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Summary: 100 Ways to Motivate Yourself: Change Your Life Forever by Steve Chandler


Steve Chandler is an insistent, unabashed optimist, in the same vein as Norman Vincent Peale. He covers 100 motivational tips that stretch the imagination, factor in the impact of technology, and challenge you to evaluate your situation from different points of view. The choices you make can either motivate you or hinder you, so he provides a wide array of tips you can embrace, reject, or simply read and digest. You can implement the games and exercises to make working toward your dream goal more fun. Though much of the content is basic and available in other self-help books, We recommend this breezy paperback; you can carry it in your briefcase and open it up randomly if you’re feeling low and want to get rejuvenated and motivated.


  • Take the time to figure out what matters most to you. Truly motivating goals come from this understanding.
  • Use your imagination to explore scenarios and role-playing.
  • Learn from your mistakes to improve your performance.
  • Accept that you are an amateur; then seek more expertise.
  • Find fun in your work. View problems as interesting challenges.
  • Be aware of your feelings, but don’t let them be your ultimate guide.
  • If you’re afraid of doing something, tackle the most difficult aspects first.
  • Always ask questions. Keep your curiosity alive.
  • Find one solution that will solve multiple problems.
  • Be careful what you allow to influence your brain and your mood. Turn off your TV.

Summary: 100 Ways to Motivate Yourself: Change Your Life Forever by Steve Chandler


Utilize Your Imagination

Your mood affects how you view the world. Are you an optimist or a pessimist? Do you see a closed door or unlimited possibilities? Check your attitude and improve it by being aware of what you’re really thinking. Also, understand what provokes your various reactions, good or bad. Achieve deeply motivating energy by knowing what goals and values mean the most to you.

“What you do is create a vision of who you want to be, and then live that picture as if it were already true.”

Try these motivators to energize your approach to life and its challenges:

  • “Get on your deathbed” – If you look at things as if you were on your deathbed, you will figure out what is most important to you. This is the ultimate shift in perspective. Visualize the scene: Who would you want to see if you were dying? What would you want to have accomplished in your life? This exercise helps you locate the love at the center of your life and its profound motivation. Death marks the end of the game. If you ignore its finality, you won’t fully appreciate the gifts you have. When you accept that your life will end, you will use the time you have left more constructively.
  • “Learn to play a role” – Decide who you are; don’t let your past or your circumstances dictate your identity. Your thought processes influence who you are and what you will accomplish. When you take on a ‘role,’ you free yourself to play with the raw materials of personality. In this mode, use your emotions instead of being used by them. Your thoughts influence how you feel. Once you understand this, you can motivate yourself effectively by changing your feelings. Act motivated and you will be.
  • “Run toward your fear” – Empower yourself by facing and conquering your greatest fear, regardless of what it is. For example, if you are afraid to speak in public – the most common fear – get a grip, and take an acting or speaking class. You never will vanquish your fears if you ignore and suppress them. You must recognize them, face up to them and overcome them. General George Patton once said, “Fear kills more people than death.”
  • “Let your whole brain play” – People react to stressful times with extraordinary abilities. When life is routine, it’s easy to fall back into unchallenged bad habits. Use your imagination and learn how to tap the creative ability of your right brain. Nothing captures the power of your imagination more than work you truly enjoy. Tap into that power by picturing, in every detail, the goals you’d like to accomplish. Envisage who and what you want to be; see yourself as the best person you can be. Enlist your imagination in creating your vision for the future and solving current problems. This becomes your goal. After that, “fake it till you make it.” Sometimes, the best way to tap your creative potential is to loosen up and play.
  • “Put on your game face” – Consider your situation a game and make it fun. View problems as puzzles you have to solve, rather than seeing them as insurmountable. Problems often bring out the best in people so welcome them. Rise to the occasion. If you are dreading an upcoming challenge, reduce its difficulty by tackling something even larger or more challenging. If you’re worried about taking a test, for instance, practice taking a test that’s twice as tough. Then, the real test will look like a cinch.
  • “Learn visioneering” – Everything worth accomplishing started as a dream. Build your goal in detail in your mind’s eye and watch it take shape. Visualize yourself doing what you wish you could. That is the first step toward making it a reality.

Powerful Focus

Chaos, distractions and lack of focus sap your energy and deter your progress. Goals, priorities and lists – and getting rid of timewasters such as watching television until your mind is numb – can help you get back on track, be motivated and achieve your goals.

“Kill your television”

Focus on your goals instead of on the possible consequences of failure. Minimize distractions, including television. The less you watch, the smarter you will be. If you think you might be “electronically addicted,” ask yourself, “Which side of the glass do I want to live on?” Unfiltered input, such as advertising and news from radio, TV and newspapers, bombards your mind constantly. To take charge of your thoughts, become more aware of this input. Limit your exposure to this type of data to protect your mind from information dumps. Be aware of the nonstop negativity you allow into your brain. Remember that news often is distorted to shock you. Don’t let this enter your subconscious mind. Filter it out consciously.

“Simplify your life”

Determine what tasks you can do that would accomplish your goals, or combine tasks to achieve multiple goals. Don’t focus on what others think of you. Know what’s most important to you and concentrate on goals that relate to your priorities. Direct your thoughts toward getting the job done; remain open to wherever honest inquiry may lead you. Deep-rooted motivation will enable you to face challenges with hope rather than fear.

“Use the 5% solution”

It’s easy to get fired up over your long-term vision, but true change takes time. Set lofty goals, but seek happiness in incremental progress. Make steady advances by seeking to improve your life by about 5% every day.

“Set a specific power goal”

Engage your imagination to reach your goals. Set exciting, long-term, powerful objectives to tap into your potential. Exact, detail-filled goals will excite your inner creativity and arouse your imagination. Often, people lack motivation because they haven’t developed their dreams. Set big, bold, intricate goals, not just a sketch of what you want to achieve. Set your sights on the most audacious target you can imagine, because anything less will not even motivate you to get out of bed every day.

Mind-Body Connection

The health of your body is the foundation for the health of your mind. Body strength and agility matter as much as intellectual vigor and alertness.

“Optimists…are not surprised, overwhelmed or offended by trouble. They know that trouble comes and they know they can handle it.”

To build yourself up, try the following motivators:

  • “Push all your own buttons” – Your mood affects how you view the world. Are you an optimist or a pessimist? Do you see closed doors or unlimited possibilities? Check your attitude. Improve it by being aware of the contents of your mind. Understand what provokes your various reactions, both good and bad. If you develop an inner clarity about what is most important and meaningful to you, you can achieve deeply motivating energy.
  • “Swim laps underwater” – When chess master Bobby Fisher was preparing for the top international chess competition, he trained himself to improve his lung capacity. He knew that if he could become the better “breather,” he could outlast his opponent. He won the world championship with his secret weapon, getting more oxygen to the brain for peak mental performance. Incorporating exercises into your routine isn’t just good for your body; it’s also beneficial for your brain. Exercise your mind by solving puzzles and mystery stories.
  • “Think your way up” – Living human beings have physical, emotional and mental aspects. Often, your emotions control what you say. Speaking or acting from an emotional orientation can disrupt and destroy communication. When you feel the need to express yourself through your emotions, slow down and consciously move into a more intellectual realm to speak in a more creative – rather than destructive – manner. However, don’t ignore your feelings, just know that you will accomplish more if you control them.
  • “Get up a game” – There are many reasons why people believe they’ll never amount to much. But don’t let your past or your peers dictate your behavior or your results. Of course, when others put you down or try to limit you, you can try to get even. But in the long run, a more useful reaction is to “get better.” Use comments and thoughts that make you angry to turn things around. Use criticism or setbacks to improve your performance. Revive the fun aspects of competition. Make your challenges a game. Competitiveness teaches you that there are always people who are better and worse than you.

Success from the Heart

No matter what anyone else thinks of you, you must believe in the sincerity and value of your personal goals. Otherwise, they will not motivate you.

“In this information-rich, interactive…life today, you are either living your dream or living someone else’s. And unless you give your own dream the time and space it needs…you’ll simply help…others make their dreams come true.”

Use these ideas to help you have faith in yourself:

  • “Find a place to come from” – If you believe that your happiness is tied to whether or not you reach a particular goal, there’s a chance that you will never be happy. People tend to think that unhappiness is a sign of personal virtue and, therefore, a reason to stay unhappy. Find, foster and value the things and situations that make you happy as you move toward an end result, and not just the end result itself. Focus fully on the present.
  • “Serve and grow rich” – Think carefully about your strategy to achieve financial independence. Time invested up front will free you to pursue activities and relationships that really matter to you. Your wealth will come through your professional relationships.

Learn from Your Mistakes

Mistakes offer you a goldmine of motivation and information. Learn how to use your trouble, failures and weaknesses as guidelines for doing a better job the next time.

“Make trouble work for you”

How many times have you realized that something that seemed really bad actually turned out to be good? Look for the “gift” within every problem. It’s there, waiting to teach you something. Living through stressful situations can make you reach deep within yourself to tap inner resources you didn’t even know you had.

“Do something badly”

If you aspire to do anything with excellence, you must first be willing to do it badly. You can fall short of your goals simply because you think you couldn’t possibly attain them. Fear of failure can keep you from trying. Be willing to go through the phase of being an amateur first, on your way to expertise.

“Exploit your weakness”

Though it seems counterintuitive, your weaknesses could indeed become the basis of new strengths. Turn the traits, tendencies and characteristics you most dislike about yourself into signature assets. Consider Arnold Schwarzenegger. For many people, having a heavy accent would be a setback. He’s made it work brilliantly.

Fun and Games

On your way to motivation, play some games and have some fun.

“Before any adventure, take time to…design your own plan of attack. Don’t just counter what some other wrestler is doing. Let life respond to you.”

Try these tactics and mind games to analyze problems, find answers and sweep your psyche for bright ideas:

  • “Be a good detective” – Curiosity will stoke your imagination. Often, people waste time preparing statements and deciding what they’re going to say. You’re better off preparing questions and being willing to listen. Use the answers you get to inspire deeper questioning.
  • “Enjoy all your problems” – Problems and their solutions can teach you a lot about yourself and help build your self-reliance. The more problems you solve, the less you will fear them in the future. Think of a problem as a challenge or a puzzle, and approach it with a sense of fun. Imagine the most outrageous solution to your challenge; this will open your mind to out-of-the-box possibilities. If a situation seems too difficult, break it down into manageable tasks and tackle them one at a time.
  • “Storm your own brain” – When you list potential solutions to your problem, the first few will be lackluster, straightforward, reasonable ideas. But as you add to the list, you will strike creative pay dirt, in the form of more unreasonable, off-the-wall ideas.

“Take control of what you know. The more you know about what motivates you, the easier it is to motivate yourself.”

Augment your goal outrageously. Consider how you can hit that audacious target. Then, reaching your original goal will no longer seem impossible. If something looming makes you nervous, picture an even more difficult situation that makes the real one seem like a breeze.

Stay loose, focus, dredge up your true spirit and keep making progress toward your goal.

Insights from 100 Ways to Motivate Yourself by Steve Chandler

“Self-motivation is all a matter of how much in control you want to be.” – Steve Chandler

I’ve tested Steve Chandler’s 100 self-motivation methods, took the best five, and turned them into a 5-day program (starting with Monday). Try the following 5-day motivation program this week or next to see which self-motivation method increases your drive the most.

Monday: Meditate on your mortality

You may want to forget that you are going to die, but ignoring death will dampen your drive to live fully. Wishing that life has no end is like wanting to play a basketball game that never ends – it might be enjoyable at first, but soon, your concentration wavers, and your intensity fades.

Use death to live with more joy and intensity by lying in bed for an extra minute in the morning to imagine you’re about to die and people are coming into your room to say their goodbyes. After you share final words with at least three people you love and fully accept your death, open your eyes and be grateful you get another day to live. You can get out of bed and make today your masterpiece – a perfect example of a well-lived day.

If you lack drive at any time during the day, remember, you could have been on your deathbed this morning saying your last goodbyes. But instead, you get another day to be the person you aspire to be.

Tuesday: Tell yourself, “I am the problem”

In the book, Chandler writes, “Whatever type of problem you are facing, the most self-motivational exercise I know of is to immediately say to yourself, ‘I am the problem.’”

Saying “I am the problem” immediately shifts you from victim to problem solver because you stop blaming other people and circumstances and focus on what you can control – your attitude, expectations, and actions. By becoming the problem, you focus on what is within your control and regain control over your mind and motivation.

Wednesday: Wildly exaggerate your goals

Select one professional goal you have, like earning $100,000 or getting two new clients this month, and wildly exaggerate it (multiply it by two or ten!). Imagine someone holding a gun to your head and telling you to come up with at least ten ways to achieve your impossible goal… The creativity you experience after this exercise will energize you.

Sometimes, the only way to get unstuck is to wildly exaggerate a goal and come at it with a new perspective – the ideas you’ll generate from a wildly exaggerated perspective will excite you, and the results will surprise you.

Thursday: Turn everything into a game

When I was in college, I could play poker all night. But when it came to schoolwork, my motivation lasted no longer than an hour. If I could go back in time, I’d bring two elements of poker (and most other games) to my schoolwork: competition and curiosity.

I could’ve stirred up my competitive juices by competing against the clock and striving to finish an assignment one minute quicker than the previous day or challenging a friend to see who could score higher on a practice exam. I could’ve stayed curious doing schoolwork, as I did at the poker table waiting to see the next cards, by frequently guessing answers to practice questions to see if I was right.

Whatever you’re doing, sprinkle in an element of competition by challenging your friends or trying to beat the clock and heighten your curiosity by constantly guessing how your work will unfold.

Friday: Forward yourself the finished list

The best way to inspire yourself tomorrow is to send yourself an email today with things you finished. Reminding yourself of the things you finished reinforces your identity as a finisher. The more you see yourself as a finisher, the more motivated you are to get stuff done and stay aligned with your self-image.

Remind yourself that you are a finisher by opening a new email when you start work and write “Things I Finished” in the subject line. Save it as a draft and populate it throughout the day. Then, set an alarm for the end of your workday to send the email to yourself using the “send later” function so the email arrives in your inbox just after you wake up.

“From now on, make it a personal commitment to notice everything that pushes your buttons. Make a note of everything that inspires you. That’s your control panel. Those buttons operate your whole system of personal motivation.” – Steve Chandler

About the Author

Steve Chandler conducts motivational sales training for Fortune 500 companies. He wrote several bestsellers, including Reinventing Yourself, The Hands-Off Manager and 50 Ways to Create Great Relationships.



“100 Ways to Motivate Yourself: Change Your Life Forever” by Steve Chandler is a thought-provoking and insightful book that offers practical strategies for individuals seeking to overcome their motivation challenges and achieve their goals. I have carefully read and analyzed the book, and I am excited to share my detailed review with you.

Book Summary

Steve Chandler, a renowned motivational speaker and author, offers 100 actionable tips and techniques to help readers unlock their inner motivation and drive. The book is organized into 10 chapters, each focusing on a specific aspect of motivation, such as goal-setting, self-discipline, and self-care.

Chandler’s approach is unique in that he emphasizes the importance of small, incremental changes rather than grand gestures. He encourages readers to start with small actions and build upon them, gradually developing a habit of motivation.

Key Takeaways:

  • Identify and celebrate small wins: Chandler stresses the significance of recognizing and celebrating small accomplishments along the way. This helps to build momentum and reinforce positive behaviors.
  • Practice gratitude: Focusing on what one is grateful for can help shift one’s mindset and increase motivation.
  • Embrace failure: Chandler encourages readers to view mistakes and failures as opportunities for growth and learning, rather than as setbacks.
  • Cultivate a growth mindset: Developing a growth mindset involves embracing challenges, persisting through obstacles, and seeing abilities as malleable rather than fixed.
  • Create a “motivation menu”: Chandler suggests creating a list of motivational tactics that work best for each individual, tailoring them to their unique needs and preferences.
  • Find meaning in the process: Rather than focusing solely on the end goal, find joy and fulfillment in the journey itself.
  • Build a support network: Surround yourself with people who share your values and goals, and who will provide encouragement and support along the way.
  • Focus on the present moment: Rather than getting bogged down in the past or worrying about the future, stay present and mindful of the current moment.
  • Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness practices, such as meditation and deep breathing, can help reduce stress and increase motivation.
  • Embrace your uniqueness: Everyone has their own distinct path to success, and Chandler encourages readers to embrace their individuality and find their own way.


Steve Chandler’s book offers a wealth of practical tips and strategies for enhancing motivation and achieving personal and professional goals. Chandler’s down-to-earth writing style makes the book accessible and engaging, and his emphasis on small, incremental changes is particularly noteworthy.

One of the book’s strengths is its focus on the importance of self-care and self-compassion. Chandler recognizes that motivation is often negatively impacted by stress and burnout, and he provides numerous strategies for managing these issues.

Another strength of the book is its emphasis on the importance of community and support. Chandler encourages readers to build a network of like-minded individuals who can provide encouragement and accountability.

However, some readers may find Chandler’s approach to be too simplistic or unrealistic, particularly those who are struggling with significant motivation challenges. Additionally, the book’s brevity (it clocks in at just over 200 pages) may limit the depth of some of the topics covered.


“100 Ways to Motivate Yourself: Change Your Life Forever” by Steve Chandler is a valuable resource for anyone seeking to enhance their motivation and achieve their goals. Chandler’s practical strategies and motivational approach make the book an enjoyable and accessible read. While some readers may find the book’s focus on small changes to be too simplistic, the book’s emphasis on self-care, community, and personal growth is a valuable reminder of the importance of these elements in maintaining motivation. Overall, I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to boost their motivation and achieve their personal and professional goals.

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