Why do we lose motivation every now and then? Why is it then that some people lose their inner spark over time, which is the pure source of inspiration?


Life is full of ups and downs, and sometimes the “downs” or failures disappoint people so much that they lose the drive to achieve their goals. It also has a spiral effect where they start missing opportunities and lose the direction of life.


If you also find yourself feeling lost and unmotivated, you can start your journey again with a fresh mindset and a systematic way to stay motivated.


Read on and learn how you can find your drive, regain the lost motivation, and always stay motivated.


What Is Motivation and How Does It Work?

什么是动机? 它是如何工作的?

Motivation is one of the prime things that drive us to achieve greatness. It is a major driving force in our lives and can affect every aspect of our lives. Our level of motivation is a decisive factor in our level of success.


The Oxford Dictionary has multiple definitions of motivation:


  • “The reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a certain way.”
  • 某人以某种方式行动或表现的原因
  • “The general desire or willingness of someone to do something.”
  • 某人做某事的普遍愿望或意愿
  • “Motivation is the process that initiates, guides, and maintains goal-oriented behavior.”
  • 动机是启动、引导和维持以目标为导向的行为的过程

Motivation drives us to achieve goals and do what is required to succeed. It would be something that keeps you happy and fulfilled.


To understand more about the psychology behind motivation, go to The Psychology of Motivation: Why Is Motivation So Powerful?

要了解更多关于动机背后的心理学,可以去看《动机心理学: 为什么动机如此强大?

Understanding the Theories of Motivation


Research has revealed numerous theories of motivation and motivating factors. By understanding the merits of these different theories of motivation, you can apply the best ways to keep yourself motivated.


There are three popular theories of motivation:


  1. Locke’s Goal Setting Theory – Motivation comes from setting SMART goals that can push people to make progress.
  2. 洛克的目标设定理论-动机来自于设定聪明的目标,可以推动人们取得进步。
  3. McClelland’s Achievement and Required Needs Theory – The motivation of a person to succeed and the motivation of an individual to avoid failure serve as the foundation for this theory.
  4. 麦克莱兰的成就和需要理论——一个人成功的动机和一个人避免失败的动机是这个理论的基础。
  5. Hull’s Drive Reduction Theory – It is based on the idea that when there are disruptions in homeostasis, people get driven to act. “Homeostasis,” which refers to our general health, means to preserve stability and remain the same.
  6. 赫尔的减少驱动理论-它是基于这样的想法,即当体内平衡受到破坏时,人们就会被迫采取行动。“内稳态”指的是我们的一般健康状况,意思是保持稳定并保持不变。

To learn more about each of these theories and how these theories affect the way we feel motivated, check out How to Use the Theories of Motivation to Keep Yourself Uplifted.


The Importance of Motivation


Do you know what differentiates a confident and successful person from the common populace? It is the level of motivation instilled in the individual.


As humans, we have a skewed view of time.[2] We tend to ignore what’s really important in life and get lured to things that hardly matter. As a result, we keep working in a direction that does not give us satisfaction.


One of the most common misconceptions is that we have ample time and that everything is in control. It is important to realize that we have limited time and don’t have control over everything.


To live life to the fullest and enjoy its authenticity, you must embrace the reality of your limitations. Once you realize that your time and energy are not unlimited, you can use it as your lens for making the right decisions with your time.


Highly successful people understand that they have limited time and energy, and therefore only focus on things that truly matter. With this laser focus, they can align their time and energy with what they want to do. This is also why they are always motivated and are a lot more satisfied with their lives.


Life is meant to be experienced and not just spent. To experience life, you will have to discover your true source of motivation.


What Causes a Lack of Motivation?


The tricky part about motivation is not starting, but staying motivated. Every New Year, thousands decide they’re going to change their lives. Fewer than 10 percent actually stick with their resolution, and that’s being generous. Below you’ll find many common reasons why you’re losing motivation.

关于动机的棘手部分不是开始,而是保持动力。每年新年,成千上万的人决定改变他们的生活。只有不到10% 的人坚持他们的决心,这已经很慷慨了。下面你会发现许多常见的原因,为什么你正在失去动力。

Not Aiming High Enough


While it’s easy to think setting easy goals will keep you motivated, it may harm your long-term motivation. If you make goals that are too achievable, you’ll get bored and lose interest. Ideally, you want to strike a balance between pushing yourself and creating realistic goals.


If you’re used to staying within your comfort zone, you’ll be missing out on the satisfaction of achieving a life-changing goal. When you push yourself, you’ll be able to build unshakable confidence as you crush goal after goal. When you look around one day and you’re living your dream, it’ll all be worth it.


Here are 7 Reasons to Dare to Dream Big.


Suffering From Procrastination


If you find it hard to stay focused and get started, you’ll find yourself falling behind.


Procrastination is a bad habit you must learn to deal with if you want to achieve your short-term goals. Some simple steps you can take to defeat procrastination are: commit to starting a task for at least 3 minutes, create daily, weekly, and monthly to-do lists; and reward yourself when you complete your tasks.

拖延是一个坏习惯,如果你想实现你的短期目标,你必须学会处理。你可以采取一些简单的步骤来战胜拖延症: 承诺开始一项任务至少3分钟,创建每日、每周和每月的待办事项清单; 当你完成任务时奖励自己。

Unclear Vision


Uncertainty about the future is a fear that many of us deal with. It can be paralyzing, instead of taking action, we start worrying about “What if?”


“What if it doesn’t work out? What if my dream isn’t truly my dream? What if I don’t succeed?”

“如果不成功怎么办? 如果我的梦想不是真正的梦想怎么办? 如果我不成功怎么办?”

If you have trouble creating a vision, then you’re at risk of drifting aimlessly through life. You’ll be driven to strive for excellence when you find your purpose and passion. You can start the process of discovering your life purpose by asking yourself: “What would my ideal life look like?”

如果你在创造愿景方面有困难,那么你就有可能在生活中漫无目的地漂流。当你找到自己的目标和激情时,你就会被驱使去追求卓越。你可以通过问自己: “我的理想生活是什么样子的?”

Letting Fear Control Your Mind And Actions


Fear can prevent you from achieving your dreams. Instead of taking action and moving forward, you might be apprehensive due to the fear of failure.


You mustn’t allow fear to hold you back. You’ll inevitably miss out on career, relationship, and self-improvement opportunities if you don’t learn how to manage your fears. Fortunately, fear can be overcome.


One way to manage fear is to look for the root cause of your fear. With deep introspection, you can uncover the exact moment that triggered the fear that has been hindering your growth. This will give you a window of opportunity to communicate with your inner being and find release.


Facing your fear is the only way you’ll be able to become the best version of yourself. You don’t need to fix your problem overnight, but taking slow, thoughtful actions can have massive impacts on how you deal with your inside and outside world.


Feeling Overwhelmed With Work And Responsibilities


Otherwise known as burnout, it places you into a state of depression from overexertion and you struggle to achieve your goals. Burning out occurs when we put our well-being on the back burner to further ourselves in our careers or hobbies.


When we feel overwhelmed and forget about ourselves, it becomes challenging to unwind and find balance in life. Burning out is a sign that you’re motivated, but you need to learn how to separate work and home life. Without this separation, the lines begin to blur and you may find it increasingly difficult to find motivation for yourself when you’re constantly wiped out from work.


Signs You Have Lost Motivation


Most people are aware that they lack motivation to do what they want to. But some people may confuse a lack of motivation with something else. The fact is, there’re a lot of signs of lacking motivation besides feeling tired and wanting to procrastinate.


Most people are aware that they lack motivation to do what they want to. But some people may confuse a lack of motivation with something else. The fact is, there’re a lot of signs of lacking motivation besides feeling tired and wanting to procrastinate.


Types of Motivation


Understanding and knowing how to use the different types of motivation can help you reach your goals.


Intrinsic Motivation vs Extrinsic Motivation


There’re two major types of motivation:


  1. Intrinsic motivation
  2. 内在动机
  3. Extrinsic motivation
  4. 外在动机

Intrinsic Motivation


Some psychology researchers have associated intrinsic behavior with basic human needs, creativity, performance enhancement, and contentment.[3] When we carry out a task that fulfills our natural urges, such as hunger, thirst, and sleep, we are better equipped with the drive to complete a task. Other times, we might simply do something because it stimulates the aesthetic experience of being in that state of activity, such as hobbies.


Simply put, activities that bring us satisfaction and joy are powered by intrinsic motivation because an internal reward system fuels them.


Intrinsic motivation stems from finding satisfaction from within and doesn’t rely on potential external gain.


If you play a sport but only for enjoyment, you’re doing it out of intrinsic motivation. The same could be said for drawing, meditating, learning, and reading. Anything that you pursue for enjoyment rather than for potential personal benefit is intrinsic motivation.


You’ll find that it’s easier to stick with an intrinsic motivation because you’re enjoying the process rather than depending on an external factor to bring you happiness.


Find out more about intrinsic motivation in Why Intrinsic Motivation Is So Powerful (And How to Find It).


ExTrinsic Motivation


When we are not inherently motivated to perform a task because it does not bring about a sense of satisfaction, we are extrinsically motivated. Such motivation facilitates our desire to attain a reward or avoid punishment.


Not all the work we do brings us joy, owing to its repetitive nature, urgency, necessity, frequency, duration, or monotony. Whether it is dragging ourselves to work/school every morning or working on weekends, we tend to undertake tasks that might not inherently please or satisfy us. Usually, an external force or ulterior motive drives us to complete such tasks. Rewards like money, praise, and fame drive our motivation extrinsically.


However, extrinsic motivation does not necessarily mean that we are unwilling to do something. We just seek an external reward from it. For example, a person might like writing but goes the extra mile to make money out of it.


Extrinsic motivation is working towards a tangible goal that has a specific outcome.


Working hard to get promoted is extrinsic motivation. Playing a sport only to win is extrinsic motivation.


Extrinsic motivation doesn’t necessarily mean “bad”, but you may find that extrinsic motivation brings you less fulfillment than intrinsic motivation.


Learn more about extrinsic motivation in What Is External Motivation and How Can You Use It?


Breakdown of the Motivation Types


While intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation are the major types of motivation, we can further break them down into 7 types.


If you’re interested to know more about the different types of motivation that can help you achieve your goals, don’t miss the 9 Types of Motivation to Make Your Goals Happen.


How to Get Motivated Instantly — 4 Quick Hacks


Before I dive into the most effective method that can give you lasting motivation, I’d like to share with you 4 quick hacks to boost your motivation instantly.


1. Focus on Just One or Two Things


Most of the time laziness is the product of a full plate and no idea where to start. When you try to tackle everything at once, it’s hard not to feel like this.


But when you focus on one or two things at a time, it’s easier to get motivated and not feel so overwhelmed. Once you’ve found the strength to get up and finish one thing, deep down the thought, “hey, maybe I can do this” starts to creep in. Next thing you know, your whole list is done and you’re fist-pumping in celebration with all your friends!


2. Change Up Your Routine

2. 改变你的日常生活

When it comes to making life changes, it’s all about the small things you do every day. If you want to wake up feeling more motivated, you should start making changes in your daily routine and habits.


I recommend you try these 30 refreshing routines to boost your motivation.


3. Read, Watch or Listen to Something Motivational

3. 阅读、观看或听一些有动力的东西

Another quick hack is to get inspired by motivational materials. At Lifehack, we offer plenty of motivational resources including:

在 Lifehack,我们提供大量的激励资源,包括:

4. Allow Yourself Time to Relax and Rest


There is a big difference between being lazy and resting. Laziness has no purpose. Resting is necessary for life and clears your mind so you can tackle your endeavors head-on.


Maybe you’ve been working on a project for too long and you’re burned out. Try sleeping on it. Let yourself have some time to rest. Our bodies and minds need rest to function at optimal levels.


How to Gain Motivation and Stay Motivated


There are two key parts to gaining motivation and staying motivated:


  1. Getting to the bottom of your “why” and having a clear intention.
  2. 弄清楚你的“为什么”并且有一个明确的目的。
  3. Generating momentum by focusing on progress.
  4. 通过关注进展来产生动力。

They must both work together. Without a clear why, your actions will lose direction and focus. Without momentum, your energy will deteriorate when you encounter obstacles.


With these two key parts in mind, you can start building a motivation engine for yourself.


The three components that make up a motivation engine are:


  • Surface – Acknowledgement – The top layer, sometimes referred to as Acknowledgement, includes all forms of external praise that could inspire you. It could take the shape of respect or acknowledgment.
  • 表面认可-最上面一层,有时被称为认可,包括所有形式的外部表扬,可以激励你。它可以采取尊重或承认的形式。
  • Support – Enablers – Your goals are essentially supported by the incentive engine’s second layer, sometimes called Enablers.
  • 支持-使能者-你的目标基本上是由激励引擎的第二层支持的,有时也被称为使能者。
  • Core – Purpose – The most crucial factor, though, and the real source of your inspiration, is your Purpose, which is your innermost part. What sets the motivated from the unmotivated, the overachievers from the underachievers and the happy from the miserable is your mission.
  • 核心目标——最关键的因素,也是你灵感的真正来源,是你的目标,它是你内心最深处的部分。你的使命就是从没有动力的人那里获得动力,从没有成就的人那里获得成功,从痛苦的人那里获得快乐。

You have to go beyond the surface if you want to stay motivated.


Find the Source of Your Motivation


To get to the bottom of finding answers to this question — What motivates you? We can use a simple technique called Peeling the Onion.


Step 1


Think of a goal you have. Take 30 seconds to think about it.


Do you have a general idea? Okay, now for step 2.

你有一个大概的想法吗? 好,现在进入第二步。

Step 2


Fill in the blanks to this statement:


I want [your goal] because [the result you want].


For example, “I want to go to the gym because it will make me fit and in shape.


Step 3


Now, take the second part of your statement (i.e the result you want) and repeat the statement again — Peel another layer of the onion.


For example, “I want to be fit and in shape because …”

例如,“我想保持身材,因为... ...”

Step 4


Each time you peel the onion once, ask yourself this question:


“Is this really what I want?”


The point is to get to the core – the thing actually powers your motivation. As you get closer to the core, you should feel it … it should trigger your spark.


If not, keep peeling the onion — sometimes it only takes one or two steps to get to the core. Sometimes it takes up to five steps! Don’t worry about how many it takes. Just be absolutely honest with yourself.


This goal setting exercise is for you, and for you alone. Nobody’s going to see it. So you can be completely honest with what you actually want. Because if you can’t do that, you’re not going to have real motivation to keep moving forward.


The example we were using above was from a real student, who discovered what she really wanted was the confidence to join a dance class:


“What I really want is to be fit enough to join a Spanish dance class and I’m going to start by getting back in shape at the gym.”


Motivation for Specific Purposes


In addition to all the motivation tips above, we understand that you may be looking for motivation for a specific purpose. This section can help you find ways to achieve your goals.


Work Motivation


Another area where people lose motivation is through their work. Where most people get stuck usually stems from one of these four traps:


  • Your values are mismatched. A task doesn’t connect with or contribute to your core values. You see no reason to do it so you don’t do it.
  • 你们的价值观不匹配。任务与你的核心价值观没有联系,也无助于你的核心价值观。你觉得没有理由这样做,所以你不这样做。
  • You lack confidenceDeep down you think you aren’t capable.
  • 你缺乏自信,内心深处你觉得自己没有能力。
  • You’re experiencing disruptive emotions. You’re consumed by various negative emotions whether that’s fearanxietyanger, or depression. These emotions sap away your motivation so you don’t do the task.
  • 你正在经历混乱的情绪。你被各种各样的负面情绪所消耗,无论是恐惧、焦虑、愤怒还是沮丧。这些情绪耗尽了你的动力,所以你没有做任务。
  • Victim Complex. You attribute your lack of performance to something outside of your control.
  • 受害者情结,你把自己表现不佳归咎于你无法控制的事情。

To overcome these lack of motivation scenarios, check out 13 Ways to Get Motivated to Work.


Weight Loss Motivation


There are times when you feel like giving up on your fitness goals, especially when sticking to a workout routine and healthy diet is so challenging. Here’re some reasons why you lose your weight loss motivation:


  • You’re doing the same thing every day. Not necessarily the same workout but if you’re doing 3 sets of 10 reps every week, you’re eventually going to get bored of doing it.
  • 你每天都在做同样的事情。不一定是相同的锻炼,但如果你每周做3组10次,你最终会厌倦这样做。
  • You’ve plateaued. If your goal is to lose weight, it can be demoralizing to see the same number on the scale every morning even if you’re working out hard.
  • 你已经停滞不前了。如果你的目标是减肥,那么即使你正在努力锻炼,每天早上看到体重秤上同样的数字也会让你士气低落。
  • You are working out alone. While being on your own is fine, it can get lonely, and bringing a friend can help you in showing up.
  • 你一个人健身。虽然独自一人很好,但是会感到孤独,而且带一个朋友可以帮助你出现。
  • You’re not recovering properly. You’re going to lose motivation if you’re working out and then immediately going down to a fast-food joint.
  • 你恢复得不好。如果你正在锻炼,然后马上去快餐店,你就会失去动力。
  • The environment has changed. Visiting the same gym all the time can get old as well.
  • 环境已经改变了,总是去同一个健身房也会变老。

To keep your weight loss motivation high, check out these motivation guides:


Final Words: How to Stay Motivated

最后一句话: 如何保持动力

Having a strong support system can help you stay motivated when facing a big challenge.


“Motivation will almost always beat mere talent.” — Norman Ralph Augustine

“动机几乎总能战胜天赋。”ー诺曼 · 拉尔夫 · 奥古斯丁

Getting and staying motivated will make an immense difference in your life. You’ll be able to tackle those goals and dreams that you’ve put aside for years. You’ll also be able to set yourself new and exciting goals that you would never have considered before.


Simply utilize the advice in this guide to keep yourself motivated even during the toughest times.


[Total: 0 Average: 0]