. I’m not saying “yeah, that could happen” belief, I’m talkin’ “This IS happening. Period.” This part of the plan has had many labels over the years – faith, the law of attraction, etc etc. – but whatever you want to call it, this force is real, and it wants to give you everything that you want. Jim Carrey is actually a frequent inspiration to me, because I love to hear the way he describes what I’m talking about here; he’s a wonderful example of these principles. He shares his story and the secret to his success during a commencement address he made at the 2014 MUM graduation ceremony. You should really watch his speechbut to use just a few of his words, “Faith is simply opening a door in your mind, and when it opens in real life you just walk through it.”

What happens when you visualize your desired future every single day, your Why is powerful, and you truly believe that these things are coming?

Guess what. They come.

None of this is easy, nor will it happen overnight. Training your mind to think differently takes a lot of conscious effort. (Meditation is an incredible tool for this purpose.) However, I have seen countless people do it. You CAN do it, too. Your potential is Limitless. Start thinking about the abundant life you forgot you used to dream about.

But see, no one can do it for you… so it’s time to stop being inspired and start being motivated.