I regularly get asked questions by people who read my blog, and often the queries have similar inspirations. Recently I received one asking “How do I motivate myself?”
The source of all motivation is finding the answer to the question “Why?”
- If you want to spring out of bed in the morning, passionately ready to begin your day instead of hitting the snooze button three times in a row, you need a compelling reason to do so. You need a “why?” When you identify the reason “why” you will immediately reclaim the 27 minutes you spend sleeping each morning.
- If you aren’t excited by your work, anxious to engage in doing whatever it is that you do, and giving yourself over to that work, you don’t have a reason that is compelling enough. You might be tempted to abdicate your responsibility for bringing purpose and meaning into your work, preferring instead to believe that your manager and leaders are supposed to provide that for you. Inspired and enlightened leaders may do that, but you can make your work meaningful enough by finding inspiration on your own.
- Your personal health and well-being is your primary responsibility. If you aren’t motivated to take care of yourself, to eat well, to exercise, to do things that reduce your stress, then you either lack a “why” or you aren’t paying attention to all the “whys” in your life. Like your family and friends. Like the people who count on you. Like the contribution you are here to make.
A lack of motivation is a form of ingratitude. It indicates that you don’t yet appreciate the life you have been given for what it really is: the opportunity to make a difference, and the chance to make a contribution.
Knowing something is true and not acting on it is the same as not knowing. But knowing you have been given a gift and wasting it is not to appreciate that gift.
The two most important days of your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. – Mark Twain
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Filed under: Values