I hope you all had an amazing start to 2017!
I started my year by returning to university for the exam period, and I have to say that I wasn’t quite satisfied with my performance. I always thought of myself as a very hard-working and motivated person, but finally I had to realise that I’ve lost this motivation throughout the last year. So I thought that I would share my story with you and tell you how I managed to realise that something was wrong, what exactly happened to my motivation and how I got it back at the end. I hope that this helps you if you feel like you’re working hard but something’s still missing and you’re struggling to find motivation.
Are you working hard or motivated?
Probably the hardest and longest part of this process is when you still do what you’ve been doing before, you’re working hard every day, but something’s just wrong. You’re missing that extra bit, the cherry on top. You meet all your deadlines, you reach the minimum of the word counts, you get a decent mark but that’s all. You don’t go back to make your work any better, you don’t put in the extra effort to delete the weak paragraph and change it. When it’s done, it’s done. This is what I’ve been doing for so long, and I didn’t understand why I wasn’t satisfied with any of my assignments or the marks that I got for them. I still worked really hard on them, right?
A friend of mine kept telling me how she stays awake the whole night to finish her assignments, and I know that in most cases this is just a sign of time management issues, but I realised that I was envious of her motivation. I would never be able to do an all-nighter, because I simply don’t care that much. And I started thinking: Am I doing everything I possibly can to improve? Am I doing all this work just to be done with it, or to make it actually good? Am I actually as hard-working as I thought I was?
What is your goal?
It is very difficult to realise that you’ve been working hard instead of working motivated. But once you’ve done that, you can start focusing on how to find your motivation again. The first thing you need to do is set a goal. Without a goal, there is no motivation. They’re in a symbiosis. This goal can be a promotion at work, getting into a good university, or just a better performance in what you do. The point is that it should be something that makes you excited. A good goal will give you butterflies in your stomach, and it will make you happy just thinking about it.
So what I’ve done is that I started thinking about what I want to do after graduation, and I searched for some masters degrees that I might be interested in. And then the same thing happened to me as when I found the description of my BA degree that I’m doing now, two years ago: I just knew that it was perfect for me, that it was “my thing.” I might not actually end up doing that exact course, because a lot can happen in the next two years, but I think this was definitely the biggest step towards finding my motivation again.
Start the change!
Once you have your goal, you need a plan. What do you have to do to achieve it? Are you willing to do EVERYTHING it takes to get there? It will take time to get into it. This change will not happen in a day. You just need to commit to your goal, and then not give up. You need to get into that mind-set where you feel motivated and are able to do the extra bit. That particular cherry on top I was talking about before. You need to be humble, and accept that it takes effort. You will be tired. You will think about giving up. But what matters is that you will carry on, because you have a purpose. It always takes sacrifice to achieve your dreams.
I already started this change, even though it was too late for my exams. I couldn’t do all the extra effort that I was supposed to do over a semester, but I promised myself that I would do it in the next one. I owe myself that I do everything I possibly can to be a better version of me. It will be hard to have a job and study at the same time, but it’s not impossible. Nothing’s impossible with motivation!
I hope that this post inspired you and helped you in the process of finding your motivation. Don’t forget that it’s better to try and fail than fail to try. You owe yourself to do something you love, even if it’s hard to get there! Let me know in the comments what it is that you would like to achieve this year, I would love to hear it!