Thoughts on Motivation – What is Keeping You From Doing What You Love? (4 Min. Read)

Thoughts on Motivation Header

The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.

–Amelia Earhart


Motivation can be like a cool aunt or uncle that comes over once in a while. You have a wonderful time, then he or she goes home, and you go back to your real life. Often, you think, whilst doing whatever it is you happen to be doing instead of making progress, that it would be really wonderful if only they would come to visit more often. Then, life would be really interesting, wouldn’t it?

For the longest time, my cool uncle would only come to visit once every couple of months. Then, it stretched to maybe once per year. I knew what was wrong, but wasn’t yet willing to do what needed to be done. Instead, I remained in my rut. The dumbest part is that I could’ve been calling him up all along.

When I was in school, I loved to write original song lyrics and sketch video game characters. During the school week, I averaged about 20 lyric sheets and 2 drawings. Now, when I’ve done my best to eliminate the distractions of my life, here I am writing poetry and creating pictures, and I wish I could explain how much fun I’ve been having with it.

I have become interested in so many different things: boxing, drawing, playing guitar, singing, voice acting, caricature drawing, even installing ponds for your front yard, but just as I begin to reach the heart of the subject, something in me pulls away. Probably all of the hard work. So, I’d always end up quitting.

“You stop and start and stop again. You say you want to be successful, but your behavior doesn’t line up with your words and thoughts.The point is, I allowed myself to become set in a certain pattern of living.”

Dan Waldschmidt, The Hard Truth About Why You Can’t Stay Motivated, danwaldschmidt.com/blog

Once I turned my attention to more appropriate and productive things, I began to see measurable changes. Sure, I certainly know that my efforts could be in vain. But at least now, I will be able to see for myself.

For me, aging has also been a major factor in all these changes I’ve been making. From the moment I learned about death, I’ve taken it seriously. And as I creep ever closer to whatever my last day is, I realize that, although I consider myself a creator, I have nothing that I would consider an appropriate legacy.

To think that I may have children some day, and I would have nothing of value to give them besides food and such (maybe not even that, who knows?), that thought frightens me. Now that I’ve finally stepped out of the proverbial cave, so to speak, that thought motivates me.

Mostly though, I find motivation through staying positive as much as possible throughout the day. If I’m not feeling crappy about something, I’m much more likely to be in a productive mood, and for me, that’s a must.


Things I do to inspire motivation:

1. Have a daily completion goal that is easily obtainable.
2. Have a long term work-in-progress (for me – My Blog) that can be worked on when I’m feeling lazy.
3. Look over previous works to gain a fresh perspective or new ideas.
4. Think about how I might be able to do what I love more often as time goes on.
5. Sketch random shapes until my brain decides it’s time to get down to business.
6. Think about why I’m doing a task or who I’m doing it for.


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Conceptualizing a new tattoo.  Also, I found this sketchbook at Goodwill for about a dollar.  Great find.

Another thing that seems to help me focus is if I listen to music or anime while I work. (I’ve seen Deathnote almost three times all the way through because of this, and right now, I’m listening to R.E.M.)
The worst part about all of this is that I can understand how someone could find absolutely no reason to be motivated in the world we live in. That completely makes sense to me. There is so much violence, hunger, hatred, injustice, and other nonsense, that a person should be pardoned for feeling the urge to give up once and a while.

I think it is important to remember that there are things we can change and things we can’t. Maybe if we all start making small positive changes, it could have big results. We have to create our own meaning and our own reasons for being motivated.

For me, it’s a message that’s within me. I don’t want to leave this world never having at least tried to translate that message. I don’t understand why life has to be so complicated, and I think there is an answer, but we have to be willing to search for it. And the first step is to take the step, turn over the first rock, or for me, write a single paragraph per day.

Thank you for reading! What motivates you in life? Do you have any tricks that can help? Let me know!

Take Care

-JTH


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