A Lack of Motivation – Part 2

Posted by: admin  :  Category: Neuro Semantics, NLP, Personal Development

This week we’ll touch on what is for me, TWO of the most common mental road blocks that sap our motivation. It is interesting to note that these “most common road blocks” are mental ones as most of our challenges reside in our minds; how we evaluate and then perceive reality out there. Talent by itself is overrated, it is mental and emotional strength, maturity and awareness that are crucial in helping actualize our highest and best and stay motivated.

(Yes, I did promise you “three” of the most common mental road blocks in the last blog but decided to give you TWO to keep this blog short and sweet. The third one will come in a future blog as it is “big enough” to stand on its own.)     


So if you are ready, here are the TWO most common roadblocks that creep up and sap us of motivation:


1) The over reliance on willpower.   


The Webster’s dictionary defines willpower as self control: the trait of resolutely controlling ones behavior. Many think that this alone is a strong source for keeping one motivated and resolute to a “struggle” to attain an outcome. Others, on the other hand, think that willpower is simply a matter of making a choice and then being “strong” in that choice and magically “motivation” will appear and do the rest.



Most of the time willpower alone will fail, sooner or later. Why? Simply because willpower, which is ones dogged resolve to keep on carrying out a particular activity, is impotent without well thought out and evolving STRATEGIES, SKILLS and TECHNIQUES that produce impactful results which in turn serves as the emotional fuel that keeps us motivated.


This reminds me of a bloke I meet in the gym everyday. He is the epitome of “will power”: discipline in carrying out a set routine of exercise everyday, day in and day out, with the same kind of exercises, sets and duration. Nonetheless, the results he was experiencing was minimal. Why? He lacked the “know how” of developing the right exercise strategy, skills and techniques to meet his specific need, body type, lifestyle and outcome. Nor did he have the appropriate diet plan to assist him in gaining optimal results from his efforts. Thus when he did not attain any impactful results, his motivation began to wane and soon he was no loner a consistent presence in the gym. What was supposed to be an exciting quest for fitness became a chore! Willpower alone could not help him.


“Willpower is useful at times. I use willpower to get the garbage out on Friday mornings. But there’s a price to pay for relying on willpower. Using willpower is the opposite of using your imagination and of losing yourself in an activity. Willpower reduces any activity to the very low status of “chore.”

-Leslie Godwin


What’s the solution?


Develop mental and emotional flexibility.  


Keep in check and updating your strategies, skills and techniques in reference to the results you are currently getting. If you are no getting impactful results, change. To be able to do so, you’ll need mental and emotional flexibility as we are notorious creatures of habit. We love our comfort zone very much unawares that are the very element that will eventually suffocate will power! If you keep doing the same thing but expecting different result, you’ll soon run out of motivation even with the greatest amount of willpower at hand.  On the other hand, when you keep updating you strategies and skills while monitoring your results, you’ll evolve and grow.


“Will, without reason, is a blind man’s motion; will, against reason, is a madman’s motion.

-Benjamin Whichcote


This in turn will help you gain impactful results and impactful results in turn will keep you emotionally motivated; affirming your direction, your “expectation competency”, self belief, self efficacy and self confidence as well as keep you performing the desired activities that will actualize your outcome. What are “impactful results”? Results that significantly indicate to you that you are making progress!


Example, if you go fishing using the same bait and get no bites for a year, you would be crazy not to make a change. But if you do get 36 bites and still carry on doing the same thing for the second year, you’ll soon run our of motivation, no matter how strong willed you maybe. Why? You are simply not getting “impactful results”, unless you are not motivated by the catch of fish.



More then anything else, impactful result will feed your meanings, what you value about your outcome and spark in you the elusive “magic” of motivation while keeping you in the STRETCH ZONE. Developing mental and emotional flexibility is the ideal partner of willpower; it produces enthusiasm and excitement that will keep one motivated and open to adapting new and productive strategies, skills and techniques.


“You only ever grow as a human being if you’re outside your comfort zone.”

- Percy Cerutty


“If you don’t have confidence, you’ll always find a way not to win.”

- Carl Lewis


What do you do when impactful results are missing even with evolving strategies and techniques?


Go find a mentor, someone who has attained a similar outcome and start sharing notes, strategies and “know how”; seek his or her direction, wisdom and help. Remember, willpower itself, without this kind of mental and emotional flexibility, will not keep you sufficiently motivated!


2) You may have hired the wrong success coach: Yourself!


What does a bad coach do? He or she belittles you, discounts your efforts and keeps you feeling insignificant, insecure and unworthy of your outcome. They discourage you by recalling all the times you have “failed”, exhibited immaturity, felt fearful, lacked  strategic intelligence, etc.; acting like an accuser in a loud and belittling voice. Would such a coach keep you motivated?


 But what if this “coach” is you?


What if that “coach” is your negative inner evaluative voice?


If the above is true, it could simply mean that you are being your own worst success coach and this will never keep you motivated!  Why? Because when you keep belittling yourself, putting yourself down and demanding ruthless and sadistic perfection, you inner rebel will soon appear and stir up a rebellion that he will always win; derailing you from your outcome!


Motivation is fundamentally an intrinsic phenomenon, meaning that folks who succeed do so from the inside out, because of their meanings, values and beliefs that produce the desired performance and expectations. So when we become our worst coach, constantly contradicting and canceling ourselves out, we will self destruct from the inside out!


“The inner speech, your thoughts, can cause you to be rich or poor, loved or unloved, happy or unhappy, attractive or unattractive, powerful or weak.”   

- Ralph Charell


What’s the solution?


Create greater awareness of your constant inner chatter and self judgements. Don’t blame or punish yourself if you discover that this chatter is highly negative, it is simply an old outdated vestige of your past, old habits that you may have inherited from your upbringing, that just keeps playing on and on without any conscious awareness or interruption.



 Once you have created greater awareness of this chatter, simply learn to turn down its volume by ignoring it; much like folks who live near a train station who have developed the unconscious ability to “turn down” and eliminate the noise of the passing trains and live happily without ever being bothered or disturbed by its intrusion. This step itself will put an end to the days when that this chatter kept you negatively hypnotized, sabotaging your outcomes!


What is the secret behind ignoring these “old tapes”? It is simply this, when we withdraw attention to something, we withdraw energy from it and this in turn will cause it to loose its power to influence.


The next step is to create your own conscious positive SELF TALK that’s non judgmental, critical and condemning but encouraging and empowering! How can you do this? By simply starting to positively talk to yourself. Go ahead and try it now. Recall your efforts, achievements, talents and strengths and use it as evidence of your value, worth, self efficacy and unlimited possibilities! As you do so, play a movie in your head of one of your achievements and fully step into this experience and keep pacing your positive self talk.


” Self-suggestion makes you master of yourself.”

- Stone, W. Clement


You can develop two kinds of self talk. The first kind is INSTRUCTIONAL, by which you keep telling yourself how to carry out the task at hand, keeping you focused and “tight” in executing the proper technique and require skill and strategy. This is critical for activities that need precision and timing, etc.


The second kind of Self Talk is MOTIVATIONAL, which keeps affirming your self efficacy, self belief, and self confidence in being able to successfully carry out and complete a task! You can practice both kinds to keep you energized!


Go ahead and start now, yes, start talking to your self positively and almost instantly you’ll start to feel empowered and strong; and it works! Need evidence?


“A UK research at Bangor University and the University of Kent brought 18 healthy people into a lab and had them pedal on stationary bikes until they were exhausted.  All 18 pooped out after 10 minutes. Then the group was split into two, one was taught to practice self talk, including phases like “Don’t give up,” “I can do this,” “Push it!” and “Dig deep!” Riding just 2 weeks later, the self talk group improved by 20 percent over the control group, lasting for 12 minutes instead of 10.” (“Give Fear The Finger”, Men’s Health, September 2011. )


“Your self-talk is the channel of behavior change”

 - Gino Norris


As you keep practicing the above everyday, you’ll soon discover your inner cheerleader and COACH who’ll keep you motivated and energized! You can certainly make things FUN and extremely ENGAGING in this way!


Even when you are faced with a challenging task, simply say that, “I can do anything!” it surely beats “verbally abusing and beating” yourself from the inside out which will surely not keep you motivated!!!  (For more on creating compelling goals, do check out my blog “The blue hour”, 27th February 2011)



Motivation is an elusive animal for most folks I know. The secret however, to motivation and the cure to a “lack of motivation” lie in the information above. Yes, there are many other “common road blocks” to motivation which I will cover in the future but the golden nectar that produces motivation lies in the high quality meanings and value we give to our outcome, the prolusion we get from these meanings that pushes us to perform specific activities that actualizes the outcome and the expectations we have about our competency, autonomy and relatedness; our self efficacy.


“Man – a being in search of meaning.”



This dynamism is further reinforced by the mental and emotional flexibility to keep adapting new strategies, skills and techniques to produce impactful results that will take us beyond the threshold of pure will power. When this is coupled with a positive self talk from Coach YOU, staying motivated would never be a real problem.


“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”

- Alan Kay                    `


I hope you’ll be inspired by this short clip and be awoken from the inside out! 



The Awesome Power of Self Talk



Be courageous enough to THINK DIFFERENTLY, to stretch beyond convention!


Think RADICALLY and stay committed to transcending, transforming and transferring value back to your world!


Catch new blogs fortnightly at let us know what you think below.


Conrad Rozario is the founder of Alchemy Resources, a cutting edge human potential and peak performance development company inMalaysia. He has more than 15 years experience in people development from the diverse fields of Sales, Marketing, Customer Engagement and Service, Business Management and Talent Development. He is a Certified & Licensed Neuro Semantics and Neuro-Linguistics Programming (NLP) Trainer from the International Society of Neuro –Semantics,USA, a Master Practitioner in Neuro Semantics and NLP (ISNS,USA) and a Language and Behavior Profiling for Coaching Practitioner.


A Lack of Motivation – Part 1

Posted by: admin  :  Category: Neuro Semantics, NLP, Personal Development, Uncategorized

Two weeks ago, I was engaged by a company to train it’s “under performing” sales staff. The key difficulty that they faced was a lack of motivation”. Now, I’ll be honest with you, the “lack of motivation” has always been the NO.1 issue that almost every company and everyone I know faces, even me! Now, to help sort out this problem, we need to first understand what “motivation” is and how the “lack of motivation” happens. Then and only then can we set out to address the “lack” gap in motivation.




So here we go….


Very simply put, motivation simply means MEANING, the meaning (motive) behind a specific activity, behavior or performance that a person has. When a person has HIGH QUALITY MEANINGS about a particular activity; meaning how he or she perceives it, understands it, values it as being highly inspiring and important for actualizing their highest and best intentions and which is a vision of what they are and want to be, then he or she is motivated. This meaning becomes his or her subjective “value construct” and is the incentive that incites, engages and moves them….MOTIVATION!


For example, Mother Theresa; the MEANING behind her endless social work of charity to anyone, regardless of their race, color or creed, was her vision of feeding the hungry and caring for the dying as her was to share in Jesus’ own  redemptive “work of love” for the least and the lost in the world. This was her “value construct” that incited, engaged and moved her, her Motivation!


“Beliefs have the power to create and the power to destroy. Human beings have the awesome ability to take any experience of their lives and create a meaning that disempowers them or one that can literally save their lives.”

- Tony Robbins


This MEANING then produces “motion”, propulsion, which pushes a person to take specific actionable steps, activities and behaviors which are intended to actualize their meaning. This produces PERFORMANCE. Putting it in another way, performance is driven by meaning; and it produces a DELIBERATE CHOICE to act in a certain way. Under “performance” we have strategies, techniques, and the accusation of skills and “know how”, etc. in order to generate the desired performance that actualizes the high quality, valuable and desirable meaning behind the outcome. This is the second “component” of motivation.


For example, the meanings behind Mother Theresa’s social work pushed her to PERFORM activities that were specifically designed to actualize her outcome. It included fund raising activities, the building of homes, hospitals, food centers, the recruitment of volunteers, etc. Without this component of “performance” of meaning, “motivation” is not motivation but mere pipe dreams or wishful thinking.  


“Words may show a man’s wit but actions his meaning.”

- Benjamin Franklin


Motivation has a third component; it is called EXPECTATION. The component of “expectation” plays a critical part in the fusion of meaning and performance in the motivation factor. Expectation here has three dimensions which are really about Self Efficacy:


a) Competency: How a person views his or her competency to effectively engage in an activity(s) or task, or learn and acquire the needed competency, and complete the activity or task it in order to attain the desired result. Here it has to do with task and skill mastery.


If a person believes that he or she does fulfill this competency expectation, then the planned desired activities will be attempted and actualized. On the other hand if he or she feels that they do not or unable to fulfill this competency, then the planned activities will not be successfully attempted or completed.


We find that people’s beliefs about their efficacy affect the sorts of choices they make in very significant ways. In particular, it affects their levels of motivation and perseverance in the face of obstacles. Most success requires persistent effort, so low self-efficacy becomes a self-limiting process. In order to succeed, people need a sense of self-efficacy, strung together with resilience to meet the inevitable obstacles and inequities of life.”

-Albert Bandura


b) Autonomy: A person’s ability to be in control of his or her actions; self determined action. Again, if a person feels constricted, “tied up”, controlled and or inhibited, unable to have total control over their planned actions and creative expression, motivation will lack!   


“People who believe they have the power to exercise some measure of control over their lives are healthier, more effective and more successful than those who lack faith in their ability to effect changes in their lives.”

-Albert Bandura


c) Relatedness: To be able to fit in with others and be supported. Here the ability to “fit in” and to “be supported” can refer to a specific group of persons, individuals or even ones higher power. It provides the needed resources, in any means, way of form, that supports a person in acquiring their outcome. 


“Here is the basic rule for winning success. Let’s mark it in the mind and remember it. The rule is: Success depends on the support of other people. The only hurdle between you and what you want to be is the support of other people.”

-David Joseph Schwartz


For example, Mother Theresa not only had high quality meanings behind her outcome, she also believed in its intrinsic value and associated massive amounts of positive understandings, conclusions and intentions behind it. This then propelled her to plan and act out a set of detailed and specific activities that would actualize her outcome, the performance dimension of motivation.



Nevertheless, the above would not have materialized or withstood the test of time and challenges if she did not believe that she had the competency or would acquire the needed competency when the time came, to carry out the needed activities. Neither would it have materialized if she did not enjoy full autonomy to actualize her outcome or calling; hence the establishment of her own order of nuns! Finally she had availed to her self the needed support from others as well as her Higher Power, in a wide array of ways, means and forms, to enable her to realize her outcome and the meaning behind it!  This was the power of her self efficacy! 


‘People’s beliefs about their abilities have a profound effect on those abilities. Ability is not a fixed property; there is a huge variability in how you perform. People who have a sense of self efficacy bounce back from failures; they approach things in terms of how to handle them rather than worrying about what can go wrong’

- Albert Bandura


Thus this synergy of “meaning, performance of meaning and expectation” produces MOTIVATION! These “three components” make up the Neuro Semantics and Neuro Linguistic Psychology/ Programming of motivation. 


‘Only a person strongly motivated by a belief will be liable to enter into and persist in an action. Why? Because belief is anchored in a need. Knowledge alone of a path or activity will not necessarily trigger action, because it is not anchored in a need of the individual’

-Reuven Feuerstein


Once we have understood this, we can address the problem of a “lack of motivation”.


If one has low or degraded levels of meaning and value for an outcome, obviously “motivation” will lack. On the other hand, when the desired activities, strategies and skills are not acquired and acted out for the desired outcome to be actualized, performance is affected and the outcome will be lost. Again, “motivation” will be lacking.


Finally if a person’s competency expectation is low (his self efficacy), if he or she lacks self determination and autonomy to be in control of his or her actions and is not supported in any way, form or means in his or her quest, “motivation” will wane and eventually be lost. It’ll never lead him or her to the “choice point” of decision and continuous sustained action to actualize an outcome.


“Strong, deeply rooted desire is the starting point of all achievement.”

-Napoleon Hill


So, with the information above, I do believe that you’ll be able to “self correct” any “lack of motivation” you experience in your career, relationships, business, management or leadership roles, in your spiritual life, etc. How? By analyzing and identifying the “gaps” in the different “components” of motivation and seeking to refresh, renew and refurbish your existing meanings, performance activities and standards and your self efficacy. All of which leads us to “choice point”: the decision to act and keep taking action to attain an outcome or the decision not to act or cease taking consistent action, leading us away from our outcomes.    


Are you willing to give it a go?



“I know that I have the ability to achieve the object of my Definite Purpose in life, therefore, I demand of myself persistent, continuous action toward its attainment, and I here and now promise to render such action.”

-Napoleon Hill


In the coming blog, PART TWO of A LACK OF MOTIVATION, I’ll cover THREE of the most common mental road blocks that sap our motivation, a major cause of a “lack of motivation.” They reside in the “Meaning”, “Performance” and “Self- Efficacy or Expectation” components of motivation.


Hope you enjoy this short clip from the movie “Have a little faith” about Henry Covington: the power of the meaning behind his performance to build and actualize his outcome to build a community and his self efficacy in his journey to the place he is and that he’ll hopes to get to. Be inspired!  




Be courageous enough to THINK DIFFERENTLY, to stretch beyond convention!


Think RADICALLY and stay committed to transcending, transforming and transferring value back to your world!


Catch new blogs fortnightly at let us know what you think below.


Conrad Rozario is the founder of Alchemy Resources, a cutting edge human potential and peak performance development company in Malaysia. He has more than 15 years experience in people development from the diverse fields of Sales, Marketing, Customer Engagement and Service, Business Management and Talent Development. He is a Certified & Licensed Neuro Semantics and Neuro-Linguistics Programming (NLP) Trainer from the International Society of Neuro –Semantics,USA, a Master Practitioner in Neuro Semantics and NLP (ISNS,USA) and a Language and Behavior Profiling for Coaching Practitioner.