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It is not uncommon to hear that people are unmotivated. The reasons behind this feeling vary: Many find themselves stuck in their lives; others are missing a loved one and others are unhappy with what they do for a living. No matter what the situation is, every one of us has heard people complaining about their situation.

If you look up the word motivation in the dictionary it will explain that the term is related to the intention of maximizing pleasure and minimizing pain – including physical, psychological or emotional pain.

There are 2 main ways someone can get motivated. We have the option of looking for motivation within ourselves; think of the ultimate goal of having a fulfilling career for instance. We also find motivation from the exterior in the ways of being rewarded for something we do or having someone to demonstrate appreciation for an act we have.

As this is a term that it is many times related to an emotion it becomes highly complex to analyze and understand. The complexity of it relies on the fact that one has to have a clear understanding of what are those aspects that increase motivation. Such and increase would depend on the drivers that we have for it. As motivation is either external or internal, we need to have a bit of both to feel truly motivated.

When someone at work says “I do not have motivation to do what I am doing” we need to understand if this statement refers to internal motivation or external motivation. By identifying which one it is, it would be easier to set up actions to work on the overall feeling.

After we identify if lack of motivation comes from the interior or exterior, we should review our circles of influence in order to change it. The circles of influence refer to those parties to which you have control on. The influence can go from you having the hierarchical power to tell someone what to do until the persuasion of having someone convinced of doing something. With clear circles of influence we are ready to take on the next step: making the change.

It may sound so simple, but it is definitely the toughest step to make. To make the change implies the willingness and conviction of doing something different that what you are used to.

Let’s use an example: let’s imagine that I was able to identify that my motivation is low because I was recently competing for a promotion at work and I did not get it. At this point I feel someone is better than me and that I will not have another shot to reach a promotion in the short run.

From this situation we can identify that it is something external that lower my motivation (someone deciding I was not the person to be promoted). As I identify this, I can check what my circles of influence are to start changing that feeling; I can start a course that would prepare me for another opportunity within the same company I am working for or even looking for someone else to get me something similar to that promotion in another company. Of course that we can have many options in between and this would depend on how much thought and work you dedicate to your networking opportunities. However, the toughest step is to actually make the change. One thing is to say that you are going to start a new course that would help you get the necessary knowledge for a promotion and a totally different one if you are determined to make sacrifices (in time and money) to reach that goal. Moreover, are you really determined to step out of your company in order to look for your promotion? Do you think you would feel the same way you feel with your job at your current company?

If you analyze these questions, you would find a word I used several times on purpose: “determination”. If you are not determined to make the change, you will get stuck where you are right now. The drive you need to alter things has to be very powerful. Otherwise, your success will vanish very soon or it will not come at all.

So, make sure you analyze your current situation, set up actions to understand where you really are and make the change you need to make without any hesitation.

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