Question “I have always been highly driven and motivated, both academically and in my personal life. But ever since I finished school for the summer back in April and got this new job working as a cocktail waitress, I find that I have zero drive to do ANYTHING! I find myself sleeping in all day just to wake up to go to work, whereas before I was highly engaged and would correspond with people obsessively, was always reading business blogs and keeping up with current affairs, and was constantly making plans and setting goals for myself. I’m curious, can motivation be affected by environmental factors, such as one’s job, their amount of sleep, their diet, etc? Because all three of these factors have changed drastically within the past few months, but I was always belonged to the school of thought that motivation was an internal drive, one that is an integral part of your psychology and personality, one that cannot be taught or altered. What are your thoughts on motivation, and how can I get my Moho back?! Looking forward to your insights!” KB
Coach Frank’s Answer: Great Question! My readers and listeners are brilliant and I learn so much from you all!
OK, I took liberties with this person (and got clarification) and found some other key facts that will help me frame the issue.
The first obvious point is that you have answered your own question very well in describing the (drastic) changes in your environment over the last few months. You went from an 11 year career as a full time student to working part time at some very different hours, big change. You went from being incredibly secure and safe in your expertise as a brilliant student, now you are in a totally different environment, working crazy hours physically and perhaps are not eating well or exercising to keep the mind and body connection optimized. Just because you are young, slim and never had to work out, it may be time to challenge your body differently.
Another aspect of the change is the type of people you work with and serve in a bar/restaurant. I worked 6 years in the industry and have found that there were a couple of different types of people that worked with me:
1) The student or struggling artist making money to pay bills and pursue their dreams (a stepping stone). For some the stepping stone remains for decades with ensuing bitterness because the lifestyle provides easy/plentiful “right now” cash.
2) What I called industry professionals who are not educated but love the work and take real pride in serving other people and the psychic income of connection and prestige that goes with being in charge of your own group/territory of sales. Additionally bartenders have the “it” factor of being on a pedestal.
So, new environment, rules, hours, diet, people, expectations = New challenges, feelings and growth (in new directions).
Become clear why you are doing this job (the money and social) but have an exit plan and time line. Set a SMART goal. (Not a SMART SERVE GOAL!)
SMART GOALS are Specific, Measurable, Accountable, Resonant, Thrilling
example: “I will save $50 a week for the next 6 months and apply to 10 full time jobs per week with the objective of having a “corporate job” by September 1st,
2011 paying a minimum of $ X”.
Keep adjusting the exact goal until it’s thrilling to you! Otherwise it’s too much work and no fun! I can tell you right now, my bar tending days were some of the best memories I have to this day. You will look back at this period in 20 years and say, that was so fun! WHY WAIT! HAVE FUN AND SAY IT NOW! BE A STUDENT OF THIS NEW EXPERIENCE/ENVIRONMENT!
By doing this you realize that the job now is a VEHICLE to get to your other goals. Also, I would make a game of it, “how amazing can I get by September 1stat connecting with people?”
Another point, be easy in this transition period, I’m hearing you “should over” yourself because you have high standards.
Let us know how you do! Trust who you are and your intuition, follow it and live!