June 17, 2016 0 By Mirm

I have taught people the importance and steps to motivating someone to learn. I have struggled with staying motivated with certain projects but nothing stopped me in my tracks more than my son telling me he lacks any motivation.

So what do I say to him to help him get motivated?!

Here are some of my thoughts (in random order:

  • Motivation is about moving people to act in order to achieve a goal. When someone is not motivated it is important to Inspire them to think ahead of the “reward”. For example, when a coach gives a pep talk during half time, it is to motivate them to go back out on the field with renewed energy to reach the goal of winning the game.
  • People are motivated by many things and probably are demotivated by twice as many. Of course there are things outside of our control that play into the process like illness, time, finances, to name a few.
  • People are motivated by a safe and comfortable atmosphere and by feeling that they belong or can make a difference – that there are reasons to finish.
  • People are motivated by what they value. Sometimes I have to give myself a verbal reminder to myself of why I am moving forward; Inspiring and daily challenging myself to hang in there.
  • People are more motivated when there is some level of stress, when the project is not too easy or too hard and when they can see an end .. Make the goals smaller
  • People are often motivated by the process. Success begets inspiration to finish. Similarly people are often motivated by teamwork. // ie. check things off a list
  • Rewards are very helpful. So is starting with the hard stuff and getting it over with.
  • People are motivated with variety…options but not too many. If there is too much on my plate I find it unmotivating and very overwhelming
  • Feedback is motivating.
  • Sometimes motivation needs a jumpstart. Often I take a walk or a nap or try something off the wall to recharge and refocus. Music or background noise always helps me.
  • One of the biggest things that kept me going for 30 years was Jim. Being on a team and being needed, working together and moving in the same direction made all the difference. Sometimes now when I am struggling to keep on keeping on, I recruit a friend to make the journey/task more enjoyable. Accountability is motivating.
  • Motivating myself is something that has to be done and redone regularly like a habit.
  • Gratitude is an amazing motivator. When I am low I start thinking of all the things I am thankful for and a positive mindset grows and I can look forward to what’s ahead with hope.
  • Go for 5. Start and make yourself work for 5 minutes. That sometimes is the push you need.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery said in The Little Prince that it is always important, when building a ship, to focus on the vast and endless sea and not on the task of collecting nails and wood.

CS Lewis often encouraged people to become “as if” people rather than “if only” people. What that means is that sometimes when motivation wanes we just have to fake it until we become motivated again. We act “as if” we want to pursue the goal rather than make excuses and say, if only, then…” and eventually progress will become a reality.