I have seen someone recently who was having trouble with low motivation. When it came time to get up each morning they simply had no enthusiasm to get out of bed and face the day and it was only sheer will power that prized them from the covers each morning.
We had a long chat about what had been going on in their life and I began to form an idea why this might be. I asked what they were aware of when they thought about the future and after a few moments of thought they said it is blank, and so I was given the metaphor that I needed to work with.
We are motivated by two forces – the will to move away from what we do not want and to move towards what we do want. A little of both is probably the strongest motivation, but we need at least one of these burning in our minds to motivate us to put any effort into anything.
This client could not see their future and so I felt that if I could give them something to replace the ‘blank’ this would have a significant effect on motivating them out of bed in the morning.
So I used my Village Metaphor as it is often a good place to start when working with anyone who feels stuck. The village is set up as a metaphor for the comfort zone so once the place had taken shape in their mind I took them to the edge of the village, the point they could not go any further from, and asked them what was stopping them from continuing. The answer was that there were too many options, and so they were unsure what their first step should be. I therefore directed the subconscious attention towards the end of the journey instead of the beginning used a hand-clap to initiate a change on the horizon.
After the hand-clap they were suddenly aware of a draw to somewhere else in the world, somewhere that had always appealed but they had never considered a move to. I then asked them to look back at what lay between them and their destination and see the numerous paths that would lead them there and all the other opportunities along the way.
The session ended with them feeling like they had something to aim for, something to motivate them. The future was no longer blank. It may or may not be that they end up at the destination that came to mind, but the important thing is that they are moving now, making progress in life. They are out there, doing what they need to do – learning new things, meeting people and going to places that they were not when feeling low motivation. Every new thing that we do may lead to a new opportunity, a new idea or new knowledge, and all of these things enrich our lives. We just need to keep moving – away from what we do not want or towards what we do want or both! But we need to know what we do and don’t want in order to find our direction.