Ask Michelle Anything: I have lost motivation for almost everything in life. What should I do?
‘Ask Michelle Anything’ series is back again after many, many months. For those who aren’t familiar, this is when I answer readers’ question sent to me via email, Facebook PM or IG messages. I usually reply to all your emails directly (I personally read them all, even though my assistant replies on my behalf at times). Sometimes I get a good question that may apply to us all. I would then share the question and answer here, hoping that it would help others reading too.
Today’s question came from a single mum who’s in her mid-thirties. It was a long email in which she shared a lot about her life and her current predicament. There are many areas in which we could work on but to me, it all stems from this central question:
I go through days in a daze and feel exhausted by night time. I have no motivation for almost everything in life. What should I do?
I feel your pain. Losing passion and live day to day without motivation is terrible.
I have been lost without a direction in life and felt unmotivated towards everything too. In fact, if you turn many people, not many would have any idea what their directions are either.
It sucked having no direction in life. I would wake up just going through the motion. I showed up at work – castings, fittings, shows (I was modelling at the time) when I was supposed to, and go home, tired and beaten. And repeated the same the next day and the next and the next.
I thought about leaving the job and do something else. Then I thought, what if I have the same problem? What else can be more exciting than modelling? A job that many girls dreamed of. But yet, my heart wasn’t in it.
Also, what else can I do? I’ve been modelling since I was 16. I don’t have other skills. I felt stuck.
How Do You Get Motivation Back In Your Life?
I talked to my friends – most of them in the same industry – they thought I was mad. I was at the height of my career and I wanted out.
I didn’t tell my family because I didn’t want them to worry. So they can’t help me.
My godfather who’s almost like a mentor to me at the time told me to “figure out my passion and do just that”.
Maybe he was right, but I didn’t know what my passion was. I still don’t know for sure.
What I did know though was that I loved reading. So I started reading; everything from magazines to novels to autobiographiess to self-help books.
The Secret To Getting Your Passion And Motivation In Life
I remember coming across an article in a magazine – Cleo to be exact. What are the odds right? Cleo had my answer. You’re probably laughing at me now. Anyway, I decided to give it a try for the next 30 days. I didn’t have anything to lose, I was just living day to day anyway.
The 3 Steps To Get Motivation In Life
Here is the 3 step process to motivation in your life.
Step 1. Identify The Anchor
Just like anchor keeps a boat in its place, there is an anchor in your life that is keeping you demotivated. If you bring this anchor up, your ship could sail.
However, you need to find out what your anchor is.
What is it in your life that is keeping you down?
Be specific. You can’t say, I’m demotivated about life. That’s just you being lazy. If you want change, you need to be laser focused.
For me, I found work unchallenging. I was tired of “not having a say” in my career. I was tired of “waiting to be picked” instead of doing the picking.
What is “The Anchor” of your life?
It could be finding work boring, not having friends, having lots of debt, not having a partner, or even having a partner who’s not right for you.
The easiest way to do this is to find out what you do all day. Write it down and at the end of the day, ask yourself, “Did you like or love what you do?”
If you loved or liked it, then that’s not your anchor.
There will be things on the list that make you go, “I wish I didn’t have to do this. I don’t enjoy it.”
The anchor is the ones you’re ‘bleah’ about. These are the ones that are keeping you down.
Write the things down on a paper.
Step 2. Raising The Anchor
Notice how you say that these things are “weighing you down”. They literally become an anchor to your life.
“Keeping you stuck…”
“Holding you back…”
“Tying you down…”
The only way to raise the anchor is to bring it up. Now that you’ve identified the things that are keeping you down, let’s bring them up.
For each of the thing that is holding you down, write 3 positive statements about them. These statements have to be in the first person, present tense.
So for me – I hated my work – but I loved my colleagues (the models, (a few) designers, make-up artists, hair stylists have all become like my second family), I loved clothes (but hated the thick make-up and hairdo), and the places my job have taken me (although some of the locations sucked).
So my 3 present tense positive statement were:
“I’m eager to spend time with my friends at work today.”
“I’m thrilled to be travelling to (location) for work.”
“I can’t wait to play dress-up with the clothes.”
These are my examples, use these to create the positive statements for the things that are holding you back.
Write them down. This is very important.
Do this exercise for all the ‘bleah’ things that you identified in step 1 above. If you have a list of 10 things, then at the end of this step you will have a list of 30 positive statements.
Remember, when you’re writing these statements be very specific about what you like, why you like it, and how it makes you feel. Not just that you like it – but use emotional words when describing these statements.
Step 3. Creating New Neural Pathways
Research shows that 95% of your thoughts today is the same as your thought yesterday. And this process happens every day.
In this step, you’re going to put in a new path for your mind. You want your thoughts to reach the positives first – the thoughts that you need to be motivated will come to you automatically.
This is what you have to do:
a. Keep this a secret until you’ve become motivated in at least 2 areas of your life. You will use this technique to develop motivation and passion and you won’t tell anyone until you complete the steps.
b. Keep the list of 30 positive statements with you at all times.
c. Read these statements for 30 days straight, 3 times a day – when you wake up in the morning, right after lunch and before you go to sleep. And you have to read them out loud before bedtime.
d. Do not miss a day of reading. If you miss a day, you go back to Day 1 and start over. It’s your job to make yourself read every day, no matter what.
This will help your mind forms new thoughts. The more you read, the faster they will get embedded in your mind. And by reading out loud at night, you are also programming your subconscious mind, which is way more powerful than your conscious mind.
What Will Happen If You Follow This 3-Step Process
This might sound a little weird, and you might have to make sure no one is listening to you when do this process, but here’s what will happen if you do.
You will discover new motivation for doing the things that you thought were too hard to do.
Your motivation to do things will rise. You will become a highly motivated person.
A word of warning though…
When you set out to do this, you will encounter some challenges on your way.
The first week you’ll feel great and will want to share this technique with your friends and family.
Resist the urge to do this.
They won’t understand what you do. Even if you explain it to them, they haven’t been through what you have, and they won’t get it. They may even laugh at you and make you feel stupid.
This will frustrate you. So the best thing to do is not to tell your friends and family. Let them see the results after you’ve achieved what you’ve set out to achieve.
The second week you’ll say to yourself you don’t need to read this anymore. You’ve got it nailed. You should stop since this is taking too much time.
Resist the urge.
Your brain is making new neural connections, which is a hard thing for the brain. It isn’t easy to create new neural connections. Just like your muscle hurts when you pick up a weight that’s too heavy for you, your brain wants to give up.
However, if you want your muscle to grow, you have to keep going. So if you want your brain to register these new thoughts, you have to keep going.
The third week the voice inside will say to you, “I skip one day, I’ll do it tomorrow”.
Resist the urge.
Because tomorrow will become another tomorrow and soon you will abandon the whole thing.
Even if you’re half asleep and you remember, force yourself to wake up and read the statements. Skipping 5 minutes of sleep won’t matter in the long run.
You might forget at times but whenever you remember, read the statements immediately. Take out the statements and read them. In the bus, taxi, toilet, anytime you find yourself alone.
The fourth week you will be able to recite the statements pretty much by heart, but every now and then you might notice something that you don’t remember. Focus on this statement a little bit more.
By now your brain has made the new connections and is comfortable thinking about these statements. You’ll notice that you’ve got a new passion for life and living. Your motivation will be sky high.
Keep reading these statements. Whenever you feel weighted down, determine your anchor and repeat the 3 steps process.
The more you do this, the more motivated you will become.
You will start to notice all the good things around you.
You will have the courage to go after things that frighten you before.
You will be fine, I promise.
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