Is it possible to stay motivated 100% of the time?

Scott McKain
3 min readSep 12, 2022

A few months ago, I had a shocking realization.

I was no longer motivated about a particular aspect of my business — one that I had been for a long time.

It made me wonder — is it even possible to stay motivated at a high level over an extended period?

The answer, it turns out, is both yes and no.

  • Yes, you can maintain motivation for a long time if you have a clear purpose and understanding of your values.
  • But no, you cannot be highly motivated 100% of the time.

At some point, motivation will always ebb and flow.

What does that mean for you? It means that burnout is real, and you need to prepare for it.

It also means that you need to understand your values so you can consistently return to what really matters when motivation starts to wane.

Here are three steps to help you stay motivated:

  1. Know your personal “why.” When times are tough, and motivation is low, it helps to remember your overarching purpose or goal. Always remember: customers buy your HOW, not your WHY. However, knowing your individual “why” means that you know what the motivation is behind your desire to do what you do. Write that “why” down to keep somewhere you can see it when you need a reminder.
  2. Take care of yourself. It may seem obvious, but it’s worth repeating: burnout is real, and you cannot be constantly motivated if you’re not taking care of yourself. Make sure to schedule time for rest, relaxation, and self-care. It doesn’t have to be a lot, but it does need to be regular.
  3. Understand your values. What is important to you? Maybe you value creativity, challenge, or helping others. Knowing your values makes it easier to make decisions — even when motivation is low. If you’re unsure what your values are, spend some time thinking about it or take a values assessment. Use these values as a compass to guide you back to what matters when motivation feels elusive.

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Scott McKain

Author of “Year’s Ten Best Business” books, “Create Distinction” and “ICONIC.” Member of Sales & Marketing Hall of Fame and Professional Speakers Hall of Fame.