The Absolute Greatest Killer of Motivation – And 3 Suggestions

What’s the greatest killer of motivation?

We often think it is a lack of vision.

But, you can have the greatest vision ever and still see motivation dwindle and momentum die.

The fact is, we have an amazing ability to get bored with good things over time.

In fact, TIME is the greatest killer of momentum.

It doesn’t matter how much we love something, time can cause us to lose interest.

All of us can think of something we once loved, but now it’s old news. We have a the sad ability of tiring of wonderful things.

Buy a child a toy at Christmas and they love it – it’s the best Christmas ever – but a few weeks later; perhaps only a few hours – they probably aren’t as excited about it anymore. They are ready for some new toys.

Marketers know they have to keep changing things to keep us buying. We get bored easily. That’s why Apple’s stock is through the roof. They keep introducing new products because we get bored with the old ones.

If we aren’t careful, we’ll do it in our relationships too.

One of the biggest obstacles in many marriages is boredom. We quit dating – we quit courting – we quit surprising each other. Over time, we get bored in the relationship. Time kills the momentum the couple once had for each other. 

That feeling of boredom comes into the church also.

Greeting at the front door was great at first. We met lots of new people and genuinely felt we were making a difference. Now we know everyone and the job has become old. I’m bored.

Time killed my motivation.

Going to small group? Working with students? Playing in the band? Fun at first, but time has made me bored.

Perhaps you understand by now. Maybe you’re bored with this post. It was great when it started, but time has taken away your enthusiasm. Let me get to some help. It’s time.

If time is a killer of motivation, what’s the solution?

Keep retelling the vision.

Remind yourself and others of why you are doing what you are doing. If your mission is to reach people for Christ, then get excited about it again. Renew your passion for others – for lost, hurting people. Restore your first love. 

Keep practicing the vision.

Sometimes we get so busy with doing “stuff” we don’t really do what we were called to do. We are notorious at this in churches. Meetings to talk about doing missions take more of our time than doing missions. If you want to restore your motivation – do the things you’re motivated to do. If reaching broken, hurting people for Christ was the original passion God called you to do, then step away from the routines and busyness of life to start winning a few broken, hurting people for Christ again. Drop the mundane and follow the heart. Renew your personal passion by doing living the vision. 

Keep sharing the impact of the vision with others.

Most likely there are still some people motivated for the vision. Surround yourself with them. Share their stories. Let their enthusiasm rub off on you and others. Live out the vision with others who believe in it as much as you do. It will motivate you – or re-motivate you – as you share the vision with others again.

Have you seen time destroy motivation? What are you doing about it?

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12 thoughts on “The Absolute Greatest Killer of Motivation – And 3 Suggestions

  1. Inasmuch as you actively pursue the vision, you can't do the same thing tomorrow as you did yesterday. Some reasons why, with examples:

    1. You will finish goals. You will need new goals. The overarching vision should guide you in casting new goals. For example, we have teams that were teaching discipleship in a certain city overseas. The church has implemented what we have taught them in spades and has grown significantly in its ministry. Now we have some new workers who have moved to that city. We still go, but we assist the workers there in what they are doing. The goal has naturally changed because we were successful.

    2. As you pursue goals, especially if ti involves evangelism, you will bring new people on board. You will also have some attrition. So pursuing goals changes as your team changes. My wife and I run a ministry through a church in Venezuela. We've been doing this for about a decade. The ministry from our church started with different people. Many who used to go with the team have moved on to other teams going elsewhere in the world and we have picked up new team members with different gifts. So this changes the way we do the same thing.

    3. Your circumstances will change, especially if you are effective in accomplishing your goals. Adapting to changing circumstances will definitely keep things interesting. We have several teams that come from our church, as well as partners who come from around the world (Mexico, South Africa, Sri Lanka, etc), who go to Europe and take the Gospel to Muslims. We have partnered with different people from the Middle East especially who help us with understanding the people we are ministering to. It's obvious that current events have changed both the Middle East and Europe in this regard. Our teams from the States and partners from around the world have had to adapt to the changing political landscape so that we can continue the work.

  2. good points! I especially like what you say about "retelling the vision" I think it's important to keep getting excited about God as if it was the day we were baptized!

  3. I think that time is definitely an issue. But I think there are others. The main one that comes to my mind is lack of reinforcement. If I get married, but in short order my wife stops treating me like I matter or doing the extras, that lack of reinforcement takes a toll. At work if I step up to go beyond what's asked of me and it never gets noticed or rewarded, then the message I get is that doing the extras is not important to management so why bother. I think you posted in the past about how men love for their wives to be their cheerleaders. If Cheryl never ever did that, wouldn't your motivation to do the best and strive for more be stunted?

    • Absolutely Jon. Time positively can have a negative or positive impact on the marriage.
      Twitter: Ronedmondson

  4. I love it when a blog post from someone I respect confirms one I just posted (this morning, actually). We definitely need to be deliberate about our enthusiasm, and time absolutely destroys it for me. The more I've realized this, the more I've deliberately attempted to place my enthusiasm in eternal rather than temporal things. For example, I used to shop a lot because I was bored, and I'm deliberately replacing that with other things (like time with my family and friends or reading) because it just never satisfied for very long. Great job Ron!
    Twitter: KariScare

  5. In my ministry I find people fading out all the time. It's very difficult to keep them motivated. Keeping the vision "out there and in here" – very important. I wish I was better at it. Two other random thoughts (perhaps not so random):

    1. We can be too busy doing kingdom stuff and not have time for the King. He restores our soul and we need His tender care in order to be revived.

    2. 1Peter 1,3    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading . . .

    One day, when Jesus returns, we won't need to be reenergized – ever! Our salvation that is coming is UNFADING!

  6. That's a really good point. I've noticed this in my Life Group – people join enthusiastically and are all about it. Then over time, they cool off. It's something I've had to learn to combat.
    One thing I've found helpful is to have others share the vision and not just me. As leaders, we're important. But if we're the only ones communicating the vision, it starts to sound more like a soapbox. When other key people buy into the vision and share it regularly, then it has compounding power.