Motivation - What’s Love Got to Do With It?

The celebration of Valentines Day has spread and morphed over the years, with February now coined as the “month of love.” Although this celebration is often linked with romantic love, the wisdom of our hearts reaches far beyond romance and, can be a powerful key to motivation and fulfillment in our lives.


Remember January?  As is often the case, we start the New Year with a list of resolutions; a “to do” list of everything we are going to change, get better at, commit to this year. Yet, more often than not, we don’t accomplish these well-intentioned goals. Why? One of the main reasons may be that what we think we want isn’t actually what we want.  Simply put, “our heart is not in it.”  And, when our hearts aren’t in it, finding the energy to do something can be a constant battle; one that can lead to a repeat cycle of disappointment and frustration.


How do we become disconnected from our hearts? One of the main reasons may be that we are trained in our education systems and workplaces to base actions on intellect, logic and reasoning.  Furthermore, we are inundated by information and images telling us who and how we “should be ” living our life. Yet, probably the most important factor is that we have not been taught to listen to our heart. To be closed off from this intelligence can result in a sense of dissatisfaction and lack of motivation as the heart is the place of our truest emotions: joy, trust, connection, emotional truth, wisdom, values, dreams, aspirations and purpose.


So, how can you access this inner wisdom to kick-start motivation?  Like anything new, it is a skill that has to be nurtured and developed.  Below are a few great exercises to help you begin.


·        Determine if you are motivated by fear or love.  Pick an area of your life where you feel stuck.  Then, ask yourself:  do I want to achieve this goal out of fear or love? For instance, if you are having difficulty committing to keeping fit, check in with yourself about why you want to exercise.  Is it because you fear you don’t look good or because you love your body and want to look after it? Are you in a relationship because you fear being alone or because you love your partner? Tapping into the energy of why you love something can jumpstart motivation and be helpful when struggling with a decision. 


·        Eliminate “should” from your vocabulary. Whenever we feel, we “should” be doing something, it is a pretty good indication we are stuck in our heads and our heart is not committed. If you are struggling with an issue, ask yourself: If I were to ask my heart, what does it tell me? What do I truly feel/want/desire? These questions will help you move from thinking about something and determine what about it is truly important to you. Next, put your logic to work by brainstorming actions that will support you in moving forward.  For instance, I had a client who had a really hard time finding the energy to look for a new job even though she was unhappy in her present position.  When we took time to connect with what she truly wanted to pursue in her career, she got excited about the job search and successfully landed a new position.  In some cases, you may discover that what you think you want isn’t actually true.  This means it is time to “let go”, shed unnecessary guilt, and move on.


·        Get to know your values. Values are your guideposts in life; they reflect the essence of who you are and the principles you hold to be of worth. By identifying and understanding the emotional and energetic qualities of your values, they can be applied to create breakthroughs when you are lacking energy or confidence to move forward.  As an example, one of my clients indentified “adventure” as a core value yet was fearful about asking for a raise.  When we tapped into what she loved about adventure (i.e. courage, excitement, planning, etc.) she was able to apply the attributes of this value to successfully negotiate a raise.


So, as you move forward into the New Year, does connecting with your heart mean that the voice of fear or doubt and will not whisper in your ear?  Absolutely not. Yet, when we take the time and allow ourselves to connect with our hearts intelligence, we can move forward with confidence when inevitable obstacles get in the way.  In the words of Rumi, “Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.”


Wishing you a lovely February.


Lisa Harter is a Certified Life & Happiness Coach.  She works with clients globally to create a lifetime of happiness and fulfillment and can be contacted at


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