Motivation is the one topic that constantly comes up in coaching sessions or conversations with friends and colleagues. Motivation to get things done, motivation to finally tackle an uneasy task or motivation to work out regularly. I also noticed that motivation is hardly mentioned when people talk about something they accomplished. Generally people do not say: “I felt so motivated to get up early three times a week and go running!” or “I am so motivated to start writing my paper!” When I hear people talk about motivation they usually talk about the lack of it.
And so did I. I used to see motivation as a positive power that I had almost no control over. Something that was there one moment and gone the next. I knew the tricks on how to generate more motivation like starting the day exercising and feeling energised and motivated for any other task on my plate throughout the day. But that always meant to find the motivation to get up and exercise in the first place! And why did I feel motivated enough to tackle one difficult task but not another one? Why would I be motivated enough to finally sort out my tax receipts, but not to work on a new training programme?
A recent coaching session changed my perspective completely and I would like to share this with you as each of you might find something in it for yourself.
What if motivation was not an uncontrollable power that appears and disappears almost to its own liking? What if motivation was a reliable partner?
Ask yourself if you really lack motivation. For which activities or tasks do you find the energy for which not? Everyday I have enough motivation to be kind and generous with my family, to help my children have a nice start in the day and leave the house on a positive note. I have enough motivation to meet my coaches and coachees online, to work on my professional development and to do my administrative tasks. I have enough motivation to play with the dog and take her for a walk, to keep the house in order and to think of something to cook for dinner. In a day there are so many things I do that I have enough motivation for. So how can I increase or ensure motivation for the objectives that seem so hard to achieve?
I now like to think of my motivation as my secret (female) friend. She is my partner and she is always by my side. The more I treat our relationship with kindness, the more she supports me and makes herself available to me. But if I get too demanding, too impatient or if I am just not clear about my goals, she retreats and does not show up. But she looks me straight in the eye and gives me a strong push whenever I partner up with her and tell her which direction we need to go. Because it is me who decides what is important and it is me who sets the goals. For everything I do, there is motivation. It is up to me how to channel it to support me in the way I need it. Every single day I start with a fresh amount of motivation, if I do not use it, it is gone. I cannot save it for the next day.
Ever since I changed my perspective I know one thing: There is no lack of motivation. There is always enough. You just need to be kind and give it the right direction. Your motivation cannot get to work without clarity of what you want to do and why you want to do it. Give it a try! I am curious to hear if it works for you.