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12 Things Highly Uninspired People Do

12 Things Highly Uninspired People Do

There’s a difference between motivation and inspiration: motivation is temporary and inspiration is bigger and serves a higher calling. People can be motivated by money in the short term, but we all seek to be inspired by being involved with something with a greater purpose. Some of us go through each day uninspired. Maybe because we haven’t set down and created goals that inspire us to do more, become more, and have more. Uninspired people do these 12 following things well.

1. They try to get through the day instead of getting something from the day.

We call these people clock watchers. They usually say, “I can’t wait until it’s lunchtime,” “I can’t wait until break,” and then lastly, “I can’t wait until I get off work.” Then when they get home they plop down and watch the latest reality TV shows.

2. They seek entertainment instead of development.

The highly uninspired are usually more concerned with the next “Dancing With the Stars” episodes or the next sporting event of their favorite team. They look for entertainment instead of trying to invest in themselves, usually because they haven’t realized they aren’t yet fully developed or they are just lazy.

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3. They focus on what is wrong instead of what is right.

Everything is wrong and nothing is right. The highly uninspired are so focused on what is wrong that they can’t objectively see anything that is good.

4. “What if…?” isn’t in their vocabulary.

“I can’t,” “It’s too hard,” or “It won’t work,” are their favorite sayings. They can’t think about, “What if I read one book a month?” or, “What if I worked harder on the job?” or even, “What if I turned off the TV and did something that contributed to a bigger goal?”

5. They see what they can get away with, instead of what they can do.

They show up late, slide out early. They look for ways to get around, instead of going through. They say, “I did what you asked me to do,” instead of asking, “What else can I do?”

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6. They focus on today only and don’t think about tomorrow.

The highly uninspired are not thinking long term. They are thinking about today and how they can get through it. They are not setting goals that require them to think past today.

7. They seek followers that are also uninspired.

We have all heard misery loves company. The highly uninspired look for others who are uninspired and who can validate how they feel and make them feel better about themselves, knowing they aren’t the only ones. They want to bring people to their pity party.

8. They seek activity over accomplishments.

They think that activity is just as good as accomplishing. They would rather get through the day and say, “I was so busy,” and feel like that really means they did something. They love the excuse that they are always busy doing the things that don’t matter.

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9. They do what is easy.

The highly uninspired stay away from the hard stuff. They look at the to do list and ask themselves, “What is easy and what can I do so I can appear to be busy?”

10. They want something handed to them.

They think that the government, their employer, and their parents owe them something. They look for handouts, or even worse ask for handouts, instead of looking at what they can do to earn something.

11. They care more about what’s in it for them than the good of all.

They are usually more focused on themselves and don’t really think about others. This is probably what has led them down the road to being highly uninspired. When you give more than you take, it is more rewarding and you get energy and inspiration for doing good for others.

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12. They make excuses instead of taking action.

They blame the weather, they blame the office, they blame their boss. They never take ownership or action to get things done. They would rather complain about all of the obstacles, and usually complain more about potential obstacles than those that actually exist.

We all get to a point where our inspiration may be lacking, the above points are your warning signs that you may need to re-evaluate where you are. Ask yourself, “Am I doing some of the things outlined above?” If so, ask yourself a second question: “Are my goals big enough to inspire me to do more, become more, and ultimately to have more?” To have more you must become more. You must become a better employee, a better manager, a better leader, and a better learner.  When you create worthwhile goals and you search and seek information and take action on that information, you will become highly inspired to accomplish those goals and you will go from being highly uninspired to highly inspired, and will even inspire others.

Featured photo credit: Highly Uninspired via morguefile.com

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More by this author

Brian Willett

Helping people challenge and overcome their own status quo

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

More on Building Habits

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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