Are You Hard to Motivate?

Why are some people wildly successful, despite having overwhelming odds against them…while others do very little in their lives, despite having every opportunity handed to them on a silver platter?

Benedict Cumberbatch as Hamlet
Benedict Cumberbatch as Hamlet

This was actually a problem Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, himself faced. He spent much of the play sitting around doing nothing! Why? What was his problem? What is the problem with people like this, who have all the chances in the world, but can’t seem to get themselves going?

Motivation, obviously.

But what is motivation? And why are some of us so HARD to motivate???

Okay, I believe there are basically two types of motivation:

There is EXTERNAL motivationthose things outside of us that make us want to do something… These could be things like wanting to impress our family with our new job, or wanting to make more money to buy a new phone or clothes…often, again, to impress others…

And there is INTERNAL motivationthose things in our minds, our hearts, our souls that make us want to take action. It could even be physical needs–you want to eat to stay alive, that’s an internal motivation. But assuming we have our physical needs met, an internal motivation is about our dreams and our goals, not about what others want but what WE want for ourselves. 

I think internal motivation is the hardest, but the best type. But to be internally motivated we need to know ourselves, we need to know what we want specifically.

If you are not sure exactly what you want, how can you be motivated to get it?

Well, to get internally motivated, let me ask you a question:


This is not meant to be a trick question, but there are two ways to interpret the question…

  1. What sort of JOB would you do if you could do any JOB you wanted?
  2. Or, literally, what would you do if there was no such thing as reality and you could actually do ANYTHING? 

There is nothing wrong with thinking about the question as the #2 option; it is very useful to THINK BIG and use your imagination with no restraints. So actually I recommend answering the question both ways…


For our day to day purposes here at Mad English Lab, we like to focus on setting and reaching small but realistic goals…stepping stones to get from Point A to Point B. In fact we have graphic for that!

Mad English lab busra bayram
MEL Process

There’s nothing wrong with thinking big, but we have to learn to walk before we can run!

So, what JOB would you want to do if you could do any job? Think about it. Don’t think small, think big. Do you have a dream job? You want to fly airplanes? Be a singer? Design buildings? Sail charter boats? Own a cafe? Be the President of the United States? Work with animals? Work in a hospital? Write books?

Is there someone doing something that you look at and think, wow, I wish that was me?

Maybe it could be! Check out our post on Ideas, Goals, Plans, Reality! It’s a quick blueprint to get your where you want to go…same way other successful people turn their own dreams into reality!

Busra Bayram
Busra Bayram


Matt Cates

Matt Cates is the co-founder and creative director of Mad English Lab.

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