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Recent Letter to the ElderWisdomCircle™

SELF-IMPROVEMENT: Transitioning from Lazy to Motivated
Letter #: 402056
Category: Self-Improvement

Original Letter

I am a 27 year old guy who is trying to transition myself from being lazy to enthusiastic motivated individual. I recently got hired for an office job doing drawings, drafting, and product inspection full time. My first day will start next week on Monday. The thing is, I actually have been unemployed for a YEAR this whole time. During that year, I have just been quite depress and the fact that it took me a long time to find a job again and all the negative perspective from family and other peers of me didn't really helped make my day to day enthusiastic and positive. 

Overtime, my self-confidence actually hit rock-bottom and my activity level and motivational perspective just got really low and I feel extremely lazy and i struggle to be more versatile as to how I once was. There was a point when I just got really sick of all the judgement from just about everyone; I just started applying to all the jobs I can. When I went on interviews; I often put on a facade that I am highly motivated and energetic individual. 

Now that someone actually hired me; my concern is that I need to actually be an energetic motivated individual if I want to be successful and keep this job in the long term. I was actually really happy when the guy called me and said that all my drug and background screening went well and I was clear to start. However, I need to be able to maintain this happy and energetic feeling from day to day now and this might sound silly but I think after a year of being bombarded by unfriendly judgement and just a negative self-perspective of my own it almost becomes a reflex of mine to have so much self-doubt and just a lazy surly attitude. 

How do I make this transition before I start working full time again next week? Please, I hope I was able to explain my situation clearly. I would really appreciate a feedback because this issue is really high up in my concerns. Thank you.

Elder Response

There is an old saying- way before my time - that idle hands are the devil's playground.  In current days, I suppose we have to change that to idle minds.  The point is that having too much idle time on our hands makes all of us feel lethargic, lazy and unmotivated.  It's pretty hard to get all excited about things when there just isn't much going on.  

So I get it.  If you ain't got much to do, what's the point in generating a lot of unused energy?  A couple of thoughts may help you here.  

One, the nature of work tends to bring out our better inner qualities.  Deadlines.  Peers.  Bosses.  Social acceptance. Pay.  All of those things tend to be motivators to succeed.  When you're good at something and well-employed, it becomes part of your identify.  By itself, this should be a motivating factor.  Commonly, people aren't all that thrilled about the product they are working on, but they take things seriously for all of the reasons noted above.  Once on the job, I suspect you will re-discover that you are no different.  

Two, remember that a job is a vehicle to other things in life.  If you're not that motivated by the work, be motivated by the fruits of your labor.  Every day you're earning money that will help pay for lodging, vehicles, health care, food, heat and entertainment.  No matter what anyone says, all of these things matter.  If you're not feeling the love when drawing whatever it is you'll be drawing, feel the love for what it provides, because no matter what problems you may have elsewhere, you still have to work.  

Three, don't feel bad about the feelings you've had; a lot of us feel the same way.  While there are some who are genuinely, internally motivated to work all of the time, there are a heck of a lot of people who prefer an easier road, for whatever reasons.  It's no sin.  Sometimes you just have to find the right work to get you moving; or as noted above, even if the work is not great, you do what you have to do.  If you're not motivated by the work, be motivated by survival. 

Four, enjoy it.  In addition to pay, most jobs provide a social atmosphere, personal interaction, and general activity that is better than sitting around the house being bummed out.  Since you've been off for awhile, you know what this means.  So make the most of it.  While there are bad jobs and bad bosses, most work situations are okay and they beat the alternative, or can lead to something better.  Go with it and have some fun.  

Some of us are just different, especially when it comes to careers.  I worked for a major corporation for many years and never really bought into the whole "team" thing and certainly didn't consider that work my calling in life. However, early on, I was motivated by doing a good job and not being un-employed.  Then later on I was motivated by paying for mortgages, a family, and all of that.  In other words, motivation comes in many forms, even for guys who prefer to just hang around. 

My guess is you are no different.  I hope this helps a bit and I wish you all the best at your new job .

Best Regards,



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