How I Motivate and De-Motivate Myself.

Our motivation is like a battery. Everyday, your battery is fully (or partially) recharged and ready to go for the new day. During the next 12-24 hours, worries, obstacles, people, and things all slowly deplete your motivational battery. By the end of the day, you probably feel low — maybe frustrated — loss of hope — and you don't know where to turn.

My battery has been feeling kind of low lately and I didn't know why. But then it dawned on me — I've been watching the TV show "Weeds" on Netflix at night to wind down from the day. Have you ever watched it? I'm not going to get into the entire story, but the protagonist is constantly making bad decisions which turn out to be REALLY BAD decisions, endangering her life and family. There is a subtle wrapper of humor inserted throughout, but the overall theme is bad decision—bad things happen—bad decision—bad things happen.

The way I'm wired is directly impacted by the stories I watch. Since I'm a coach, I try to understand the character's motivations and constantly try to solve their problems. It's a vicious circle.

I then realized the same thing happened to me a few months ago while watching 'The Walking Dead' and a few years ago with '24'. All of these shows have protagonists who get into trouble, miraculously get out of trouble, get into trouble, etc. I would have vivid dreams, feel disconcerted during the day, and really never know why.

Until I stopped watching these de-motivating shows. The minute I stopped giving them any priority in my life, my motivational battery stayed charged. I then focused on topping off my battery every chance I could get.

  • When in the car, I listened to motivational CD's with Zig Ziglar, Joel Osteen, and Gary Vaynerchuk.
  • I read motivational books and stopped most TV in the evening (except for 'Fringe', I love 'Fringe').
  • I surfed motivational sites and stayed away from the 24-hour news barrage.
  • I've started to workout EVERY DAY. It helps me think clearer and clean out the physical and mental cobwebs.
  • I'm only hanging around motivating people. No complainers. No glass-half-empty personalities. No whiners.

Guess what? I have more ideas, more energy, and more motivation. So I have two questions for you:

  1. What are you doing right now to de-motivate yourself? What is draining your motivational battery?
  2. What can you do to top off your battery everyday? How can you fit it into your daily routine?

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