by Tamara E. Holmes
It’s important to your
success that you keep employees from experiencing burnout, but what happens when you fall into
a rut? Whether personal challenges, business roadblocks or just boredom with everyday life are the culprit, anyone can go through a period of feeling unmotivated
and disinterested in work. But when the boss becomes unmotivated, the entire business can
suffer. Fortunately, if you're suffering from burnout, there are a few things you can do to help yourself:
Take some time off.
Sometimes all you need to feel better is a vacation. If you've been bogged down with deadlines or stressful business decisions, burnout could be your body’s way of telling you that you need a break. Even if you can't take a
week off from work right now, try taking a day off or even leaving early a few days in a row. Make sure that you spend your
time off doing something you enjoy, and that you avoid all work-related contact, unless an emergency arises.
Plan your day.
When experiencing burnout, you may find it difficult to maintain your focus for long periods of time. Recognize your most productive times of the day and plan to do the most important tasks during those hours. When creating your schedule,
prioritize tasks, so you know which ones don't have to be done that day, if you don't feel like it.
Start a new project.
If you've been interested in trying out a new business idea or researching a new market, now might be the time to pursue it.
By spending time doing something that holds your attention, you might add enough excitement to your workday to get back in the swing of things in other areas as well.
If you're not feeling your best, it might make sense to let a trusted employee or business partner
handle some of your important duties. You might also let this employee know you're not feeling well, and ask that he or she
pick up the slack if necessary.
Watch your diet.
During burnout, it’s often tempting to eat quick, pick-me-up foods and beverages that contain caffeine and sugar. The
problem with these is that, after a short while, the burst of energy they originally give tends to give way to an energy crash.
Eat well-balanced meals when you're feeling unproductive, so you can create a steady source of
energy for yourself.
Add exercise to your
day. Another way to add some pep to your step is by committing to a regular exercise routine. Give
yourself an hour several times a week to spend in the gym or take a brisk walk outside of the office. Not only will your health
benefit from the workout, but exercise will improve the mood as well.
Get your rest.
Fatigue is a common cause of burnout. If you've been working tirelessly for a long period of time, your feelings of listlessness may be the result of a lack of sufficient rest. This isn't the time to schedule late nights. Give yourself
ample time to wind down and get your sleep.
Give yourself time.
Accept the fact that you're feeling unmotivated and give the symptoms time to work themselves
out. However, understand that burnout should not be a permanent state of being. If weeks go by,
and you're still feeling listless and unmotivated, figure out what deeper issues are bothering
you. If you're having trouble pinpointing them, don't be afraid to seek counseling.
Most people suffer a case
of burnout at some point in their careers. By being proactive in controlling your symptoms and getting help if they go on for too long, you can overcome that challenge at no cost to your business.
source: click here
Get Off Your Butt: 16 Ways to Get Motivated When You’re in
Even the most motivated of us — you, me, Tony Robbins
— can feel unmotivated at times. In fact, sometimes we get into such a slump that even thinking about making positive
changes seems too difficult.
But it’s not hopeless: with some small steps, baby ones
in fact, you can get started down the road to positive change.
Yes, I know, it seems impossible at times. You don’t feel
like doing anything. I’ve been there, and in fact I still feel that way from time to time. You’re not alone. But
I’ve learned a few ways to break out of a slump, and we’ll take a look at those today.
This post was inspired by reader Roy C. Carlson, who asked:
"I was wondering if you could do a piece on why it can be hard for someone to change
direction and start taking control of their life. I have to say I’m in this boat and advice on getting out of my slump
would be great.”
Roy is just one of many with
a slump like that. Again, I feel that way sometimes myself, and in fact sometimes I struggle to motivate myself to exercise - and I’ll use that as an example of how to break out of the slump.
When I fall out of exercise,
due to illness or injury or disruption from things going on in my life, it’s hard to get
started again. I don’t even feel like thinking about it, sometimes. But I’ve always found a way to break out of that slump, and here are some things I’ve learned
that have helped:
- One Goal. Whenever I’ve been in a slump, I’ve discovered that it’s often because I have too much going on
in my life. I’m trying to do too much. And it saps my energy and motivation. It’s probably the most common mistake that people make: they try to take on too much, try to accomplish too many goals at once. You cannot maintain energy and focus (the two most important things in accomplishing a goal) if you are trying to do two or more goals at once. It’s not possible - I’ve tried it many times. You have to choose one goal, for now, and focus on it completely. I know, that’s hard. Still, I speak from experience. You can always do your other
goals when you’ve accomplished your One Goal.
- Find inspiration. Inspiration, for me, comes from others who have achieved what I want to achieve, or who are currently doing it. I read other blogs, books,
magazines. I Google my goal, and read success stories. Zen Habits is just one place for inspiration, not only from me but from many readers who have achieved amazing things.
- Get excited. This sounds obvious, but most people don’t think about it much: if you want to break out of a slump, get yourself excited about a goal. But how can you do that when you don’t feel motivated? Well, it starts with inspiration from others (see above), but you have to take that excitement and build on it. For me, I’ve learned that by talking to my wife about it, and to others, and reading as much about
it as possible, and visualizing what it would be like to be successful (seeing
the benefits of the goal in my head), I get excited about a goal. Once I’ve done that, it’s just a matter of carrying that energy forward and keeping it going.
- Build anticipation. This will sound hard, and many people will skip this tip. But it really works. It helped me quit smoking after many
failed attempts. If you find inspiration and want to do a goal, don’t start right away. Many of us will get excited and want to start today. That’s a mistake. Set a date in the future - a week or two, or even a month - and make that
your Start Date. Mark it on the calendar. Get excited about that date. Make it the most important date in your life. In the meantime, start writing out a plan. And do some of the steps below. Because by delaying your start, you are building anticipation, and increasing your focus and energy for your goal.
- Post your goal. Print out your goal in big words. Make your goal just a few words long, like a mantra (”Exercise 15 mins. Daily”),
and post it up on your wall or refrigerator. Post it at home and work. Put it on your computer desktop. You want to have big
reminders about your goal, to keep your focus and keep your excitement going. A picture of your goal (like a model with sexy abs, i.e.) also helps.
- Commit publicly. None of us likes to look bad in front of others. We will go the extra mile to do something we’ve said
publicly. For example, when I wanted to run my first marathon, I started writing a column about it in my local daily newspaper.
The entire island of Guam (pop. 160K) knew about my goal. I couldn’t back down, and even though my motivation came and went, I stuck with it and completed it. Now, you don’t have to commit to your goal in your daily newspaper, but you can do it with friends and family and co-workers, and you can do it on your blog if you
have one. And hold yourself accountable - don’t just commit once, but commit to giving progress updates to everyone every week or so.
- Think about it daily. If you think about your goal every day, it is much more likely to become true. To this end, posting the goal on your wall or computer desktop (as mentioned above) helps a lot. Sending
yourself daily reminders also helps. And if you can commit to doing one small thing to further your goal (even just 5 minutes) every single day, your goal will almost certainly come true.
- Get support. It’s hard to accomplish something alone. When I decided to run my marathon, I had the help of friends and family, and I had a great running community on Guam who
encouraged me at 5K races and did long runs with me. When I decided to quit smoking, I joined an online forum and that helped tremendously.
And of course, my wife Eva helped every step of the way. I couldn’t have done these goals without her, or without the others who supported me. Find your support
network, either in the real world or online, or both.
- Realize that there’s
an ebb and flow. Motivation is not a constant thing that is always there for you. It comes and goes, and comes and goes again, like the tide. But
realize that while it may go away, it doesn’t do so permanently. It will come back. Just stick it out and wait for that
motivation to come back. In the meantime, read about your goal (see below), ask for help (see below),
and do some of the other things listed here until your motivation comes back.
- Stick with it. Whatever
you do, don’t give up. Even if you aren’t feeling any motivation today, or this week, don’t give up. Again, that motivation will come back. Think of your goal as a long journey, and your slump is just a little bump in the road. You can’t give up with every little bump.
Stay with it for the long term, ride out the ebbs and surf on the flows, and you’ll get there.
- Start small. Really
small. If you are having a hard time getting started, it may be because you’re thinking too big. If you want to exercise, for example, you may be thinking that you have to do these intense workouts 5 days a week.
No - instead, do small, tiny, baby steps. Just do 2 minutes of exercise. I know, that sounds wimpy. But it works. Commit to 2 minutes of exercise for one week. You may want to do more, but just stick to 2 minutes. It’s so easy, you can’t
fail. Do it at the same time, every day. Just some crunches, 2 pushups, and some jogging in place. Once you’ve done 2 minutes
a day for a week, increase it to 5, and stick with that for a week. In a month, you’ll be doing 15-20. Want to wake
up early? Don’t think about waking at 5 a.m. Instead, think about waking 10 minutes earlier for a week. That’s all. Once you’ve done that, wake 10 minutes earlier than that.
- Build on small successes. Again, if you start small for a week, you’re going to be successful.
You can’t fail if you start with something ridiculously easy. Who can’t exercise for 2 minutes? (If
that’s you, I apologize.) And you’ll feel successful, and good about
yourself. Take that successful feeling and build on it, with another baby step. Add 2-3 minutes
to your exercise routine, for example. With each step (and each step should last about
a week), you will feel even more successful. Make each step really, really small,
and you won’t fail. After a couple of months, your tiny steps will add up to a lot of progress and a lot of success.
- Read about it daily.
When I lose motivation, I just read a book or blog about my goal. It inspires me and reinvigorates me. For some reason, reading helps motivate and focus you on whatever you’re reading about. So read about your goal every day, if you can, especially when you’re not feeling motivated.
- Call for help when your
motivation ebbs. Having trouble? Ask for help. Email me. Join an online forum. Get a partner to join you. Call your mom. It doesn’t
matter who, just tell them your problems, and talking about it will help. Ask them for advice. Ask them to help you overcome
your slump. It works.
- Think about the benefits, not the difficulties. One common problem is that we think about how hard something is. Exercise sounds so hard! Just thinking about it makes you tired. But instead of thinking about how hard something is, think about what you will get out of it. For example, instead of thinking about how tiring exercise can be, focus on how good you’ll feel when you’re done, and how you’ll be healthier
and slimmer over the long run. The benefits of something will help energize you.
- Squash negative thoughts; replace them with positive ones. Along those lines, it’s important to start monitoring your thoughts. Recognize negative self-talk, which is really what’s causing your slump. Just spend a few days becoming aware of every negative thought. Then, after a few days, try squashing those negative thoughts like a bug, and then replacing them with a corresponding positive thought. Squash, “This is too hard!” and replace it with, “I can do this! If that wimp Leo can do it, so can I!”
It sounds corny, but it works. Really.
source: click here
the Unmotivated Student
Is your child completely disinterested
in school? Refusing to even consider going to college? Are you at your wit’s end? How can you motivate the unmotivated student?
Of course, as a parent, you
recognize the value and importance of higher education to your child’s future. Academic apathy can be a complicated
issue, however, and generally no amount of lecturing, pleading, or threatening will change a child's point of view. First
and foremost, then, you need to understand the causes behind this lack of motivation. Once you have a better idea of the source
of the problem, you can more effectively develop a strategy to help combat your child's seeming indifference toward education.
What Causes Lack of Motivation?
1. Low Self-Esteem
Kids who have a poor self-image avoid activities that they deem beyond their capabilities. Even
if they can actually complete a given task, these students engage in self-defeating behavior to protect the little self-worth
they do possess. For them, it is better to withhold effort or to procrastinate rather than risk trying, failing, and feeling
even worse about themselves.
of Support at Home
The home environment shapes the initial attitudes
that children hold toward learning. In a home where curiosity, questions, and exploration are encouraged, children are given
the message that education is worthwhile and personally satisfying. These kids are more likely to take the risks that are
inherent in academically challenging pursuits. On the other hand, in a home where learning is not encouraged, children are
given the message that education is of little value and that they lack the competency and ability to learn.
3. Low Expectations
in the Classroom
Students mirror their teachers’ attitudes. If
teachers believe that their students can learn, their students are more likely to trust in themselves and their abilities.
Such teachers assign challenging, meaningful, and achievable tasks that promote motivation and link effort and success. Conversely,
if teachers take the stance that they are the source of all knowledge and that their students are incompetent, their students
are more apt to tune out, stop trying, and fail.
Many unmotivated students are simply responding negatively to
pressure. Whether the tension is perceived or real, these kids rely on defense mechanisms to protect them from the discomfort
pressure generates. Through procrastination or avoidance, these students are trying to escape from their fears of failure
and inadequacy. In time, they come to accept the consequences of their behavior, so they appear nonchalant and composed, even
as the pressure they are trying to dodge mounts.
How to Motivate Your Child
1. Provide an Encouraging
and Secure Home Environment
Children need to feel that their parents
value learning. If you show your kids that academic exploration is worthwhile and education is important, they are likely
to develop similar attitudes. Further, let your kids know that failure is often a part of the learning process, and let them
fail without penalty. Kids who are not afraid to fail are more willing to accept scholastic challenges and less likely to
sabotage their own academic efforts.
2. Use Rewards Carefully
Students who possess intrinsic motivation take on activities because of the feelings of enjoyment
and accomplishment they evoke. Students who possess extrinsic motivation perform to gain a reward or avoid a punishment. Students
with extrinsic motivation will generally put out the minimal amount of effort to complete tasks in the easiest way possible.
In addition, external
motivation only exists as long as there is external compensation. In other words, extrinsic motivation is likely to result
in limited progress that vanishes when the reward disappears. So be discerning when offering rewards for good work.
3. Avoid Power Struggles
Realistically, you won't be able to take on every struggle that comes along, so choose your battles
wisely. Make a clear-cut list of unacceptable behaviors and resulting consequences. For instance, a failing grade in a class might result in the loss of a favorite privilege until
the grade is raised. Resist the temptation to ground your child indefinitely or to take away all prized possessions. If you
act reasonably and calmly, there is hope that your child will follow suit.
4. Build on Strengths
Find an area in which your child excels and focus on it. Constant failure is certainly unmotivating,
and when the primary focus is on weakness, self-esteem and motivation will undoubtedly be lowered. If your child can find
success in a nonacademic setting, you can work together to determine the elements of that accomplishment. Perhaps you and
your child will be able to formulate a recipe for success and apply the ingredients to the educational setting.
In conclusion, unmotivated
students do want to succeed, but they are being held back by some sort of obstacle. With patience, understanding, and hard
work, you can help your child find a path to academic achievement.
Students Speak: Will & Lindsey
William Johnson, a junior, has
five biological brothers and sisters, three stepsisters, one half brother, and five adopted brothers and sisters. He is the
second-oldest of his family’s 15 children, and he does not take the role lightly.
"When I’m feeling
unmotivated and I don’t want to do homework," said the St. Paul native, "I think of my family. I know my siblings look
up to me, and I want to set the tone for going to college and doing well."
Will’s parents ran a day-care business
when he was younger and cared for foster children in their home. Eventually they began adopting. His parents are divorced
now, but his mother also has guardianship over a boy whose mother could not care for him.
This goodwill rubbed off
on Will, who is pursuing civil engineering because of his desire to give back to his community. He wants to be involved with
urban redevelopment and establishing safe havens for kids, much like the neighborhood recreation center where he spent many
afternoons as a child.
Will admits that he applied to St. Thomas only because of the free application; he wanted to
attend college out-of-state. After receiving generous scholarship offers from St. Thomas, however, he knew that he could not
pass up this opportunity. His program allows him to earn a B.A. degree in engineering in just three years, then to transfer
to a school offering a two-year degree in civil engineering.
Will has played on the varsity football team and has participated
in Multicultural Student Services activities, and has coached football for the past two years at his former high school. To
augment his scholarship aid, he held internships for three summers at the Federal Reserve Bank and this year is working at
a grocery store on weekends.
"Scholarships help me continue my dream to go to school and to be an athlete, but more
importantly, to lead the way for the many others to follow. It is important to me that there be leaders for the community,
from the community."
Loree, a sophomore, admits that majoring in Japanese is a little "crazy," but says that her parents never hesitated
to support her choice.
"Not a lot of parents would support their child going to such an expensive school to do such
a crazy thing like Japanese major," she says.
became interested in Japanese culture at age 15 after watching the Japanese show "Sailor Moon," and next fall, she will leave
for a nine-month stint studying in Japan and living with a Japanese family. Her goal is to become an English as a Second Language
teacher, a career that does not provide the most lucrative salary, which makes her all the more grateful for the scholarships
that she has received.
the daughter of a military father, Lindsey grew up in four states and Panama; her family now lives in Cloquet, Minn. She says
that her parents worked hard to provide for their family, but arranged it so that one of them always would be home with Lindsey
and her two younger brothers, even if it sometimes meant one parent working days and one working nights.
In addition to her Japanese classes,
Lindsey is the president of the Japanese Club on campus, and she loves being part of the Aquinas Scholars, St. Thomas’
undergraduate honors program. She enjoys the classes because of their small size and in-depth discussions. "Everyone shows
up way too early because we are all nerdy!" she said.
To help pay for school, Lindsey works on campus about 20 hours a week, between the
Music Resource Center and the O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library. She enjoys the flexibility of these jobs and the opportunity
to work on homework during downtime. In the summer, she works as a housekeeper to earn extra money.
Lindsey is grateful for the
scholarship aid that she has been awarded. In a thank-you letter to a donor, she said, "Rest assured your kind donations are
being put to good use and I will be forever grateful."
Why Are Students Unmotivated?
- "More teachers than ever are frustrated with legions of students
who expect success but are unwilling to work for it. 'Fast and easy' has replaced 'work and earn' as a motto that guides too
many of our youth...They often feel as though they should be adequately entertained. Feeling good has become more valued than
working hard...Expectations of entitlement with minimal effort are not uncommon in today's classrooms."
"Those who are hard to motivate and control often make us wonder
why we should bother with them at all when there are so many others who care and want to learn. They make us question the
worth of reaching out to them when they often sap our own energy and motivation. In addition, they often push our buttons,
make us feel defeated, interfere with other students, challenge our authority, and evoke strong emotions that interfere with
reason. Unless we are careful, they can burn us out."
- "When children are spoiled into believing that
what they want is what they should have, school provides a rude awakening when it links success to personal effort. Changing
the culture is difficult at best, so wise educators need to understand and use social dynamics to create, inspire, and cultivate
motivation within their students."
- "From a psychological perspective, many students who have bad
behavior or who give up are covering their concerns about being perceived as stupid...Some students find power and control
in their refusals to work. They are often competent and capable, but their need to be in control is so strong that they employ
a self-defeating strategy to exert their independence...Depression among children as young as preschoolers is often overlooked
as a cause of poor school motivation."
- "If we give up on them, they will cause more problems and be
more hurtful, dangerous, and costly."
source site: click here
Five Keys that Motivate
"Being successful at motivating difficult youth
requires that our behavior be motivated by the following basic beliefs:
a) All students are capable of learning when
they have the academic and personal tools to be successful.
b) Students are inherently motivated to learn
but learn to be unmotivated when they repeatedly fail.
c) Learning requires risk taking, so classrooms
need to be safe places physically and psychologically.
d) All students have basic needs to belong,
to be competent, and to influence what happens to them. Motivation to learn most often occurs when these basic needs are met.
e) High self-esteem should not be a goal, but
rather a result that comes with the mastery of challenging tasks.
f) High motivation for learning in school most
often occurs when adults treat students with respect and dignity."
Motivating the Unmotivated Child
Getting into the back-to-school routine can be hard for everyone
in the house. In the morning, parents are faced with groggy kids who won't get out of bed and get ready for school no matter
how much you nag, bribe and scold. Homework time can be even worse, with nightly fights and accusations echoing off the walls
of your home. So how can you get your child to be more motivated? The important thing to remember is this: your child is motivated—they’re
just motivated to resist you. Keep reading to find out how you can turn this negative motivation into a positive one.
When a child becomes unmotivated and won’t get out of bed, do homework or participate in activities, what is
he trying to tell the parent through this behavior?
we’re talking about kids not getting out of bed, not doing their homework or school assignments or not wanting to get
involved in family activities, it’s important for parents to realize that there is motivation in the child. But the
motivation is to resist. The motivation is to do things their way, not yours, and to retain power.
people feel powerless, they try to feel powerful by withholding. A child or teenager who feels very powerless will stay in
bed, not go to school, avoid homework, sit on the couch and withhold overall involvement because it gives them a sense of
being in control. To the parent, the behavior looks completely out of control. But the child sees it as the only way to have
power over what’s going on around him.
child who uses resistance to control lacks both social skills and problem solving skills. It’s important to define the
difference between the two. Social skills are how to talk to other people, how to be friendly, how to feel comfortable inside
your own skin and how to deal with people’s kindness. Problem solving skills are the skills that help kids figure out
what people want from them, how to give it, how to deal with other people’s behavior, expectations and demands. Problem
solving skills are needed to help a child handle being criticized in class. Many times the real reason kids don’t want
to do their homework is because they’re simply lazy about the work or they don’t want to be criticized in class
and held accountable for their work.
want to be clear about this point: everyone is motivated. The question is, motivated to do what? If a child looks like he’s
not motivated, you have to look at what he’s accomplishing and assume that this is what he’s motivated to do.
So part of the solution is getting him to be motivated to do something else. To assume that the child is unmotivated is an
ineffective way of looking at it. He is motivated. He’s simply motivated to do nothing. In this case, doing nothing
means resisting and holding back to exercise control over you.
see it when you ask your child a question and he doesn’t answer, but you know he heard you. What’s that all about?
That’s a child withholding an answer to feel powerful. When he says, “I don’t have to answer you if I don’t
want to,” you see it as a lack of motivation. He sees it as a way to win control over you.
As parents, we tend to respond to this unmotivated behavior by coaxing, arguing and screaming at the child. Or you
just give up and do the child’s tasks for him because you don’t see another way. It doesn’t work, but it’s
all you can do, it seems.
often these kids are motivated by a power struggle. They find different ways to have that struggle with their parents. The
job of the parents in this case is to find other ways for the child to solve the problem that’s inherent in the power
struggle. But if parents don’t have those other ways, then they just get locked into the power struggle.
you’re fighting day after day with a kid who won’t get out of bed, you’re never going to solve that problem.
Because even if he gets out of bed, then he won’t brush his teeth. And even if he brushes his teeth he won’t comb
his hair. Or he won’t wear clean clothes or he won’t do his homework. If continually resisting is how a child
tries to solve the problem of authority, then parents will have a hard time until they teach the child how to solve that problem
first step in teaching kids the problem solving skills they need is to understand how they think and realize that these kids
are not helpless victims. They’re simply trying to solve problems, but the way they’re solving them is ineffective,
inefficient and distorted. You have to deal with this distorted attempt for control in a systemic way. To give a simplistic
solution like taking away his phone or taking away his TV does not deal with the problem. It won’t work. You have to
look at the whole comprehensive picture.
So how can parents deal with this behavior more effectively, without screaming, arguing or “overdoing”
for the child?
I think parents should avoid giving the behavior power. When you yell at your child for lack of motivation, you’re
giving the resisting behavior power. I understand that parents get frustrated and yell. The point I want to make here is that
it won’t solve the problem. If you’re yelling or arguing with this child over these issues, you’re giving
him more power in the struggle, and you don’t want to do that. Leave the choices really clear for the child. Use “I”
words. “I want you to get up out of bed and get ready for school.” “I want you to do your homework now.”
Then leave the bedroom. If the kid doesn’t do it, then there should be consequences. There should be accountability.
If the kid says, “I don’t care about the consequences,” ignore it. Telling you he doesn’t care gives
him a sense of being in control and a sense of power.
would give consequences, and I don’t care if the kid doesn’t like it. If you don’t get out of bed, you shouldn’t
be doing anything else. You shouldn’t get to play video games. You shouldn’t spend four hours in front of the
TV. If you’re too sick to go to school, you shouldn’t be going out of the house. Those limits should be set and
would always tell parents in my office that you have to have the courage to let him experience the natural consequences of
his behavior. It takes a lot of courage to step back and say, “Okay, you’re not going to do your homework, and
you’re going to get the grades that reflect that.” But in these cases, it can help to let the child experience
the natural consequences of resistance. You don’t let the kid watch TV. You say, “Homework time is from six to
eight. And if you don’t want do your homework in that time, that’s fine. But you can’t go on the computer,
you can’t play games and you can’t watch TV. If you choose in that time period not to do your homework, that’ll
be your choice. And if you fail, that’ll be your choice.”
with the plan to let him experience the natural consequences of his decision, build in rewards for success, if he does make
the right decision. If my son failed a test, there was no punishment. But if he passed, there was a reward. It was very simple.
We rewarded A’s and B’s. We didn’t take anything away for C; we just didn’t reward it. So my son strived
to have A’s all the time. So with kids who resist, it’s important to have a rewards system as well as a consequence
natural consequences are an important part of life. That’s why we have speeding tickets. A speeding ticket is a natural
consequence. If you go too fast, the policeman stops you and gives you a ticket. He doesn’t follow you home to make
sure you don’t speed anymore. He lets you go. It’s your job to stop and take responsibility. If you don’t,
you’re going to get another ticket fifteen minutes later. Natural consequences help people take responsibility, and
they can be used to help kids take responsibility for things like going to school, participating in class and doing homework.
when you’re interacting with a kid who appears unmotivated, remember that screaming, bargaining and doing things for
him will not work. When you’re looking at this child, you have to remember, he is motivated. He’s just motivated
to do something different than what you want him to do. He’s motivated to resist you. So the more power you put into
it, the stronger his resistance gets. We don’t argue with kids because when we argue with them, we give them power.
Focus on making that behavior powerless and give the consequences that you can give so that there’s accountability.
The Total Transformation Program to help parents manage and change this behavior. It offers parents a comprehensive solution
for changing resistance and teaching the child responsibility accountability.
source site: click here
Find Your Song (and Sing It)
Written by Gail Blanke
Whether you’re feeling
insecure, unmotivated, or just a bit blue, the fastest route to energy and confidence is through your very own theme song.
There are those do-or-die moments
in life, when you’ve got a great opportunity and you don’t want to blow it, when you whisper to yourself,
OK, don’t let this be the time I mess up. We all have them, right?
I had one of those
moments about three years ago, and I remember it as if it were yesterday. I was walking down Third Avenue in New York
City to meet the editor in chief of a publishing company to pitch my new book, Between Trapezes. It was only a 15-minute
walk, but I was getting more uptight with every block.
This was a good publisher,
and I really wanted them to buy my book. I mean, I knew I liked them, but would this editor like me? Maybe she would
think the book was too personal. Maybe she would find my humor too much or my style too flamboyant. Editors are picky people.
How could I persuade this one to pick me? I was driving myself crazy.
Then I remembered
the story of one of Fred Astaire’s first Hollywood auditions. Years later they found the studio’s notes: “Can’t
sing.… Can dance a little.” Well, that didn’t stop him, did it? He just kept dancing, kept singing, and,
eventually, kept knocking ’em dead. I could hear him singing, “Things are looking up! It’s a great little
world we live in!”
I wondered where you get that
kind of conviction, that you’re exactly the right person to take the room, get the part, knock ’em dead? I bet
it’s from the music, I thought. Music has always given us courage and spurred us to go the distance. Has any country or band of brothers or sisters ever gone into battle without a song? The
bagpipes, the fife and drums, the raised voices, always went first. We all need a song.
Well, I sure needed something
that afternoon. It’s not that I was devoid of confidence, but my energy level had taken a nosedive. I just did not have the old knock-’em-dead spirit. And by this point I had
only five minutes to find it. OK, Gail, I thought, why don’t you try singing something? I had just passed
an attractive young man on the street who said, as he walked by, “Love your suit!”
And maybe that’s what did
it, but the perfect song popped into my head. It was from Funny Girl, and I had heard Barbra Streisand sing
it a million years before. I started singing it under my breath: “I’m the greatest star. I am by far, but no
one knows it.”
And then I got to those
killer words that set me right up, that got my adrenaline flowing, that reminded me I was the right person at the right place
at the right time to knock ’em dead. My voice got stronger and people glanced at me curiously, but I didn’t care.
“Looking down you’ll never see me. Try the sky, ’cause that’ll be me!”
That did it, all right. I was no longer walking; I was strutting, I was smiling, I was bursting with energy.
I was unstoppable. About 20 minutes into our meeting, that editor said, “You know what, Gail? We really want to buy
your book. We love your energy!” Now I sing my song every time I walk into a challenging, ego-on-the-line situation.
And it always works. Oh, I don’t mean I always make the sale. But I always bring my best self into the room —
whether it’s an interview, a presentation, or a cocktail party filled with people I don’t know.
Actually, I’m so committed to the idea of “finding your song” that I urge everyone I know
to find theirs. One of my favorite clients, a marketing executive who faces enormous challenges in her new position, sings “I Will Survive,” by Gloria Gaynor, every morning on the way to work. (Funny, a lot of women I know have chosen that song.)
Another wonderful young woman,
who had been out of work for a long time, sang Elton John’s “The Bitch Is Back” - at the top of her lungs
- on the way to the interview that nailed the job of her dreams. She told me afterward, “They had to hire me. They had
no choice. I was so hot, I was irresistible.”
I’m working with a woman
in her 50s whose husband recently left her for someone else. As part of a self-reinvention program, she has chosen as her
song “Too Many Fish in the Sea,” by the Marvelettes (“short ones, tall
ones, fine ones, kind ones”). Her husband’s departure is turning out to be the best thing that
ever happened to her.
Finding your song is not
hard. Maybe this little story will help: Not long ago, I coached a 40-year-old man who worked for an asset-management company.
His CEO had told him to beef up his communication skills. Well, this became one of the easiest assignments I had ever had.
Early in our conversations,
Roger and I started to talk about sports. It turned out that Roger had been a star on his high school soccer team. We talked
about his toughest game, one that he had helped pull out of the fire to win the league championship. “What did you think
about when you drove to the game?” I asked. “What did you think when you walked onto the field? Did you have a
song you loved?”
“I can’t believe you’re asking me that,”
he said. “I did have a song. I played it on the way to every game and sang it in my head on the field. You’re
going to laugh, but it was ‘My Sharona,’ by the Knack. I loved it. It never failed to get my juices flowing.”
“That’s the answer,” I said. “‘My Sharona.’
The work you do is just another kind of game - don’t you see? You need to have the same spirit and energy when you meet
with a client as you had when you took the field.”
“Wait,” he said.
“You mean I should sing ‘My Sharona’? You’re kidding, right?”
I replied. “You should belt it out at the top of your lungs on the way to the meeting and hear it in your head when
you walk in. Try it.”
I know it sounds crazy, but singing that silly song made
all the difference. Roger came out of himself; he became a motivator. He energized his clients, and they loved it. Now he’s
the guy the CEO goes to when she wants to clinch a deal. And he did it all by recapturing a moment in his life when he felt
unstoppable and by replaying the song that made him feel that way.
Looking back for those moments
is probably the easiest way to find your song. (And, by the way, it should be just one
song. Of course, you might love a bunch of them, but it’s important to choose just one to pull out and sing when your
ego is on the line. I love Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer” a lot. But that’s not the song that lets me
own the room. Only “I’m the Greatest Star” does that.)
would it take for you to know you’re exactly the right person, at the right place, at the right time to get what
you want? What song would you hear and sing when you’ve decided to be energized, unforgettable, and irresistible - and
you have only 15 minutes to figure out how?
Here’s what it takes:
You have to find your song and sing it. Sing it for all you’re worth. Why not? This is exactly
the right time for you to step into the limelight. The world has been waiting for you to knock ’em dead. So, what’s
1. Find your song.
Think back to a moment in your life when you felt like a million bucks.
Maybe you were on the bus in high school, returning from a great softball game; or at a dance when that extremely cute guy
pulled you out onto the dance floor. What were they playing? What were you singing? That’s your song.
2. Sing it.
Out loud if you can, or just to yourself in an elevator or on a busy street. Sing it on the way
to the interview, the big presentation, or the first date, or going to school to pick up the kids after a bad day.
3. Share it.
Ask someone you love what his or her song is, and tell that person yours. (And if you’re stuck finding yours, you can always steal one. Nobody will mind!)
4. Use it.
Remember - no matter how worried you are, no matter how far behind you’re
running, your song will get you there. In a pinch, you can always sing Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive,”
right? That will do it.
Discussion with Dr. Leonard Sax on Unmotivated
Here is an interesting transcript of a discussion from the Washington Post article with Leonard Sax, the physician and psychologist who wrote the op-ed, "What's Happening to Boys." The discussion, frankly seems a bit odd to me, as Dr. Sax seems
to put some blame for boy's lack of motivation on environmental toxins and video games:
That's one reason I have begun to pay serious attention
to the hypotheses regarding environmental toxins, in particular those toxins derived from plastics. We're all exposed to foods
in plastic containers, regardless of our economic status. The possibility that these toxins may play a role in this phenomenon
should at least be explored.Uhhh,
what about girls? Are they exempt from the toxins from plastic containers or do girls actually become even more motivated
to attend college and get out of the house than boys when exposed to toxins? It makes no sense to me.
.....But here's the problem. We're seeing many more young men today who are unmotivated.
In just the past 20 or 30 years, the proportion of young men living at home without the desire to make their own way in life
has increased very substantially. Why is that? I don't think human nature can have changed in a fundamental way in just 20
years. Maybe it's partly the influence of video games, or changes in education or the workforce. But I think the possibility
of environmental toxins must at least be investigated.
asks about video games to which Dr. Sax replies:
Could video games be at least partly responsible for
the phenomenon of 'boys adrift'? I think the answer is YES. Video games create a compelling alternative world. Success, victory,
conquest in that world may compensate -- in the psyche of the boy/man -- for a lack of achievement in the real world.Wow, now boys can just sublimate their ambition onto video games. Could
it possibly be the other way around? Could some boys play video games to escape being told just how expendable and worthless
they are? I don't know--just a theory--since many of my male patients tell me they play video games because they are lonely
or feel down. Or just because they are fun.
And finally, another commenter asks Dr. Sax whether young men have opted
out of college and career because these choices have become the province of mainly girls. Dr. Sax side steps this comment
Interesting, provocative, controversial point. I'm
not comfortable with your idea that the broader horizons opened to girls over the past 30 years have narrowed the horizons
available to boys and young men. But I thought I should post your question, so others can think about it.Yep, better not touch that comment with a ten foot poll if you want to
stay in the mainstream and sell your new book, "Boys Adrift: what's really behind the growing epidemic of unmotivated boys."
Overall, the rest of the discussion with Dr. Sax was quite interesting. Take a look and let me know your impressions. Do you think plastic is making
men live at home until they are 34? Do you think that video games have ruined boys? Does the anti-boy culture hurt boys? Any
guys out there 22-34 living at home who can shed some light on this issue?
Unmotivated Son Is Failing in School
Question: We want to move our 10-year-old
son from the local public school to a Catholic school. He is currently in the fifth grade but his grades for the entire year
has been D's/F's. We planned to have him repeat the fifth grade there. He was tested at the Catholic school and they said
he tested on the fourth-grade level and that is where they would place him. How devastating would that be to a 10-year-old
to be placed two years behind where he should be? My husband is totally against it.
My son has been struggling in school since third grade. His
grades have been very poor since then. We have had him tutored by Huntington Learning Center for over one year now. I have
also tutored him and now he is seeing a counselor. Everyone agrees that he is just not motivated, but how can we fix that?
He has also been tested by the public school system and is considered in the average range (no LD problems identified). What
can we do to help our son?
Answer: There has to be a reason a 10-year-old
child is not motivated. Until you find out why, you'll be putting him in program after program without a plan. I think that
demoting him to the fourth grade would be a disaster. You need to find out why he's doing what he's doing before you make
any decisions. Here are some possibilities:
your child get joy out of life outside the school? If he's constantly miserable or moody or angry and frustrated both in school
and at home, an underlying depression could be the cause of his difficulty. If he does poorly in school, but seems happy and
has a passion for something outside school that he does well, his poor attitude may be caused his inability to be successful
in school. He may be unmotivated and even oppositional in school because of a learning disability. He may also have such poor
academic skills that he just can't keep up. In this case, I'd get him quickly into a school or program for kids with very
weak academic preparation or for kids with LD and give him a heavy dose of specialized intervention. You can think about enrolling
him in a parochial or public school later, after a foundation of skills and self-esteem has been built.
- It could be an underlying learning disability that wasn't picked
up by the school evaluation.
- It could also be that he's had such a poor track record in
school that he doesn't see any hope of success. As a result, he could be depressed as a result of this self-perception. He
may be saying, "Why should I work harder? It's not going to make any difference." Or, "Even if I work my tail off, I'll only
get C's or D's or worse. What's the use?"
You need to have him evaluated soon by a professional who specializes
in the assessment of childhood learning disabilities and emotional difficulties. This could be a clinical neuropsychologist
or a team made up of a psychologist and a psychiatrist. They will help you determine what's at the root of your son's difficulties
and work with you to put a plan in place. Don't leave this to chance.
source site: click here
Why Doesn’t My Husband Feel Obliged to Care for His Family?
By Dr George Simon, PhD | 5 May 2009
I have an issue with my husband’s dependence and unmotivated
attitude. Here’s my situation: We’ve been married
for 6 years now and have two little boys. My husband’s
mother has been giving us financial support since the moment we got married until
today, but the support is not enough to raise a family, so I researched and eventually got full time work online. I take primary
care of the kids, but he tries to help in any way he can.
My issue is, he doesn’t have a job and it seems like he is not doing anything to try and get one.
My husband worked
in a call center before but for only two months because the job was too “stressful” and the pay was poor.
Since I got myself a good job online, I encouraged him to do
the same so we can still earn even without leaving the house. He received a couple of
rejection letters, but that’s normal. I told him you gotta keep trying and keep searching, but he simply gave up. I
feel like he is satisfied to let his mother partially support us and doesn’t feel any responsibility to be a provider
for his family. But the time will probably come when his mother cannot send us anything anymore, and I will be the only one
working and we will have big trouble making ends meet.
It angers me that he doesn’t seem worried about our future
and he lays down in bed with his laptop and posts in online game forums. Each time I address the issue with him, he gets mad
and tells me that I see myself as always right and that I’m insensitive and don’t care what he feels. Then he
raises his voice and starts swearing, so I stop talking to him. Will he ever grow up and face his responsibilities?
Our Clinical Psychologist’s Reply
You presume that your husband is “dependent,” which implies that he lacks the ability or faculties to
do for himself and therefore has to rely on others. Not all irresponsibility is rooted in dependence, however. Sometimes,
people develop a pattern of irresponsibility because overly conscientious people around them are always willing to carry the
weight. From what you say, your husband’s mother did this and still does, and now you do it also. Why would anyone develop
the “motivation” to fend for themselves (and for their family) if everyone else is doing the work and there appears
no immediate necessity? From what you say, your role in your present family is not only mother to your children but also one of being another mother to your husband.
Patterns such as you describe generally develop over a long
period of time and are not prone to changing quickly. Besides, every person in the family system is likely to play some kind
of “enabling” role. You indicate that when you try to verbally cajole, he blames you and swears. Verbal prodding
is no substitute for firm limit setting. The commitment of making a life together and raising a family is a serious endeavor
that not every person has developed the character to do responsibly. It’s probably time to stop talking and set some
very firm expectations and limits. Counseling can be a helpful vehicle for flushing out and dealing with issues also, but
in the end no person is likely to take on the responsibilities of living if those around him enable him to shirk them.
source site: click here