Feeling demotivated? Two key life elements you could be missing
Top tips on how to get motivated once again by doing these two simple things
Most people feel demotivated at some point in their lives. Others might describe it as feeling ‘stuck’. It’s like you know life could be better, but either you don’t know what specifically, or you know what but don’t how to change it.
With this in mind, I would summarize a lack of motivation comes from either one of two things:
1. Lack of exciting goals or dreams – something to work towards
2. Lack of hope – you might have a dream but feel little hope in achieving it
Without either or both of these two key ingredients, chances are you will remain demotivated and ‘stuck’.
To feel motivated then, the first step is to create the dream. Or at least a goal or two. This could be a dream for your entire life or certain goals in specific areas of your life such as your relationships, health, career, hobbies, finances, personal development etc.
For this, simply envision what you would like your life, or the area of your life, to look like. What would you change? What problems would you solve? What would you like more of? Less of? And once you’ve made these changes or additions – how would you feel?
It’s critical your dream or goals are two things. First they must be aligned to your values. The things most important to you in life. The things you need to experience regularly to feel fulfilled. For example, let’s say helping people was your number one value. Wealth, on the other hand, was way down the list. Having a goal of being a millionaire when wealth isn’t a key driver for you is pointless. But having the goal of being a millionaire so you can build a school in Africa or donate to charity will most likely motivate you more.
Second, your dreams and goals must be purposeful. Meaningful.
Let’s say you want to lose weight. OK, great. For what purpose? For a wedding where you might see old school friends who you want to look good for? OK – but is that really that meaningful? What happens once the wedding is over? Do you go back to how you were before?
What if your goal was to get fit and healthy so you had more energy to make an active contribution to the lives of the people around you? To play sport with your kids in the park? To run marathons and raise money for a cause you are passionate about? To volunteer in the community? To perform your best at work, get that promotion and build a better life for your family? To be able to lead your company to huge success and provide a better standard of living for your employees? To create change in your industry – or even mankind?
The moment you give your vision meaning, a purpose higher than just yourself, you’ll find nothing will stand in your way to achieve it.
Once you have your goal or dream, the second key ingredient is hope. Is the goal realistic? Is it achievable?
Most goals are achievable – as long as they are realistic. Wanting to be the CEO of Google one year after university isn’t that realistic. But, with a well-thought out plan and strategy, full of solutions and not problems, you could make the dream a reality. The key to staying motivated is you have to BELIEVE you can achieve it.
So, here you need to ask- what do you need in order for you to achieve your goal? What skills, attributes, resources will help you move closer to your goal? Where are the gaps? What obstacles might you face? How will you overcome them?
There are so many resources already available to you that can help you achieve your goal – and overcome your challenges. You just have to be smart enough, open enough and brave enough to use them. Resources include money, time, people, skills, education, qualifications, energy, technology, publications, online resources (including social media, blogs etc.) and so on.
For me, one thing I knew I would need was a coach. Not being a natural goal-setter, I needed someone to help me set the goals but more importantly, someone to hold me accountable. It was also good to have support, particularly to help overcome those unexpected challenges that life likes to throw at us once in a while.
So I chose to invest in myself and my personal development. I got a coach. Throughout the coaching process I figured out my dream (to be a coach) and identified the actions I needed to take to get there. I obtained my coaching qualification. I then worked in a temporary job to save money so I could start my own coaching business.
It took a significant amount of investment (in terms of money, energy and time) to get to where I am today, but I can categorically say it was the best investment I ever made. (My friend chose to invest in a stay with some Buddhist monks in Tibet. She came back feeling awesome. Whatever works, right?!).
The final step is to give yourself a deadline – being realistic and flexible. Life might throw a curveball which could force you to change to deadline. Or you might fall a little off track, because you’re only human. Be kind to yourself and be flexible, and it won’t affect progress towards your goal too much.
One final piece of advice. Never settle for mediocrity. You get one chance at life. Make sure you make it a great one.