While there are plenty of things that inspire me, it takes a whole lot more to truly motivate me. I face the constant predicament: do I begin or not begin something new? Something that might bring me to poke out of my shell, to try on a different hat, or to face down a looming deadline—especially when it's one I've set for myself. It's easy to start things, not so easy to finish them. Easy to have dreams, not so easy to make them a reality. And that nosy neighbor of mine: self-doubt? Well, she's great; she brings the gift of procrastination when she comes knocking on my door. What's a girl to do with that kind of influence? Through the wasting of so much time, I've found that motivation, much like inspiration, has a myriad of sources. Let me expound with a few examples:
To Stimulate Enthusiasm
I'll start with the most pressing of factors when it comes to my nemesis, motivation. And that is TIME. There is simply not enough of it. Right? If you examine your own goals, past, present, and future, you'd probably see how time plays a huge part in your planning process. Without the pressure of time's limitations, we might not feel any urgency to get things done, see new places, or develop meaningful relationships with people. One day can feel so long, while an entire year seems to fly by. Have you ever wondered why this is? Personally, I feel it has something to do with the sun's slow march across the sky. When it fades into the horizon, I'm reminded of how fast time is going...and I regret how unproductive I was with my day. Ugh. There is no substitute for time. It's a gift when you have it and a curse when you don't. If I'm not moving on to the next project or pursuit, I worry that I'm losing out somehow. Of course, this does result in a few unfinished projects, but I figure I can always pick them up later. ;)
This brings me to another great motivator, perhaps the most universal among creative types—my muse. When she comes calling, I am powerless to block my ears or drown my thoughts. At times, she comes with a whisper of gentle suggestion, at other times, she blows in with a torrent of passion, but at all times, she is irresistible. Those unfinished pieces will have to forgive me and as I am yet unpublished, I thank my lucky stars that I am not on a deadline. *Sheepish grin* My muse also likes to play tricks on me by challenging me to try a new artistic medium or write on a subject that I've never tackled before. I like to kick against her wishes for a while until, ultimately, I give in and I'm always happy I did.
One last, but not least motivating factor is the desire to leave behind as much beauty as I can before I pass on. This is naive of me; I admit it freely. I have trouble expressing myself verbally, but not as much when I am writing out my thoughts. If I cannot tell you of the deep love I carry for all of mankind, the absolute awe I feel when contemplating God's glory in nature, or the layers of sorrow I bear for all of the evil I cannot dampen, then I feel like a failure. This is my struggle. Often I wonder how I can shed the burden—usually when the normalcy of a quiet life dangles its perks. But after only a brief contemplation of the possibility, I pick up my pencil to begin a new sketch, or I dream up a new story concept. Sometimes all the motivation I need is inside, bigger than me, pushing me, breaking into my silence.
I realize that these motivating factors are not necessarily common to all personality types. Some of us are driven by financial success, physical fitness, religious fervor, or charitable activity. All are noble pursuits and contain so many motivating factors. But, even as individual as we are, I think we can agree that it is important to dwell on the positive and take heart in moments of self-doubt or fear. Those moments do pass. In their wake, motivation is born as the path appears in front of us.
Leave a comment telling me about the way you struggle AND win when it comes to your daily motivation.