Published: 08 January 2016
I know you have had those days when it is so hard to get out of bed. Days which stretch forever, filled with boredom. While sitting at your desk, your eyes glaze over with disinterest. You feel trapped and don’t know
how to free yourself. Your spouse pokes at you saying you are “detached and inattentive.” Will this day ever end?
You didn’t start your business like this. You had verve, that spark of life, interest, enthusiasm, and a real go-getter attitude. Whatever happened? I can tell you: you lost your motivation. Motivation is your reason to act. If you have lost it, you have no purpose in life and so you just exist. The good news is that this condition can be fixed.
The Japanese have a very important word for motivation: ikigai. It is pronounced ee-ki-guy. A very simple description of its meaning is “why I wake up in the morning,” but the actual meaning of this word is much more complex. Looking at the illustration of ikigai below, you can see that it includes love, giving, vocation, and talents. If you have lost those, you have lost your motivation.
Dr. Patricia Boyle of the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center (Chicago) describes life with ikigai: “When we are driven to do something that we feel makes a different in the world, we are infused with positive emotion, energy, and vitality [and our risk of cognitive decline also drops]. Participating in activities that bring fulfillment, that connect you to what’s important to you, will help you function better and even flourish.”
So now the question arises, how can you recreate your original enthusiasm for life? How can you get back that spark of life? Different experts suggest different paths. Dr. Boyle and her colleague suggest:
- Remember what you used to like to do and do it again. Did you like to bicycle? Collect stamps? Fly-fish? Read? Take some time for yourself and reconnect to the interests you developed earlier in life.
- Try something new. Maybe it would be as simple as taking a community education course one night. Perhaps it would be learning to make sushi. Knit. Woodwork. A new language. The list can be endless, and not everything will interest you, but one day you are going to find something that really excites you. If you keep looking. . .
- Give back to your community. That action could be as simple as shoveling your aged neighbor’s walk, or it could be as complex as chairing a major fund-raising event for a non-profit. Find some way to give a little of yourself to others.
Other experts think you should approach your loss of motivation as you would starting an exercise routine:
- Set some simple goals as to what you wish to accomplish.
- Write them down on paper.
- Have some fun working toward those goals.
- Whatever you are doing, do it each day.
- Work with others.
- Don’t forget to reward yourself along the way.
- Remember that you will have setbacks, but that if you persevere, you will succeed at what you are trying to do.
Notice that ALL of these experts are making you look away from yourself and towards some positive action. You are not being allowed to sit at your desk, down at the mouth, droopy, and feeling sorry for yourself. They are telling you to find something good in life. Take charge. In other words, you have the power to change your attitude. Look again at the ikigai illustration and see how it can be applied to your life. Bring your life back into balance and you will find yourself jumping out of bed, motivated to get the day started!
If you are ready to start a new phase in your life and want to sell your business, call The Savickas Group for advice. We have free eBooks which will give you ideas as to how to start the process. Contact us for these free eBooks at info@TheSavickasGroup.com or just call us for a chat about your dreams: 1.888.210.8269. We can help you find motivation once again!
Thanks to Kenneth Cox for his creative commons graphic.