What motivates Motivation?

Well, kind, faceless readers, it’s been one week and so far I think you know what I’m going to say. Yes, after the initial 3 days, my motivation and drive fizzled away like my mind was a vacuum, yet again. That’s right, by New Year’s Day, I had already failed on (about 90% of) my 2015 resolutions. It’s disgraceful I know, but I don’t believe I am in unique in this pattern of setting goals and then losing motivation (though perhaps I am an extreme case? Please, reassure me I’m not!), be it over 1, 10 or 100 days! Hell, if I were, these quick-fix weight loss companies and self help gurus would be selling funeral insurance to pensioners. So this week leads me to the question of “what motivates motivation?” (or something equally as faux-lisophical).

In an attempt to address the weaknesses in my self, I looked up the prime motivators as published by Business Insider, who I find to be most forthcoming on issues of self improvement (though whose articles read more like works of fiction when I attempt to relate to these wonderful, self driven people). They have chosen to give us 7 ways to self motivate (which is always a good number). Let’s see how we fare up against this list, shall we?


Number 1 says to convince myself I want to do it. I’ve always had issues with this. Of course I want all that good stuff that we all want. “But do you REALLY want it?” I hear them say…well, yeah, but I want other stuff too, like to sit and online shop for origami paper and bookends while eating blue cheese on biscuits (crackers, for the non-ozzie folk out there), rather than revising my university texts or doing lunges. But okay, I concede that I need to work on that whole priorities thing. Let’s write that one down.

2 is about taking control. I don’t like controlling myself. I’m much better at trying to control others. That’s why I’m single. Anyway, this is pretty much our whole issue. Next point.

3 is about surrounding yourself with other hard workers. Okay this is something I am all over. I am in the process of obtaining a career mentor through my university, my uni friends are a hardcore, studious bunch and my closest friends are keen to overhaul their health. But what happens when you all fizzle out around the same time…there aren’t many I know who are ‘on’ all the time. I think that there must be only one answer here…..WE – YES US – MUST BE THE MOTIVATORS….though I sense an infinite loop here.

4 is about breaking tasks into smaller pieces and is probably the most helpful advice of the lot and definitely non negotiable when it comes to achieving a target. Things need to become non-negotiable – like showering (well, that’s rather enjoyable), brushing your teeth and washing your clothes (both boring yet we don’t question that they need to be done. Mostly). Even though this week was 90% failure it was still 10% success and I strongly believe that to be due mostly to having written down the daily steps required for achieving my goals (which I’ll eventually post up on here as well).

5 says stay focused. Ergh…

6 is all about remember why we have set the goals in the first place. I really struggle with this one because once my motivation is gone I couldn’t really give a toss about future me. It’s all about instant gratification. That’s why I hate past me. Inconsiderate, lazy bitch.

The final point is initially makes me want to retch, but when I think about it, is probably the most applicable to many of us who, lets face it, get secretly down about our perceived shortcomings. Cliché alert: It is to remember to stay positive. To take each failure, acknowledge it, then send it – and all the associated guilt – packing. Because those goals we keep setting for ourselves? They’re not just superficial wants, are they? If you’re like me, you’re pretty sure that if you were to reach one of these marks, you’d be a different – a better – person. So now these things are no longer ‘wants’….you’ve acknowledged that they’re ‘needs’, because you need them to reach your fullest potential, for yourself and those around you. Don’t you see it there when you imagine yourself in the distant future? Just like we need to change our socks, so we need to change our attitudes, before becoming one of those bitter (and sometimes smelly) old folk who think that the world owes them a favour because their lives never met their own expectations.

So if you ask me what I think drives motivation? Necessity. We have no option but to succeed. Failures are not the end of the world, they are simply stepping stones to a sometimes really, REALLY tall building filled with eternal satisfaction and bragging rights. So fellow failure vets, let’s just get on with it.



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