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If you're not motivated, you are to blame. Here's why:

First of all it is natural. Recognize that. You are not alone and absolutely everyone has moments when they are not that excited about what they do. Regardless of your status in the company or whether you’re an entrepreneur, a volunteer or punch-the-clock kind of person, we all have difficult moments staying motivated.

Second point to acknowledge: “it is your doing”. It’s your fault. You are completely responsible. I know you’re surprised and may want to argue but the only thing you are in absolute control of is how you react to any circumstance. Staying motivated in your environment is no different. You are in control of your attitude and therefore you can change the motivation from within.

I look at this issue from the perspective of “levels” or “degrees” of being motivated or lack there of.

Level one: “A Bad day”.

Shake it off. Really, we all have one now and then. Recognize it for what it is. In the movie “50 first dates”, actor Drew Barrymore awakes everyday with absolutely no short-term memory. Her brother and father reenact the same day over and over. Some days are better then others and the worst thing is it is only one day. We don’t want to have a head injury establishing short-term memory loss to solve the “bad day”. However, it is important to recognize that in this level it is simply one day and in all likelihood we will be back to our regular motivated self the next. Don’t despair. Recognize it is what it is and get over it.

Level two: “The Swamp”.

This is an early indicator that you are headed for problems. Depending on the frequency of the days where you are simply not feeling motivated and duration of time (days/weeks) you find yourself in the swamp, you may have more severe problems ahead. It is time to give your head a shake. Figure out what is causing the lack of motivation. And don’t say “I am not sure” or I don’t know”. Yes you do and if you didn’t know, who does? Do a check on what are the influencers of your state of mind remembering you are in control. Assuming you used to be motivated (and if you were not start over by following your passion), what has changed? Is it the work? Have the people around you changed? Have your activities at work and/or outside of work been altered? Basically, I am telling you that a self-diagnostics is required. Just like going to see the doctor for a physical. Check all your vital signs of your physical, emotional and mental state. Once you have figured out what’s up, change it and stay out of the swamp!

Level three: “Dark Cave”.

You have reached the darkest level of no motivation, the “Dark Cave”. All dark cave dwellers regularly complain and whine about most things in and out of the job. Each day they travel deeper into the cave. No hope and they feed heavily off of the environment finding more problems with the work, the people and their surroundings. You need to turn around and walk alone out of the cave. It will be scary and challenging but you have to get out of the cave, now! Once you get out of the cave and back to the swamp you can complete the self-diagnostics and get back on the path of motivation.

Regardless of the level or degree of lack of motivation you have slipped into, you have the control to change it. It does start with your attitude. You and only you have the ability to keep yourself motivated. I recognize that each one of us is triggered motivationally by outside influencers or conditions. Regardless, we have the sole ability to control the environment that provides the motivational triggers.

Gary Chapman in the ”five live languages” speaks to the five love tanks that need to be kept full (words of affirmation, physical touch, gifts, acts of service and quality time). To the degree you are not being emotionally filled or running on empty as a result of not being ‘filled” and that is contributing to the lack of motivation, then complete your own self exploratory of your influencers and surroundings and then make the changes. No one is going to change it for you!

Here are some steps to follow:

  1. Recognize the problem and the degree of the problem. In other words what stage are you at.
  2. Make the commitment to take control and to make changes. You are in control.
  3. Be willing to be held accountable. Ask your positive circle of influence to hold you accountable. If you don’t have a positive circle of influencers in your life, get them NOW!
  4. Establish consequences that you will hold yourself to for not working on your commitment to change.

It is not easy. However you have all the elements to achieve the success of staying motivated, YOU!

Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve. –Napoleon Hill

© 2013-2014 R. Todd Millar. All rights reserved.

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