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Inner Game

Motivation Bleh? Try This...

motivationHey, Moguls, Shaun McCloskey here…

A student of ours was recently going through a bit of a slump. This is a guy who normally needs no help being motivated. He’s a go-getter, an awesome dad, a football coach, holds a very respectable job and a very successful real estate investor. (Yes, I’m referring to only one person here…) Yet he was going through a period where he self-admittedly became unmotivated, unable to get himself to get excited about much of anything.  

There were no major traumas going on in his life, no “reason” to feel unexcited. But that didn’t matter, he still felt it regardless. He reached out to us asking for help to figure out why he might be feeling this way and what to do about it.  

Here’s how I responded…

What’s your primary question?

For me, that lack of motivation usually comes from my "Primary Question.” I’ve talked about the fact that the thoughts we have in our brain at any given moment are nothing more than questions that we ask and answer to ourselves all day long.

Think about it...

Right now, your brain, as you’re reading this, is asking whether or not what you’re reading has any truth behind it. As people are talking to you throughout the day, your brain is asking all kinds of questions:

  • Should I be listening right now?  
  • Is what he’s saying accurate?  
  • How can I help this person?  
  • Did I leave the garage door open?

We all ask questions like this all day long. But there’s one question we tend to ask ourselves above all others. This question, called the “primary question,” is one of the most powerful things in our lives. And it’s different for every one of us.  

The crazy thing about this primary question is that it’s totally subconscious. We don’t even know we’re asking it… over and over again… all day long. We all have one though, and that question can empower us or cut us off at the knees. You may not even know what yours is yet, but rest assured, you have one that tends to float to the top of all the others. 

A little about my own primary question.

For me, I had to think this through over a period of a few days to really uncover what mine was.  

careAnd I hate to admit this, but my primary question isn’t as empowering as I’d like it to be. If I'm not making myself aware of it regularly, my primary question will revert back to what it used to be, which is:

"How can I fix this and make it better?”   

My primary question is good in some ways and bad in others.  

The question serves me to a certain degree because I get to always fix things and make them better. I tend to do things right the first time and that can be a good thing. At the same time, this question also makes the assumption that something is wrong with everything and everything needs fixing…  

This makes me look for the wrong in the things just so I can feel good about fixing them. That's not good. It got to a point where I would go to a movie with my wife, and afterward, she would ask me how I felt about the movie. My response was always something along the lines of "they could have done this one part better..." Because of my old primary question, I couldn't even just sit and enjoy a freakin’ movie without picking it apart, trying to figure out how it could have been done better.  

I wonder what your primary question has been lately… I'll bet it's not very empowering.  

Here’s another example...

When I'm feeling totally unmotivated and don't want to do anything, it's because my primary question has reverted to something like this... "What all do I HAVE to do today?"  

Notice I didn't ask, "What do I WANT to do today?" or "What do I WANT to experience today?"  

Those questions would have given me a totally different response because my brain would have answered differently.

But when I say, "What do I HAVE to do today?"  it presupposes that I HAVE to do everything. And I don't do well when I have a bunch of "have to's" on my brain.  

This is why having a clear vision is so important. If we’re constantly reviewing our vision on a regular basis, our brain starts to ask a different question almost naturally. Your vision naturally asks the question "What do I want my life to look like?" That's powerful!  

I met a lady once whose primary question was: "What are people thinking of me right now?" She would live a very different life than someone who had a primary question asking: "How can I live one aspect of my vision right now?"

Get in tune with your primary question – and make sure it’s empowering you.


What’s your primary question? Is it empowering you or disempowering you?


Do It To It! Immediate Action Steps

Realize that your subconscious is asking and answering questions all day long.

Think about what your primary question is to help reinforce your motivation.

Discover your life vision.

Reshape your primary question to ensure it’s empowering you.

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