There is a trending topic each week on certain social media sites called “Motivation Mondays” and I often find myself scrolling through the posts, well, looking for motivation.
What I’ve discovered is that motivation must be completely personal. What motivates you doesn’t necessarily spark anything in me. Quotes like these:
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, It is about learning to dance in the rain.” – Unknown
“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”- C.S. Lewis
I read those and while I agree with them, and they are really great ideas to remember, they don’t motivate me.
To me feeling motivated is having the irresistible urge to do or accomplish something.
So after many many Mondays of looking for some motivation from quotes online I realized that I needed to really figure out what motivates me. What makes me feel the irresistible urge to get up off my “buts” and do something positive.
I came up with a short list:
1) If I know that at the end of the task that I’m about to embark on that someone that I care about is going to praise me then I can’t stop myself from getting started.
When I was a kid I loved getting all A’s on my report card. It wasn’t necessarily easy but I was motivated to give more than I thought possible in order to accomplish it. That A was all the praise that I needed.
As a teen I loved to clean the house on a Saturday while Mom was at work – the look on her face when she would come in the door (completely wiped out) only to discover that the place was clean from top to bottom was extremely satisfying. It motived me to do it all again the next week.
If I’ve picked up a hint from G that he really would love it if a certain aspect of our home were tweaked I can’t stop myself from making that happen. Then I eagerly wait for him to discover it and love the admiration and praise that I receive.
2) If what I need to do benefits someone that I love (human, feline, canine, etc) then no amount of inertia can stop me from getting up and getting it done.
I can be completely exhausted in bed on a Saturday morning, but when it’s time to get up and feed the animals and let them outside to do their business, I find I have a reserve of energy that I can easily tap into. I’m the one to call if you’re moving and need help.
3) If I see beauty in something and I know that no one else sees it I am very motivated to bring that beauty out for everyone to see.
I lived in Guadalajara, Mexico for most of the 90’s and on my walk to work I noticed that quite often there were entire bouquets of roses out for trash collection long before they were even beginning to wilt. Turns out that the tradition where I lived was to dispose of them while they were still fresh for good luck. I began to collect dozens upon dozens of these bouquets, tied them with beautiful ribbon and hung them upside down to dry on one wall of my apartment. Once dry I would spray shellac them so that the deep rich colors would come out and preserve them. I had so many of my friends tell me they had no idea how beautiful a dried rose could be.
To be completely honest, once The Crochet Dude had fulfilled all my ambitions as a professional crocheter, I found that I had little motivation left for much else. As I mentioned in a previous post my to do list was large and literally nothing was being checked off from it. I was lacking motivation and found myself turning to others – like Motivation Mondays on social media – to give me a kick in the seat to get going. Now I see that motivation is extremely personal and it took some soul searching to discover what motivates ME!
PS: As I read over this post I can see that it sounds like I may be a people pleaser – but I’ll tell you a little secret, I’m doing it all for myself. I may be motivated by that list, but the actual thing that I’m working on satisfies me on every level first and foremost. The rest is icing on the proverbial cake.
PSS: I’m also happy to report that I’ve actually checked a couple of things off my to-do list this week finally. I’m uncovering beauty where others can’t see it, and listening for clues of what G would like to see happen too, and using that motivation to help me reach my goals.