How Do You Get Yourself Motivated?

Right out of the gate. I am struggling to focus on this very post to get it done. It's Saturday morning and my mind wants to drift to other things, like chores and errands for the day. As well as just wanting to relax and sit down with some entertainment after a week of working the day job.

Oh the irony of writing something about getting motivated... while struggling to get motivated to write about... lol

I have heard many people, many books, many lectures talking about motivation. And if I am being transparent it's a muscle I have never developed. Quite literally I have, after decades of time on Earth, no strength to motivate myself. It truly is an emotional muscle that has to be worked, stretched and grown through a ton of effort. Sure I function at my day job and get things done. But that is because it's my job, an obligation, else I don't get paid. heh. You cannot be a good person and expect to have money, without working for it. That would be serious selfishness.

My issue is that while there are countless voices and pieces of media out there about motivation. No one seems to actually talk about how you get to motivated from unmotivated. They talk about everything else. But not how. It's a common problem, lacking the how in the message. And that is something I hope to tackle here with my comics and writing.

Funny thing is I found an answer to the how, it's really simple to.

Change what you are looking at

You see... motivation is a force, a forward motion to getting things done. But motivation isn't the source of the motion as we might think. Motivation is the middle layer between the source and the desired action, emotionally speaking. The source is your desire. Whether it be your passion, or your need. Or perhaps your responsibility or your curiosity or any other emotion. Doesn't matter which it is. What matters is that emotion is your source, is your fuel.

If you stop trying to 'motivate yourself'. If you stop looking at your 'motivation' or lack there of and start looking at the feeling beneath what you want to be doing, you will find something amazing. For me I am passionate about helping people, communicating, creating and getting my ideas out into the world. But in truth I cannot 'motivate' myself for the sake of 'motivation'.

I cannot look at my current amount of 'motivation' and get traction. But I can look at, quite literally turn my 'eyes' to my feelings (yes I know this isn't always easy guys, I am with ya in that fox hole!). If I focus on how I feel about what I am doing, how I will feel accomplishing this task. If I focus on the why I want to do this I suddenly start to build up a fire of passion, energy, and desire. And that fire gives me motion, gives me traction, gives me... 'motivation'! I am quite serious about turning my eyes towards it.

Are you struggling with sliding into entertainment or the busyness of life while wishing you were getting something done? Stop right where you are. Stop looking at the tasks, stop looking at your progress or lack of progress, stop looking at whether you feel 'motivated' or not! Literally stop yourself in your own tracks. This isn't a metaphor or an 'idea' to stop. I literally mean stop moving, stop what you are thinking about and change your focus to why you want to...

Note: this post was not published until evening


The Practice Journey

If you imagine growing in your art, whether it's drawing, writing or digital media, as a road trip from New York City to Las Vegas. You know in order to arrive in Vegas you have to drive each and every mile. You can't skip miles, there is no teleportation (well, kinda... but that's a separate conversation...) If you stop on the road and refuse to drive forward you know you'll never actually arrive. 

Practice is exactly that. If you don't practice you're that car sitting on the side of the road wondering why you never suddenly arrive in Vegas. You're upset that you're not as good as you know you could be. But you're the one refusing to start the engine and drive another mile.

So going forward I am going to look myself in the mirror when I don't practice for a day or two and have a good honest talk with myself.

"Keith. You're the one refusing to move forward. You cannot expect to get where you want to be if you refuse to move forward. Can't move forward by standing still. Can't get better if you don't practice. Now, lets get crackin'!"

Coincidence

Coincidence used to be such a "nothing special" word years ago when I thought I was in control. But after I hit rock bottom, after I hit my knees that word started to get my attention more and more. The word is fine, especially in the secular world. However that word is problematic for someone following Jesus.

It's just a word though right? What's the big deal? Right? Well it is a big deal actually.

Because it's stealing from God

You might be upset at hearing that? Or suddenly concerned or afraid? If you're still reading you might be asking "How so?". You see when you call something a coincidence you are saying "well that was crazy that those things that have nothing to do with each other happened together!". But... If you profess to love Christ how's that work? How do you accept that The Lord is creator and keeper of everything, even time itself... but those two things just randomly, without anyone planning or acting, happened at the same time? You are quite literally speaking contrary to your faith, contrary to the Word. And worst of all you are stealing the Glory of that perfect merger of events from He who planned and executed it, The Lord.

He did all that so you would see His wonders. So you would tell others of His glories. But instead you chalk it up to chaos, to randomness, to luck. You just stole God's glory and tossed it into the wind... Something to think about when you feel the word "coincidence" leave your lips... If it's just a "coincidence" then there is no perfect all powerful God at the helm of the universe...


The Practice Journey

Finally getting over myself and allowing myself to create more drafting, sketching, pencil layers when I draw. Up until now I have tried to do final lines after only one or two sketch layers. Let me tell you that doesn't help at all. Draft!... seriously draft like a maniac. It helps a lot and it actually boosts your confidence and motivation when you do. 

None of the below stuff is any good. But I am not trying to be any good with them. Just trying to get aspect ratios, lines, positions, spacing and basic elements together. I am seeing what works, what doesn't. What feels right and what doesn't. And honestly final lines will be soooo much easier with this level of drafting to base it off.

Things I am Toiling Over:

  • Do I keep the characters in the same exact clothing? Like Calvin & Hobbes, The Simpsons, etc.
  • Do I add color later or keep it black and white like I have been planning?
  • Do I have Sasha's (center) hair in a pony tail or down and flowing?
  • Can I freaking decide on a hair style for Grim (left)?
  • Ahhhh eyes... I love the eye style from the video game Darkest Dungeon. But is it too dark for my comic? Should I go with what I have been trying already? Should I try something completely different?

That being said I have figured out how to do these draft layers that makes me happy. The steps I am currently using are:

  1. Draw the layer
  2. When done reduce it's opacity to 50%
  3. Create new layer on top
  4. Draw on new layer
  5. When done with that layer merge it down to the previous layer
  6. Reduce this new combined layers opacity to 50%
  7. Repeat 4, 5, 6 until done drafting

As you do that the older drafts just keep getting lighter and lighter until they fade out of visibility. Continually building new and better drafts at the top while fading out the old drafts slowly in the back.

God Plays Chess Backwards

A number of years ago this phrase hit me.

God Plays Chess Backwards

It sounds kinda silly right? But it's really interesting once you stop and think about it. The Lord is not part of time. He knows the future, as well as the past. It's impossible for our human brains to really understand something living outside of time itself. But we know God does things that would be impossible without His knowledge of past, present, and future combined together. And this is where the saying comes in. Chess is a game that very clearly depicts how one thing leads to another until the game is done.

The thing about creation is that The Lord has already finished it. He already knows what time, on what day, in what year His son returns. From there he plays chess backwards. He works all things going backwards from that pinnacle moment to the beginning of this creation, so that everything is as it should be.

How often do we see His Glory in our everyday lives? When things work out just perfectly, inexplicitly... Or my personal non favorite, "coincidentally". I'll do a separate post on coincidence... But how often do we see his ability to order the entire universe of molecules to achieve impossible things, impossibly timed things every single day? The only way He could do that and also drive the universe to his intended goal, Jesus's glorification, is if he ordered things backwards perfectly from the end back to the beginning.

God Plays Chess Backwards

Ordering things from the end, back to the beginning so that His love for us is shown. So that He is glorified. And so that nothing changes the end of this chapter on Earth. Take some time to stop and think about it. And then walk around every day in wonder at how The Lord can order the universe to bless you, reveal to you, answer peoples prayers. And on top of all that also end at the end He wants for His Son, Jesus.


The Practice Journey

Trying to get serious about practicing...

The Struggle to Decide, is the Problem

If you hang around twitter you will run into Jenna Jameson. She's very active, very conservative, and very much able to defend herself. She is a very successful woman. Regardless of your opinion about her former profession as a porn star. She's successful, she's powerful on twitter, and she knows what she's doing.

So as a Christian / conservative who agrees with the vast majority of what she says I found myself at an interesting nexus of having to make a decision. Should I as a devoted Christian follow a former porn star who is a staunch conservative? On the one side it's extremely complicated. Socio-Economic-Religious appearances, blah blah blah. But on the other side it turns into an extremely simple decision.

It was here that I realized the decision wasn't the problem. It was the struggle to decide that was the problem. If you read her twitter for more than 5 minutes you will see those traditional Christians saying horrific things to her for being a porn star, alongside the Leftists Liberals saying horrific things to her... for being a porn star. I could write an entire paper on the irony of that! But moving on...

Why do traditional Christians attack her? Because they focus on the splinter in her eye (her old porn job). They only accept people who pretend to be perfect and pure, like they themselves pretend to be. Now of course you could easily attack me for saying that. "You're judging! Blah blah blah". But the only one who is perfect is Christ. So the traditional Christians cannot be perfect, which means pretending to be perfect is lying... Funny how that reality thing works...

But that was the source of my struggle to decide. This pretense, this expectation of perfect appearance, this ideal that you cannot do or have done anything wrong according to Christ to be accepted, followed, approved of or allied with. Sadly it wasn't even my ideal, it was just one that permeates the traditional Christian circles, media, everything.

Anyways it's time for change. Jenna Jameson is an ally to conservatives on the vast majority of issues. I don't have to agree with her position on porn to welcome her as friend and ally in the politics of America. I can stand beside her confidently and proudly as a conservative fighting for freedom, liberty, equality, life, and everything else. We don't have to line up 100% on every issue, every day. Just the issues we are fighting for at the time and place.

So you guessed it, I follow Jenna Jameson. Because she's a conservative warrior and an ally. You can follow her to, or you can attack her for her former profession. But a word of caution for those professing to be a Christian. If you attack her with horrible language, disgusting names, and judge her for her former profession. You would be the monster, not her. You would be the Pharisee throwing stones, Jesus would be the one with love, grace, and mercy reaching out His hand to her.


The Practice Journey

Fun fact... motivation doesn't start itself. Motivation isn't the source either. Motivation is the product of passion. Focusing on my passion to draw is helping me infinitely more than trying to get motivated for the sake of motivation!

I am not where I want to be, but I am moving past the place I don't want to be slowly!

Expecting a New Kind of Accountability

There is a growing trend in the social and network media. People saying ridiculous drama queen statements and accusations for the sole purpose of creating a media firestorm of drama from the extreme ends of their political spectrum and their oppositions extreme end. And then once enough people call them out for it they remove it. Knowing full well that their removal changes nothing. The web is ablaze with the false information. Spreading like a California wild fire. Deceiving, manipulating and brain washing their "followers", their allies and even their enemies.

It's a game. A game being played with the common Americans. The working classes and poor many times. The masses starving for hope and change after decades of empty promises and very little changing.

These people get to look "good" by retracting it. Knowing full well their retraction means nothing and changes nothing. Because no one will see or pay attention to their quiet retraction or apology.

Both sides of a battle will spread the bad news. But only one side will spread the apology.

But what if...?

What if we demanded, we expected these public people to not only correct and / or delete their wrong messages. But actually make a corrected statement. Not an apology. But a corrected statement to their followers and to the world! And if they don't let them have the media backlash from refusing to admit the truth and expose them for their deceptions and mind games.