Do you ever feel like staying in bed or doing anything else but what you ‘have to’? Of course you do. Everybody feels this way occasionally. It’s normal.
But when this feeling starts heading from ‘time to time’ toward ‘all the time’ it can become a real problem. Depending on your age or circumstances, it can stop you from succeeding in school, or maybe even result in you losing your job, or worse.
There are many reasons for low motivation, or ‘LoMo.’ Boredom with the same old, same old. Attraction to something that is more immediately fun or distracting—maybe checking out what’s new on YouTube or binge-watching Friends or The Office reruns on Netflix. You know, important things.
In some severe cases, ‘LoMo’ is a symptom of depression for which professional help is needed.
But for most of us, ‘LoMo’ is a matter of thinking about motivation incorrectly.
In my opinion, it is more constructive thinking of motivation less as a feeling, more as a behavior.
In other words, don’t focus on whether you FEEL motivated. That’s what we call a “bottomless pit question,’ meaning there’s no end to it.
Besides, feelings come and go and are just not reliable guides to what you should actually be doing if you want to be successful. As the old saying goes, ‘feelings aren’t facts.’
So, instead of dwelling on your feelings about what you want to do, think of the MOST MOTIVATED ACTION you can take in a self-defeating ‘LoMo’ moment. And take it!
For example, if you don’t FEEL like getting going for the day, ACT like getting out of bed is the most important thing you will ever do in your life. Same goes for when you’re not FEELING like doing the work that really should be your first priority; MAKE it like it is.
Changing your perspective and behavior in this way can go a long way in turning ‘LoMo’ into ‘SoMo,’ as in, ‘I’m Sooo Motivated!’
I think you’ll like being ‘SoMo.’ The other people in your life will like it too.
Jonathan Hoffman, Ph.D., ABPP posts opinions and information to help you live a psychologically better life.