“80% of employees around the world say they have to shut off their minds to get through work.’’  Daniel Cable, Author of ‘Alive at Work’.

After the holiday period do you come back to work re-freshed and re-energised or do you experience a post-holiday slump in motivation?!
From the statistic above, it appears that for many, this slump in motivation is a constant at work.
Do you wait for someone or something to inspire and motivate you, or do you inspire yourself?
Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer’s book, The Progress Principle, shares that “motivation stems from three things: love of the work itself, the desire to receive recognition, and a sense that our work matters and connects us to others.’’

Let’s look at recognition first.  We may desire recognition, and most of us benefit from a pat on the back from time to time, however this is relying on something outside of ourselves.  Relying on externals for our motivation and confidence means we are not in control.  And so motivation becomes something we can crave rather than create.  Not a great strategy then.

Loving our work.  This summer, my holiday got cancelled as I just had too much work to do.  Yes, I could have ignored that and done nothing.  But the love of my work and the life and career changing impact it makes, meant that I found the motivation, it then didn’t matter that I was on my laptop vs. reading my book.  If you really love your work then it is a motivation in itself.  You may not need a holiday to re energise.  Although let’s make this clear – I WILL at some point take a small amount of time to rest lol!  Many people focus on weekends, holidays, retirement as goals that motivate.  Imagine the difference if you loved your work and the weekends and holidays were there to refresh your energy, maintaining the best you for work and play?

Our work matters.  According to a survey by the EY Beacon Institute and Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, 90% of executives said their companies now recognise the importance of having “an aspirational reason for being which inspires and provides a call to action for an organisation…and provides benefit to society.”
We humans are drawn to purpose and it benefits us. Many, many Courageous Success clients have an iAM Value based around making a difference, and we’ve previously cited research showing the connection between a sense of purpose in our personal lives and good health, such as reduced risk of stroke and Alzheimer’s disease, and even increased longevity.

Having a purpose stops us being as distracted, and it does more than that, it galvanises our energy, it unlocks our courageousness.

Here are some questions and tips to help you motivate yourself:

  • What do I recognise in myself?  What’s great about being me and what I deliver?
  • What externals do I rely on for recognition?  How can I stop needing these to feel energised?
  • What do I love about my work? What will I do to focus on this vs. my frustrations?
  • What do I let frustrate me at work and how do I react?  Am I demotivating myself? How can I let go of these?
  • What do I use my time for when not at work and how can these things benefit my work?
  • If I was being my most courageous self at work – where might it take me?
  • Am I choosing not to coast?
  • Do I choose to make the most of everyday, wherever I am?