When I was a working actor, after I got hired for a play or TV show, I would launch myself into research for my character. As soon as I got a script I went right to work. I felt purposeful and dedicated. The road ahead was fairly straightforward. My job was figuring out how to get from point A to point B.
But now that I am, in effect, retired, structuring my days, and making time for the things I want to do is totally up to me. I have this blog, The Pet Sitter (which is my autobiography), a commitment and dedication to the iWonder Sisters, books to read, journaling, cards and runes to continue to learn about – lots of stuff to do. However, finding the motivation to plow ahead and get things done is often very difficult for me. There are days I have an agenda and yet can’t seem to get going with anything. And this goes beyond my dealing with depression. It has to do with belief, and feeling purposeful. I often have neither.
As you may have read, for 2017 I got myself a beautiful new planner. And I love my planner. It gives me a certain structure, ample space to write notes and ideas as they come, and forces me to plan ahead a bit. It is not a straight jacket, though, and I still will plan work for the next day and feel too draggy to do it.
I am learning a lot about myself during this process of creating better habits for living. One of the things that I am beginning to get is that habits are repetitive. Creating new ones to replace those that do not serve me well takes time and patience – as well as the ability to give myself some leeway. To not beat myself up if I flounder on a particular day. But creating a life “style” takes practice – just like learning to play the violin takes practice. And motivation to change the things that don’t work anymore. Change may be life’s only certainty, but I know I can sometimes go into change kicking and screaming inside. But resistance to change is an act of futility.
I have had to learn to relax and go with the flow – as I create it and step into it. I have had to learn that for me, I have to force some things in order to get the impetus moving. Motivation may not always come first. At least that is my personal experience. Especially when the work at hand is not handed to me, rather created by me.
I am learning that I can find my belief in what I am doing just by doing it. And motivation comes from that belief. Within the believing in what I am doing is born the motivation to continue doing it. That’s where I find my motivation.
Being a perfectionist sucks! It means that if I don’t get it right the first time I will sometimes let it go and give up. But failing is when you learn. Failing is great! It teaches you that if you believe in what you are doing trying again is where you find your motivation. It makes me think of all the wonderful writers who sit alone in a room with a computer and a blank screen staring at them, with nothing but an idea. And sometimes not even that – just a deadline. But with the first sentence the idea comes alive and belief germinates. And with belief, the motivation to continue. And these wonderful writers write and rewrite, and rewrite, and on and on until it feels right and done.
Whether I am one of these wonderful writers remains to be seen, but in the work of writing I am no different than they are. So for me, finding my motivation to go on writing, journaling, meditating, reading, working with my cards and runes, comes from the belief that it all matters. To me. If there is no belief there can be no motivation. That is my revelation for today. It might not be your prescription. But it is definitely mine.