What is preventing your character from getting what he needs? Whatever the character wants, it is important that he or she does not get it. Not only because his lack of motivation is a crucial element to the story, but because overcoming a large obstacle is extremely important and interesting to the audience.
For example, if the story is about a father who wants to reconnect with his estranged daughter, what could a possible obstacle be? Does she refuse talking to him? That would make things difficult but, in order for it to become an interesting story, something is missing. Let us imagine he is the town marshal and she, as a teenager, argues with him all the time (after her mother died from a certain illness) because he was very strict, she got pregnant at age 17 and finally left home. She (with great effort and a single mother’s scholarship) graduated as an MD and returned to her town to set up an office, but she still refuses talking to his father and keeps him from meeting his grandson.
I am not introducing the subject of a grandson because I want to write about a man trying to connect with his grandson. What I am doing is creating a series of external events that force the characters to establish a troubled relationship in order to find the greater good and solve their internal need.
You need to go to extremes, even when you do not know yet how to solve this situation, to make the story interesting and keep your mind in constant motion. The larger the obstacle, the more creative the solution should be.
This does not mean you should create insurmountable obstacles out of thin air. Everything must make sense, have a purpose. Surely writing obvious and evident things is not interesting for anybody, especially the reader. Just spend some time watching your characters and take part at the right time to make things less simple.