As a writer, one of the things I struggle with is motivation. One of the biggest obstacles I had to overcome was the idea that inspiration was this random magic I had no part to play in. I’ve wasted too many days not writing because I did not feel like writing.
All of us, in all walks of life, struggle with motivation. We are crippled by our lack of desire. We wait around passively for the desire to jump-start us as if we are waiting on some the platform for a train to arrive.
The problem is that motivation can be allusive. Most of the time, the pit in our stomach that says that we have to write, or act, or love, or do whatever it is, arrives when we are in turmoil. I used to write only when I had to or I would explode. It was a bit like waiting to care for myself until I had a terminal illness. In this culture, we have an incorrect perspective on passion – both what it is and how it fuels us.
The fact remains that motivation is an important necessity for daily activity. We need to feel the worth, sense the desire, long for it. Here are five key ways we can help find and sustain motivation in our relationships and organizations.
The best piece of writing advice I’ve ever gotten is this: just write. Any book you buy that is written for budding authors starts with this wisdom. The reason for this is that motivation is not entirely out of our control. We can manifest motivation by inertia.
Have you ever had this experience – you don’t feel like doing something, but force yourself to start and, sooner than you could have imagined, you are flying through the task?
The choice to commit is a contagion within itself. When I make myself sit down and write, I am giving motivation an atmosphere in which to show up. This works with spiritual disciplines, to-do lists, and everything in between. Commitment is the fuel for motivation. We too often try to put the cart before the horse and are confused when we’re not moving. It is commitment that drives motivation, not the other way around.
There is so much swirling around us in today’s world. An avalanche of influences. A barrage of voices. Time flying by and dragging on. An obsession with instant gratification. Comparison and performance and unmerited entitlement.
It is no wonder we struggle to feel motivated to act. We don’t really know what we ought to do!
Clearly defining our mission, vision, or goals may not sound like magic, but it is. Communication within a relationship creates clarity, eases tension, and builds unity. The same works internally. By naming what we want to do and why, we open the passageways of motivation.
Motivation is kept at bay because we are not really sure of what we are about to do or say or be. We aren’t sure this is right. It is much easier to get distracted with the next shiny thing (sports, food, etc.) than it is to take the time to clarify who we are and what we want to be doing.
A Transcendent Vision that connects our deepest longings with our daily routine is a fertile ground for motivation.