I have a theory about why I’m so unmotivated these days. For some reason, every summer since I graduated university, an overwhelming lack of motivation hits me. I am neither motivated to work (which I have and want to do), or go to the gym (which I should and want to do), or even make plans (which is just pathetic).
“It’s summer!” my friends tell me, when I moan that I’m sick of being unmotivated, but can’t seem to get myself out of my lazy funk. “Just enjoy yourself!”
But I definitely need motivation, because I’m halfway through writing a new book. So, who else to go to but a motivational speaker? If a motivational speaker can’t inspire me to start working, who can?
I spoke with Nicholas Boothman, who spent more than two decades studying the ways in which humans connect, communicate and collaborate. He’s also the bestselling author of four books, including How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less, How to Connect in Business in 90 Seconds or Less, How to Make Someone Fall in Love with You in 90 Minutes or Less, and Convince Them in 90 Seconds. I’m not sure I buy all that — but hey, if he can make someone fall in love with you in 90 minutes, then certainly he can motivate me to finish a book!
How to get your motivation mojo back
Right away, he shot down my theory that some people aren’t just motivated during summer because, well, it’s summer. “It can be the most beautiful day outside, and I can get a child to stop watching television inside. How? Just light a fire under his butt and he’ll get up. See? Motivation has nothing to do with the weather.”
Okay, fine. I see his point. I can’t blame the gorgeous weather or the fact it’s July on my lack of motivation. I can’t blame anyone but myself, apparently. So how does one get motivated during this time of year? Here are some tips from Boothman.
1. If you are hanging around feeling unmotivated, then you have to ask yourself the tough question: “What do I care about?” “You need to find something you get juiced up about.”
2. Ask yourself, “What do I want?” Though this seems like a very simple question, Boothman says for many it is difficult. “Do you know what you want to do?” (I do. But still, I’m not motivated to do it!) That means I need to be inspired, he says.
3. To be inspired, he says, you have to have faith. “There are two styles of thinking. There are option thinkers, where we pluck ideas out of the air; and there are procedure thinkers, who like their government job and the security.” Though there is a little bit of both in all of us, we usually lean to one or the other. Figure out which type you are. I’m definitely an option thinker.
4. A helpful aid is to write down 12 things you are. Like, “I am funny” and “I am intelligent.” Boothman says to do this with a friend, as most people have a hard time coming up with a dozen characteristics on their own.
5. After you write this list, go to a dictionary and look up the words you used to describe yourself. “One woman I motivated said she was bitchy. Well, actually, she wasn’t bitchy, she had high standards.”
6. Be desperate, he says. “If you want a job or to try something new, you have to be hungry. Leave people messages, if you are not comfortable, at 7am when you know they are not at their office. But do it. Be hungry.” (I’m starting, in his words, to get “juiced.”)
7. He also suggests looking at your life as if you have these five “superpowers.” They are enthusiasm, curiosity, an ability to process feedback, empathy, and imagination. Check to see if you have these all. Really check. “And then make sure they are all working properly.” He suggests to activate one superpower a day.
8. Play the “I’m like a…” game with yourself. “I’m like a pit bull because I’m always loyal.”
9. Lastly, passion is in you. It’s not anywhere else. “And it’s always been there,” he says.
I know this motivational speaker stuff sounds a little airy-fairy, but I got off the phone with him and I did feel motivated, more motivated than I have in days. I guess I found that some of my superpowers were a little off-kilter. But now, hear me roar, they’re all back! “I am a cat. I will always land on my feet.”
Are you unmotivated during the summer? Share!