Life has a way of interfering with our plans while we are going after our dreams. It distracts us from pursuing things that really matter and even convinces us that nothing really matters. It can cause us to adopt a defeatist attitude - lacking on enthusiasm and interest - ultimately sapping out our sense of purpose.
But there are ways to stay motivated, no matter how you feel about everything around you. These are not easy, far from that, but are nevertheless very helpful in keeping yourself fired with motivation.
Develop the attitude of interest. Find the thing you are most passionate about. The happiest people, they say, are those people who do the things they love the most. It is not coincidental that they are the most motivated people as well. After all, passion and motivation go hand in hand. They are closely intertwined to create a person who is full of zest about everything.
Nearly every successful person is passionate about what they do. Why do you think Lance Armstrong, despite of having been diagnosed with terminal cancer, went on to win 7 consecutive Tour de France trophies? It is not only because he refused to give in to life's cruel joke, but because he is also very passionate about cycling. We are not saying that it has to take some forceful circumstances in our lives before we find the thing we are most passionate about. In most cases, this very thing is right at the tip of your nose. You just don't want to see it, or accept it.
Find the thing that can spark and sustain your enthusiasm. Then channel all your energies towards that thing. This sparks motivation, productivity and satisfaction.
But what do you do when you are stuck doing things that you are not truly passionate about? In times like this, when passion is lacking and your zeal is at its all-time low, interest will suffice. Be interested in everything you do, no matter how boring, tedious or nonsensical it may seem. Find meaning in everything. Take the time to be engrossed, to be interested. Otherwise, your life will seem and feel like a living hell.
Having said that, always find reasons to be happy about the things you do, the goals you are pursuing, the dreams you are trying to realize, and the life you are trying to live. Never lose sight of happiness and never let it slip away.
Maintain an elevated level of energy. The mere act of smiling at yourself can recharge your energy. Having no energy almost always ensure that you won't feel as motivated as you need. Always take the time to recharge yourself - sleep, eat, breathe, relax, and rest. Do whatever it takes to always keep your energy high, if not sustained.
Act like it. Translate positive emotions into actions. If you are not feeling positive about anything, try to act like it. Sometimes, despite of lacking motivation, you can still feel motivated when you deliberately act with enthusiasm.