I read a blog today about how to become and stay motivated. As you would expect, it talked about creating goals, making an action plan, staying on track, yada, yada, yada. Okay, if you can’t tell by my enthusiasm, the traditional how to make shit happen techniques have hit my list of “Oh dear God, here we go again.” Let me be clear. Yes, I agree goals, action plans, and applying techniques to stay on track and motivated in life are all important. On the flip side, come on people, let’s get to the root the problem.
If you’re not motivated, you don’t like what you’re doing–period. Think about it. When do you get into your zone? You know the place. The zone. Those moments when you spend hours that feel like minutes doing that thing you like or even love. Those moments when your entire body feels good again because you’re actually doing something you like to do. In fact, when you get to do this thing you like, you might actually get excited about it, want to do it, and even make excuses for doing more of it. Some might call this motivation. When you’re doing what you like, you’re motivated to do it.
So here’s the deal. If you’re “trying” to get motivated at work or anywhere in your personal life, the right question is not, “How do I get motivated?” The right question is, “Do you actually like what you’re doing?” Truly, do you actually like it? If you don’t, here’s the newsflash, you’re not going to get motivated. And if you figure out how to muster up enough energy to feel motivated for a moment, it won’t be sustainable. You’ll find yourself in an unending trap of discontent and exhaustion.
Okay, I hear your voices already. “Well, you can’t like everything you do. There are responsibilities. Work is work, and I have to pay the bills. It’s not that easy. You can’t just quit the day job and always do what you like.” I think I covered most of the responses. Yes, we have responsibilities. And yes, most people have bills to pay. Agreed. That being said, let me take you for a journey outside the “box”.
At the end of the day, if you’re spending all of your time on what you don’t like doing you’re wasting your time. Literally, wasting life. Think about it. You’re trying to get yourself motivated to waste more life. Hmm, why? Here’s the reality. You can still honor responsibility while making changes to your life that allow you to spend your time doing what you like to do–things that motivate you. Yes, you might have to look for a new job, go back to school, propose changes to your current role, or take that big risk that scares you to death–do it.
Put a stake in the ground and get motivated about spending time on things that give you energy. Once your life is surrounded by what you like doing, then hit the traditional how to make shit happen guidelines. If your focus is on what you like doing, motivation techniques like creating goals and making action plans will actually work.
Gina Soleil, is a speaker and acclaimed author of Fuel Your Business: How to energize people, ignite action and drive profit. She blogs and speaks about how to create a business where people are energized, feel good and are happy. Visit Gina Soleil and follow her on Twitter.