Many times we find ourselves in an awful state of my mind, unable to think clearly, worrying about stuff that may or may not have important meaning for us or our future, I am this close to calling it depression, however that is a misplaced word used for people that have suffered or are in an emotional pain, so I’m going to shoot it down in this article as: lack of self-motivation.

Along the line you will encounter numerous visits from a little critter called “The Demotivator”, been mentally prepared for him decreases the chances of encountering these unwanted situations, where you just sit down at your desk pondering on whether it can be done or not. People will always doubt the position he or she is in, will always question the correctness of an action, the intensity and frequency of these events depend on the individuals personality and upbringing, there are some who experience it on a weekly basis, some have these kinds of episodes once in a while, point is that you have them and you want them off your back as quickly as possible.  So the problem raised is what to do at an individual level to keep the level of motivation as high as possible? (Note: the following answers are given for a person who momentarily is stuck in a rut and doesn’t know how to get out of there, giving this type of advice to people that have no will-power is pointless)

  1. Get out of your own way. Yes, you, step aside right now!  Thinking “I’m not going to make it!”, “I haven’t done anything in a while so why try now?”, “I am never appreciated so why bother?” is equivalent to tying a ten tone cannon ball and throwing yourself in the Thames. The result? Well most likely you will drown, unable to escape a dire situation, which has you as the lead protagonist. Eventually your body will be found years later by a search party, who will ask left and right “Who was this person? Does anybody know him/her?”, sadly no one remembers. So if you don’t want to end up like that, get out of the way and see the path in front of you.
  2. Read blogs, book and articles. Gaining knowledge from people that do the type of work you do is always helpful and motivating at the same time, nobody earned his or her title like that, they share experiences they’ve lived throughout their carrier, road blocks that held them back, mistakes that made them stronger and so on.
  3. Don’t set your mind on a goal that can’t be accomplished in a given amount of time. Deadlines are important and every day we bump into them, it’s a challenge that gives motive, but also takes it away if the task remains unfulfilled. For example “I want in the next week to ship out a triple A title”, the statement is greatly exaggerate, nevertheless it represents the current trend, do as much as you can in a short time, the world is a jungle because we make it a jungle. Calm down, breathe and think realistically about what you can and most importantly cannot do, don’t try to figure out how something intricate works without knowing the fundamentals, don’t try to paint the next masterpiece if you are unable to think of composition, don’t try to write the next bestselling novel in two days, etc.
  4. Find a mentor. Albeit it sounds like I want to enforce a teacher on you, the baffling truth is that having someone looking after you, ready to outline the does and don’ts, praising what you did right, criticizing you every step of the way is on a scale of one to ten, a ten plus plus. We find ourselves not motivated enough because no one bothers to tell us what we did wrong and what could have been done right instead, in a corporate structure there is so little time for these types of conversation, one day you wake up and you are fired, no further explanations. Friends and family really don’t count in this particular matter, so find someone whom you have a platonic or professional relationship with, emotionally involved people compromise the clarity of the judgment.

Motivating yourself is the key to accomplishing whatever you want, it is not ambition we lack , we have plenty of that, what we don’t have is a well thought-out system that can keep us going. There are a lot of brilliant people out there that have no motivation, yet they have potential to be extremely proficient in a given area, we don’t see the skill because nothing is happening and most likely will never happen.

Talking from experience I have successfully applied 1), 2) and 3), 4) is a bit out of my reach, however I find it appropriate for the discussion at hand. So did they work? Well i am still writing  whatever pops into my head aren’t i, so they must have had some sort of impact, whenever I find myself down that all familiar path I do something that pushes  me away from that road and following those guidelines helped me.


One response to “Self-Motivation

  1. Great advice!

    I sometimes find myself in situations thinking… thats a long road up ahead with tons of obstacles and hurdles that I have no clue how to overcome. Since this has happened to me more than once I have learned to overcome it with a simple step: Break down the monster into smaller more edible parts. So if I have a ridiculous milestone ahead of mean with unforeseeable consequences, I sit down and find out what needs to be done first and focus on that, then find out whats next and keep going. This way the task doesn’t seem as intimidating as when you look at the grand scheme. Eventually you’ll be plowing through it and will gain some more motivation.

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