Nothing terrible has happened but my motivation for life, even for the things I enjoy most, is low. I am not sad. I just have no pizazz like I used to. What is happening?
Signed: No Pizazz!
Dear No Pizazz,
I recently read a terrific article (by Sherrie Hurd, at Learning Mind, Nov 3, 2021) about this very thing. And some of our previous Dear Tacit articles have talked about the importance of finding the “flow” in life that makes us happy. The more we feel satisfied with ourselves, the more fulfillment we garner from even the routine parts of our everyday lives. The more fulfilled we are, the more we find ourselves at peace – which is the foundation for happiness and enthusiasm.
We cannot expect to live in a perpetual state of bliss. Really high moments of joy are not supposed to happen every day. They are special, and that level of intense pleasure cannot be sustained indefinitely/constantly. But we CAN expect to be able to find the sweet spot of contentment, serenity and tranquility on a regular basis. And this feeds our energy and passion and gusto for life, even in the more mundane moments (our “zing” can flourish once again). Here are some questions to ask yourself, and hopefully the answers will help guide you back to a place where the pizazz can grow again.
Are you too busy? When we start out on a new project or adventure in life, the enthusiasm is most naturally felt. But as we move into the middle part of the activity, the energy drain becomes real. The hard work consumes us. And if we are overloaded with too many energy drains, our motivation and zeal can fade.
Are you living for you, or for others? If we are making choices in life that are more for the benefit of pleasing others, we will never be able to harness our inner sense of contentment. The drive for life starts within. We must know how to connect to it, and this starts with us knowing who we are and what gives us a real sense of purpose in life.
Do you dislike change? Life is full of evolution and growth – some of it by choice, and some of it when it gets thrust upon us. Nothing stays the same for very long. And for some people, this is a bit scary and anxiety-producing. It can suck the enthusiasm that did exist dry.
Do you know the purpose behind what you choose to do? Being aware of what drives us to do the things we do is essential to knowing if these activities provide us with a sense of satisfaction. There are things we MUST do. But there also needs to be things we WANT to do (for passion and fun and fulfillment of who we are as a person). It’s these later types of activities that feed our motivation for life more intensely.
Are you taking too big of steps? Sometimes, when we start to figure out the steps ahead that are required to achieve our dreams in life, we get overwhelmed. It can be less motivating and more daunting to recognize all the complicated steps that lay in front of us. We need to narrow our focus to the step or two that comes next – not the 50 steps that will come after that.
Are you afraid of succeeding? It might sound strange, but it is a very common phenomenon. Many people are afraid of reaching their goals or of seeing their dreams come to fruition. We might not think we deserve it, or we might be afraid of how we will feel if there is nothing left to push towards. This leads us to avoid or detach from our feelings of motivation.
Is your motivation being drained? Are you surrounded by people who want you to be happy, or who are threatened or intimidated by your zest for life? Perhaps the people in your life simply never learned how to find their own motivation and are no longer searching for it. We become what we surround ourselves with. So, we need to spend time with people who nurture and embrace their own pizazz.
Are you starting with a healthy foundation that steers you in the right direction? Are you getting enough sleep? Are you fuelling your body with good foods, nutrients and water? Are you partaking too often in less healthy habits and behaviours, and are therefore more tired and distracted? One plus one equals two!
Do you think you need to do it all alone? Pizazz is contagious and it grows faster when we are sharing an experience with others. Connection is a necessity in our lives. Sometimes we need to ask for help or additional resources. And sometimes we just need the company and support of others to keep us accountable or to cheer us on as we accomplish the priorities that will end up feeding our sense of personal empowerment and fulfillment.
When we understand the reasons why our pizazz might have disappeared, we can know where to start making the necessary changes in life so that spark of vitality can be lit again. Remember that every single one of us deserves to be happy. But we must take the time and make the effort to create this happiness and pizazz for ourselves. It does not just appear on its own!
Have a question? Please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your answer will be provided confidentially.
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