“Understanding motivation is one of the most important things we can do in our lives, because it has such a bearing on why we do the things we do and whether we enjoy them or not.” Clayton Christensen
Motivation is essential for achieving not just big, long-term goals that we set but for sustaining day-to-day behaviors required to keep our lives functioning normally. Whether trying to get a college degree or simply get dinner on the table and the laundry done, motivation is necessary to accomplish what we set out to accomplish.
As you move through your day, if you find your motivation levels low…your drive to do what you know you should do waning and you’re not sure exactly why…I encourage you to ask and answer three questions. The answers to these questions will open your eyes to the reasons for your lack of motivation.
- Do I believe that I am capable of successfully doing what I know I should do? How confident am I that I can do what needs to be done in a capable and competent manner? If you’re not confident about your abilities, that may explain your low motivation. Few people are motivated to do things they are aren’t confident they can do successfully.
- Do I care? Does the behavior or activity matter to me for some reason? If not, your motivation is likely to be low, because who gets motivated to do something they care nothing about or think is unimportant? Nobody.
- Does the benefit outweigh the cost. If not, that may explain your lack of motivation. That is, you might care about and believe you’re fully capable of successfully accomplishing the task, but if the cost of doing that activity (e.g., time, money, effort) outweighs the benefits, your motivation is likely to be low.
Both our personal and professional lives are filled with things we know need to be done; however, when motivation is low, getting done what needs to be done becomes a tremendous struggle. Hopefully, answering the three questions posed above can help you pinpoint exactly why your motivation levels are low and give you some ideas about how to address whatever factors are keeping you from achieving what you set out to achieve.