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MacDonald: TRAP to get unstuck

Machen MacDonald

Feeling a bit stuck? Lost your motivation? You're not alone. Millions of people admit to feeling unmotivated. I think it happens to all of us at various times throughout our lives. No one gets through unscathed.

Many people feel time is slipping by as they are not getting done what they feel they really want to get done. This is not to say they are not busy doing a lot of stuff. Therein lays the issue. I find that most people feeling unmotivated are caught in the busy trap. They are working crazy hours, actually bragging about how busy they are, and yet they are expired rather than inspired.

What is it costing you by recycling the same problems and challenges over and over? What are you wanting to change but just not getting any traction? Is it your finances or business? Perhaps it's one of your relationships? Could it be your health or those extra pounds? Whatever it is, it simply is a pattern based on your current story up until now. It's not your destiny.

Let's break the pattern and get unstuck so you can really live your life!

First recognize the TRAP. I am going to pose two questions. Take a minute and think about each one separately.

The first question I want you to consider is this: "What is missing in my life?" Think about the various areas of your life such as love, family, career, money, health. What is really missing?

Now ask yourself this, "What am I doing to keep it out?" Yes, I realize that is an "in your face" question. And you need to face it full on if you are going to get what you want.

When I ask this question, a lot of people start to point the finger away from themselves as to why they have a certain void in their life. It's the other person. It's their boss. It's the economy. It's the school. It's the organization. It's, It's, It's … The only "it" is YOU! Period.

You are the one making the choices along the way to do or not do what it takes to have what you want. If you want different results, make different choices.

Here is a simple four-step process to help you get yourself moving toward what you want.

Time — Become mindful of your most valuable resource, time. Where is your time being directed? Are you spending your time doing what will bring into your experience what you want or are you doing other things that don't allow you to experience what you want? What thoughts are you spending most of your time with?

Reclaim your choices — Simply ask yourself, at each choice point throughout your day, this question: "Is this the best use of my time and energy right now that will lead to my experiencing what I want?" A very important choice to realize is that you deserve to have what you really want.

Action — This is as much about doing as it is not doing. Think about this for a minute. What did you do three months ago that was so important then and yet had no real impact on moving you any closer to what you want? In fact, it kept you from doing what would have made a positive impact to make your life richer.

The pitfall is this. We often do what we feel brings us pleasure in the moment only to have those cumulative moments steal away the crucial building blocks needed to bring about what we really want.

Remember, thinking and planning are good things to actually do. They yield desired results. Learn and do what actions will lead to what you want. Stop doing the activities that keep you from it.

Progress — Celebrate the progress of experiencing what you want no matter how small it may be. What we focus on expands. Don't fall into the trap of it having to be perfect. Take it one step at a time. You can't get to the penthouse in one or two steps. You can't skip any floors. It takes steady progress to get to the top. As you start to see progress, you gain motivation, and as you gain motivation, the steps get easier.

Make it up, make it fun and make it happen!

Machen P. MacDonald, CPCC, CCSC is a certified life and strategic business coach with ProBrilliance Leadership Institute in Grass Valley. He helps business people gain more confidence and clarity to live their ideal life. He can be reached at and 530-273-8000 or visit