Why does this happen time and time again?
I get intensely motivated, highly driven, highly focused, and then I use all that energy to get LOTS done, but it lasts too short (2 weeks tops). After the first week or so, I feel pretty good. I feel like I'm getting somewhere, that I'm headed toward my goal, and it's true cause I've got the results to prove it. But for some unknown reason, all this energy dissipates...in particular after I think about the past. Does anyone know the root cause? Can anyone explain to me WHY CONSISTENT motivation lasts so I can better understand HOW to maintain it? Cause I obviously do not have the mentality for consistent motivation; my motivation is in spurts.
Umm I'm not sure, but for me, I try to find new motivation occasionaly. Find new things to drive me.
Ofttimes, when I am in a 'highly driven, highly focused' state, I have a tendancy to have a bit of tunnel-vision. I am so focused on the task at hand, that I tend to ignore everything else, including my own physical needs. I forget to eat, drink, sleep, etc., running full steam ahead on nothing but adrenaline, then all the sudden, I realize that I'm 'out of gas', so to speak. Because of this tendancy, I try to avoid being exessively 'driven'. I've also noticed that when I am extremely 'focused' the tunnel vision causes me to concentrate on only one aspect of the problem. When I force myself to stop working and take a few steps back, an easier, more elegant solution often presents itself.
'Motivation' is only one key to the problem. It could be that you just need to pace yourself. It's a bit like the 'tortoise and the hare'. The hare is highly motivated but doesn't have much staying power. Meanwhile, the 'slow solid' tortoise keeps ploding along, getting there eventually, while the hare is buisy resting...
Purple (great handle, by the way), what you're describing is extraordinarily common. While I can't speak to what the root cause of the issue is, know that you're not alone.
It's often been said that the difference between success and failure lies less in motivation than it lies in determination. The old saw of, "1% inspiration, 99% perspiration" comes to mind.
Point is that successful folks will tend to slog through the difficult times even when their motivation has dried up and blown away. They continue to work away regardless of whether they're motivated to do so or not.
Another issue at play here is the reliance upon feelings, such as the feeling of being motivated. Feelings have an important role to play, but they're only one aspect of the whole dynamic. Feelings change, all the time, for reasons that may have nothing whatsoever to do with the task at hand. Hunger, exhaustion, physical discomfort and whatnot all have a profound impact on one's feelings. The key, I think, is not to ignore them, but to keep them in proper context; that is, to understand that the feelings you may be experiencing (ie: lack of motivation) aren't necessarily related to the task that you've set out for yourself. They're simply reflecting another aspect of your current situation (haven't eaten in a while, didn't sleep well, stubbed your toe on a table leg, etc.).
I find that writing down goals and the steps to take to achieve those goals helps. That way, I know where to pick up even if I am not inspired. It is difficult at times, but that just means it is time to excersize the self discipline muscle.
I love this article written by Mike Brescia:
I have lived with the exact same problem for many years. One the "honeymoon phase" for a project is over, people like you and I lose interest and begin searching for the next greatest thing.
The answers for me, as it probably is for you, lay internal. Meaning (and I hate to say this) that it is necessary to ponder the age old question of "what makes you truly happy".
If you are talking from a career standpoint (which is the area where I had this problem), then you have to take a long hard look at your internal guide and figure out what would make you content and fulfilled over the long haul. I bet you are one of those people who has great ideas, inspires people, and a great salesperson...but just haven't found the true calling. But its there Purple; its there for all of us. Just be patient and honest with yourself and the answers will start to unfold! Anyway, hope this helps!
z1freeride, that's wonderful that you posted that article! It's interesting, too, that desperation, inspiration, and purpose are so often thought of as things outside yourself, things that "happen" to you, when really each of us has the power to generate all three of them at any time, sometimes in the same day!
z1freeride, what is your purpose? Does it happen to be something that relates to the OP?
My motivation seems to fluctuate in monthly patterns.
For one week I am so pumped up and motivation that I get so much done and move forward to my goals.
Then over the next two weeks my motivation slowly diminishes and I struggle to get things done.
Then in the fourth week I hit rock bottom and start procrastinating like crazy.
Then it goes back to the first week again where I snap myself out of it... catch up on all the things I missed and start moving forward again.
As an example if you have a goal of weight loss, but are then just going to bounce up in weight again because you didn't learn long-term skills, you are actually medically safer to stay stable than yo-yo diet.
Another example. If you work hard for money then spend it all, you aren't better off than when you began so it's hard to keep long-term motivation in that case.
Are your goals of this type?
Life just sort of goes in cycles. When you are super-motivated, that's great and you can use that to get lots done. When you are less motivated, that's when it's important to have developed good habits and the self-discipline to stick with them. Otherwise you end up wasting all your time in forums. :D :rolleyes:
My purpose? To obtain and increase in: Happiness, Confidence, Self-esteem.
What is the OP??
OP = Original Post or Original Poster.
May I suggest incorporating into your purpose: recognition or generation of the things you want? I say that because "obtaining" suggests that the qualities are outside of yourself and that "getting" it will be achieved Someday. Why wait? Right now is where it's at!
just an idea.
I relate to the OP because I would always be frustrated with myself for not maintaining the motivation needed to accomplish pretty much any goal that I set. I would always be "inspired" to set goals and to accomplish whatever. But, after a few days, weeks or months, my motivation would dissipate.
I realized that I needed to rehabilitate my thoughts and thought patterns in order to change myself and to maintain constant motivation (for whatever goal).
For example, I have tried many times before to consistenly work out at the gym in order to get in shape. It never lasted until this past year.
I've made it a "mini-purpose" of my life. I have daily affirmations I read, audio cds I listen to, visual representations of what I want to become, etc, etc. Because of this, working out has become a lot more natural and the end goal is something I think about a lot.
I think you're right, and your purpose -- being increasingly happy, confident, and holding yourself in high esteem -- those are all ingredients that would consistently support motivation for any goal, including fitness.
The intention I hold for my workouts is Being Strong; that's what inspires me to push through for a breakthrough and to go to the gym when I don't feel like it. I look for evidence of being strong and I nurture it -- like celebrating being able to carry all my groceries, or having endurance in sex or on a long walk or bike ride.
Thanks to you guys I'm going to see how I can see my workouts in terms of my Purpose: To boldly generate and facilitate free-flowing love and joy -- in way that inspires me. Or maybe I'll end up revising my purpose!
Freeride? you are so right, the main thing is for one to get of his butt and do what ever he is thinking of doing.....
Example: back in 1992 I came up with the idea of "The Squeezable" which was nothing more than a hand stress ball in the form of a balloon with some material inside and whith the end cut off after being tied into a knot.
"The Equeezable" was on the counters in stores all over the US and many more people copied my product and also did very good, they also were coming from China and Taiwan by the time that I sold the company in 1998.
Why did I sell the company? simple, I made and had the money that I wanted in order to sit back and relax for the rest of my life.
Now then, first thing that you must do when thinking about "making money" is to decide your goal in your "future" life.....in other words what do you want to do with it, then find something that you like to do combined with what people want.....supply and demand...... and do it.
I was very lucky that in 1977 I took a course by EST (Sep. B) which helped me a lot from there on.
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