Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and is a major contributor to the global burden of disease. More women are affected by depression than men. At its worst, depression can lead to suicide.
Depression is a common illness worldwide, with an estimated 350 million people affected.
Depression is different from usual mood fluctuations and short-lived emotional responses to challenges in everyday life. Especially when long-lasting and with moderate or severe intensity, depression may become a serious health condition. It can cause the affected person to suffer greatly and function poorly at work, at school and in the family. At its worst, depression can lead to suicide. Suicide results in an estimated 1 million deaths every year.
“Depression has been called the world’s number one public health problem. In fact, depression is so widespread it is considered the common cold of psychiatric disturbances. But there is a grim difference between depression and a cold. Depression can kill you.” – David D. Burns
The gruesome statistics above, emphasize the reason why the topic I am addressing today is so important for our generation. HOW TO CONSTANTLY STAY MOTIVATED is a much needed topic by any standard especially in our generation of depressed people. Constant motivation could be a life line for a generation that is prone to chronic depression.
If we could learn how to simply stay motivated, we could reduce the rate of depression to the tune of 50% in our nations. If we could only teach people how to get motivated, we would be able to save billions and billions of US dollars from the budget of our countries
Depression in America costs society $210 billion per year, according to the newest data available, yet only 40 percent of this sum is associated with depression itself. In fact, for every dollar spent treating depression, an additional $4.70 is spent on direct and indirect costs of related illnesses, and another $1.90 is spent on a combination of reduced workplace productivity and the economic costs associated with suicide, directly linked to depression.
“Depression isn’t just being a bit sad. It’s feeling nothing, its nothing wanting to be alive anymore. – J. k Rowling
Teaching people to be motivated would not only save our economies from wasting a much needed financial budget. It would go beyond that. It would save millions of our citizens from diseases and the other emotional and psychological torments that people in depression go through.
Self-motivation could become a major cure for the problem of mood swings. It would save people from cognitive disorder. It would save people from having low energy levels. It could save people from a loss of appetite and it could save people from sleeping disorders. Self-motivation could also help raise self-esteem.
As simple as the act of self-motivation is, it could actually reduce the suffering of a lot of people. If we could teach people how to keep themselves motivated, it would increase the quality of life of our people. Self- motivation would also increase the social skills of people.
Teaching people to be self-motivated would definitely have an effect on their professions and would make them more productive in their work place. This would in turn have a direct effect on the general economy, because when people are happy, they work better and this would also increase the income of the country. Depression is estimated to cause 200 million lost workdays each year, at a cost to employers of between 17 to 44 billion dollars.
Another area self-motivation could help a country in, is to make its citizens happy. It would improve their health and it would reduce medical costs in the nation. Because people who are depressed are always on medication. Keeping people self-motivated would reduce these costs.
“Motivation is the fuel, necessary to keep the human engine running.” ― Zig Ziglar
Friends, any how you look at it, there are more positives in learning to keep yourself and others motivated than we could imagine. This is one of the reasons why in nations where there is freedom of religion, people are always better off emotionally, mentally and psychologically than in nations where freedom of religion is prohibited.
Religious practice is a very strong form of motivation for devout believers. In most cases, believers tend to put their trust and burdens on God, thereby hoping for some form of solace from above. That in itself reduces the burden individuals carry on their shoulders. Psychologically, this could go a long way to saving people from depression. Especially if they experience some form of relief, a miracle or an answer to their prayers. This is much more different to someone who has to shoulder his or her responsibilities all by himself.
“Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it.” –Charles Swindoll
However besides religion, we must be able to teach people in the work place how to keep their workers motivated. One other way of helping our society get better is keeping people motivated through the media. I think we should intentionally apply mass media, in the area of helping nations reduce the burden of depression. If every media house, TV station, newspaper and radio station commited to producing an hour program a week to talk about how to systematically keep people motivated, we would save our nation billions of dollars in depression treatments. Research has shown that high levels of depression is costing England almost £11bn a year in lost earnings, from demands on the health service and in prescribing drugs to tackle the problem.
In short, one of the most important needs of our modern life is how to keep people inspired. If we could teach people not just to be insured but to be self-inspired and motivated, we would have gone a long way in improving people’s lives in our generation. It seems as if with every passing day, more people simply lose the motivation to live. People don’t just have the motivation to live anymore. People are losing passion for life by the hour. As we have stated above. This loss of interest in life leads to depression, mental sickness, anger, frustration, hatred, jealousy and the list goes on and on.
“Definiteness of purpose is the starting point of all achievement.” –W. Clement Stone
Drug abuse and drug addiction have become a major menace in our world today. A careful study of addiction, will almost definitely lead us to the issue of hopelessness and a lack of motivation. When we see people using drugs, drinking, smoking and addicted to pornography, it is simply because they are bored and they have little interest in life. They are not motivated. Drugs, alcohol, pornography therefore become a means by which people try to get themselves motivated. People try to get some form of excitement out of drugs, alcohol and pornography.
Everyone wants to be excited. Everyone wants to be happy. Everyone wants to be inspired and motivated. The tricky aspect of motivation though is that you need energy to be motivated and excited. You need some form of energy to keep yourself happy. When that energy is lacking, that is where the crisis comes. When we lack the energy for life, depression steps in, frustration steps in, anger and mood swings step in. In an attempt to overcome these negative tendencies, men do desperate things.
Apart from the extreme things like drugs and alcohol, there are other subtle ways that our generation tries to find energy for living. Some over eat leading to gluttony. Others refrain from eating leading to anorexia. Some eat and try to get rid of it leading to bulimia. Yet others find solace in sex, leading to sex addiction.
The quest for energy, leads to all forms of sin and malpractice. All these things take us into the dungeon of darkness and then more darkness, leading into even more depression. During this process, people lose even more energy. So how do we keep ourselves motivated all the time? I would like to start this article by first giving a list of the popular and more contemporary methods of motivation that we are all familiar with.
- THE FEAR FACTOR
Fear is one of the most common and probably the greatest motivating factors in the world. It is fear that makes people wake up in the morning and go to work. It is not because they love their jobs so much, but because they are afraid of getting fired or being unemployed. On the other hand, most people especially in the developed countries, are motivated to work and go to jobs because they have to pay their bills. Many people in the western nations would be homeless if they tried to stay out of work for a year. That fear of being a social outcast gets people motivated to go to work to do the things that they would not normally do.
In most cultures, the fear of public opinion keeps people straight. Many people don’t want to be social outcasts or ostracized from the society. Most of us want to be accepted by our peers and countrymen. We want to fit into society. That fear of falling out of societal expectation, motivates us to keep on largely doing the things expected of us.
So fear is a powerful factor of motivation. This is probably the most wide spread factor for the motivation of people. In most countries of the world, children in their millions wake up in the morning to go to school. We all know it is not because they want to. Most of them probably don’t want to go, but the fear and the perception of the society keeps them coming back to those classes. The parents make sure their kids go to school because they are driven by societal expectations, while the kids oblige to the requirements of their parents and go to school because of the fear of punishment. So fear is a factor everywhere.
“Fear sells. Fear makes money. The countless companies and consultants in the business of protecting the fearful from whatever they may fear know it only too well. The more fear, the better the sales.” –
When kids refuse to do their assignments and homework, the teachers use the fear factor to keep them straight. The students are told they will not get money, they will not get promoted and all kinds of things. Unfortunately, with the modern world of social media, and the information age, people are starting to break free from the fear factor. So we need to look for other ways of keeping people motivated apart from the more traditional method of fear.
“Fear begins and ends with the desire to be secure; inward and outward security, with the desire to be certain, to have permanency. The continuity of permanence is sought in every direction, in virtue, in relationship, in action, in experience, in knowledge, in outward and inward things. To find security and be secure is the everlasting cry. It is this insistent demand that breeds fear.” –
- THE MONEY FACTOR
Money is another big factor of motivation in all generations of human history. In fact many would argue that money is the number one motivating factor for human endeavors. The grip of money over the souls of men is so undeniable that even the Lord Jesus Christ gave it recognition through his teaching.
According to Jesus everyone either worships God Almighty or the god of mammon which is the god of money. Jesus therefore elevates the role and the influence of money as equal to that of a deity. The influence and power that money exacts over people is almost as strong as a religious deity. Just like with God, money demands obedience. Just as with God, money demands worship. Just as with God, money demands supremacy. All these reasons contribute to why Jesus equates the power of money to that of a deity.
“You can be motivated by fear, and you can be motivated reward. But both those methods are only temporary. The only lasting thing is self-motivation.” ― Homer Rice
Money and the desire to possess it, drives people to do and undo. Money causes people to give themselves up to an eight hour daily job just to be able to take something home at the end of the week. People basically sell themselves into temporary slavery just to be able to take something home. Money is a powerful force of motivation. For money, men and women would agree to abandon their families if they are sure to get an amount of money that satisfies their desires.
Money and the desire to make it, compels people to abandon their children in the pursuit of financial gains. Money is so powerful that generation after generation have abandoned their native countries and family linages just to be able to gain some more money in other lands. On a daily basis, people lose their lives in pursuit of money. We read stories constantly of drug pushers who are on a regular basis sentenced to death in some countries. Yet, people keep on practicing drug pushing, in spite of the threat of death. What is the motivation? MONEY!
“Money is like gasoline during a road trip. You don’t want to run out of gas on your trip, but you’re not doing a tour of gas stations.” ― Tim O’Reilly
What this tells us is that even the fear of death retreats where there is motivation for money. The motivation of money in this case, supersedes the fear of death. There is nothing people wouldn’t do for money. People have the motivation to do the most inconceivable things, if they know there is a possibility of receiving monetary rewards, at the end of the day. The motivation of money is so strong that some people are willing to go take the lives of other men just for the reward of money. So money is one of the most powerful motivating factors on the earth.
Life however keeps on proving to us that after money is gained, it is still possible to remain unsatisfied. Leading to another quest and other means of motivation. The disillusionment of money tells us that there is a need to look for other means of self-motivation other than money. Today individuals have more money than ever before in history, yet we are not happier and we are not less depressed. So apart from money, we still need to teach people how to be self-motivated.
- THE LOVE FACTOR
Love, oh sweet love!
Love has always been a magical word. This word had led people to go to war. Love has inspired people so strongly to risk their lives. The ancient practice of dueling was born out of the uncontrollable passion of love. Love had inspired people to build nations. Cities have been built because of love. Oceans have been tamed because of the power of love. The force of nature has been subdued, thanks to the passion of love. Enemies have become friends, thanks to love. Wars have been made to cease because of love. Kingdoms and empires have collapsed just because of the power of love. That magical word has turned friends into enemies. It has caused nations to rise against nations.
Love has raised up armies in their millions against each other all for one cause – to prove love. It is the love for her race that caused Nazi Germany to want to annihilate all other races. On the other hand, love makes millions of husbands to wake up in the morning to pursue the good of their families. Most men will tell you that the reason why they are doing most of the things they do is to prove love, to their spouses or to their children. Love is a powerful force of motivation.
As a matter of fact, there are people who would think that this is the greatest motivating factor in life. The power of love causes generational reproduction that leads to the preservation of the human race. Love compelled the Son of God to leave heaven to come to the earth. Love made Him take on the nature of man. For love, He gave his life and died for humanity. Love is an incredibly strong motivating factor.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Jn. 3:16
As powerful as the factor of love is, it is sad to say that it is becoming more and more difficult to come across a true expression of love in our technologically advanced modern world. There are so many artificial solutions to love, that steal from men the real energy that true love offers. So unfortunately, it is becoming more and more difficult for people to experience true love. Too much deception, too many games and pornography, etc.
When there is no genuine experience of love, people feel depressed, disillusioned, disappointed and are desperate for more motivation.
- THE FORCE OF HABIT
Habits once formed can become a very strong factor of motivation. People who have managed to develop some habits in their lives, almost eventually become slaves to their habits. The down fall of this is that, most habits are usually negative. Not too many people have been able to harness the power of habit to develop some of their best desires and cravings.
“We are motivated more by a version to the unpleasant than by a will toward truth, freedom, or healing. We are constantly attempting to escape our life, to avoid rather than enter our pain we, and we wonder why it is so difficult to be fully alive.” ― Stephen Levine
It is actually a powerful force and motivation when we are able to intentionally create habits to help us develop skills that we need in our daily work. One of the greatest powers of habit is that it turns our actions into automatic reflexes. Habits are actions taken without thought. Can you imagine yourself developing habits in line with the skills and actions that you need to come to fulfillment in life? Can you imagine yourself converting your motivation factors into habit? Meaning you automatically do those things that motivate you. Making you to automatically and instinctively, act out your motivation.
Motivation gets you going and habit gets you there.” ― Zig Ziglar
Unfortunately though, due to the fact that not too many people possess the ability to intentionally develop positive habits, we are mostly familiar with only negative habits. As a result, we don’t harness the power of habit for our motivation as we should, leaving us in the same state of depression, disillusionment and lack of motivation. Hence we still feel emptiness and often feel like something is missing in our lives, so we keep looking for sources of motivation in other places.
PRACTICAL FACTORS FOR MOTIVATION
- Be goal oriented. When you have a vision it is easier to get motivated.
“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan
- Find inspiration by observing and following other people who have achieved what you aspire to become.
- Practice fantasy. Try to imagine the best of what you could become if you attain the goals that you have set before yourself. That would get you more motivated and excited as you focus on what you aspire to become in the future.
“Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” –Napoleon Hill
- Try to build up anticipation of the new things you expect in your life. Make a list of expectations for the month, for the year and maybe even for the week and for the day.
- Put your goals in a visible place as a constant reminder of what you are about to attain.
- Get yourself an accountability partner. Try to have a partner who inspires you and vice versa.
- Commit yourself publicly. Because none of us like to be shamed. When we promise ourselves, we might not do it, but when we promise others, we tend to be more motived to keep our word.
- Have a daily reminder of your goals. Sometimes it is helpful to have an hourly reminder of your dream.
“Inspiration fires you up; motivation keeps you burning.” ― Stuart Aken
- Get yourself into a support group. If you want to quit smoking, you might need a support group. If you want to quit drinking, you might need to check into a rehabilitation center. If you want to improve your life, you might want to join a church, etc.
“We tend to steer our lives in the direction of the lessons we need to learn” ― Don Campbel
- Get yourself a mentor.
OTHER WAYS TO INCREASE MOTIVATION
- Read your Bible daily.
- Pray daily.
- Pray in the Spirit.
- Fellowship with like-minded people.
- Listen to inspirational talks.
- Live by plans and routines.
- Stop focusing on yourself. Quit the pity party.
- Commit to helping those who are in a worse situation than you.
- Live a life of gratitude and thanksgiving.
- Live for something greater than yourself.
Ladies and gentlemen, I hope it was a good ride as we explored the topic of HOW TO CONSTANTLY STAY MOTIVATED. I am sorry I could not expound on all the points I gave above. This is simply because I try to be conscious of the length of this article. I hope however that I have been able to raise a topic that deserves to be given more careful consideration. We all need to work on improving our motivation. Moreover, I believe this article will help you to work out a personal system of self-motivation.
It is my hope that some of these ideas and concepts that I provided in this article would go a long way in helping you become a better person. I also pray that our world will become a better place as a result. I hope our nations’ economies, gain from having better motivated citizens as a result of this article.
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, CHURCH AND NATION
By Pastor Sunday Adelaja.