When it comes to finding motivation to achieve our goals, there are some of us who just naturally have it—and then there are others who struggle to locate and embrace it. As a person who is always highly motivated, I do find there are certain days when I wonder to where my motivation has disappeared. It’s on these days I question if there is a way to actually measure my motivation levels in comparison to other days, outside of knowing I feel more or less motivated.
We know that motivation is the fuel that supports people to take actions necessary for them to achieve their goals. When people have a strong desire to take action or are willing to take chances, think outside the box or blaze their own path, we recognize they have a strong sense of being motivated. Yet when an individual has a less-than-strong inner desire to take action and makes little or no progress in his life, we know these people as slackers or lacking motivation.
Outside of these two perspectives, is there another way to learn how to measure motivation? Simply put: yes. This is done by actually looking at and recognizing the type or quality of action steps highly motivated individuals take versus those who lack motivation to reach their goals.
We also know that a goal has no power on its own, but combine the passion and strong desire of the individual who seeks to achieve the goal and you begin to recognize the strength of her motivation and the power behind the goal.
The clearer an individual’s goal is and the more he desires to achieve it, then the greater his motivation will be. With a greater sense of motivation an individual finds an increased level of courage to take greater risks, step outside of his comfort zone, and secure the perseverance to continue even when things are not going as planned. Observers will question why the individual continues down a path that seems to be leading him nowhere, but the individual sees the goal in his sights—along with the opportunities before him.
When an individual sets a goal for herself but does not clearly define it, she will often come up against even the smallest challenge that takes her off course, sets her back, and possibly even has her give up on achieving the goal. These individuals lack the strength to embrace the risks necessary, and as a result they’re unmotivated to continue striving for goals that take them out of their comfort zones.
Let’s take a quick review and see if we can measure your own motivational levels right now. Think of a goal you’ve established for yourself and put a mental check mark beside the statements that are true for you at this time.
- Is the goal clearly defined?
- Do I know without question when I’ve arrived or completed the goal?
- Are there markers or guide posts along the way for me to know that I am on course toward achieving the goal?
- Have I shared my goal with anyone else in my life, either personally or professionally?
- When I think of attaining the goal, it feels comfortable to me—like an old, well-worn sweater.
- Is there anything I may lose if I don’t achieve the goal?
- Am I okay with not seeing a return on my investment—both time and money—if I don’t achieve the goal?
- When I hit a road bump, do I stop taking steps necessary to achieve my goal?
- Is my stress level higher than before embarking on the path toward my goal?
- Has my sleep pattern been disrupted due to trying to achieve my goal?
To how many did you answer yes? More than five? If you answered yes to five or more, then you are definitely motivated to achieve your goal. If you answered yes to three to five of the questions, you are moderately motivated. If you answer yes to fewer than three, then you may want to reconsider the goal and get clarity on how this goal supports your overall journey in life and what will it bring to enhancing your life. Please know that there are a few questions to which you will actually respond no if you are highly motivated. Use these few questions to help bring clarity to your goal so you can better define it and outline your plan for achievement.
When we witness an individual doing everything within her power to attain her goals and she faces challenges without doubt or hesitation, we know we’re looking at someone with an inspiration and desire to succeed. As stated in the beginning, motivation is the fuel that empowers people to take action. If people are not in action, then they are not motivated enough. If you or someone you know seems to lack motivation, it would be a great idea to clearly decide or define the goals you would like to reach.
Motivation comes from your inner desire, and your inner desire comes from knowing clearly and truthfully what you want to achieve. If you are unsure of what you want, then it is worth the time to decide, define, and articulate clearly what it is you do want. As you know, people who have a high level of motivation are those who achieve the greatest success.
Until next time, embrace your inner wisdom.