Staying Motivated

Of all the things I personally need, a magical motivation pill is at the top of the list. I’m good at staying motivated for a few weeks at a time. When those weeks end though, I hit a slump and feel stuck there for at least as many weeks, if not more.

So yeah, I wish I knew the answer to being and staying motivated. I don’t. Something I’m experimenting with right now though is thinking myself through the slumps. I rewind my brain to the reasons I began in the first place.

It appears to be helping: I’m reminded of the passion, the drive, and the desire to help others and to do good; I’m reminded that when I let go of expectation and embrace the here and now, I have fun and my work improves; I’m reminded of a simpler, more energetic me. And I like that.

On the flip side, focusing on external factors sends me into a downward, bummed-out spiral. Money, what others think of me, who is doing better than me, and “success” (whatever that means), all fit that bill and weigh me down. I lose confidence and focus. And I hate that.

I’m learning that if I want to stay motivated, I have to stay true to me. I have to identify the areas and behaviors that make me happy, and remember the simple things that make me tick.

Everything in Its Place

They key to an uncluttered home and an uncluttered life is to place things where they belong, the moment you’re done with them.

Recycle paper when you’re done with it. Hang up your coat when you’re no longer wearing it. Wash your dishes the moment your meal is over. Give or throw away all things you haven’t used in six months.

Every evening have a place for your keys, your phone, and your wallet, and in the morning, you will know exactly where they are.

Accept into your life only the things which make it better: it’s okay to say no; it’s okay to say yes. You have only one life that’s certain. If you keep your life uncluttered to begin with, dejunking becomes a non-issue.

Allow people into your life that are good, inspiring, and supportive. Let relationships that pull you down, entice you to do wrong, and attempt to bend you to their will fade away. If that relationship is important to you, make a plan to salvage it. If that fails, let it go. Your life will be healthier for it.

When everything has a place, and everything is in its place, your time is used doing what you want with the people you love, instead of searching for the things you need.

On Acceptance

Deep down each of us want to be accepted for who we are. You (hopefully) recognize your own flaws and shortcomings, and you (hopefully) recognize what you excel at and what makes you good. The good and the bad make you whole, worthwhile, and worthy.

You say, “I want to be accepted for who I am,” yet find yourself criticizing, judging, and praising others based on how you think they should behave.

You cannot expect others to accept you until you accept others. Let go of your need to be right—your need to control—and accept another person’s thoughts and feelings as valid. This is what holds you back.

The only path forward is to accept others as they are. In return they will accept you, and you will accept yourself. Be and let be.

What Motivates You?

What is it that motivates you? Take a minute and think through it. I know plenty of writers and business people who find motivation from their peers and competing companies. They see what they’re doing, are inspired by it, and it helps them produce their own art.

I also know writers, entrepreneurs, teachers, artists, etc. who find that exact thing to be demotivating. I fall into that category. Listening to and observing people in other professions is more motivating and interesting to me that those within my own genre.

That doesn’t mean I don’t network within my peer group, but rather, I don’t follow their work as closely as I would the work of someone doing something completely different. The more I follow my peers’ work, the more I feel unoriginal, and the harder it is to contribute.

Finding art and contribution outside of my sphere is what motivates me the most and inspires me to do and be something different.

On Self Control

Self control is not only denying yourself something that you shouldn’t have. It’s also doing the things you should do to get the results you want. It’s doing them regularly, consistently, and with purpose.

To eat healthy, you must have a plan about what you can do, and how you will do it. When all you focus on is denial, you will fail.

As in all things, understanding the parts will make sense of the whole.

Learn all you can about yourself. Know what makes you stronger. Know what makes you weaker. Self control is doing more than it is denying.

Permission to Quit

Quitters are misunderstood. It’s not hard to see why when the masses throw quotations such as

“Age wrinkles the body; quitting wrinkles the soul.”

― Douglas MacArthur


“The word ‘quit’ is only for those who aren’t hungry enough for a successful life.”

― Edmond Mbiaka

around like chimpanzees throwing their feces. Nobody knows you like you. Those who think they do are arrogant and blind. Rely on others for advice and wisdom, but learn to separate their needs from yours.

Experience, trust, and observation are muscles that grow with time. If your current approach is not working, change it, leave it, or find a new one. Food left in a hot pan burns and dries out. Tea and coffee when left in water become bitter and useless.

Do not force yourself to eat the charr or drink the bitter cup when you can create something new and healthy. Do not quit because it’s hard, frustrating, or otherwise taxing. All good things come with struggle.

Quit because you’re confident. Quit to be effective. Quit to be strong, to progress, and to be efficient. Quit to love.

Quit to live; there is no wisdom in finishing if you die in the process.

Consumer or Creator

Every person is either a consumer or a creator.

Consumers spend most of their time digesting what creators make: TV shows, music, books, clothes, movies, jewelry, food, wine, anything. Sometimes what they believe are their own thoughts and opinions belong to the creator. Until questioned, who can say?

Consumers can change a creator’s life.

Creators spend most of their time building. While each hopes for success, it’s never guaranteed. They recognize fear for who she is: powerful, bold, commanding, and beautiful. Instead of sitting on the sidelines watching, the creator stands up and asks her to dance.

Nobody is all consumer or creator, and neither one would exist without the other. But of the two, only one can change the world.