The early adult years herald REAL changes involving career choices, lifestyle, relationships, fulfilling friendships, choices and, most of all, initiative. After the secure routine of school life, the years that follow are laissez-faire and need more focus.

Motivation is, perhaps, the cornerstone of all effort. Evolved for the Latin word ‘movere’ or ‘to move’, it refers to what makes an individual tick.

Lack of confidence can be a precursor of lack of motivation. When this happens, it’s usually because the focus is entirely on what we want and neglecting what is already there. Often, negative thoughts and anxiety about the future can hamper staying motivated.

When we only think about what we want, the mind creates explanations for why we are not getting it, leading to the creation negative thoughts. Past failures, bad breaks and personal weaknesses dominate the mind, causing a loss in self-confidence.

The key may be in understanding how our thoughts drive our emotions. Learning how to nurture motivating thoughts, neutralise negative ones, and focus on the task at hand, may help in pulling ourselves out of a slump before it gains momentum.

So, think about what makes you tick or, for that matter, not tick. Together, let’s work towards reflecting on your intangible skills (interpersonal skills, sense of humour, listening ability), handling choices, expectations, relationships, work, home, and anything that makes you over-think.

(The writer is a clinical psychologist based in London, with an interest in working through adjustment issues with young adults.)

(This article was published on December 9, 2012)
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