Wake up and Go!
Is it that first coffee in the morning that gets you going or maybe you are simply the type that just rises with the sun. In some cases, there are those of us who hit the snooze button only once, while others throw the phone away to savour their dreams until the last minute.
Motivation, what drives us, can be a little bit more than positive self-talk. However, it is possible to find the thing that does put a pep in your step and keeps you going, moving from home to work and everywhere in between.
How does one find motivation where there is none, and equally how is it maintained once it is found? Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche posed the question, “What destroys a man more quickly than to work, think, and feel without inner necessity, without any deep personal desire, without pleasure – as a mere automaton of duty”. These words could not be more true of the need to understand what fundamentally drives us, inspires us, or gets us through the ‘blues’ – to show up, out-perform, and be our best selves.
To be motivated is to have a reason or reasons for acting or behaving in a particular way. Though it comes in many forms, having the motivation to go about our day is not about the once of effort but requires consistency to attain the goals that need to be achieved.
In Japan there exists a concept called Ikigai – a reason for being or the thing that you live for. On the island of Okinawa, the practice has seen a large population of individuals living to 100 years old. To find out where your ‘sweet spot’ lies, Dan Buettner, author of Blue Zones: Lessons on Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest, suggests that there are three lists that a person can make: your values, the things you like to do, and things you are good at. Where these lists overlap is your Ikigai.
This concept is intrinsic but the tool of the lists allows for a map towards finding what brings light into your life.
In external environments such as the workplace, where individuals spend the majority of their time, it becomes increasingly more important to create a space where ‘willingness’ amongst employees is cultivated.
What really lies behind the hashtag #MondayMotivation when we know many face looming clouds of dread as Sunday evenings come to an end. Stress has risen to unhealthy heights in the workplace environment with pressures have employees stretched beyond their capacity which affects productivity, but also spills over into their personal lives.
You Can Do It
In order for individuals to move into a healthy frame of mind, they have to be supported and respected. Some of the tools necessary to address work-related stress can be found in initiatives that track stress levels, motivation, energy, and mood. Research has found that company leadership and HR are better placed to make the changes needed to make working environments healthier and more conducive, mitigating the Monday Blues.
When looking at the week ahead there are ways in which stress can be reduced that create a more energised, productive and highly creative workforce. Employees should have higher job control that includes flexible work, a strong community and support, a manageable workload, a strong employee-centric workspace, and sufficient balance vs effort.