T Nation

Major Motivational Problems


Not sure if this belongs here but I couldn't find a section for psychological questions or stuff.

Lately I've been having huge problems motivating myself for about anything. Whether it's college, business or working out I can't seem to get myself going.

I'm really keen on improving my physique so I stick to my workout schedule 90% of the time anyway. College is another problem though, I'm skipping classes like crazy and although I know it will hurt me when my exams come around I just can't motivate myself.

Been thinking about talking to the university psychologist. Probably a good idea huh?


Check out Psycho-Cybernetics by Maltz. The title sucks, but it's the self-help book that all the "gurus" today rip off.

Also Think and Grow Rich.


whoa man.

Maybe you're just burned out, everyone gets to that point at one time or another while in school, it's one of those natural occurances, like waking up with a boner.

I've noticed that my friends who drink a lot often have a similar outlook like you're talking about. I don't know if you do drink, but alcohol is a depressant, so maybe it's catching up to you.

The best thing you can do is to probably make out a list of everything you do that most likely negatively impacts your life... and stop doing them. If things don't get better, you really might want to see a qualified pro.


Thanks for the recommendations Nate

I don't drink, smoke or anything else. I've been this way for weeks now, I've gotta do something about it.


All of life's a headgame. It just takes discipline and plain old guts. There's no shortcut or magic bullet.

I struggle with the same issues. The faster you realize there's no quick fix the better off you'll be. I was.

I think these are referred to as the four noble truths in Zen Buddhism. I don't like to get all "mystical" on ya, but like I said, all of life's a headgame.

  1. There is suffering. Suffering should be understood. Suffering has been understood. 2. There is the origin of suffering which is an attachment to desire. Desire should be let go of. Desire has been let go of. 3. There is the cessation of suffering. The cessation of suffering should be realised. The cessation of suffering has been realised. 4. There is the Eightfold Path. The path should be developed. This path has been fully developed.

Good Luck.



Actually I just ordered both books. I really wanna improve my current situation.

I'm afraid that is too mystical for me indeed. Thanks for sharing this with me anyway.


You have to re-examine your reasons for doing what you're already doing (school, working out, etc.).

Make a list of all the reasons that you're doing what you're doing.

Then, more important, write down all the things that are going to happen to you if you don't shape up. This is the "Alpo".

Now visualize them. Vividly. Really feel what a nightmare it would be if you dropped out of school, got fat and stopped working out, and so on.

Revisit this every time you're tempted not to go to class.

You're probably too comfortable. You have to be in pain to be really motivated.

And I know, that sucks. But fear, anger, and guilt are much more motivating than joy, satisfaction, and happiness.

Dan "Life is Suffering" McVicker


Buddhism is not as mystical as you may perceive it as.

What you need to center out is the word 'suffering'. In order to defeat suffering you must understand suffering and the causes of your suffering.

Obviously you are doing just that now, because you tried to find a place to help you get motivation. Your lack of motivation is what you are suffering from now.

Now whats the reason you have no motivation? Dont see much in the future for you? Cant find the energy to care? etc.

Well...thats your own personal problem. But ill tell you something i usually do when i find myself slacking off. I think of the person I would be if i work hard and accomplish things. This often helps in school when i want to skip doing homework.
When it comes to lifting, look at your body. Think of what it will become if you stop lifting, if you stop caring.

Just take some time alone, sit and think about it. If youre that interested in motivating yourself...i guarantee this will help.


Lack of motivation can be a symptom of overtraining, as well as overexerting yourself in general. Also important to know is that overtraining for one person could be a relatively easy, low volume program for another.

Back off for a little while and see what happens.


im in college right now and have had some of the same feelings and the whole not going to class thing, i don't know if this would help you, but when i start just getting behind i watch a couple boxing matches or mma fights which motivates me to hit the gym to better my body and then i find it makes me want to do better in everything else also. Its funny what a good workout can motivate me to do. hope this helps you alittle bro.


thanks for the advice everyone. I guess I need to change the way I think.


or your perspective on the situation


Everything that happens to us happens for a reason. Accepting it is the hard part !!! Suck it up Dude, you'll be back to your old self before you know it !! Thats the cool thing, the shit just happens and you come out the other side !! Just do the RIGHT THINGS and you'll be ok.


That's included in my mindset IMO


Maybe you should change your major to something that actually interests you?

Sometimes in school you lose sight of the goal. Are you happy with your goal?


That's an all together different story. Law is basically the less worst choice, I want to start my own business someday but I don't want to do this without some degree backing me up


weeks? dude if you were drinking and smoking before,depression can follow for months ,even years depending on how much you drank and smoked.ESPECIALLY if you smoked more than just tobbaco...ya know?


This is a misunderstanding. I have never smoked a single cigarette in my life, ever. I never abused drinking and haven't drunken any alcohol in over two years. Drugs etc also NEVER.

What I meant is that I'm having these motivational problems for weeks now, not that I didn't drink/smoke for weeks now :wink:


A book that can change your life forever.


I had the same feeling up to very recently.

I know what I need to do(although it can take me a few weeks before I actually do it), is this :

  • Find a new hobby/activity(I am going to take on rugby once a week now, to see what happens)

  • Find a new environment to do things in(I study and have coffee now between people in a coffee shop, which is just crowded enough for me to be able to study)

  • Be around people more. Isolation kills, really. This means meeting new people both in school as in your personal life. Really, this is what helps me the most every time. I have a girlfriend, but expanding my female friends circle helps every time.
    As for males, I try to find the most succesful ones and befriend them.
    Just the effort of doing these things gives you a boost of self-esteem.

  • Take a week off from training and use this week to get back at old friends, and do thing you generally enjoy. Outside of the gym, that is. Other sports are great.

  • Find new challenges

  • Sleep more

  • Remind yourself what you're doing everything for, and keep that goal in front of you(write it down perhaps and pin it in front of you on your desk)

It happens to everyone, really.
I'm real big on willpower to get out of anything, but in these cases it's best to acknowledge what situation you're in first, and then use your will to take on new projects, and get succes in other ways than school and training in your life.