Do you ever struggle with motivation? Have a goal you’re pursuing that’s really important to you, but suddenly find yourself not that into it? You might need to dig a little bit deeper.
I was really struggling with motivation this week, and having an incredibly difficult time staying focused. Maybe it’s pandemic weariness, or maybe it’s that Arctic outflow, but I really wanted to hunker down this week and hit that f– it button. Give all of those goals and projects a miss.
But then I remembered my “why.”
My goal is to turn this online venture into a business. On the surface, my motivation seems to be to find a solution to the money problem. And that certainly is a motivator. But my “why” is actually deeper than that. It involves empathy and building community, helping and connecting, creativity and expression. I need an outlet for all of those parts of me. That is far more important to me than anything else. And when I remind myself of that—of my “why”—it becomes far easier to stay motivated and focused.
When you find your “why,” you can achieve real, lasting change. You can uncover your purpose, unleash your motivation, boost your drive, and reignite your passion.
Finding your “why” will help you stay focused and on track.
That little kid who asks you “Why? Why? Why?” a million times—be that kid,… but far less annoying. Maybe five “whys” instead of 500.
Try it out. You have a goal. Maybe it’s to get your black belt in karate. But you have a period of time where you lose your drive, and feel unmotivated to train.
Try asking yourself “why” until you uncover your deeper motivation:
Q: Sabrina, why do you want to get your black belt in karate?
A: Uhh, because it’s cool.
Q: Why would that be cool?
A: Cuz people would think I was a badass.
Q: Okay, and why is that important to you, that people think that?
A: Cuz I really wanna be a badass.
Q: Oh ok. And why would that be important to you?
A: Cuz then I’d be cool.
Q: And that’s important because…?
A: Because it would mean I got my black belt in karate.
Okay, real reason? On the surface it seems that I want to get my black belt because it’s cool. But deep down I value toughness. I was bullied as a kid. I experienced difficult losses. And feeling tough and able to kick ass, that is ultimately what I want. That black belt is just a symbol of all of that, of that resilience and personal growth. It’s not about being cool—or even the actual belt—at all. But I wouldn’t necessarily know that unless I kept asking “why.”
So take a good look at your goals and ask yourself some questions:
- What pushes you to do that?
- Why is that important to you?
- Why do you value it?
- How would it change your life if you achieved it?
- What would bother you about not achieving that goal?
Dig deeper. Ask “why” until you uncover your true motivators, values and purpose.
Find your “why” to find your way. Try it today.
Consider trying this exercise with one of your goals. Ask yourself why this goal or project is important to you until you find your deeper motivation. Write down your answers, so that you can review your responses—and remind yourself of your purpose!—when you inevitably lose motivation in the future.