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I've seen a few posts from people about motivation, or lack thereof, and whilst the advice is great, it hasn't helped me much. I've been speeking to my friends and family, have no mental problems etc, but still have quite a dilemma.


My question is, how do you motivate someone to do an un-pleasant task without a purpose?


I'm getting the general answers from friends like "You need to set a goal to work towards", or "just need to push through it". But those type of responses seem to void the question altogether. If I had a goal to work towards, then yes, I would just keep quiet and push on. But without a goal, how does one motivate themself to push through?




The unpleasant task in question is University.


- J


Re: Motivation

Hey Jay
Well I experience a lack of motivation when I either feel lazy, no energy, bored with whatever it is or tired. So I think you might to figure out what you are feeling and fix what ever that is such as giving yourself a break, sleep, change units or do something that's interesting something that you can get excited about.

Motivation sometimes can depend on the individual so I dont know if that helps

Have you read this factsheet, might help?
**Believe in the power of you because you are your own hero**

Re: Motivation

I try to incorporate rewards when there are things I have to do that I really am not at all interested/motivated in. Like with uni when I have super boring assignments it turns in to - write 300 words, then I can watch an episode of my favourite show, or have some chocolate, or something else that I like to do. When I finish the assignment, I can have a bigger reward, like going to the movies or something. It sounds a bit stupid, but it helps me!


Re: Motivation

Ooh that's a really good question, Jay!

ruenhonx & gail have some great suggestions.

I would find it hard to motivate myself to do anything without some sort of goal or objective or reason for doing the task.

Is it ALL your uni work you can't motivate yourself to do? Just some assessments or one subject in particular? If that's the case, what works for me is doing the least enjoyable parts first with doing the work you enjoy more as the reward. For example - I studied part time for a few years and I loved doing my design subjects, it was almost something I'd do just for fun given the choice. So I'd work on the more theoretical subjects first and set myself a goal like doing X number of readings, or summaries or words for an essay and then take a break by doing some design things. This way you're not distracting yourself by doing something entirely non-uni related and once all the work is done, it's play time! Smiley Happy

Can I ask if you HAVE to be at uni at the moment? Not to distract you from study which is important - but perhaps the working world might be a better option at the moment? You may not be motivated to study because you can't see any real outcomes from doing so. You can always get back to study once you've worked a bit and you see more of a reason to get a degree.


Re: Motivation

I have the same problem Jay! Like no joke... exactly the same. It's why I clicked on this thread!


Mine is due to MH problems.


I also hate goal setting and I think people who say to just push thru it are full of it.


But I always try my best and I think there are a few things you've got to be clear on.


... if you can't get there maybe it is time to think about taking a break? Uni always offer intermission.

... think about whether you're in the right course/at the right stage of life/ what you want to get out of it... if your answers aren't what you'd expect look at what you can change.

... what is it that is stopping you from being motivated? Is it the TV on etc. Try and mix up your working environment until you get it right.

... find a friend to study with.

... chat to the counsellors on site, they'll have some tips for procrastination etc.

... work out a five year plan, where do you see yourself? Is what you're doing going to get you to that place.


These are the things that sometimes get me thru. But I've decided to take a break next year because of my total lack of motivation with study at the moment!





Re: Motivation

Hey Jay,


I get that you are finding it hard to be motivated by Uni, but I am surprised that you can't see any benefit in it - not even in the long term? I don't want to put you off education - but if you are lacking motivation, but maybe you should reassess what you are studying and what you are hoping to get out of it when you finish? 




Re: Motivation

when i finished high school the career advisor asked us to think about what we wanted to be in 10-20 years time and work back. if you wanted to be a bad ass lawyer then you might need to consider law school at uni. and that's why uni should be important. and that's how i think it's important & motivating for me. having said that, there are a many people who don't know what they want to pursue so sometimes it might seem like a logical step in setting yourself up for the future. i did feel a bit like this as well and i think most question themselves about whether they've made the right choice. cause it's a pretty big one. anywho, it's part of life's experiences and developing yourself personally. i always like to think that i'm part of something bigger. maybe i might find something i'm really interested in and discover like a magical pill or something. you could always try asking yourself ... what would you do if you weren't doing what you're doing now ?


Re: Motivation

Perhaps some background information about myself might help...


Throughout school, I knew what I wanted to be in life; to be an Officer in the Australian Army.


To become an officer, you can either go through the Royal Military COllege of Duntroon, which qualifies you in 18 months but without a degree, or go through the Australian Defence Force Academy, which takes 3 years for a degree, then 12 months at RMC. 


I got into ADFA. I spent two years as an Officer Cadet in the Australian Army, well on my way to becoming an Officer in the Army. But some personal issues happened at the end of last year that made me leave. So I moved back home and enrolled into a normal university. 


So my issue is about motivation when I no longer have a goal in mind. After having been accepted into one of the most difficult training institutions in the country, what now?


Re: Motivation

That sounds tough, Jay.

Is there a chance you can still become an officer at a later point? Not sure exactly what your situation is, but I know there are other officer entry options - like getting a degree under your own steam then applying? Check the Defence Jobs website for accurate deets (I used to work there a few years ago Smiley Wink )

What sort of Officer roles in particular was it that you were interested in? For most of them there are definitely civilian equivalents.

There so many options other than Defence that are open to you. Even other options that will allow you to serve the country or your community. I'd really recommend talking to either your uni course co-ordinator or careers counselor. Honestly after I'd just left school I had no idea what I wanted to do because I had no idea of all the types of jobs that were out there to be done!

Good luck finding the motivation, it will come. Remember what Dory says: just keep swimming! Smiley Happy