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'!"