Monday Motivation #1

Monday Motivation #1

What motivates you?

Sometimes motivation is unintentional. I’m sure the fella in the picture was quite motivated to peddle as fast as he could to get away from the bear. His motivation was fear, which can propel us into acts of seemingly super-human ability at times, while at other times makes us freeze up and unable to move.

Motivation is simply an incentive or a reason for doing something, and is generated by our thoughts and emotions. For instance, the fella in the picture was probably thinking something like, “I don’t want to be meals on wheels”.

That type of motivation is instinctual, for self-preservation. It is usually a very quick thought process followed by immediate action.

So, what about the more mundane circumstances of life? Do we jump out of bed on Monday morning and get ready for work with the same kind of enthusiasm? For most folks, the answer is probably “no”, unless perhaps we’ve overslept and are going to be late. Still, there are some that wake up ready for action.

It takes my brother-in-law about 20 minutes from the time his alarm clock goes off to get showered, dressed, and in the car leaving for work. And he does it without any coffee!

I, on the other hand, am an early riser, yet it takes a little time (and a few cups of coffee) before I’m ready to swing into action.

That created a problem for me when I became a self-employed freelance writer.

Since I set my own schedule, it was easy in the beginning to procrastinate in getting started for the day. I work from home, so no one cares what I wear, or if I even bother to get dressed at all. I could even skip brushing my hair and teeth if I wanted, however, I do not recommend that.

I could find all sorts of excuses to do anything but work, and no one will yell at me. Unfortunately, the paychecks are determined by actually doing the work, so I had to get myself organized and motivated.

Can we design and create our own motivation on purpose?

The answer is yes. But how?

Did you know there are 12,500,000 results for motivational conferences on google? Seems there are a lot of folks searching for that spark to move them to action. I have attended a few seminars myself over the years for motivational training in particular areas.

One of the main attributes of the speakers at these seminars was their ability to influence a change in thinking, attitude, and behavior in their audience. The reason to change is primarily to stop a bad habit, something that is preventing you from achieving your desire, and replacing it with a good habit that helps you to attain your goal.

I needed to change my habit of procrastination. So, I started by examining how I thought about myself as an employer verses an employee. It didn’t take me long to realize that as an employer, I would quickly fire me as an employee, because I wasn’t doing the work required on time.

I had to create a schedule and a specific deadline, and treat it with the same attitude as if I were on the clock for an employer. I also had to prioritize my activities and alleviate the distractions that consumed too much of my time.

One thing I discovered about myself in doing this is that I tend to create to-do lists that only Wonder Woman could hope to achieve. This makes prioritizing critical for me, especially in writing.

I also needed to be more effective in my time management. Once I get on a roll in working on something, I don’t like to stop until I’m done. I lose track of time, and other important tasks can end up being neglected. I know it sounds silly, but I actually had to set alarms on my phone to remind me of things like letting the dog out, eating occasionally, and when to stop working for the day. Eventually I was able to create a routine that kept the basic necessities covered.

Pursuing a career in writing can often involve a certain amount of frustration, dealing with rejections, lack of income, and the like. It also requires a lot of patience.

When I first started writing, it was more of a hobby, and there wasn’t much pressure with it. But as a career, it does involve pressure, sometimes enough to make me think about quitting.

So, why don’t I quit? Because I’ve learned to keep myself motivated with passion. I remind myself all the time that I’m doing this because I love it! The reward of satisfaction from sharing encouragement and helping others is greater than the petty irritations that may come.

I learned a long time ago that no matter what job I’m doing, there will be things about it that I don’t like. But it still has to be done. So, then I have a choice. I can do it with a miserable attitude, or I can do it with a pleasant attitude. The one I choose determines how I feel about myself at the end of the day. I can become a bitter person, or I can become a better person.

And for those mornings when I’m having a hard time getting started, I created a little resource of quotes, memes, and sayings that give me the boost I need for that passionate spark to take off. (Maybe I’ll share some of those next Monday).

Until then, I’d love to hear what motivates you? What influences your passion or desire enough to create a change? Share your suggestions and experiences of what works for you. It may the key to helping someone else to grow.

Well, that’s it for today. Make it a good Monday, and I’ll see you tomorrow!  -Amber

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