Quick Takes:

  • Motivation is the building block of success
  • Daily motivation is important, but it’s hard to maintain
  • Sometimes we are so motivated that we end up burning ourselves out
  • Be intentional about motivation, but also be intentional about relaxing and recharging your motivational batteries

motivation-word-cloud-newBeing motivated all the time is tiring. I can imagine how sales people feel by “always having to be on,” i.e, always selling. The point of motivation is to give you energy and strength, but it also does a great job of draining you. What an oxymoron.

For a lot of us professionals and business owners, we have goals that are both lofty and long-term. And we wake up with the daily motivation to achieve those goals. We live with intention and purpose  so that everyday we inch one step closer to achieving our long-term ambitions. Daily incremental progress, right?

But, as we all know, waking up with that daily motivation is hard. Sometimes really hard. And sometimes its the fact that we’ve had so much past motivation that it actually lowers our current motivation. It’s almost as if we have a motivational bank account, and we can become so motivated to achieve our goals that we actually overdraw that account, causing us to lose drive.

You’ll recognize an overdrawn motivational account when your passions start to become a task or chore, and not an opportunity. When previously good business ideas or life decisions seem tedious or too much work. When you don’t want to go that extra mile, wanting to sleep in or watch the new drama on Fox (you know, the one with vampires or cops, or probably both), rather than working on that business plan, book, or blog article.

We’ve all been there. We might even be there currently. If so, how can we push through and overcome the resistance?

It may sound crazy, but give up on your goals, at least momentarily. When you’ve overdrawn your actual bank account, you can’t replenish it by over drafting again. You’ll just be hit with more fees, and in this case, those fees are emotional.

download (2)So, take a week off from being hyper-motivated. Take a sabbatical from your goals. Don’t stress about where your life is headed and how you’re going to get there. At least for a moment of two. Make sure your motivational bank account is replenished before it’s overdrawn.

If you think about it, taking a week off every quarter from being goal-oriented means that you’ll still be hyper-motivated 48 weeks out of the year, or 92% of the time.

And in actuality you’ll be even more motivated than if you tried to be “always on” 24/7. By attempting to be constantly motivated, you hit a wall where you just don’t care anymore, and that apathy can last for weeks at a time. Being intentional about losing momentary focus on you goals maximizes your motivation during the times you need to be focused.

You become intentional about your apathy. You use it as a chance to recharge your motivational batteries so you can be intentional about achieving your goals. In essence, you become fully intentional about your life, from apathy to achievement.


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  2. Oscar wild July 31, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    Oh … this is one of the worst posts it has happend to read to me recently. good luck with you ideas, i’m not comming back … even if they pay me 🙂

    1. Evan Tarver July 31, 2015 at 3:20 pm

      Thanks for the feedback Oscar! I appreciate your point of view.

      I’m not sure who “it” is or why it would read this post to you, but it seems like “it” isn’t too good with grammar.

      If you end up finding out who “they” are and if they actually pay people to read posts, let me know! I’d love to make some side income.

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  4. Steve November 20, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    I like that idea. Be motivated 92% of the time. It seems reasonable to get some downtime in there. Could you imagine going at 100%. Wouldn’t you just burn out? Motivation isn’t something that you can keep going on and on forever, it needs time to rest too. As much as I hate turning it down, there is something to it. When I give it down time, I can usually come back to a project refreshed and ready to go. A little rest can do wonders.

    1. Evan Tarver November 20, 2014 at 2:36 pm

      Well said Steve. I kind of equate it to working a 12 hour day. After hour 10, I’m pretty much useless. It would serve everyone I’m working with much better if I shut it down for a little while and came back refreshed.

      Even more to your point, as motivated as we all like to be, life is also about enjoyment. As much as I like running right through the flowers, it’s also important to stop and smell them every once in a while. This way, you remember what’s motivating you in the first place and actually increase your desire to succeed.

  5. Anthony aka Baldini November 18, 2014 at 9:02 am

    From experience I find it a bad idea to rest your goals when you’re in the middle of starting up a new company or project. Just that one week off after two-three months of straight work overload can possibly cause you to take another week or two to get back to the production level where you were at pre-break.

    I’m with you, though, in removing the “always on” for a while. It’s like stepping away from an essay for a day before re-reading it to make edits – it offers clarity and sometimes lets changes or solutions become obvious.

    1. Evan Tarver November 18, 2014 at 9:14 am

      Agreed man, and thanks as always for the comment.

      I guess what I mean by “taking a break from your goals” is that you only have a finite level of daily motivation and emotions. When you constantly are looking forward and hell bent on achieving your goals (not a bad trait at all), it’s easy to get burnt out.

      For me, when I take a weekend or week off from laser focus on my goals, it actually makes me more motivated because I start getting the itch to get back to the grind after day one or two of taking a break. It’s always important to recharge your emotional batteries, but to your point, it’s equally important to keep your eye on the “ball.”