Question:I am wondering how I can gain motivation to do things in life. I don't think I am depressed, but I often find myself not having desire to do certain things such as setting time for prayer or Bible study (though I read the Bible every morning), or serving at certain events such as volunteering time, or even looking for a job recently. I often pray to God about these things but haven't taken much action. For getting a job I have gotten and filled out an application, but I feel neglectful to turn it in for the oddest reasons. I don't understand myself and what is wrong with my issues. I find myself really confused about my lack of motivation.
I struggle with some form of anxiety, where I get somewhat stressed and have a rapid thought process. I sometimes find myself on the edge of having panic attacks though I never really have them. I've seen a doctor and counselor before and they helped somewhat, though I have been neglectful of wanting to go to the doctors nowadays because I don't want to take pills that have a bunch of side effects, especially the anti-depressants. Maybe all this anxiety is bugging me in my area of motivation, but I'm unsure what steps to take next.
Anyways, I am wondering if you have any words of wisdom or good advice to offer? Thanks.
I've noticed that many people approach life from their feelings. They do things because they feel like it, but there are always times when they don't feel like doing something, then nothing gets done. In part it is because our school systems are no longer in a position to push students to work. They encourage, but they can't really force the issue. Unfortunately, students realize this and slack off if they don't feel motivated.
Life doesn't go on hold when you are not in the mood. Adults have to go to work, whether they feel like it at the moment or not. Children need to be cared for whether you had a good night's rest or not. You have to be loving to your wife if you feel like it or not. The time to practice is now while it easier to start a good habit. "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6).
"It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD. It is good for a man to bear the yoke in his youth. Let him sit alone and keep silent, because God has laid it on him" (Lamentations 3:26-28). A yoke is what a ox wears in order to pull a plow. You cannot get an ox to pull a plow if you wait until it is an adult before you put a yoke on its shoulder. As soon as it feels the weight, he'll kick and buck trying to get the weight to go way. But if a light yoke is placed on a calf, he quickly becomes accustomed to it. As it gets older, the yoke is made heavier, but the calf stays used to the burden. Then when the ox is an adult, it doesn't mind the yoke because it has always had the burden.
Look at things in regards to what ought to be done. Spend time with God daily. You might not have opportunities to study in depth each day, but reading His word daily is still a part of studying. You are finding time to pray regularly which is very important. Getting a job is important. "For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat" (II Thessalonians 3:10). Even if you don't need a well paying job because you are still at home, you still need the time to practice holding down a job for your future.
Since I don't know you personally, I can't comment on whether you need medication or not. Check with a medical doctor that there is nothing obviously out of whack, such as your thyroid (which can cause anxiety attacks). Otherwise, I would recommend working on managing your moods. They are a part of you and you need to function regardless of how you feel at the moment. Typically though, anxiety (fears) come from trying to deal with the unknown. See the article "Overcoming Fears" about some ways to manage them. I'm not personally a fan of psychology because far too many psychologist prefer to use medication to dampen a preceived problem instead of spending time teaching a person how to deal with their problems. Medication doesn't make a problem go away, it only makes it feel less critical.