I once had a job interview for a position as a Lawyer where they asked me how I get work done on days where I’m lacking motivation. How do I get the job done when I can’t be bothered?! It struck me as an odd question as I wouldn’t describe myself as someone who lacks motivation very often. Being a lawyer comes with huge responsibilities and legal duty of care to your clients. You don’t meet many people in the profession who are not highly motivated. I can’t remember my answer that day, but it must have been ok as I got the job.
However, that question sort of stayed with me. This question can be applied at work, home, in regards to fitness and diet. Really our motivation can and does impact upon all areas of our life.
I guess for me the biggest motivator is knowing there are people dependent upon me. Some days I don’t feel like changing a dirty nappy, ok most days, but my girls need me to do it! I would never leave them dirty because I couldn’t be bothered.
Of course many major motivators are straight forward and simple- need for money, security and stability in both the short and long term. In terms of exercise it is the endorphin rush, the nice feeling of being fit, weight maintenance and the enjoyment of being strong!
Pride and holding myself up to brutally high standards is another huge motivator. This sounds arrogant. I don’t mean that I believe I should achieve at a higher level then others. But I do believe that if I work hard enough then I can achieve at a high level even when it doesn’t come naturally to me. I feel disappointed with myself if I don’t perform at some fantasy level. And if I do then it is almost worse as now I have to be able to repeat and beat this new standard.
Ironically this blindsided drive to achieve has driven me to achieve in the wrong direction. Rather then listening to my heart and doing what I love; I have forced myself to excel in certain areas that lead to University placements I wasn’t so passionate about (ahem Science and Law), which in turn lead me to jobs that I was definitely not passionate about (ahem Big Law Firm).
So maybe lacking in motivation can be useful. Rather then pushing through the study or the workout or the job. Stop and listen to yourself. Why do I hate my job? Why am I struggling to stick to a program in the gym? Why do I have zero motivation to study Chemistry and a full commitment to studying History?
Im not saying run out and quit your job or give up on exercise. I’m just saying don’t ignore these feelings, thoughts and impulses as they are teaching us about us.
Obviously sometimes or frequently we have to do things we don’t want to do or aren’t motivated to do for the big picture. When everyday feels like a struggle maybe it is ok to take time out, smell the flowers and figure out what is really behind it all. There are so many options for us, finding the right fit can be the challenge! I think when you’ve found it motivation follows (most of the time).
Do you ever struggle with a lack of motivation? Have you ever found yourself on the wrong path? What motivates you?
Lots of love,