INTJs are well-suited to discover their lost motivation because life is an intellectual journey that they are hardwired to pursue. Once INTJs embark on the path to self-discovery, life is never the same.
During the 1990s, discovering one’s motivation, reason for living, and finding a purpose driven life was all the rage.
In the previous decades, authors like Og Mandino, Norman Vincent Peale, and Dale Carnegie galvanized the self-discovery movement that spawned the likes of motivational speakers Tony Robbins, Les Brown, and Willey Jolley.
These self-actualization gurus produced copious information on how people can find lost motivation.
But, how can you lose something if you never had it?
These early motivational speakers did not reveal the real secrets to exploring, finding, and flourishing with your newfound knowledge.
Often these motivators did not go into the deep abyss of the hardwiring of human nature.
They tended to provide flowery words of encouragement to complex human inertia.
Many people battle the challenges of comfort versus mediocrity.
Kirby (2020) stipulated that, “Being content with what you have in life can be a good thing, but it can also lead to a lack of motivation. If you’re content and feel like you’ve settled in life, you aren’t going to be motivated to try new things. You believe you’ve gotten everything you can, so what would be the point of working for anything else?” (para. 18).
We dreamed as children, but lost our aspirations enroute to adulthood.
Huber (2018) asserted that, “You are kind of demotivated because you thought you’d be there by now. You wouldn’t have thought that achieving your goal would take so long. And it is seriously demotivating you. You might even be playing with the idea of quitting because you are so impatient” (para. 19).
Additionally, Locke (2020) postulated that, “Most unmotivated people get distracted by a daunting challenge. They think of the blood, sweat and tears that face them in achieving a task or objective. They forget to think of the long-term rewards and benefits, which is an essential element in motivation” (para. 7).
Still, many people believe discovering one’s motivation should be easier, and guided by divinity.
Tanaaz (n.d.) said “If you don’t know your purpose it’s your job to find out and you find out by following your bliss and doing what makes you HAPPY in the present moment” (para. 10).
Perhaps we are most ambitious as children and lose our vivid imagination along the way.
Do you remember being asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
You had no awareness of the commitment it takes for individuals to develop careers when you replied, “I want to be a doctor, astronaut, and fireman.”
Ask those same questions fifteen years later, and you are still probably trying to figure it out. Becoming a doctor, astronaut, or fireman was a mere figment of your imagination.
I started my career as a motivational speaker in 1996 after reading the book, “What Color is Your Parachute?” There was a chapter within the book that talked about the profession that people who are life-learners and preternaturally curious gravitated towards. Motivational speaking was one of them.
The Problem with Motivational Speakers
As a result, motivational speaking was a profession I had to get into despite being an INTJ.
After joining Toastmasters International to improve my public speaking, I begin aligning with other budding speakers. We all wanted to be the next Tony Robbins and Les Brown.
I even traveled to Chicago in 1997 for a one-day seminar with Les Brown.
In an attempt to break ground, a group of us would network at speaking forums as a branding opportunity.
Motivational gurus said to succeed within the speaking industry, you had to write a book. So, some of us wrote books about succeeding in life as we were failing miserably.
What was the problem? Why weren’t our words manifesting into the vision we had of transforming lives with our powerful messages?
There were miniscule successes, but nothing to make a living with.
We were not successful because we did not have a unique message to a targeted audience who were willing to pay us for our services.
In the end, most of us either quit, found a job, or stayed in the profession, but pivoted when the market changed.
I did the latter by staying and pivoting. I have altered my subject matter and business model several times within twenty-four years.
Today, my business looks and feels completely different than when I started.
I create online digital products for niche groups.
And while I have passion, my keys to enlightenment have been marrying passion with specialized skills in association with facilitating the needs of the marketplace.
The problem with motivational speakers, then and now, is that after the emotionality of a rousing speech, there is no logical blueprint for success.
Unless you can quantify a return on a client’s investment, there is little value in flowery words when clients want concrete results.
Motivational speakers have rarely produced quantifiable results that justify their existence.
To paraphrase William Shakespeare, the fault of man lies not in his stars, but within himself.
In this vein, motivational speakers are not the answer for INTJs finding lost motivation.
How INTJs Can Discover Lost Motivation
Often, we lose a lot from childhood to adulthood. Our colorful imagination is replaced with pale reality.
Consequently, we have to regain what was lost by first assuming the curiosity of a child.
First, you must explore a field of study that you have a general interest in. The more you become immersed within that interest, the more you become self-directed towards specificity.
Discovering lost motivation is an intellectual journey that may take years to gain clarity.
To gain greater clarity, you must nurture your interest with research, reading, analysis, and meditation.
Secondly, your general interest has many dimensions. It is essential to choose the most compelling aspect of your interest based on your level of awareness.
Frolicking within the field of ideas allows you to experiment within your own laboratory.
As you are focused in one direction, read a biography of someone who has gone a similar route. Living vicariously through someone else’s experience shortens your learning curve, which allows you to become more innovative.
The advantage INTJs have over most people is the ability to discover disparate patterns. As patterns emerge, begin attributing meaning to what you discover.
Thirdly, consider if your interest solves a problem for an audience that may benefit the most from your efforts.
By having a niche audience, you can define who they are, and how to best serve them.
Despite your best efforts, there is a trial-and-error aspect to your journey. Maintaining motivation requires self-discipline and steel determination.
Finally, you must fall in love with the process for self-discovery. Many people want to make money manifesting their aspirations.
However, the guaranteed rewards are intrinsic. In short, you are rewarded for engaging in your labor of love. And any extrinsic rewards in the way of pay is mere icing on the cake.
The late Steve Jobs addressed the motivation issue by suggesting that any difficult endeavor had to be enjoyable because of the length of time it takes to accomplish a great feat.
Discovering and nurturing your motivation is purely subjective and requires a long-term commitment to the process.
In the end, this commitment ensures that your motivation will never be lost again.
- Focus on a cause that motivates you to act.
- Evaluate the cause from every possible angle.
- Create intellectual property around the solutions.
- Build your authority through social media.
Huber, L. (2018, May 28). 8 reasons you lack motivation and how to fix it. The Startup. Retrieved from: https://medium.com/swlh/8-reasons-you-lack-motivation-and-how-to-fix-it-578664a544f8.
Kirby, S. (2020, Dec. 21). Common causes of lack of motivation and how to overcome them. Better Help. Retrieved from: https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/motivation/common-causes-of-lack-of-motivation-and-how-to-overcome-them.
Locke, R. (2020, Apr. 22). 10 reasons why people are unmotivated (and how to be motivated). Lifehack. Retrieved from: https://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/10-reasons-why-some-people-are-always-unmotivated.html.
Tanaaz (n.d.). When your life lacks direction and motivation. Forever Conscious. Retrieved from: https://foreverconscious.com/when-your-life-lacks-direction-and-motivation.