Do you ever feel like no matter how much you try, you just can’t seem to stay or get motivated about doing the things you thought you wanted to do? You’ve probably tried to psyche yourself up with positive self-talk, keeping the right attitudes, building dream boards and visual reminders, writing mission statements and reminding yourself again and again of what it is you think you want. But no matter what, the feeling of motivation is fleeting and you find yourself fighting to make consistent moves towards your goals or the things you’re supposed to do.
How can we make ourselves more motivated to do what we’re supposed to do to get where we want to be?
Well, there is an ultimate secret to motivation that a lot of people seem to be unaware of.
A lot of self-development enthusiasts out there are quick to hand over tips and hacks to being more motivated. But no matter what they offer, these quick fixes don’t last very long and don’t seem to cure the undeniable lack of motivation that returns to us time and time again. That has a lot to do with the reality that these tips and hacks are topical aids, designed to treat the symptoms of the lack of motivation, but they don’t fix the underlying issues that cause the symptoms to return.
Believe it or not, there are actual causes for the lack of motivation. There are things that are more than skin-deep that cause us to lose motivation or stand in the way of our ability to be truly motivated. By exploring these issues, I will help you understand why you don’t feel motivated enough and help you cure the real problem. But I should warn you, it probably won’t be what you expect.
First, let’s discuss the publicly accepted idea of what motivation is and should feel like.
The Hype Behind the “Feeling” of Motivation
Most people expect motivation to feel energizing, exciting, and thrilling, like, “let’s go, let’s get it done!” While this feeling is great while it lasts, it doesn’t last very long. When it fades or wanes, so does the sense of urgency and the desire to get things done. This is actually very common. When you flow with the “feeling” of motivation, you will start new things with gusto, but leave them half done when challenges arise that make the feeling go away.
These challenges could be things like unforeseen difficulties or the monotony of repetitive tasks, just to name a few. But however unique the challenges may be, the result is the same. You lose motivation and then you slow down or even stop what you’re doing, losing any momentum that you’ve built up. What you end up with then are these half completed jobs that make you feel even less motivated to complete them.
This is usually the result of going with the feeling of being motivated.
True Motivation Has Little To Do With Feelings. It’s About Purpose.
Feelings are nice, but they fade. Real motivation is what pushes you to action even when you don’t feel like it. It’s a sense of purpose that makes you discipline yourself no matter how you feel or what else is tempting you. That’s because real motivation is based on desire. When you really want something, you will do what you have to do to get it. No matter how you feel.
When you really feel like not doing anything, motivation is the purpose, discipline, and experience that tells you to get up and get it done anyway. You know you’ll regret it if you don’t. And that has nothing to do with how you feel in the moment. If it’s about a feeling, it’s the feeling of how you will feel if you don’t get that thing that ignites your sense of purpose and desire.
You see, motivation is based on your motives. Your motives are the reasons that drive you to do things. Your motives are your purpose and your desires. Your motives are your motivation.
Motives = Motivation.
Bottom line, your motivation is your purpose, your reason for doing things. If you want or need what you’re after badly enough, you’re going to keep moving towards it no matter how you feel.
The Real Trick With Motivation Lies In What You Are Doing and Why You Are Doing It
In order to get to the heart of your motivation and your motives, you need to ask yourself some serious questions and be prepared to give yourself the honest answers.
- Do you know exactly what you want and how what you’re trying to do is going to get you there?
- Do you believe that what you’re doing is integral to accomplish your goals?
- Do you really even want what you’re telling yourself that you want?
- If you do really mean it when you say you want what you want, do you have a clear idea of what it looks and feels like when you get there? Do you have faith that the actions you are taking will get you there?
Learning to Read The Signs and Discovering Your True Motives
Sometimes, when we think we don’t feel motivated to do something, it’s a sign that we need to pay closer attention to. Maybe you don’t really want what you think you want. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Why do you really want it?
- What will having what you think you want do for you as a person? Or as a member of a family, a team or society?
Sometimes our lack of motivation could be telling us that we don’t believe what we are doing is going to get us closer to what we truly want. Sometimes the thing we think we want is just a distraction from what we actually need.
For example, a lot of people want to work out and get fit. But so many also fail to discipline themselves to get there.
I believe it is because getting fit isn’t what they truly want. What they want is to feel good, to feel confident, to feel sexy and to be happy. They want to be accepted and even desired. Getting fit might be a way to get to those subliminal underlying desires and needs, but if they can get there without having to do the grueling work of getting fit, they would take an alternate route instead.
A lot of the times when we sit out and binge eat in front of the TV, even though we want to “get fit”, it’s because that feels good. It’s nice to forget the world and just be in the moment and eat food that tastes yummy. What we really want, in that case, is to feel good. Getting fit is just an idea we tell ourselves will get us there. But deep down, it is not the ultimate goal. Not unless we believed it was the only way to truly feel good about ourselves.
Examining our underlying beliefs and motives behind our so-called desires can reveal a lot about our level of motivation and who we really are. If you’re not truly motivated to do something, you need to ask yourself why. You need to get to the heart of what it is you truly want.
Getting To The Heart Of Who You Really Are and What You Really Want
When you discover your deepest values and desires and align your goals with these truths, you will find an endless source of motivation to get you through to your goals. That type of motivation is a driving sense of purpose that trumps any feelings of fear, vulnerability, laziness, tiredness, temptation, etc. It doesn’t necessarily feel good or exciting or thrilling, but it compels you to keep moving. When you cease to move, it eats away at your core until you take action. It is your deepest sense of purpose calling you to make a move. But that only happens once you align your goals with your true values.
Saying your motivation is money when it is really a specific thing that money might help you get closer to, for example, is a false alignment of purpose, values, and goals. That’s why so many people have no motivation to get a regular job or go to work even though money could help them acquire a lot of things.
The same applies to exercising regularly to get fit when the real motivation is to feel good about yourself. If you don’t acknowledge your true motives and can clearly see how what you’re doing will get you to your goals and purpose, you will never experience true motivation.
You Can’t Fake or Force Motivation. There Must First Be Alignment.
- What do you really want?
- What do you really care about?
- What truly makes you happy?
- What do you daydream and fantasize about?
- Who are you when no one is looking?
- Who would you let yourself become if you didn’t worry about what others thought of you?
If you’ve become accustomed to trying all the quick-fix solutions to motivation, you might find this reality to be a bigger pill to swallow. But I promise you, nothing will make you feel more fulfilled or satisfied than being honest with yourself and reaching for your truest purpose in life. Once you do, you will feel liberated and motivated.
If you find that you need help getting to the core of your motivation issues, your deepest values or your sense of purpose, you are more than welcome to reach out to me to talk about it. I’m more than happy to help. You can reach me via social media or the other contact methods on my website, rayarouge.com.
If you liked this post or have any thoughts that you’d like to contribute, let me know. I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences with motivation. Just leave a comment down below.