Now that we are completing our first quarter of the year, how are you doing with the goals and projects that you started in 2019?

Maybe you started out strong and then your enthusiasm fizzled, or you find that your motivation is not what it was.

So what is motivation?

It’s the internal reason we have, which prompts us to act in certain ways and directions.  We can see the external manifestation of motivation, as it ebbs and flows in our lives. To simplify  - motivation is the flow of energy within us.

The old model of motivation is the carrot and the stick. Often that’s how we were brought up, thinking that discipline will see us through.

The problem is that not everyone wants or needs the same reward.

We are each unique in what motivates and demotivates us.

Times have changed and work has become more creative and less routine in many ways.

There has been a renaissance of self-direction and discovery over time.

Whether you are an entrepreneur or work for a company, there was been more autonomy created in how you do your work.

And as we move away from fulfilling our basic needs, we increase our ability to what Maslow called, self-actualization.

It’s in our nature to seek purpose.

When we cannot connect to that purpose, we can become indecisive, unhappy, and unable to stick to a plan.

Would it surprise you that 80% of people do not know what motivates them?

Motivations are not conscious decisions, but rather emerge from our life experiences, self‐concept, beliefs, future expectations, and personalities.

We do not 'invent' motivations; instead, we detect them. It is vital to go with the grain of our Motivations.

Motivation changes over time. This is because motivation is based on 3 factors, which interact with each other.

Our personality is one factor and that stays relatively fixed. Perceptions shift, however, our personalities remain.

The other 2 factors shift over time, and are more malleable, and thus our motivation shifts. How we view the future, our belief about future outcomes, and our present self-concept, or belief about self.

The 3 E’s of personal motivation can be broken down into Engagement, Enthusiasm, and Energy.

An example can be seen in people with depression, where all 3 are lacking.

To move into our next quarter, here is a suggestion for you.

Review your first quarter.

In both your professional and your personal life, do you have a purpose?

Have you clarified your values? Do they need a review, as they may have shifted over time?

Where are you currently with your 3 Es? This may point to areas to look at.

Use your values as a benchmark to see where you are in alignment, and where you aren’t.

Ask yourself:

What do you need to let go of?
What do you need to do more of?

Give gratitude to both of these areas and release what no longer fits or serves.
Continue to connect with your purpose and values as you filter your decisions and you move forward.

When you are motivated you have a clear sense of purpose, energy, perseverance, and resilience. Demotivation is less defined and is often not something we are conscious of; it creeps up on us.  David Langdon