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4 Tips for Curing Career Ennui from Motivational Gurus

Feeling unmotivated? Existential crisising (my favorite hobby)? Wondering what the point of it all is? All the work…all the stress…blargh. Who needs it! When will it end?

Need to shake this feeling, STAT?

You’ve got a deadline! A big meeting! A year-end revenue goal to hit! No time for ennui!

So, what’s it going to take? A headstand? Sage to cleanse your spirit? A green juice? A run? Maybe you should pray to the heavenly father…

When you are ready to DO anything to get your mo-jo-tivation back…it’s time for an intervention!

4 motivational gurus (my words, not theirs!) share their best motivational advice:

Ditch the perfectionism!

Seriously. Just do it.


“Perfectionism,” in the words of Dr. Brene Brown, “is a way of thinking that if I look perfect, live perfect, and work perfect, I can avoid or minimize criticism, blame, and ridicule.

But you can’t avoid criticism, no one can, and what you risk, when you hold yourself to a perfect standard, is losing out on a lot more. “[A]s you move forward,” says Alice Domar, PhD, “allow yourself to be good enough. Perfectionism can undo what you’re trying to achieve. Look at the angst people have when they cut a workout a little short. Do they really think a few minutes less, one day, is going to make that much of a difference? Worse still is the “what-the-hell effect”—you eat one bad thing, then just give up.”

So get comfortable with imperfect, because imperfect something is 100,000 times better than a perfect NOTHING.

Fall in love with…repetition and practice

James Clear is an entrepreneur, weightlifter and travel photographer who blogs at JamesClear.com. One of his most popular pieces shares an interaction he once had with a coach visiting his gym:

“On this particular day in the gym, there was a coach visiting who had worked with thousands of athletes over his long career, including some nationally-ranked athletes and Olympians.

I had just finished my workout when I asked him, “What’s the difference between the best athletes and everyone else. What do the really successful people do that most people don’t?”

He briefly mentioned the things that you might expect. Genetics. Luck. Talent.

But then he said something I wasn’t expecting.

“At some point,” he said, “it comes down to who can handle the boredom of training every day and doing the same lifts over and over and over again.”
Word.

Practice gratitude. Everyday.

Think the key to happiness, Fizzle.co founder Corbett Barr wants to remind you, is gratitude.

I know! So simple! So boring! Bah!

But seriously, says Barr, if you are around people…go tell one of them how much you appreciate him or her.” If you are alone, “think about something or someone you’re grateful for.” You see, gratitude leads to happiness and “happiness is motivating.”

So flex that gratitude muscle, and the motivation, will quickly follow.

Get yourself some NNTs (that’s non-negotiable time)

What is the root cause of your de-motivation? Could it be…burnout and overwhelm??

NNTs are Marie Forleo’s name for “non-negotiable time” and really, they are just small simple habits that you do everyday to help you automate your self-care. Because the thing is…motivation, or lack thereof, is usually just a symptom of the actual problem. But it’s much harder to fix the issue than it is to prevent.

Self-care needs to be automatic, not a choice. Take care of yourself, with a walk, some digital detox, and something else fun and indulgent, and that motivation will come back all on it’s own.

Adda Birnir

Adda is not only the CEO and founder of Skillcrush, but also an instructor. With her self-taught tech skills, she’s worked on building sites for the New York Times, ProPublica and MTV.

When Adda isn’t developing or teaching on Skillcrush, she enjoys watching Hall & Oates videos on YouTube.

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