The 3 Most Important Steps to Rising Above Apathy

Note: This is a guest post by Jonathan Beebe of Develop Minds

Apathy is something that most of us have experienced a time or two in our lives, and for many of us, the feelings of apathy are all too familiar. The good news is, there are ways to rid yourself from feeling the absence of passion, emotion, and excitement… and it’s a lot simpler than you may think.

But first, let’s talk about how apathy affects you and your ability to live life to the fullest. Not only do apathetic feelings ultimately leave you feeling empty and unhappy due to the lack of motivation and desire, but it can also have negative effects on your social life, your studies (if applicable), and your work. Apathy seems to heavily promote procrastination, and unfortunately, it has even been closely linked to suicide. Suffice to say, apathy is a little more than a mild issue.

Fortunately though, apathy can be cured in three easy, but important steps. So the next time you feel apathetic, just think back to this article and maybe it’ll be exactly what you need to inject a little emotion into your state-of-being.

Understand What Apathy Is

While the cause of your apathetic perception of the world may stem from past experiences, your peers, and social conditioning, apathy is actually something you have direct control over. If you are feeling apathetic, somewhere in your mind, you have chosen to see the world as apathetic.

There are many people in the world in your exact situation, yet a vast amount of those same people are not feeling apathetic, yet they live in the same world as you do. This proves that apathy is all in your head, and is ultimately how you have created the world in your mind.

Consciously choose to create a better world in your mind, stick with those thoughts, and eventually you’ll find that there is excitement and passion all around you.

Imagine this scenario. It’s a bright, sunny day and you are in a house. From where you stand, you can see two windows. One is extremely cracked and foggy, while the other is crystal clear as if someone had just cleaned it. The cracked, foggy window is labeled apathy, and the clear window is labeled joy. Which one would you choose to look through?

As overly simple as that sounds, that’s exactly the way it works in your mind. So first make the choice to start looking through the window of joy from now on.

Set Goals and Make Plans

Apathy is sometimes caused by lacking a clear purpose for your life, so an easy way to fix that is to make some goals for yourself. Make big goals and small goals. Then, draft up all the steps it takes, from A-Z, how you plan on achieving them. If you allow yourself to be overly optimistic and don’t let negative attitudes or beliefs get in your way, this could actually be a fun little exercise, and can leave you with a feeling or purpose.

Read a Book

Sometimes, mild apathetic moods can easily be cured by reading a book. Don’t like to read? Well, it definitely won’t hurt you so why don’t you give it a try? Who knows, maybe it’s not that you don’t like to read… maybe you’ve just never read a book you would enjoy. Watching movies is something I think most people enjoy, but I don’t think that would be the case if they went their whole lives watching movies that didn’t appeal to them. The same goes with books.

Books, however, will increase blood flow to your brain, and will help build neural connections so it’s not only good for you, but it will get your mind off of the way you are feeling because sometimes apathy only gets worse because many times those who are experiencing apathy lay around and dwell on it. So take a trip to your local bookstore and make an agreement with yourself to read at least one book.


So the next time you begin to feel the onset of apathy entering your day, I recommend you follow all the three steps I mentioned, though sometimes only one or two of them will be enough. It’s literally as simple as choosing not to perceive the world as apathetic, making some goals to create a sense of purpose in your life, and getting your mind off of apathetic feelings.

Remember those three things and you’ll be one step closer to living your life to the fullest.

Jonathan Beebe is the author and creator of Develop Minds, a personal development blog dedicated to providing free content aimed at helping you improve you life by increasing your consciousness, intelligence, and teaching you to fully develop your mind in a positive way.

Photo by gotplaid


  1. Great post on apathy. Apathy is like being indifferent about everything in life. This often can just lead straight to depression for some people. Finding a passion for what one likes to do, such as reading or watching movies, like how you described in your post, will make life a lot more purposeful. Thanks for this.

  2. In setting goals and making plans, I find it much more powerful to actually accomplish something. Not make the goal or plan, but complete one thing on the list toward the goal. Accomplishment trumps apathy.

  3. Goal setting has helped me to rise above apathy. But, I’m not perfect. I can get discouraged but the process of pursuing my dreams gives me strength and hope which conquers apathy.

  4. I really appreciate and agree with the points expressed over here. Thanks to all for such nice thoughts.

  5. Thanks, Donald, for publishing my article!

    And thanks to all the commenters for your great inputs, and additions, very encouraging.

    @Scot: I agree, and thanks for adding, that accomplishing things towards your goals is much more powerful than just merely setting them not only in terms of overcoming apathy, but with goal achievement period.

    • Excellent article. Did me the world of good today. I love the choice of window analogy. Thank you!

  6. […] article also features a nice image that goes perfectly with the content. Even a guest post I submitted to Donald had a nice, relevant photo added to […]

  7. @Omar

    Keep up the good work! Don’t get discourage and keep your mind on the positive side! Ignore all negativity and embrace positive thinking. Apathy will be dead to you, with positive thinking.

  8. Jonathan, it’s my pleasure to publish a quality article like yours. Glad to learn from what you write here 🙂

  9. @ Donald

    Thanks for the Love, i appreciate it.
    Just keep working towards your goals and you will achieve.

    “Every adversity, Every failure
    Every headache, Carries with it
    the seed on an equal or greater
    – Napoleon Hill

  10. This is single handedly some of the worst advice, ever. How would one even make such a decision? If it’s going to be suggested that an individual suffering with apathy can simply decide to no longer feel hopeless and therefor forfeit interest, a decision that if it were possible would prevent the need for this blog post as individuals wouldn’t live in apathetic paralysis, then it is irresponsible to make the supposedly possible suggestion without explaining what it means to make such a decision and further illustrating what it would look like to make it. I always wonder what credentials people have and therefor how they’re qualified to give others advice on optimal living, and I’m so tired of these thoughtless suggestions that mock the suffering of individuals.

    • This was not good advice. I don’t feel like you get it at all. When you feel this way you don’t care. All of your advice would not be applicable to someone who is suffering chronic apathy because the apathy blocks them from the desire to do anything you suggested – do you not get that???

    • Hi Lisa. Those are pretty strong words for a article that I found helped me tremendously! I can appreciate the fact you thought it irresponsible! I thought your comment was irresponsible and immediately wondered how many apathetic individuals thought the article was helpful, then read your comment and said “wait.. she’s right,” and left without even giving the suggestions a try. SAD.

      I suffered a grade 2 concussion and 2 grade 3’s and I’ve fought apathy for a long time hoping some medical professional could help me recover my mojo. So when I learned that I had a CSF leak I immediately thought.. Bingo.. So long apathy.. Not the case and I’ve been EXTREMELY bummed, thinking, this is your life going forward, deal with it. This article helped me realize that I’m solely responsible for my apathy and there is no medical cure.. So I can live “within” my apathy, as you seem to hint at, or I can live “with” my apathy, pick myself up by the bootstraps and start living for better days, because there’s no magic pill or procedure down the road.

      I appreciate you though and I truly hope your not still living “within!”

      Stay blessed!

  11. I find this to be pretty insulting. Your windows analogy is awful. Dealing with true feelings of apathy is more like hanging off a ledge without having the strength to pull yourself up. Falling is very bad and at the top of the ledge is safety. You can see the difference, and you want to be up where it’s safe. But you just can’t pull yourself up. Which causes anxiety that can spiral.

  12. I could not agree more!!! Enjoy reading it. It is good to know about this type of personality.

  13. I thank you from the bottom of my heart, after reading this, after reflecting on myself and finding my calling in life I can move forward. I knew what I was called to do and truly wish to be but still had apathy plague me. I do not know what you felt when you wrote this but it reached me and allowed me to find clarity and experience the joy once more. I cried tears of joy because I was able to feel joy again, so thank you thank you, I thank God for you for helping me with just this passage alone. And for those that this didn’t reach please keep trying, and have a mindset that you will overcome this and you will find it. It took me years but I also only accepted I had this problem a few months ago. Put in the effort and the belief to overcome this and do so.

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