“Dreams don’t work unless you do”


There doesn’t appear to be a simple solution for a lack of motivation. Even after beating it, the problem just resurfaces at the first sign of failure but the key to staying on top of it might just be understanding your thoughts and how they drive your emotions. By understanding how to nurture motivating thoughts, neutralise negative ones and focus on the task at hand, you can pull yourself out of a the black hole of demotivation before it gains momentum.

The main reasons we lose motivation seem to be a lack of three things; confidence, focus and direction.

Firstly, let’s tackle lack of confidence. When this happens to me, it’s usually because I’m focusing entirely on what I want and neglecting what I already have. When you only think about what you want, your mind creates explanations for why you aren’t getting it. This creates negative thoughts and past failures, bad breaks, and personal weaknesses dominate your mind.

The way to get out of this is to focus on gratitude. Set aside time to focus on everything positive in your life. Make a mental list of your strengths, past successes and current advantages. We tend to take our strengths for granted and dwell on our failures. By making an effort to feel grateful, you’ll realise how competent and successful you already are. This will boost your confidence and get you motivated to build on your current success.It might sound strange that repeating things you already know can improve your mindset, but it’s incredibly effective. The mind distorts reality to confirm what it wants to believe. The more negatively you think, the more examples your mind will discover to confirm that belief. When you truly believe that you deserve success, your mind will generate ways to achieve it. The best way to bring success to yourself is to genuinely desire to create value for the rest of the world.

Secondly, a lack of focus. How often do you focus on what you don’t want, rather than on a concrete goal? We normally think in ‘fear’… I’m afraid of being poor. I’m afraid no one will respect me. I’m afraid of being alone. The problem with this type of thinking is that fear isn’t an ‘action’. if we don’t do something about our fear, it feeds on itself and drains our motivation. If you’re caught up in fear based thinking, the first step is focusing that energy on a well-defined goal. By defining a goal, you automatically define a set of actions. If you have a fear of poverty, create a plan to increase your income; maybe it’s going back to education to give you the skills to obtain a higher paying job, or starting a profitable business of your own. Whatever it is, you must move from ‘desire’ to measurable steps to reach a goal. In focusing your mind on a positive goal instead of an ambiguous fear, you will put your brain to work. Instead of worrying about the future, it instantly begins devising a plan for success and you start to do something about it. This is the first step in motivating yourself to take action. When know what you want, you become motivated to take action.

Lastly is direction. If focus means having an ultimate goal, direction is having a day-to-day strategy to achieve it. A lack of direction kills motivation because without an obvious next action we begin the process of procrastination. To find direction you must first identify the actions that will lead to success. For every goal, some actions will pay off and some won’t. My advice is to create a list of all your actions and then pull them into a bigger picture action plan.  When my motivation starts to wander off, I regain direction by creating a plan that contains two positive actions. The first is a small task I’ve been meaning to do, while the second is a long-term goal. Immediately and automatically, I do the smaller task, creating positive momentum and after that I take the first step towards achieving the long-term goal. Doing this periodically is great for getting out of a slump, creating positive reinforcement, and getting long-term plans moving… It also helps with reducing the day-today to do list!

It’s inevitable that you’ll encounter low times,  negative energy, bad luck and even the occasional failure but if you don’t discipline your mind, these minor hurdles can turn into mental monsters. By being aware of the things which damage motivation, you can preserve yours. Everyone faces doubt and depression. What separates the highly successful is the ability to keep moving forward.