So, yesterday I had a long phone call with a close friend of mine. He is feeling incredibly unmotivated and as a result is not focussing on his PHD, university seminar leader work, social life, work after university or fitness.
I suggested a number of things, which got me thinking people are, of course, all motivated by different things in different ways. For me, I’m motivated by small, achievable targets which will make me, hopefully, happier, healthier, more financially supported etc. Some people, especially with academic work or fitness, need another person, strict rules and a ‘tough love’ approach. This usually involves lots of shouting!
For me, I worked out – this is not right, as I would just tell that person where to stick it, feeling like ‘quit telling me what I can and can’t do dammit!’ and so will be unproductive. I suit more of a supporting coaching role where things are left to me to achieve, but with regular updates of progress to keep me ‘on track’.
For my friend, I feel he is the same. However, for him, with so many things he is trying to juggle, this makes things more complex. Especially as he keeps beating himself up about the fact that he can’t seem to get anything done and has no motivations for any of it, even thought he knows how important it all is.
I suggested taking 1 or 2 things he wants to achieve and focussing on them in the short ten, breaking them up into manageable goals which can be achieved in a way where he can tick them off, feeling a sense of accomplishment before starting on the next section.
I feel that if we are juggling 4, 5, 6 different goals/aims/objectives in our lives and have lost motivation for them all – beating yourself up thinking ‘I should be able to do this, what’s wrong with me?!?!’ will not help, it is too much to think about at the same time while also putting unnecessary pressure on yourself.
Of course, in the future, you will be able to juggle all of these goals, but to actually make a start on them, all together, while pressuring yourself you should be able to do it? I don’t blame my friend for finding it all a bit daunting and feeling out of his depth, and leaving it all in favour of a few computer games, tv or books!
My suggestions revolved around many things, from choosing 2 things, one important, one more fun, which he wants/needs to achieve, and breaking them down into small steps. With his PHD I suggested he set up a blog, where he can write about many different philosophical issues which interest him, especially those relevant to his PHD – and this will help him realise why he chose to do that PHD and those topics in the first place, hopefully filling him with more motivation and positive feeling towards getting on with it.
Today he is sticking to a plan we worked out last night on the phone, and the same for the next few days. I really hope he is starting to feel more motivated and like he really can complete everything he needs to.
Ok – so for myself, I ended up finishing yesterday eating:
- chicken with tomato sauce, carrots, peppers and potatoes
Today so far I’ve had:
- Dairy milk chocolate balls
- Sausage and chopped tomato baguette