Life Coaching Tips for Finding Motivation

Floating on the edges of your consciousness, the task sits there, making faces at you, trying to get your attention.  Even though you try to ignore it, it finds ways to force itself into your attention.  You know you need to do it, but you just can’t find the motivation to do it.

Motivation is an odd commodity.  We discuss it as if it is something we can find on the shelves at some store, or on the floor, covered by something else:  “I wish I could find the motivation to do this.” Or “I have lost my motivation.  I wish I could find more.”  When the deadline for the task passes, and it hasn’t been done, or when it was done, but not as well as it could have been done, people tend to state that “I just couldn’t find the motivation to do this.”

There is a small problem with this kind of logic.  Motivation can’t be found on a shelf, or on the floor, or in the trunk of your car.  It isn’t a commodity that can be bought at Sam’s Club, or the grocery store.  It won’t even be found in the Neiman Marcus Holiday catalogue.  If it were possible to sell motivation like that, there would have been a major fight to get the rights to it.  Bill Gates would want to package and sell it.  Maybe even Proctor and Gamble, or Xerox or any other big company would have acquired the rights.  Maybe the pharmaceutical companies would vie for it.

Think of it.  Selling motivation would never go out of style.  A company could consider itself set for life.  It would be a product that would be safe from the uncertainties of the economy.  Politics, fashion, technology – nothing would change the basic concept.  Once a company could produce it, very little would change.  Could there be a more ideal commodity?

There is a reason that no one has managed to market motivation.  As much as people don’t like to admit it, motivation comes from only one source: inside ourselves.

Life Coaching & Motivation

There are a lot of reasons why people aren’t motivated to accomplish a task.  In some cases, an individual could be ill, or not have the skills or the tools to accomplish the particular task.  Generally, however, the major reason people can’t find the motivation to complete a task is because the individual simply doesn’t want to do it.

Before anyone thinks about letting the air out of my tires, think about this for a moment.  Think about the days when you were an adolescent.  Think about the times you were asked to mow the yard, take out the garbage, clean your room, or do whatever task you were given.  Where was the eagerness to accomplish the task?

Now, think about the times you wanted to play a video game, or watch a television program, drive around town, or read a book or do whatever it is that you wanted to do.  Even if you were told you couldn’t do it, you most likely spent time and energy figuring out a way to do what you wanted to do – or to get out of doing what you didn’t want to do!  How hard was it to find the motivation to accomplish your goal?

Fast forward to today (or last week, or tomorrow, or…).  You have a paper to write.  You have a project to complete.  You have something to do — and it just sits there.  Think about this project.  Think about the reasons you don’t want to do it.  Most likely, buried somewhere in your mind, is a simple idea:  You don’t want to do it.

You could argue that this project would be good for your career.  Maybe there is another reason that the project should be done.  There will be lots of reasons the project needs to be done.  That does not mean that YOU have to enjoy or want to do it.

Therein lies the problem with motivation.  Motivation has been, is now, and probably forever will be, connected with a desire to want to accomplish the task. You may be telling yourself you want to do it, but think about this before you commit yourself to that.  Maybe you want to do the task, but not at that time.  Maybe not in that way.  Maybe not for that person or reason.  There is something about the particular task that is a major pot hole on the road to getting the task finished.

Tasks get accomplished, often with less than overwhelming enthusiasm.  Why? Generally, people don’t like the consequences of not doing the task.  Someone might get fired if the task isn’t done.  A student might fail a course.  Someone might get hurt.  Many tasks get done not because someone wants to do that task.  They get done because the cost of not doing the task is too high.

A secret to finding motivation is in finding a reason to do the task. Let’s use education as an example.  Many people say they want more education.  They could advance faster, get a better pay check, or some other reason.  They have very valid reasons for going to school, but they don’t do it.  Perhaps they enroll in school, but don’t complete the program.  Why not?  Usually, it isn’t lack of skill; it is usually because the desire to get the education is not great enough to overcome the reality of homework and the loss of time that attending school requires.  The motivation to attend school is not greater than the reason not to attend school.

If you want to find your motivation, think about what you need to do.  Ask yourself if you really need to do those tasks.  Ask yourself why you might not want to do those tasks.  Consider what might happen if you don’t complete the tasks.  Maybe you will decide that the task doesn’t need to be done, or doesn’t need to be done by you.  Once you find a reason to do the task, once you find a reason that is stronger than the reasons not to do the task, the odds are good that you will complete the task.  Try it for a few weeks and see what happens.


  1. Rodger, this a great article full of practical information. I would like to invite you to browse my website and send me some feed back, perhaps also create some back links with our articles and information. My mission is to assist as many people in achieving a balanced life and would love to work with with you in the future. Hope that we can share and learn from each other for years to come.

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