The Truth About Finding Motivation

by | Aug 6, 2020

looking for motivation…

My 18-year-old daughter and I got into yet another discussion about her future the other day. I often feel like such a nag…constantly giving her ideas and advice on how she can make changes and take control of her life, and yet it feels like it goes in one ear and out the other. Can you relate? #parenting

I absolutely love her easy-going, fun-loving personality. However, she’s always had a float-through-life kind of attitude, which has made parenting her a tad challenging at times. I’ve tried everything from getting angry and withholding privileges, to holding her by the hand and giving her planners, journals, and pens galore. I’ve even tried just backing off and giving her the space to figure it out on her own…but nothing seems to change her current habits. She seems content to stay stuck…

I finally said, “Honey, I’ve given you every tool possible, but you have decide what you really want, and what you’re willing to do to get it.”

Her answer, “I just wish I could FIND the MOTIVATION.” 

Dang. There is was…

She was just waiting and hoping for the motivation to show up. And I realized in that moment how often I’ve had this same conversation…with clients, with myself, and now with my kids.  The “I wish…” and “If only…” statements the lead absolutely NOWHERE!

TRUTH BOMB: Motivation doesn’t FIND YOU. You have to CREATE it.

If you start a new course or join a program in hopes that it will change you, then you’ll constantly be disappointed in everything you try…and in the end, you feel like a failure. 

ONLY YOU CAN CHANGE YOU!

You are the only one with the power to create real change in your own life and no program or system will do that for you unless you actually apply it to your everyday life.

Have you heard the quote…”You can bring a horse to water…but you can’t make it drink”? No matter how many tools of success are placed in front of you, if you’re not willing to apply what you know to the smallish details of everyday life, you’ll still fall short of your goals every time. 

Motivation is only the spark that gets you started. It’s up to you to fan the flame…to take that motivation and turn it into DETERMINATION to stay in the work when it gets hard. Because changing old habits…especially the kind that have been around for decades takes a whole lot more than motivation to fix. They require dedication, solid consistent effort, and a strong “why” that reminds you to keep those promises to yourself every.damn.day. 

trajectory over results quote

Shift your thinking.

Forget motivation…it’s overrated and not nearly as important as you think it is. Instead of looking so far ahead at the end result, scale down your focus to the path your on right now. See one or two small things you can change every day and focus on that.

In the book Atomic Habits, James Clear references a story of an airplane headed from LAX to NYC. If the plane changed shifted its heading by just 3.5 degrees, it would land in Washington DC instead. He states, “You should be far more concerned with your current trajectory than your current results.”

Avoid the “All or Nothing” attitude by thinking that it’s better to just wait for the motivation to find you before going all in. Doing something now is always better than nothing until later!

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