What do you do when you have no passion or drive?
Last Updated: 03/04/2021 at 3:56pm
Lisa Meighan, BSc Psychology (Honours)
Hello, I am Lisa and I work in a person-centred approach mixed with cognitive behavioural therapy. I believe we all have the potential to be the best we can be.
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I found myself having no passion or drive in life as a whole a few months back. It had been this way for a long time, and after some reflection I realized that it was because I was self-defeating. I love writing, I love going out and doing things- but I was doing none of that because before taking the first step my brain said "What's the point- you won't ever get it done." To get over it, I committed to writing and working out by making a no-excuse schedule. Unless there was an emergency or urgent matter, I would commit to this schedule and do what I wanted to do. It worked. I have over 20 documents relating to my novel now, and I have gained a good amount of weight from building muscle. The hardest part was getting up and taking the first step, and recognizing my inner problem. After recognizing it, facing that inner issue was something I had to force myself to do- and want to do it. There's no way to do that for someone else, but recognizing the issue itself can always help.
I could sit here and try to motivate you or tell you poetic things that give you hope but unfortunately I too am wondering the same thing. I lost my passion, my drive, more than three years ago and I go to bed every night hoping that when I wake up in the morning, my life will go back to the way it used to be. I think the best things for us to do is to keep searching for what drives us and what brings out our passion. We must try different things and stay positive. It's not easy but I hope it will be worth it someday. I wish you the best of luck. -LC
Feeling passion or drive is a great source of fulfilment for a human. Not feeling them can be a heavy weight and a source of stress. To start a nice "fire" of drive and passion, you may find out you have a spark, but no combustible, or some combustible but no spark. Or you have both but something or somebody is pouring a wet blanket over it everytime you start getting somewhere! Or the combustible is so powerful that it blows in your face at every attempt. All that is very discouraging and can make you feel you have no passion, no spark, and that something must be wrong with you, when it could be the opposite: there is something very right with you, and it is a passion so strong that it is patiently waiting for a connexion. I found that often, wanting to make the world a better or safer place is the big chunk of combustible waiting to be lit up. But it is such a big, universal and overwhelming chunk! There is so much to do! Where do you start? To find out if that is what is going to make you passionate and driven, you can start small: say, you find 3 or 4 places needing help: a homeless shelter, a community art club, a nature preservation, a sign language class whatever is around you, easily accessible. If you find yourself going home feeling stronger, more alert, more relaxed, from one or several of them, that is a good sign. If you find yourself searching online about some of the issues, that's also a good sign. And it may not be what you expect: you may, one night, help out in the kitchen of a shelter and realise you love cooking. You may speak with a fellow volunteer who speaks, say, swahili, and love the sound of it so much you start learning the language, get really good at it, end up find a job that makes you travel. What I would suggest is you keep in mind that you have the passion and drive, inside you, it hasn't taken shape on the outside yet. You wouldn't be asking the question otherwise. If it hasn't manifested yet, be patient, offer it multiple occasions to ignite. My real drive ignited at age 49. 2 years later, I'm applying to do a PhD about it, that's how driven I got. I had no idea I'd be all that fired up and detetmined. But what I had, the whole time, exhausting me, for years, was an acute reaction to injustice. It shaped up over the 2 years of volunteering in that field. And it validated every single year looking for a proper ignition point. I hope you find yours soon.
Find motivation in other aspects of life - set yourself goals, recognise your achievements and understand your strengths and weaknesses, strive to make little steps and keep track of progress. Find interests in different areas of your life
I'm sorry you feel that way. One of the main symptoms of depression, is something called anhedonia, which means that you loose interest in the things that you used to love and care about, the hobbies that used to make you happy, your friends and family. Depression can also make you feel a tired so deep you feel it to your bones, like you don't have the energy to do anything, sometimes that even means getting out of bed. If this sounds familiar, I think i'd go to my doctor and maybe get checked to see if I had a depression, which can be a scary thing to admit. I think the important thing to remember personally if you feel that way is to be kind to yourself, practice self-care and give yourself time and space breathe.
You keep existing. You push yourself to accomplish even the smallest of things. Brush your teeth. Go for a walk. When that little voice of hesitation comes through, you push against it with whatever you have left in you. If you continue to do this, you will build up some drive and push yourself to do more and more positive things. Have patience with this process and patience with yourself.
Shut most electronics down for a day or a half. Grab many trash bags. Throw things away that you don't care about anymore and reorganize your surroundings. Focus on one creative, simple and easy project in the beginning if needed. And progress into more advanced tasks, including ones that do not bring an immediately perceived reward. Go at your own pace, but continue forward. Do not give up forever. Keep restarting.
I give myself time to wallow, but put a limit on it. One day allowed for staying in bed procrastinating and moping, but one day only! Then its time to motivate myself with upbeat music, a deep house clean and treating myself to some new stationary to make all my to-do lists. I also make mood boards to remind me of why I'm doing what I'm doing and that really helps drive me forward.
When I have no passion or drive, I tend to get pen and paper to write. When I have so much going on in my head that I lose the ability to do anything, getting it out, onto paper, tends to help organize the mess that's in my mind. Writing also invokes passion as I become more and more animated the more I write!
Passion/Drive/Motivation=Not Eternal, Not Always For eg one day you might wake up saying to yourself 'Enough is enough, I am going to exercise regularly and shed all this fat'. Your motivation enables you to do this for three to four days and boom, you are back at where you started. Because motivation or drive ended. Cultivate Self-Discipline. Motivation is overrated. Stick to the task, no matter how boring or annoying or taxing it may get, until you see it to its competition. And when its completed you will feel happy, that it was worth it and you will feel motivated again. So motivation is like a head start. You can't go all the way with it. Plan you work, divide it into little tasks and then do it little by little. Make a must-do list. And write on it, things that you must absolutely do. Don't write all the things you need to do, just write on it what you absolutely must do today before you go to sleep. Hold yourself accountable if you miss your schedule. And reward yourself if you meet your targets. But take note not to criticize yourself if you fail to achieve your goals. Treat it like a game. You play to win, you may fail a level or two while doing it. But you win the game, with tenacity. Good Luck!
You should think about the things you used to like when you were a kid. IMagine you could create a perfect friend what would he/shes passion and drives be. You will find your answer there.
You may have tried your luck with something, and nothing came of it no matter how many times you tried. You may have expressed an idea to someone who in turn just started spouting all the things that are difficult at you, which can be feel like they doubt you more or less. However you got there, it's the result that happened. Loss of faith in oneself. Do not spend a lot of time thinking about all the things that went wrong. That is a deep pit. Only look ahead. Remember function is the key, and when you find out what your talents and abilities are, you are unstoppable! Also, it's never too late for anyone to pick up new skills. :)
When you have no passion or drive left for the world, you should probably make time for yourself, self care I mean! Or simply sleep!
Maybe it's because of low self-confidence. You don't feel like you can do anything and everything if you just try and decide. Thinking about the times you've done well in the past or you've even surprised yourself with your abilities, could really help and give you willpower to start on something you like the most and be sure that you'll be able to pull it off wonderfully :)
Whenever I feels like I have no passion or drive I listen to music, read novels or paint something that only I understand. I am not a good painter. I paint very bad. But it makes me feel good. I remember a line from a song of one of my favourite band "are you searching for purpose? Then write something that might be worthless, paint something that might be wordless; pointless curses, nonsense verses. No one else is dealing with your demon; meaning maybe defeating them could be the beginning of your meaning friend."
I usually clean. It helps me get energy for some reason. So if I really dont feel like doing any homework, i clean my room and i usually get so energetic after that that I do it anyway. Or.. I read a book and a character in the book might inspire me to be more like her and if that charater is hard working then I'll attempt to be hardworking too. This only lasts for one day so im back to my lazy passionless self the next day. Or.. I just listen to music and hope I'll feel better soon. Music heals everything .
Make a list of the things in your life that you are grateful for. Then you will note similar interests and topics that can initiate energy.
Take a breather. Go outdoors and have a walk while taking deep breaths. Clear your mind and just relax by putting all the stress and pressure behind for a moment. Start thinking about what went well recently or the positive things that you have done before. Also think of some words of encouragement for yourself, like 'You're stronger than you think'. From there, gradually pick yourself up to a point where you feel passionate and driven again.
I know what you are feeling, and sometimes it is so hard to keep going, but the important thing is that you can keep going, and that you are not alone in this. We can talk and you can get some professional help as well.
I think about the people who make my life worth while, like my mom and my brothers. Also i listen to some gospel music.
I tell myself to be grateful for my blessings. I get back on track by having an attitude of gratitude. I ask myself what I could do to make myself a better person.
Almost all the time, I usually find my passion when drawing or reading, it can be a struggle for you to find what gives you the motivation, but once found it's amazing!
I try to remember that the mood to do nothing is still an emotional response... it is just that a mood, and just like I wouldn't let myself do whatever I wanted in anger or sadness, I need to not let this mood dictate everything about what I do either. Some ideas to help.. a lot of times this is biological for me. I was shocked during one of these spells to find out that I had anemia. Other physical causes can be low thyroid or other problems that are biological but not brain-based. Something I found helpful to do when I would have no gumption and it seemed like inertia had me was to write down the minimum of what I had to do during that day and then a list of possible activities. I would roll a role-playing dice to make it like a game and select activites on the list based on the roll. If I didn't like any of the activities, then I knew it was my mood and would do the last one rolled. Momentum and drive can actually be the result of doing something you know you should/need to/ normally would want to do. If these feelings persist you may benefit from a therapist or even a medication, because lack of interest in daily activities and things one would normally have an interest in is a symptom of clinical depression sometimes.
You must find and deal with the underlying cause of this. Perhaps you don't have any passion or drive because every time you tried to do something, something gets in the way or doesn't work. I can see how this could especially be true now a days, in which hard work often isn't rewarded and we have a bad economy. It is possible you have a physical illness, or maybe you don't eat right, and that is making you sluggish. It is also possible you have low self-esteem. maybe somebody in your childhood made you feel like you are incapable or unworthy. A good thing to do would be to find a website or Forum or group dedicated to helping people get motivated, and to get a counselor if you can afford one, or if you have coverage.
i do some research online about motivation and what I can do to motivate myself. The internet is full of these resources and they are there for me to make the most out of them!
I watch funny videos, I play with my dog. When I caught myself laughing already I took advantage of the thought that life is okay and that happiness is something that I can have if I kept going :)
This is a very common feeling to have, but no worries, you can overcome it. Setting small, achievable goals for yourself in the form of a checklist is very effective to get yourself into a habit of doing things, which gradually brings you away from a general feeling of apathy and the possible consequence of underperforming in school, work, or even just at fundamental self-care. It is also important to record your feelings, identify certain triggers if possible, and remind yourself of your positive values and the things you enjoy. This effort may seem overwhelming and tiresome at first, but it will be well worth it in the end.
When you feel this way just take a day off, lay in bed for a bit and watch TV or read a book. Something the requires little effort. Then the next day try a do something more, like take a walk or go out with a friend
Pick something, anything. Passion is what you develop overtime when you do something challenging and enjoy it. Stick with it till a natural stopping point, then if you still don't like it after a couple of months, you can switch. Some suggestions to get you started: martial arts, piano, drawing, web design, cooking
It's important to reach out for help, when feeling no motivation or drive in life. Everyone gets stuck sometimes, that's okay. Just don't remain down! You need to take the time to speak to someone about you're feelings. A friend, family member, doctor, or even here at 7 cups. Asking for help is very important! Also, writing down a list of goals, and things that make you excited for the future. Also, taking the time for self care, and positive hobbies so that you don't get burnt out from life. 💛 Excercise, Reading, Music, Painting, Etc. You are absolutely capable and strong, and you can become motivated again. :)
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