For those who have it, motivation is a source of endless power they can always tap into. But for those who don’t have it, it feels like there’s a great void and that something important is missing.
And to be honest, something is missing. And that’s why those without motivation simply go through the motions and float through life.
They go from one task and responsibility and do them reluctantly and without any zest. I see this all around me, and frankly, it’s quite sad for me to see.
But if you’re unsure if you or someone you know doesn’t have any motivation in life, here are the behaviors you need to pay attention to.
1) Having a “why bother” attitude
Having a “why bother” attitude reflects a deep sense of apathy and disinterest in putting effort into different parts of life.
Instead of approaching challenges with a can-do mindset, people with a “why bother” mindset question the value of their efforts, leading to a lack of motivation.
People with this attitude believe that no matter what they do, their future won’t be promising. This negative outlook makes it hard to get excited about working towards something.
I was like that for around 10 years of my life, if not more. That’s a quarter of the time I’ve been on this planet!
It wasn’t until I found a clear purpose, started believing in my abilities, and saw mistakes as learning opportunities that I started working towards bigger dreams.
2) Procrastinating all the time
If someone’s always procrastinating, they’re constantly hitting the snooze button on life.
Instead of jumping into things, they keep putting them off. They have a to-do list that never seems to get shorter.
And you know that feeling of guilt when you know you should be doing something but keep avoiding it? That’s part of the package, too.
Breaking free from procrastination means saying, “Okay, let’s tackle this now,” instead of waiting for the perfect moment that might never come.
You know how you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. You need to take small steps to make life less of a waiting game and more of an adventure.
3) Constantly making excuses
If a person keeps coming up with reasons why they can’t do something, it shows they’re not taking responsibility.
Making excuses gets in the way of personal growth because it means not owning up to your actions and shifting the focus away from what needs to be done.
People who lack motivation easily give up when things get tough. They give up on the first obstacle instead of persevering through difficulties.
But hey, at least they’re good at complaining.
4) Complaining without taking action
When someone keeps complaining without doing anything about it, they’re always talking about problems but never trying to fix them.
Complaining a lot makes everything seem bad, not just for the person doing it but for everyone around. That’s annoying because they’re spreading bad vibes without doing anything to make things better.
Every time something goes wrong, there’s a chance to learn from it. Complaining all the time means missing out on these chances.
Learning from mistakes helps a person get stronger and smarter.
But above all, they don’t move forward because they’re too busy being unhappy, and this stops them from getting better at things or reaching their goals. That’s, of course, if they have any at all.
5) Not setting any goals
Let me ask you this – do you have any concrete goals for your life? I was never big on setting goals, and frankly, my life shows it.
Without goals, it’s hard to figure out what steps to take. You’re playing a game without knowing the score or the rules.
Goals break down big dreams into smaller, doable steps. It’s the difference between saying, “I want to be successful,” and saying, “I want to finish this project by the end of the month.”
I now love setting goals because they give me a sense of accomplishment. I’m checking off items from a to-do list.
Each goal reached is a win, boosting my confidence and pushing me towards the next one.
Without goals, it’s easy to miss these moments of success.
But to start setting meaningful goals, you first need to know who you are and where you want to go in life.
6) Lack of enthusiasm about anything
Imagine someone going through life with a sort of “meh” attitude. They lack enthusiasm and don’t really get excited about things.
Instead of feeling a spark for activities or goals, they approach them with a shrug.
I truly believe they’re missing out on the joy that comes from being genuinely interested or passionate about something.
Without that excitement, life feels dull, and they miss chances to explore what truly brings them happiness and fulfillment.
Enthusiasm is like the fuel that drives the engine of motivation, and without it, the journey through life lacks vibrant colors.
7) Easily giving up when things get tough
Giving up when things get tough can make life less exciting and limit the awesome things you could experience.
It’s very much like not finishing a video game because one level is tricky – you miss out on the satisfaction of conquering challenges and reaching new levels.
Unfortunately, I’ve done that many times.
But life’s full of ups and downs, and by giving up too easily, you miss the chance to discover your own strength and resilience.
Growth often comes from facing challenges head-on. If someone consistently avoids difficulties, they don’t develop resilience.
Instead of growth, they choose to stay in their comfort zone, where things are easy and familiar.
They basically always pick the most effortless path instead of the one that helps you become better at handling challenges.
Also, without stepping out of your comfort zone, there are often no opportunities.
8) Sleeping through opportunities
Life is like a big adventure with lots of doors, and each one is an opportunity. But some people are so busy or not paying attention that they miss opening those doors.
Opportunities could be new jobs, chances to learn exciting things, or meeting people who could become good friends.
If someone is “sleeping through” these chances, they won’t notice or take advantage of them.
Instead of being awake and aware, they miss out on things that could make their life more exciting or successful.
And if there’s one thing I’ve learned in life, it’s that when you truly open your eyes, you start seeing things of interest.
It’s the Yellow Car Phenomenon. In other words, if you look for opportunities and positive things, you will find them.
On the other hand, if you look for negative stuff, you will dead sure find them too.
9) Being indifferent to personal growth
The downside to all of these behaviors is that people with a lack of motivation are indifferent to personal growth.
They don’t show much interest in becoming a better version of themselves.
If someone shows little interest in improving themselves or acquiring new skills, they’ll have a stagnant and unfulfilling life.
I see life as a big book, and personal growth is like turning the pages and learning new things.
People who are indifferent to personal growth are reading the same chapter over and over without moving forward.
They also often blame others or circumstances for their life or the lack thereof.
10) Always blaming external factors
People tend to point fingers at things outside of themselves instead of taking responsibility.
For instance, instead of admitting they missed a deadline, they blame their computer or colleagues for not helping.
This creates a mindset where the person avoids recognizing their own mistakes and learning from them.
It’s a barrier to self-improvement, and that’s not good.
How to find your motivation and your “why”
Finding your “why” is figuring out what really matters to you and makes you happy. Think about the stuff you love doing, what you’re good at, and the values that matter to you.
Remember moments when you felt super proud or excited. Imagine your dream future and what positive changes you want to make.
Ask yourself “why” a few times to dig deep into your motivations. Try new things, listen to what makes you feel good, and consider the impact you want to have on others.
It’s an ongoing journey, so be patient and let your “why” evolve as you grow and try new things.
Lost Your Sense of Purpose?
In this age of information overload and pressure to meet others’ expectations, many struggle to connect with their core purpose and values. It’s easy to lose your inner compass.
Jeanette Brown created this free values discovery PDF to help clarify your deepest motivations and beliefs. As an experienced life coach and self-improvement teacher, Jeanette guides people through major transitions by realigning them with their principles.
Her uniquely insightful values exercises will illuminate what inspires you, what you stand for, and how you aim to operate. This serves as a refreshing filter to tune out societal noise so you can make choices rooted in what matters most to you.
With your values clearly anchored, you’ll gain direction, motivation and the compass to navigate decisions from your best self – rather than fleeting emotion or outside influences.
Stop drifting without purpose. Rediscover what makes you come alive with Jeanette Brown’s values clarity guide.