What To Do When Motivation Subsides


Maintaining motivation is an important Skill and Way of Life!

I just came across this notion.

My focus is most often directed at “what is bringing me down” and “how do I remove that obstacle?”

So this notion of how to trigger motivation in the face of obstacles surprised me.

It’s not realistic to expect yourself to maintain a blissful level of motivation 100% of the time. Life happens and there are plenty of obstacles in nursing coming our way at any given time.

So the idea here is, “what is a simple way to pull ourselves above the flow of obstacles?”

The answer is, Ask yourself or Remind yourself of your WHY!

 Why Am I Doing This?

Why Are We Doing This Again?

Why is This Important?

Emotional Intelligence knowledge tells us that our “good work” is a combination of what we are good at, what engages us, and what we believe matters. When all of these cylinders are engaged, we feel in flow.

How often do people feel in flow? According to Daniel Goleman, 20% of people have flow moments at least once a day. And 15% of people never enter a state of flow during a typical day (p 22).

Feeling “pleasure is the emotional marker for flow” (p 22).

Flow comes from alignment between what we do with what we enjoy. People who have success in their lives are fortunate and they likely experience a strong alignment between these often through their day.

So the best days are when our work triggers a skill we are good at, or a level of enjoyment, or fulfilling a passion.

As a nurse, which is yours? Are you good at it? Do you enjoy it? Or is it your passion?

As a nurse, I believe that it is critical for every nurse 

to have that feeling of flow at least once per day.  

To keep yourself motivated through the day, remember your Why!

It’s a simple and effective way to jump-start your flow.

“ … why helps you link your action to your values and goals. It connects the hard stuff you’re doing with what you dream for your future. It makes what you do count in the big scheme of things” (Teplow).


Goleman D. Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence. New York: Harper; 2013.
Teplow, D. Are you asking the right question to succeed? Accessed from IWE- Institute for Wellness Education. www.instituteforwellness.com. April 1, 2017.


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