Hello everyone and welcome to my first article! I wanted to start off with something meaningful and eventually settled for a topic which, in my opinion, isn't talked about often enough: some of the misconceptions about what it means to be motivated and successful.

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I believe I'm very ambitious and I always work hard to achieve the goals I set up for myself. People often tell me they wish they were as motivated as I am while in fact they do absolutely nothing to change the way they think and act. From my experience, they all hold some false beliefs about successful people; sometimes those beliefs are even unhealthy and they can certainly be very demotivating for those who actually want to change their lives.

And so, here are four misconceptions about motivation and success that I come across most often.

1. Motivation is a feeling that comes and goes- some are just better at preserving it.

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This is probably the most common and the most harmful misconception I've ever heard of. Let me tell you something that you may not have heard before: motivation is a set of everyday choices. If you're still waiting for the day that you'll wake up wonderfully motivated to go for what you want then sorry, but that day will never come. Being motivated means you want something so much that you keep pushing through no matter how tough it gets or how lazy you feel. It means you want to sleep in but choose to get out of bed, put on your running shoes, and go for a run. It means there's another episode of your favourite show waiting for you but you choose to switch the TV off and pick up your textbook. It means you choose to work hard and be a better you every day until it becomes a habit. Motivation is a conscious choice.

2. Some people are just born to be successful.

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Whenever I come across someone who thinks I'm "lucky" to get what I want or that good things just "happen" to me, I immediately see how little respect they have for me. My current average grade is the second highest average grade in my school. Do you think I picked it up from the pavement? Or found it in my fridge one day? Maybe it fell into my arms straight from heaven? No, it didn't. I worked for it. And if you want to achieve something, you have to work for it too. Success won't just "happen" to you- it's a result of your hard work and determination.

3. Successful people are always determined and motivated.

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No. Just no. People are imperfect. People have flaws. People doubt themselves, mess things up, fail, think they should give up when something goes wrong...And then they succeed anyway. I've been there too, plenty of times: closing my textbooks, frustrated, thinking I wasn't smart enough or telling myself I should quit instead of embarrassing myself. But here's the thing: I didn't quit. I allowed myself to be sad, maybe even cry a little, but in the end I never gave up. It's okay if you have some doubts. It's okay if you break down a little. It's natural. Take some rest and then keep going with twice the energy you started with.

4. If you don't take big steps, you're not going anywhere.

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I know you've heard this a thousand times but let me repeat: small progress is still progress. It doesn't matter how slow the pace you're going at is. The only thing that matters is that you keep going and that already gets you closer to success than sitting on your couch and doing nothing. Don't just mindlessly rush yourself. You have to give yourself patience and kindness if you want to improve your life.

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That's all for now! Thank you so much for reading my article and good luck with all your plans. I hope you do something that makes you proud today (even if it's a tiny thing!).

-Linn