The Challenge with Motivation
One of the biggest challenges that people in business and in life face today is keeping themselves motivated to be at their best. I believe the challenge lies not just in knowing how to get motivated, but how to stay motivated and optimistic to be at their best for more than just a few days.
Most companies put a great deal of time and energy in hiring people who they believe are qualified to fill a particular position. But there is no guarantee that even a highly qualified person will always be motivated to be at their best. It simply means they have what it takes to get the job done.
Some companies spend a lot of time and money to make sure their people are equipped with the right tools and recourses to get the job done. Some employers give incentives in the way of promotions, raises and bonuses in hopes that their employees will excel in their chosen field of expertise. While others go through great lengths to educate their employees by having them attend seminars and training courses with the expectation that they will walk away with confidence and a desire to be the best they can be.
All of the above are important criteria for success. But, do they truly motivate? If so (and most important) how long does the motivation last? It’s easy to stay motivated for a few days or when everything is going as planned. But can they stay motivated in the long haul, especially when times are tough and the pressure is on? This brings me to my next point.
Whether they realize it or not; employers’ employees and people in all walks of life bring their situations, experiences and personal relationships and problems from home to the workplace. Yet there has always been a pre-conceived notion that people are supposed to have the capacity to separate their personal lives from their professional lives.
What this really implies is that if you are having problems in your personal life, regardless of the severity, you should have the mental and emotional fortitude to put those problems aside while you are at work. Yea right! This is an expectation that is easier said than done. Let me explain.
Both your personal and professional life are parts of you that make up the whole of you. No matter where you go, or what you are doing, the other part of you will always be tagging along assuring you that’s everything’s alright, or, reminding you that something is not right in your world.
Let’s say you’re going through a divorce, or you’re having financial difficulties. Maybe there’s an illness in the family. Perhaps you are experiencing the death of a loved one. This is life and stuff happens. It’s very difficult, if not impossible, not to take these types of problems and concerns with you to the workplace. And unless you have the strategies that can help you to embrace life’s unfortunate circumstances they will have some kind of effect on how you do your job. The point I’m making here is that it’s hard to be at your very best at work if your personal life is under intense stress. Our personal problems and the moods, attitudes and feelings that follow have to be weighed in as factors as to how motivated we are at work.
Likewise, if you are experiencing tough times at work it’s difficult not to take those concerns home with you and there is a good chance that it will have some kind of negative impact on your personal life. There are other outside factors that stifles motivation that needs to be taken into consideration as well. I call them environmental and social stressors. And they affect everyone in one way or another.
I think we can all agree that we’re living in a world that’s moving incredibly fast. Today we have so many hi-tech advantages at our disposal to make our lives so much easier; yet we are more stressed out than ever before. Remember the saying, “patience is a virtue?” Well that saying has pretty much lost its meaning.
It seems like we have created a mind-set at work and at home where everyone wants what they want when they want it. And if they don’t get it when they want it, or the way they want it, they feel ripped off. There are people that hold on to their bad moods and negative attitudes all day simply because they were stuck in traffic or had to wait too long in line at Starbucks for their Triple shot, Skinny, Mocha, Carmel, Blah Blah Blah whatever you call it Latte! Yea, that’s what they need. More caffeine! Give me a break! Better yet; give yourself a break and let it go!
On top of our professional and personal problems and everyday pressures, (most of which we put on ourselves) the newspapers and evening newscasts tell us that our economy is falling apart, corporations are being forced to downsize and massive technological advances are causing people to re-evaluate, adjust and change their lives. Cell phones, Blackberries, iPhones and tablet devices, e-mails, text messages and even micro-communication applications like Twitter are clogging our minds with an overwhelming amount of information, leaving us with little or no time to relax, unwind and focus our attention on the big picture.
To compound this, political unrest, crime, disease, prejudice, and violence are running rampant as they’ve done for centuries past. Hold on a second. I need to take a break here. I’m getting depressed. I’ll be right back.
Okay, I’m back now. Where was I? Oh yeah, I remember. The divorce rate is at an all-time high; despite an unwilling public, war seems to be the number one strategy for dealing with conflict between nations and at any moment we could be the target of a terrorist attack.
It’s obvious I’m having fun here, but seriously, all of the above are circumstances that can make us feel off-balance and stifle motivation in business and in life and cripple even the very best from moving forward with optimism. It’s really no wonder why so many of us have to be medicated in some way or another in order to cope with the madness our civilizations have created at work and in our lives.
The real concern here is that most aren’t even aware of what’s happening to them. They have no idea why they’re always stressed out, exhausted and show little enthusiasm. Even if they were aware that something was wrong, few would know what to do to turn it around.
It just makes sense that in order in to create an unstoppable attitude to succeed and achieve our professional and personal goals – we must find ways to reduce the tension, and deal with the fast pace that we are subjected to every day. We need strategies that will enable us to bounce back to not only get the job done but also to feel good and enjoy ourselves during the process, no matter how challenging it may seem. Well guess what? That’s what my new book MOTIVATE THIS! Is about!
Steve Rizzo is the Attitude Adjuster. You can’t attend one of his keynote speeches, seminars, or read his books and leave with the same attitude. He’s a personal development expert, motivational business speaker, corporate-comedian and best-selling author. It’s no surprise that Steve is also a Hall Of Fame Speaker Inductee. An honor bestowed upon on fewer than 200 speakers worldwide since 1977.
Please feel free to share your thoughts and insights. I welcome all comments.