By Sid Madge, Meee
Exposure to external sources—a quick glance at the nightly news will do it—can make accessing our internal motivation or mojo a challenge. But so much of what we feel is actually a decision, albeit often an unconscious one.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)—largely drawn from the teaching of Socrates—considers the origin of mental disorder, including a lack of motivation or absence of mojo, to lie not in brain chemistry but in our irrational beliefs.
How do we overcome this? Here are a few thoughts:
One of the founders of CBT, Albert Ellis created his ABC model which can be a useful guide to regaining control over thoughts and feelings so we can better access our best self – including oodles of mojo.
A is for activating event.
B is our beliefs that interpret that event and construct meaning.
C is the consequence – especially the emotional consequence.
The next time something happens, or you feel stressed by some news or situation, take a moment to notice what you’ve made it mean; what we make something mean is not the only meaning on offer.
- Aim for 1%
When we are in a slump or finding it hard to get motivated, the tendency is to pursue an all-or-nothing approach. If we have been struggling to get in shape, we might decide to run 10K straight out the blocks or perhaps to dedicate a fortnight’s exercise to sprinting as fast as we can. This strategy is the worst thing we can do. Instead, choose something you want to improve and start small, aiming to be 1% better tomorrow than you are today.
- Decide to be Happy
Motivation is tough to access when we are miserable so take a moment to really think about what is making you unhappy. And decide to not give in to it. Do what you need to do to make space for happiness. If you do, your motivation will also increase.
There is nothing more powerful than a changed mind.
- What is it NOT?
Turn your lack of motivation on its head. Make a list of the things that DO NOT motivate you. If it’s easier, consider what DOES NOT make you happy. The two are inextricably linked.
Sometimes it helps to focus on what we know we don’t want and won’t do as a way to gain clarity about how to regain our mojo.
- Gratitude Ritual
A powerful trick is the gratitude ritual. The idea is to start and end the day with three things that you are grateful for. Try to come up with different things rather than the same few each time. And don’t just list them like a shopping list. Really connect to that gratitude as an emotion. Remember, it’s not happy people who are grateful, but grateful people who are happy.
All the ‘micro-moment’ suggestions are focused on changing your meaning or choosing a better frame or belief through which to view the circumstances of your life. Things are really challenging for a lot of people right now and that is true all over the world. But we need to stay motivated and positive. Making these little changes to your thinking can make a huge difference. Each one is like a tiny grain of sand that helps make up the beach and coastline of opportunity, hope and being. It’s those tiny little changes that add up to the changes we want to see and allow us greater and more consistent access to our mojo.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sid Madge is founder of Meee (My Education Employment Enterprise) which draws on the best creativity and thinking from the worlds of branding, psychology, neuroscience, education and sociology, to help people achieve extraordinary lives.
To date, Meee has transformed the lives of over 20,000 people, from leaders of PLC’s and SME’s to parents, teachers, students, carers, the unemployed and prison inmates.
Sid Madge is also author of the ‘Meee in Minute’ series of books which each offer 60 ways to change your life, work-, or family-life in 60 seconds.