14 Mar Beyond Wall Watching: When You Stop Staring at Walls to Pass Time
Wake up, rush to work, battle to get home, insert pastime activity, sleep, rinse and repeat. That’s about the full of it for most of us. “I’m living my best life,” we tell ourselves, sounding more unconvincing than confident. If that is the capacity of one’s life, then it is a wretched life indeed.
One does not simply walk into Mordor. A vital element is needed within ourselves to sustain the focus of achieving a goal: motivation. Motivation can come from many things; such as companionship, ambition, selflessness or the ability to act.
Setting an aspiration is indisputably a good start, but that alone is not nearly enough and setting one will not automatically see it done. Hell, if all it took to accomplish a goal was setting one we might as well be gods. As we are far from such stature, we will have to make do with keeping ourselves motivated.
Generating our own motivation can be a complex undertaking. Once created, it can be sustained by making advances towards one’s ambition. These intangible ‘things’ must be made by ourselves. If motivation is created by someone else, it will be short-lived and unsuccessful.
How do we measure motivation? Can we define it like we do with our emotions? Motivation can be categorised into two groups: drives and motives. Drives are chiefly biological resolutions like hunger and thirst, while motives are characterised by social and psychological purposes.
Drives are what we can consider natural motivation since we cannot control our motivation to eat when hungry. We may ignore the sensation, but our bodies will react accordingly by informing us with hunger pangs and a somewhat sad-sounding grumble.
Motives can for the most part be influenced by ourselves, but still react rather independently of our conscious thoughts. If we allow ourselves a positive thought as often as we are able to, our optimism will grow. Emotions, in some cases, are as erratic as a moth’s flying pattern. Therefore, scraping one optimistic thought from a cornucopia of melancholy deserves a metaphorical (or literal) pat on the back. If our thoughts and actions are of a negative nature, our outlook on life will likely be miserable. [Editor’s Note: That is not to say that all people who suffer from depression or feelings of sadness are negative or pessimistic]
Lack of motivation is a gloomy place for anybody. It may become so severe that ‘essence’ is no longer visible in our lives. So much so that being void becomes a comfort and we are content with the halt in our very existence as other people’s lives march on. Goals are seemingly unattainable and every other activity a waste of time and effort.
The cause for a lack of motivation is likely to vary with each individual. Loss of meaning in our purpose in life is often a prominent figure in causing this negative state of mind. Becoming so focused on doing what needs to be done, we neglect to enjoy the little moments of euphoria and inevitably forget why we chose a particular path.
We disregard many of the little things we used to derive enjoyment from, until only a straight, dark tunnel leading towards whatever ambition we’ve set out remains. We follow it, hoping more than anything that the achievement of our goal would be enough and sadly, it seldom is. Staying motivated is more than having or accomplishing goals; it includes the other aspects of life that are often inconspicuous.
Becoming motivated can be initiated by changing a few things that we encounter on a daily basis. For some of us, changing our manner of interacting with the people around us is likely to produce the swiftest results. That could be by becoming more interactive or distancing ourselves if we need space. Each of us employs a different mechanism or process for generating motivation. Finding the method that works best for you is a victory in it’s own right.
Show gratitude towards people when something is done for you, even the smallest of things – like a greeting. It may seem immaterial but greeting someone acknowledges their existence and value as a person, and showing gratitude for it will warrant a returned greeting more often than not. It’s a puny gesture but it plays its part in creating a good self-image.
Become less impatient. Completing one task at a time will ensure that the task is done optimally and will create a sense of pride in the final product. With an objective removed from the mental ‘to-do’ list, the feeling of being overwhelmed will lessen as well, thus helping to create a clear mind. A clear mind guarantees less pressure and fewer things to worry about.
Start becoming active. Sitting around pondering about what needs to be done will see nothing done. Set the bar low, at first.
A low bar means whatever objective set can’t not be done. Develop a way of thinking that is based on improving yourself rather than improving your situation. Situations change or new ones come along every day, altering your thought pattern will guarantee your ability to manage them efficiently.
Attempting to cross the bridge of demotivation is unquestionably a journey that could leave us in a lethargic state for quite some time, but it can be crossed. It begins with our changing ourselves instead of our situation, by sustaining positive relationships as well as creating some. Try taking a step in your desired direction instead of leaping.
Motivation begins when we stop staring at the wall to pass the time.