In reflecting upon the last year, I thought about my achievements, failures and learnings. One thing I reflected on were my motivations throughout the year. My motivations were subject to several fluctuations – there were times when I felt I motivated to run a marathon for no particular reason, and other times when I struggled to find the drive to finish off an email that would have taken me 30 seconds.
It got me thinking – what was the source of my motivation? Was there a common motivation across everything that I do? For me, the answer is yes. My biggest motivation is to learn, and by doing so, to improve myself every day. It is a motivation that comes from within – it is not driven by others.
I found that whenever I felt unmotivated to do anything, I would force myself to think back to this primary motivation of learning and improvement. I would find that by doing so, I could find that extra energy, extra drive or that extra push that I was missing. It made the biggest difference to those times when I felt disinterested, drained or un-engaged, and allowed me to feel excited, revitalised and energised.
Knowing your motivation, your purpose, your ‘why’ in life is important. Motivation can drive you to achieve more than you think you can achieve, and can bring great satisfaction to your life if you align your time and effort towards your motivations. Motivation is something that comes from within – not from the outside.
So how do you know what your motivation is, or how do you find your motivation if you are finding yourself uninspired and unmotivated?
My biggest tip would be to identify a time in your life where you felt the most energised, engaged and alive. What was it about that situation or time that made you feel that way? What was your intention and purpose in that situation – why did you act the way that you did and what was the outcome? If you can pick out what it was that made you feel the way you did, and your intent, then you are on the right track to finding your motivation.
The trick is once you find your motivation, to allow yourself to bring that motivation into other areas of your life where you are feeling unengaged. This may also mean saying no to people and activities that do not fuel your energy or revitalise you, and refocussing your energy to things that do align to your motivations! The more you do this, the more satisfaction you will feel.
What’s your motivation?