No Motivation, No Goals, No Dreams = An Undeniable Nothing

Fix this problem fast or risk wasting days, weeks, even years of your life.


Person at work has no motivation or a lack of motivation.Having no motivation can feel debilitating.

Day in and day out you do the same things over and again, and your routine becomes mundane. If you don’t practice, you don’t deserve to win.

After a while you realize you aren’t making any real progress.

You feel stuck. You feel bored. You feel guilty. Something is definitely off.

Not only are you bored, you are boring to be around. You suck the life out of everyone you come in contact with.

It’s a stage we all go through from time to time, and it’s not a great feeling. Sometimes you can hide that you have no motivation—at least from people who don’t know you that well or see you often. 

It may appear to your family and friends that you have your act together and things are going well. In fact, they may be a little jealous because they see you relaxing and seeming to coast through life.

But the truth is that’s not the real story.

While you may be grateful for all of the many good things you have going for you, deep down, you’re unsatisfied and find yourself with no motivation.

You have this feeling of not being fulfilled. Things just aren’t exciting anymore, and you don’t know why.

So what is the problem?

It comes down to the way our minds work.

Rubix cube for problem solving.Humans are problem solvers and innovators.

Our minds aren’t designed to coast. Goals and dreams are what fuel us. When we have no motivation, we become restless.

Goals and dreams are what fuel us. When we have no motivation, we become restless. Click To Tweet

Decades of research supports the importance of goal setting. According to Ayelet Fishbach, author with The Harvard Business Review:

  • Salespeople who have goals or targets close more deals. 
  • People who set daily fitness goals are more likely to increase their daily fitness activity and get better results. 

“Abstract ambitions, such as “doing your best,” are usually much less effective than something concrete, such as bringing in 10 new customers a month or walking 10,000 steps a day.”

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again because I repeat this over and over every single day of my life and this is “you must be specific to be dynamic.”

If you’ve followed my podcasts, blogs, online courses, or you’ve read my book, you will hear this mantra repeated over and over because it is one of the biggest keys to self-motivation. 

This is not up for debate. If you intend to be productive while you are alive, you must have two things happening 24/7/365:

  • You must keep pressing on, always—no matter what happens, or is happening.
  • You must be very clear about where you are headed, and what your next step is towards the goal you want to make happen.
Dart hitting its bullseye goal on dartboard.

Causes of a Lack of Motivation

There are many reasons we get discouraged and find yourself with no motivation. It can happen at any age or stage of life.

Some of the reasons are:

1. Dwelling on the Past

Past failures, disappointments, and losses can be really hard to deal with.

But no matter how much we wish things could have been different, the only chance we have to make things better for ourselves is to accept what happened and start moving forward from where we are with what we have.

2. Rejection

No one likes rejection.

Over time, we lose our desire to try in an effort to avoid it.

Instead, we must see rejection as an opportunity to learn, adjust, and improve.

3. Feeling Overwhelmed

Many people struggle with this issue.

Our to-do lists keep getting longer with no end in sight, and we become paralyzed.

To keep making progress, we must set boundaries, eliminate distractions, and focus on priorities.

4. Procrastination

Have you ever noticed the longer you put something off, the harder it is to get it done? That’s because inaction fuels procrastination and dissatisfaction comes from avoiding the work it takes, but still wanting the special rewards that big success brings.

Take back control and get on top of things fast!

Inaction fuels procrastination. Take back control and get on top of things fast! Click To Tweet

5. Not Taking Care of Yourself

It’s important to take care of our own physical needs.

Are you getting enough sleep? Are you eating well? Are you eating often enough?

Make sure you’re giving your body what it needs so that it can think and function properly.

6. Fear of Failure

There will always be risk involved when you’re going for something big.

Mountain climber overcoming fear of failure in high climb.

Do some research, talk to others who have done it before, and find out what you’re up against. All of the answers are out there, you just have to look for them. Remember that the Bible says, “seek, and you will find.”

Without Motivation, Talent is Useless

If you have no motivation, this is a problem you need to fix immediately! When you have no motivation, you are wasting your time and your talent—life is too short for that!

You don’t get those wasted days back.

You could be incredibly talented, have the best contacts, and have a ton of experience, but they aren’t going to do you any good if you aren’t using them.

All of these things are like cooking ingredients sitting on the shelf in your pantry.

Until you get a recipe and make something with them, they are useless.

When your life is out of focus, your internal engine is switched off.

That’s no way to go through life. That’s not living life, that’s wasting life.

Motivation Improves Performance in All Areas

We see it in sports all the time.

The season starts, and the team starts winning. They like the feeling.

They start to believe more and more in each other, and with each victory their dreams and expectations for the season expand.

The result is that they all start to take their jobs, their preparation, and their practices much more seriously. As their intensity and effort increase, their happiness does as well.

Two professional football teams playing at peak performance.

College football is a great example.

During the season, between practice, classes, studying, and team meetings, there is not a minute to spare.

The players are constantly on the run, but they don’t mind because they are headed for a championship.

Their performance peaks in spite of the fact that there doesn’t seem to be enough time for anything.

Inevitably, the season ends. Regardless of whether they won or not, they head into the off-season.

From an outsider’s point of view, you’d naturally assume their grades would go up because they have more time for class and studying. Their schedules have really cleared up, so they can focus on academics.

So what is the result? Do their grades go up?

No. Just the opposite.

Invariably, college football players’ grades go down in the off-season.

It’s hard to explain.

Maybe they just need some time to recover. They certainly have less supervision forcing them to attend class and study.

But one thing is for sure. Their intensity and focus drops because the season is over.

Without a goal, they are left with no motivation to devote time to their studies.

Action Generates Motivation

People look everywhere for motivation—podcasts, books, blogs. That’s why $10 billion is spent every year on self-improvement alone.

But external motivation doesn’t last long.

If you want to get motivated and stay motivated, you must make a plan and put it into action.

Action generates motivation. The more you do, the more you want to do.

It feels good to be in control of your own life and to accomplish the things you set out to do.

Get Your Mojo Back

At crossroads deciding what to do.

To get started, you need to set a goal.

Start by focusing on where you want to go, who you want to be, and what gets you excited.

Then narrow down your choices for the first step in that direction.

1. Clarify Your Priorities

What’s really important to you?

Getting out of debt and having financial freedom so you never have to worry about paying bills again?

Supporting your family and being able to take them on exotic vacations?

Owning your own business so you can have a flexible schedule and take off whenever you want?

For me, it was primarily being able to support my family. That was nonnegotiable because if I didn’t bring home the money, we weren’t going to eat.

But I also had a personal driving motivation that seemed to overpower almost everything else in that I didn’t want to be under anyone’s thumb and have someone bossing me around for the rest of my life.

I needed to be in control of my lifenot let some company make decisions for me.

2. Evaluate Your Current Path

Now that you’ve thought about your priorities, think about your current situation.

Ask yourself:

    • What’s currently holding you back from what you really want?
    • What areas do you need to improve in?
    • Are there any big changes you need to make?

3. Decide on a Goal that Excites You

Write down a few options you could get really excited about, and then circle the one that is most in line with your priorities and vision of the future.

Jeff Boss, an author with Forbes, has outlined 5 reasons why setting goals will improve your focus:

  1. Goals trigger behavior.
  2. Goals guide your focus.
  3. Goals sustain momentum.
  4. Goals align your focus.
  5. Goal setting promotes self-mastery.

Perhaps the most important reason why goals work is because they build character. Actually, achieving goals builds character.” Jeff Boss

4. Do the First Step

Pick something small and achievable that you can do now to get started.

Take advantage of your energy and excitement and use it to propel yourself forward one step at a time.

Make the Decision to Go For It

This is what works for me, and it’s what works for other high achievers too.

In fact, this is exactly what Bill Orender, a leader in Primerica, did to get his life moving in the right direction.

Like most of us, he grew up in a blue-collar family. They were fine, hard-working people who expected Bill to grow up and wind up working at the factory just like them.

But unfortunately, they had a TV. . .

When young Bill saw people on television living lives far beyond what he saw in real life, a lightbulb went on in his head.

Idea Light Bulb.

There was absolutely nothing wrong with the life he grew up in, but he was captivated by something more.

There was a moment for him when he was growing up that he said, “I don’t want to live my life like this.”

He made that decision to go for more, and it gave him energy—it gave him a focus and motivation and resulted in him excelling in areas where he had floundered and failed before.

That’s the great thing about living in a free country. You can make those decisions about your life. You don’t just have to take the hand that you are dealt.

It’s Time to Start Living

Many of us are afraid to set goals.

We think that once we set a goal that means we can’t change it or we’ll be quitters.

Some of us have set goals in the past that we haven’t reached, so now we say ‘why bother?’

To really start living, you’ve got to get over your goal setting fears and hesitation.

Even if you’ve set goals before and lost your motivation along the way, this will work if you do all the steps and follow through with action.

Goal setting is just like anything in life. The more you do it, the better you get at it.

Child riding a bike with training wheels.

Whenever you find yourself with no motivation, no goals, no excitement, say to yourself, ‘This isn’t going to work. What is it that I could get excited about right now?’

Follow the steps above and start moving in the direction you want to go. As soon as you do, your internal engine will come alive, and your spirits will be lifted.

Without goals, there is no motivation. You drift, and drifting never leads to happiness or fulfillment but moving towards an exciting goal can electrify your life.

That’s why you must get your goal right now and get moving toward what you want next!

Without goals, there is no motivation. Click To Tweet

What’s your next big goal? What exciting things are you working on? Let me know in the comments below.

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