I know I should get off my rear end and get some work done…but I’m just not motivated. I often find myself in this position. That is, sitting on a lazy boy watching TV or being in front of the computer. Sometimes I just prefer to do nothing than to do something. Why? Good question. Perhaps it is just that I’m exhausted from working and feel the need for a break. Perhaps it is because I’m feeling a little down or depressed. Maybe it is that I just don’t want to work or I just don’t feel like it. Some people would call this laziness. I call it being “Motivationally Challenged.”
Truth be told, we are motivated by what we want to do…what we feel like doing. I remember one parent complaining that their child was so lazy that they refused to do chores or their homework. Instead, they just played video games, texted, or spoke on the phone to friends. Is this child unmotivated and lazy? Absolutely not. Irresponsible perhaps, but not unmotivated. They are motivated to do the things that he or she wanted to do…yet unmotivated to do the things that might take them away from doing what was wanted. What motivates (most) children to do what they do not want to do? Mostly fear and punishment. “Do your homework or else…(no TV, phone, video games, etc.)” or “If you don’t do your chores, then…(you will not get dinner until it is done, you won’t go out to the movies with us, etc.).”
Rewards are used similarly with adults. One wife told her husband, “Unless you finish your projects, you cannot buy that TV you want.” So, of course, he finished the projects to receive his wife’s blessing. And the TV looks great in the basement. OK – I confess. I am that husband.
What if we can be motivated by something other than rewards and punishment? What if, instead, we were motivated by love? Now I don’t pretend to have this perfected as I give this challenge. This is a reminder for me, too. The two most powerful motivators in life are fear and love. Fear (for the most part) is more self-focused, yet love (as mentioned in Scripture) is to be directed towards others and God. If a child obeys a parent out of fear, they are obeying so it will go better for themselves and their reward is here. If someone chooses to do something because they “feel like it,” it is out of love for oneself. But if someone does an act out of love for their parent, for God, or for another, their hearts are right before God and their reward will also be in heaven.
My challenge to you (and myself, of course) is when you (we) need to do something and are just not motivated, choose to do these actions out of love for God, for spouse, or for others. In doing so we will be victorious over our motivationally challenged and self-centered selves and bring honor to God. This is what Christ did for us. This is what we are to do for God & others.
For Part 2 on removing obstacles for the Motivationally Challenged, Click Here!
For Part 3 on the 6 Categories of Motivation, Click Here!