Understanding motivation


Motivation: A Fleeting Feeling

What is motivation Is it something you are born with? Is it something that you can master? Motivation is the driving force behind achieving our goals. Whether it’s pushing through the last mile of a marathon, striving to complete that next article, or even just getting out of bed in the morning, motivation is what keeps us moving forward. But it’s not something we are born with nor is it a skill.

In its essence, motivation is about why we do what we do. It’s the internal and external factors that stimulate our desire and energy to be continually interested and committed to a job, role, or subject, or to make an effort to attain a goal. While the importance of motivation might seem obvious in terms of productivity and success, it’s also key to our overall well-being and satisfaction in life. When our actions align with our personal values and goals, we experience a sense of fulfillment and achievement.

The concept of motivation is not just a singular, straightforward path and can fluctuate. Have you ever been fired up about a goal that you worked hard toward achieving … in the beginning? As the days go by, the motivation to continue working on that goal seems to fizzle out.

Motivation, like emotions, comes and goes. It’s a normal part of being human. We can’t always rely on it to be there. But that doesn’t mean that we are doomed to fail. It does mean that we need to learn a new skill-set in order to motivate ourselves in to taking action.

The Challenge: Demotivating Attitudes

Staying consistently motivated can be a challenging journey, riddled with obstacles that test our resolve. One of the most common challenges to motivation is the loss of focus. In a world brimming with distractions, from social media to daily stressors, maintaining a clear and persistent vision toward our goals can be exhausting. It requires not just determination but strategies to overcome these diversions.

Another significant obstacle is the feeling of stagnation or lack of progress. When efforts don’t seem to yield immediate results, motivation can wane. This is where understanding the importance of persistence comes into play. Keeping motivation alive often means recognizing that progress is not always linear and that patience is a crucial component of success.

Moreover, self-doubt and fear of failure are potent demotivators. They can stem from past experiences or societal pressures and often lead to procrastination or avoidance behaviors. Tackling these internal barriers requires a mindset shift – viewing failures as stepping stones to success and understanding that every journey has its ups and downs.

Lastly, procrastination, keeps a body in the comfort zone, and is a critical challenge. It can significantly sap motivation. Everyone procrastinates at some point. Heck, I did it just this morning. Procrastination is when we push off doing something because that something causes a feeling of dread. For example, I detest making videos for social media. Coming up with original ideas to post something every single day is truly a chore for me and I will busy myself with other mundane tasks.

Addressing these challenges to staying motivated involves a combination of self-awareness, resilience, and adaptive strategies. By acknowledging and confronting these hurdles, we can pave the way for sustained motivation and ultimately, the achievement of our goals.

We Can Do This: Finding Motivation

Awareness is half the battle. Once you have identified why you lost the motivation to keep going, then you can address limiting beliefs that are the root of the problem. Waiting until you feel the desire, readiness, energy and motivation to do that something, will not bring you the results you desire.

The feeling will never arrive spontaneously. It’s something that you need to create through action. Taking action sends a message to your brain that says,

“Hey! Move it! We got work to do!”

This triggers a biological and emotional shift.

By integrating these strategies (awareness and taking action anyway), one can effectively boost motivation, paving the way for enhanced productivity, personal growth, and the attainment of goals. Remember, motivation is not a constant; it requires nurturing and attention to remain a driving force in our lives.

Stoke the Fire: Nurturing Motivation

Oddly, moving your body has been shown to increase that motivating feeling. Don’t overcomplicate it. Throw some of your favorite tunes on and dance like no one is watching!

Another strategy is to write down your goals (no more than 3, please) and reconnect with them every day. If it’s not fresh in your mind, you can quickly lose momentum. Goals demand constant nurturing.

Sometimes our long-term goals and tasks feel overwhelming – like cleaning out that shed containing 60 years of crap. Chunk it down. Focus on one small thing: just a corner. Grab a bag and toss 27 items. I guarantee, you’ll go in thinking that you’re only going to throw out 27 items, and suddenly 2 hours have passed and you’ve tossed a decades’ worth of garbage.

Squashing ‘But I Don’t Feel Like It’

We cannot rely on motivation to be there. It’s a naturally fleeting feeling. It’ll come and it’ll go. There’s always going to be things that we have to do that we don’t want to do.

Perhaps we can take the idea of motivation off the table. Instead, create meaningful habits. These are things that you do without even thinking. Many people unwittingly created a habit to scroll through social media upon waking. Brushing your teeth is another mindless habit. You just do it.

Creating a new habit is difficult. Your brain will resist. Your job is to do it anyway until your brain gives up and it becomes a habit. It becomes a part of your identity. What kind of person do you want to be? When you decide that this is the person I want to be and it is who I am now, your daily activities will become the norm.

Final Thoughts

Motivation is not just a tool for achieving goals; it’s a way of enhancing the quality of our lives. By understanding and harnessing it, we open doors to endless possibilities and potentials. So, take this knowledge, apply it, and watch as your world transforms with the power of sustained motivation.

How do you motivate yourself to complete a task, when you want to do anything but that task?

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