Motivating Yourself

Sooner or later, you’ll be in a position to have to motivate yourself. This will absolutely be the case when you’re between jobs. There’s no boss around when you don’t have a job. We’ll get to this in a bit.

We’re so used to having someone push us. It starts with dads and moms, then the baton gets passed somewhat to teachers, coaches, band directors and youth pastors. These are the early “motivators.”

Once you’re in college, you’re in a transition period, and the self-motivation needs to start kicking in or your whole career will be jeopardized. Many college kids don’t realize this. Staying at the task is second in importance to selecting the right career to go into, and thus the right college major.

…Regardless of who’s breathing down your neck, you need to be producing without the constant goading of a boss or supervisor.

I’ve found that regardless of who’s breathing down your neck, you need to be producing without the constant goading of a boss or supervisor. They are there for direction, clarification and information, but be your own boss! You should be smart enough to know what’s expected from you. If you don’t know ask.

Each and everyday, meet with yourself to lay out the day. Retreat with yourself periodically to lay out a plan. Review yourself for progress before it’s too late. In my latest meeting with myself (May 20, 2020), I resolved (in writing) to have a “bias for action,” to “let the chips fall where they may,” or in the popular vernacular, to acknowledge, “it is what it is,” and to “head ’em off at the pass,” the ‘em being anyone with the potential to hold me accountable.

I’ve always adhered to this Bible verse in my work life. Talk about accountability!

23 Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. Colossians 3:23-24 (NAS)

But besides this, I’m constantly talking to myself and to God to stay motivated to do my work, knowing that, “the sluggard does not plow after the autumn, so he begs during the harvest and has nothing. Proverbs 20:4

I don’t want to be that guy!

But my heart goes out to the unemployed. Yet the message is the same. You have to keep after it! Let your predicament drive you. Let your plight motivate you. Roll up your sleeves and dive in. You might just adopt the three action points I laid out for myself as a good starting point.

Nine Guys (Way Better than Five Guys)

The best advice you can get if you’re embarking on a job search is to enlist your own “advisory team” for timely instruction and counsel.

Proverbs 11:14, says, “Where there is no guidance the people fall, but in abundance of counselors there is victory.”

If you want to successfully traverse the job search wilderness, you’d be wise to take along comrades-in-arms who can and are freely willing to direct, encourage and motivate you back to civilization.

In assembling your team, it’s good to cover the gamut of needs that you might experience along the way. You’ll draw on these points of view throughout the vicissitudes of your trek, more so if it becomes a long slog through dense thickets, murky swamps or foreboding forests.

May I suggest these potential teammates?

You can’t make it without the I-Believe-In-You Guy. Chances are you will begin to doubt yourself after your first pitfall, so it’s good to have a boost in your self-esteem when you need it the most.

The Don’t-Give-Up Guy hangs out with the I-Believe-In-You Guy, but is most often heard to say, “You can do it!”

There’s the See-the-Possibilities Guy. Everyone needs someone who can distinguish the forest from the trees. He’s the guy with the binoculars who sees the potential clearing up ahead.

Everyone will need a Let-Me-Help-You-With-This Guy, who will roll up his sleeves and get a little dirty with you. He’s there to help you hack through the underbrush. This can range from doing serious edits on your resume to asking you “behavioral” interview questions.

Before you get too far down a particular path, check first with the Been-There-Done-That Guy. You may save yourself a lot of trouble and avoid major backtracking if you talk to him first. He will call a spade a spade. He will burst a few bubbles, but you can’t afford a time-wasting detour.

Where would you be without the I-Know-Someone-I-Can-Set-You-Up-With Guy? He may not have a map, but he likely knows someone who does, and he can lead you to him.

If you’re worn out and “just taking a little break,” you will benefit from the Get-Off-Your-Duff Guy. You will have to voluntarily put this guy on your team, knowing full well what you’re getting into. Remember, he will need free rein. By the way, his brother is the Swift-Kick-In-The-Pants Guy, who is just itching to join the expedition, but you should be fine without him. Keep in mind, though; the Get-Off-Your-Duff Guy has his brother’s phone number and will want to “tag team” if he gets no results.

Under no circumstances leave without The Lord’s-Got-It-All-Under-Control Guy. Talk to this guy regularly, hopefully before you’re at your wit’s end.

Partner up with these mates often so that you can avoid the inevitable “blind spots.” You be the instigator. When? At breakfasts, lunches, at the gym, at the ballpark, in the church hall, you name it. Sort through the advice you get and heed what seems wise.

However, remember there’s no substitute for God’s direction on your journey. He’s the only one who really has all the answers. After all, he’s the only one who knows where you’re going!

Thanks for Enrolling in Enspire U.

Thanks for joining me! I’ve done my personal assessment homework and I now know I  always seem to end up doing two things in my interactions with the unemployed or underemployed: encouraging them, and, inspiring them.

Thus, the new word “enspire.”

To extricate yourself from your current vocational situation will require going back to school, not for a degree or certificate or license, but for a good dose of motivation and instruction.

Thus, “Enspire U.”

I must warn you, though, there’s a great deal of wisdom in my advice, not because I’m some great shakes, but because the Bible is my encouragement and inspiration. You’ll be surprised to learn, this book holds the keys to your future.

I’ll add to this 40 years at work in two professions, a major career transition, and more than 10 years of “enspiring” in a megachurch setting, and on my own.