Motivation doesn’t just happen. We have to create it, and maintain it. Here are the necessary ingredients:
Dissatisfaction. Typically, we think of dissatisfaction as a negative thing – to be dissatisfied is to be ungrateful or to be a complainer. Dissatisfaction is not “just complaining,” and it is not necessarily an absence of gratitude. Dissatisfaction is the important first ingredient in our recipe for motivation. If we do not experience dissatisfaction, there is no reason to change.
Desire to make a change. It is possible to have a certain level of dissatisfaction and not have much of a desire to change. Anyone who has experienced addiction knows this. It is important that we do not assume that just because we are dissatisfied, we have a sufficient desire to change. Ask yourself, “Do I really want to change this?” and do not proceed until your answer is a determined “Yes.”
Belief that change is possible. If we have the first two ingredients, but do not believe that the change desired is possible, we will be stopped dead in your tracks. This is why we all need supportive others in our lives who have already made the changes we desire. If they can do it, so can we.
Willingness to do what it takes. The knowledge that change is possible, even the knowledge of how to make the desired change is not enough. There is still one more essential ingredient in our recipe for motivation. We must become willing to take whatever action is needed to accomplish our goal. Willingness to act on our own behalf puts the previous three ingredients into play.
Mix these four ingredients together and you will have motivation. And the next time you are not feeling motivated, use this recipe as a trouble-shooting checklist. Check to see which ingredients are missing.
In a Nutshell
Motivation is not a matter of chance;
it is a matter of choice.