How do you stay motivated? How can you keep things fresh? How can you keep going when things are tough?
In work, paid or voluntary, when everything is new and rewards and encouragements come thick and fast it is fairly easy to stay focussed and motivated. The challenge comes for people when novelty wears off or when the working environment gets a little tougher.
When the going gets tough or the novelty wears off there are usually one of 3 responses people make:
- some colleagues and volunteers quit as soon as they can and find something else to do
- some colleagues and volunteers keep going but they are really just plodding on unenthusiastically
- some some colleagues and volunteers dig in and work harder and more effectively than ever.
It is right for some to quit and move on because they discover that they are doing something that is just not for them or they don’t feel it is worth it. However I am convinced many quit too early before either they change and develop of the work environment changes. Many work places (and some charities) have far too many unmotivated workers who are doing the minimum work with no real love or care. How can we become, and how can we help others become, workers who dig in when things are tough and work more effectively than ever? I my current role as a Vicar motivation to work hard is not a problem as I would work 24-7 if I could! But I have also done plenty of temporary jobs where most of the people I worked with were bored silly and unmotivated. While I was just “the temp” in all these jobs I stayed motivated throughout by keeping a few things in mind. These things helped me ….maybe they will help you:
How things are now is not how things will always be
If it is tough now , it may not stay that way.The world changes fast and so can your situation. If it is boring now, it doesn’t have to stay that way. You can change the atmosphere and create purpose and meaning even to the most mundane work environment. Why not appoint yourself the unofficial works entertainer, motivator, carer or chaplain!
Things that are worthwhile usually require hard work
We should not always expect things to be easy and for us to succeed straight away. Many of the greatest genius’ and achievers were amongst the most persistent and hard working people of their generation. They were people that did n’t give up. So many great projects and great achievers tell stories about how they felt like giving up but managed to keep going and then suddenly a breakthrough happened. The same could be true for you.
See the bigger picture
You may feel that you are just doing something small and insignificant but what you do is part of something much bigger. Think about how what you do helps people. Through the final thing that is produced, the service that is provided or the fact that it provides employment for people that need the money. As a Christian in all the jobs that I have ever done I have always worked as if God was my boss and so I tried to please him through working well, working hard and being honest, fair and loving. My intention was always to glorify God through the way that I worked and in doing so help others to see that following God is the best way to live.