One question puzzles so many people : “Why do I lose interest so easily?”
I’m often asked this and variations of the question like “Why do I give up?”. or ” Why does my son/daughter give up so easily. They seem to have no staying power!.”
Today I hope to answer some of these questions and explain that interest is based on a simple premise that there is reward waiting for you when you engage with a topic.
What Happens if the reward fails?
If you can’t see the reward or it is not “big enough” to override the challenges and obstacles then you lose interest.a If the reward is big enough then you will happily overcome the challenges and find ways to circumnavigate the obstacles.
In short, as you begin to engage with a topic or person I suggest that if you are not fully engaged ask yourself “what’s in this for me?”
If you can find a reward that is big enough, you will stay the course and reap the reward.
If you can’t see the reward you will not engage, benefit or participate.Pole the trick seems to have been to look for a wide range of rewards and some of these rewards can be for others.
Parents Do It. Why can’t kids?
When a father goes to work each day in a humdrum job that is sapping his energy and numbing his mind he may be doing so for the sake of his children and to provide for their needs both and providing now and into the future.
Without this ability to stay in the situation and continue to be there long after his personal rewards have lost meaning he stays because his reward has shifted to caring for his children.
When a mother spends years caring for her child often through sleepless nights and major stresses she keeps on doing it because she is invested in the outcome– she holds a vision of the reward of seeing her child grow up, become independent and live a happy fulfilled life.
This delayed gratification “makes it all worth it in the end” they say. It is this long term reward of seeing their child live a better quality of life that keeps them going in the dark of the night or the seemingly endless shuttling of their little treasure from one after-school activity to another. Sometimes these roles are switched but you get the idea.
Because these parents are so invested in what they do and can often extend their staying power to other activities they are in a heightened state of interest all of the time. They face every challenge and surmount it almost automatically.
It is very difficult then for these parents to understand why their child does not have staying power, gives up easily or quits when the going gets tough.
In summary, I believe that engagement depends on self interest and rewards or the ability to delay gratification and sometimes to do what needs to be done for the sake of others.
Many of you are familiar with SMART goals i.e. goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time limited.
In my work I extend this to include two extra letters creating the acronym SMARTER with the E standing for ENERGIZING and the R for REWARDIING.
While SMART may deliver results in a company where you are getting paid to do the job anyway I find when dealing with children, teens and adults that the extra two letters help them to participate, engage and show far more interest in a task would otherwise be the case.
Using the SMARTER way of setting a goal before engaging in a task whether for a minute or a lifetime seems to help you to change perspective and to see many other possible rewards for yourself and others that energise you and help you to not just engage but invest in the successful outcome.
So many great students are floundering in college courses that no longer interest them, are to difficult or no longer fit the vision they have of the life they think they want to have.
When they come to me online or at my clinics and we work through the SMARTER Goal setting process and find the strategies that will help them to overcome the difficulties many will excel and rekindle their delight in the course and refocus their energy on the final outcome helping them to invest, participate fully, become energised and ultimately stay the course and live a higher quality life.
When I set out to do this work I left a “fine safe secure pensionable job” in education and many thought that I was crazy to leave it and to step into the unknown.
My motivation was and still is to serve more people than I could ever do while working full-time in a school setting. I see more “miracles” in a day than most people see in a year of teaching and while these are rewarding in themselves, what motivates me and keeps me interested, focused and constantly working to make what I do more relevant, effective and successful is the desire to release the true potential in each person I encounter and give then the tools to live a higher quality of life.
What did I forget or leave out?
If you found this enlightening or want me to work with you to unlock your tenacity, staying power or help you to invest more in what you do then contact me for a free strategy call. I’d love to hear your comments and suggestions and aspects of this topic that I may have not included here that you believe are relevant.
I really would like to hear what you think of this short article and invite you to comment or message me privately through Facebook Messenger or on +353861723510
I’m here to help
Select a time below when it is convenient for us to chat (for free) about how I can help you to switch on, engage, invest and become really interested in what you are doing and reap the rewards for yourself and those you care about. Pick my brain and see if we can make it easier for you or someone you know to get stuck in, stay engaged and do it because they want to rather than because they have to. “A willing slave is a free man”