You can have all the tips and tricks known to man, (or woman!). You can have the most well developed list of priorities and the most detailed “To Do” list. But if you’re not motivated, you’ve got trouble.
Now, be careful not to confuse “feeling like it” with being motivated. Motivation is simply defined as “the driving force that will prompt, provide inspiration, stir to action, or induce.” I think that most of us, when we are looking for, or otherwise discussing motivation, it’s a question of whether or not we “feel like” doing something. We look for ways to make ourselves want to do something. Technically speaking, you can be motivated to do something without having any desire to do it. For example, I may not feel like making supper, but my growling stomach, and a mental vision of hungry children and a hungry husband “prompt” me, or “inspire me to action” and I go and make supper. Feeling may have had nothing to do with it. I certainly would’t feel like running out of my house in the middle of the night in my pajamas, but if the smoke alarm goes off, I would suddenly be very motivated.
I think it’s important to notice the difference because we won’t always be in the mood to do what we have to do.But we can always be motivated.
“Feeling” or “mood” is one of many motivators, but not always the most reliable. Because you can’t always count on “feeling like it” you need to have some other motivations in place to carry you through until your feelings kick in, or incase they don’t!
Fortunately, there is joy in obeying God and following through on responsibilities, so hopefully the mood will usually come even if it’s not our first motivator. This article is an ironic example of feelings being a secondary motivator, one that sometimes kicks in after we’ve responded to some other type of motivation. When I sat down at my computer today, I did not feel like writing this article. I spent some time trying to avoid it. But the motivation of an impending deadline won me over and got my fingers typing. Before I knew it I was involved in what I was doing and had to drag myself away. (The motivation of avoiding lost tuition made me stop writing and take my daughter to ballet class!)
So, what motivates you? Are you in need of some motivators that will come through for you even when your feelings won’t? You probably have many of the same motivators that I do, you just haven’t articulated them.
Next week I’ll share some things that get me up and moving, inspire me, and keep me from hitting a wall, even when my feelings have gone AWOL. Use this as a starting point to get you thinking, and you might be surprised at how many reasons you have for pressing on toward the goal.
What motivates you? Let’s talk about it in the comments!