I have noticed something about people who have an intrinsic motivation. They either faced adversity when they were young or they know what they want now. Not everyone who faces adversity is intrinsically motivated, some find excuses where others find the way forward. And not everyone knows what they want, even if they are four or more decades into their lives.
Let’s focus only on not being motivated because you don’t know what you want.
I saw this quote go by on social media that said something about this not being a dress rehearsal for your life. This is your one and only life, make of it what you will. And that is my point here: you need to make your life what you will. It’s yours to do with what you wish.
There is a certain class of people I describe as drifters. They resemble a piece of wood that is drifting along with the current of the river, first this way and then that, pushed along and being taken for a ride. Because they haven’t determined for themselves what they want their life to be, they settle into to an uninspiring life of mediocrity and comfort.
These drifters are alive, but they are not really living. If you ask to see their goals, they will not be able to produce them. They wait for the week to end, looking forward to Fridays and dreading Mondays. They have a job, but they do not have work, something they do with passion.
You end up a drifter when you don’t know what you want. I mean really know what you want.
What do you want your life to look like? What do you want to do? Who do you want to become? If you don’t decide these things for yourself, you will continue to drift, going where other people and external forces take you.
You can be more, do more, have more, and contribute more. But not until you answer the questions as to who you want to be, what you want to do, what you want to have, and how you want to contribute. No one can do this work for you, and if you lack motivation it is because you haven’t done the work to design the life you want and put the effort into building it.
Designing your life is intentional. It is not the product of a series of happy accidents.
A Single Question
The question you have to answer to find your motivation is, “What do you want?” When you answer this question honestly, you will have found the source of your motivation. If the answer doesn’t motivate you, then it isn’t what you want. And you may be drifting.
So, what do you want?