Lack of motivation is a myth. It’s a myth which blames the body’s response to capitalism, colonization, and ableism. The truth is, motivation is a fleeting sensation, and is not a reflection of our character. There are several reasons for the fleeting nature of motivation:
- Life is overwhelming: When we are faced with overwhelming and complex circumstances, we notice a decline in our motivation. Our brain may only have enough resources to focus on critical issues at hand, and pursuing a hobby and/or passion is very low on the hierarchy of needs.
- Monotony and routine: Engaging in repetitive tasks or routines can lead to a decrease in motivation. When we experience a lack of diversity in our experiences, it can be challenging to sustain enthusiasm and drive. Routine is very grounding and important, and it’s important to have space to try something new and/or play to exercise an underused part of your brain.
- External stressors: External factors such as negative feedback, lack of support, oppressive environments can also impact motivation. The environment we are in and the people we surround ourselves with can impact our energy levels.
- Capitalism: Capitalism values productivity and not well being. Giving away our labour in exchange for shelter and food, is not a fair exchange. Depending on our tax bracket, our labour in exchange for pay may feel oppressive & demotivating. We are human beings, and not human doings.
While motivation can be fleeting, there are strategies to come back to the things which matter to you:
- Explore your values: Take your time, and draw and/or write what are your personal values. Where do you see those values in your life? As well, how would you like to practice those values daily?
- Seek out joy: Seek ways to find enjoyment and fulfillment in the process itself rather than solely focusing on the end result. Cultivate a sense of curiosity and wonder for what you’re doing.
- Find community: Seeking community can feel challenging, however, it is essential for our well being. When seeking community, it’s important to be open to the process. This can look like joining several groups in line with your values, and exploring which experiences nurtures and inspires your well-being. In the beginning, this might look like joining groups on your own until you become familiar with the community.
- Connect with Nature: Nature is the queen of diversity and beauty. Walking in nature is most likely to do two things: provide vitamin D and inspire us with its colours, shapes, and interactions.
Remember that motivation may ebb and flow, and it’s normal to have ups and downs. By understanding the factors that influence your motivation and employing strategies to sustain and reignite it, you can overcome the fleeting nature of motivation and stay focused on your present needs.