Let’s Talk

try-something-new-allan-karlI just finished a conversation with a good friend and fellow writer—a great writer, in fact. I quickly learned as we chatted that she was feeling empty, at a loss for creative ideas. “I’m just not motivated,” she admitted. “I don’t want to do anything,” she said, “let alone write.”

I was taken back by our conversation, especially because I had a similar chat just last week. Another friend, a stellar sales star for a high-peformance tech firm complained that he was happy, and that while his current customer list kept him business and financially satisfied, he lacked the desire to find new business, and he’d even put off following up on qualified referrals and leads. “I’m just not motivated,” he revealed. “I think I’m getting lazy.”

The same words. “I’m just not motivated.”

Both of my friends are successful, serve as mentors, and are active in nonprofits and peer-group masterminds. Yet both were starved for ideas, motivation, and direction.
There are four reasons that this “not motivated” syndrome sets in. It’s easy to recognize, and easier to fix—get past.

Four Reasons Why People Lack or Lose Motivation

  1. They are not challenged. Work and their daily routine puts them in a sort of life of automation: doing the same things over and over. Lack of motivation stems from boredom, and lack of stimulation.
  2. They are too comfortable. Getting caught in their own comfort zone, complacent by their surroundings and, more or less, easy lifestyle. They resist change, and find safety in familiarity. There is no drive, and therefore no motivation.
  3. They are not interested in what they are doing. For people who are steeped into a career that serves a decent balance of social and financial satisfaction but doesn’t provide the intellectual stimulation or passion, they quickly lose interest and cannot be bothered or motivated to do anything beyond basic expectations.
  4. They are unhappy and lack joy, and yet they fail to recognize or address why. Any of the three reasons above can be an indirect source of unhappiness. Recognizing this is difficult.

If you lack motivation and drive, it’s time to reset your creativity, fire up your synapses, and turn yourself around. You can do this simply by trying something new—different.

Why Doing Something New Changes Our Lives and Brings Joy

  1. When we try something new, such as learning a new skill, our brains and bodies are challenged. Once stagnant or underused neurotransmitters or muscles are shocked and put to use. Our bodies and brains thrive on the attention, and we feel better as we put them into practice.
  2. Trying something new changes our perspective and allows us to see things differently. When we see things differently we see things we previously missed or ignored. This allows us to see new possibilities
  3. Trying new things, especially things that we once were afraid of trying, helps us step outside our comfort zone. Once outside our comfort zone we have the ability to feel, see, and recognize opportunities.
  4. Trying something new helps us break the monotony of routine and change our biorhythm—jolting and stimulating us intellectually, emotionally, and physically.
  5. If we maintain a habit of trying new things, we progress and learn to be more open—open to change, new experiences, and to new possibilities.

So what is “something new” you will try? The next time someone asks you “What’s new?” Be ready to answer them with passion and excitement.

Just as I prepared to post this article, my niece Emily, who in preparation for her first day of college participated in a “get to know your classmates” freshman adventure last week. She was a bit apprehensive when she learned this would be a secret destination, and when she got there and learned it was a “sleep under the stars camping trip” along the Appalachian Trail in Maine,  it big leap of faith for her. While this trip certainly took her far outside her comfort zone—her home—but this experience opened her eyes. Emily’s Instagram caption and photo were timely and relevant.

Emily hiking and camping the Appalachian Trail in Maine

Change your life. Get motivated. Recharge your creativity. Check out my post on 21 “new” things you can try in the process of changing and improving your life.

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