Who is lacking motivation?
The response to this question would unfortunately see the majority of you raise your hand.
Some of you might be coping really well and be enjoying lockdown to a certain extent but what about those of us that are really struggling to even get dressed each day?
How can we find the motivation to get up and get stuff done? To do the things we need to do or even want to do? Even if there is nothing we can think of to do, nothing that we desperately want to do or that we can think of doing that has much point to it right now. Where is the motivation generator and how do we use it to get stuff done?
What is Motivation?
First off what would you say motivation is?
An ability to perform tasks that you don’t want to do? A desire to do the things you know you should do or need to do in order to reach an end goal? The completion of any task that is solely necessary rather than just for fun?
According to Oxford Dictionary; motivation is “a reason or reasons for acting or behaving in a particular way.”
Therefore we can argue that motivation is inside each and every one of us all the time and its just a question of which acting upon it.
We all have reasons for doing things. We all have reasons for not doing things. The motivation for both is always apparent it all depends on which reason is stronger as to which way the scales will tip.
Unfortunately the majority of us sit around and wait for motivation to suddenly spring itself upon us; to wash over us and engulf us in its productive energy. When in actual fact our motivation to sit around and wait is stronger than our motivation to act upon getting stuff done.
The Oxford Dictionary goes on to describe motivation as a; “desire or willingness to do something; enthusiasm” and I feel this is where we all get confused.
Let’s take for example exercise. You know exercise is good for you, you know it is proven to have multitudes of benefits, you know that if you persevere with it and give it a good go on a regular basis that you will undoubtedly feel better for it in the long run – mentally as well as physically. Yet, despite having plenty of reasons to do exercise, so many of us say we don’t have the motivation because we may lack the desire or willingness – we lack the enthusiasm.
Now the reasons for that could be tenfold and would require a whole blog of its own to delve into the ins and outs of it all. However, in a very condensed summary, just because you lack enthusiasm for something doesn’t mean it is impossible to still do it.
You still have the motivation inside you to get it done you just have to make a choice to act upon it despite the lack of desire; and then the enthusiasm will start to make an appearance at some point down the line.
Still using the example of exercise; there are some days I have no enthusiasm to do any form of exercise and other days when I’m full of desire to get my sweat on. Some days my desire to avoid exercise is greater than my reasons to just get it done, yet other days my reasons as to why I should do some exercise motivate me despite my lack of enthusiasm. On the days that my reasons to exercise motivate me, I, on the whole, tend to feel a hell of a lot better for getting it done and find some form of enthusiasm through being proud of myself for doing it in the absence of desire. Whereas the days I let my motivation to not do anything triumph, I only feel less desire and willingness and struggle further to make that ‘motivated’ step. (This is not to say you shouldn’t have rest days… rest days are important and should form part of your workout schedule).
If you aren’t careful your motivation could be going round in circles and you might be trapping yourself in a pattern, making it harder for you to ever do the task at hand. Obviously it isn’t just exercise that causes the ‘lack of motivation’ excuse, it could be to get your work done, to clean the bathroom, to assemble the garden shed, to ring the bank… the list goes on. We all have things that cause us to use the excuse “oh I haven’t got the motivation for that right now”. However we do, as we have our reasons as to why we should do it, we are just choosing to not act up on it.
That might anger you to read. You might feel like I’m calling you lazy or pressuring you to do things that you just don’t want to do. I am not. I am just simply offering you the empowering knowledge that you can do whatever you want to do whenever you want to do it. You don’t have to wait for motivation to miraculously appear. You can use your pre-existing reasons to do something as motivation to get it done and eventually see the enthusiasm to do it and sense of achievement from doing it flow out of you.
Yes there are certain things you might never find full enjoyment from – I don’t think I will ever be full of desire to do the washing but through using the reason; “it needs doing otherwise I wont have any clean clothes to wear” to motivate me to do it, I will then find a happiness once it’s done due to the fact that I pushed through my lack of enthusiasm and completed the task.
Motivation doesn’t grow on trees. It doesn’t get delivered to your doorstep wrapped in a bow. It’s already in you; waiting for you to unleash it. So next time you find yourself asking someone how they are so motivated; first try taking control of your own motivation and act up it. Don’t sit around waiting for the secret to rush over you. Just do it. And see how liberated you feel, to own your own motivation, to BE your own motivation.
Side Note: It is ok to allow your motivation to be unproductive to be greater than your motivation to be productive on occasion; don’t beat yourself up for not getting things done asap. However, just be conscious about which one you are allowing to take centre stage more consistently – only you can control it. So ensure you’re not doing yourself a disservice by engulfing yourself in a circle of ‘no motivation‘.
You’ve got this!!