So. I was thinking about motivation. More specifically how we start doing things. To be even more specific, I started thinking about that one moment where it happens: We actually start.
We start to do something new. A new routine emerges. We finally do that thing we’ve been putting off for a while. We get up from the couch and get into action. We stop procrastinating.
What happens in that moment? What is that defining thing that creates the momentum? I think it’s in that thing where the real shift happens. In that moment, that magic happens; in that moment change begins, new habits start, new roads are taken.
I don’t know exactly what happens in that exact moment, except that it is definitely that happens on the inside, because of something on the inside.
I don’t know about you guys, but my friend can tell me how awesome running is and orate for hours about the benefits – it doesn’t make me run for jack. Yet, when I remember the article I once read about running being about as effective as antidepressants, I will put on my running shoes and lap a few miles.
I can read a million recipes for chia pudding, a type of salad or a juice, mentally acknowledge that it sounds nice and never think of it again. And one morning I am in the mood for something healthy and I fall in love with cherry-chia pudding, balsamico-strawberry salad or cilantro-juice, all by myself.
My father can tell me to look in a certain direction for my career: I will listen, nod politely and not really do anything with the information. Until suddenly I am overcome with a sense of purpose and frantically start writing letters of application because I want to work more, and in that specific field.
People can tell me I should go to yoga, but I will ignore their encouragement. Until I feel it click. Suddenly I feel it, it’s happening on the inside. And on a surge of that, I go to yoga. People can tell me to start writing again, but I will not do it. Then one morning it will break out of me and I am writing until my fingers are blue with ink*.
Nothing happens for me, not until I feel something click, not until some inner spark lights a fire on the inside. My behavior doesn’t change until I feel it resonate with something within.
With that in mind, I took a look around and realized that almost always we look for motivation outside of ourselves. We look for the people we admire, the things other people are doing, books and articles on how to motivate yourself — You might even be here on my website, looking for it.
And it can motivate you, definitely – but only because it sparked the fire that was already ready to ignite within you, only because it adds to the final weight that pulls the lever down. And I started thinking, that you could make that thing click or that fire happen, easier, more often, all by yourself.
- Really get in touch with yourself.** We have so much impulses coming in that it can be hard to figure out whatever the hell is happening on your inside anyway. While what’s on the inside is actually the most interesting part! What can help is turning down all the information coming from the outside; spending more time alone and off the Internet. You can also just turn up the volume of your inner impulses by stream-of-consciousness writing, or just paying more attention to yourself while you are going about your day.
- Literally think “what do I want?” more. We are all a bunch of people-pleasers and we tend to think of other people first. While it’s perfectly healthy and normal to reason from YOUR own perspective! Once you attune yourself to that you become used to thinking in terms of what you want instead of what (you think) is expected of you or what you think you should want. Certain themes and impulses will come up more often or more forcefully, and when you start acting upon those and it feels good, “right” for you in a way, this can start doing the trick without any outer stimulants!
- On that note, ask yourself more questions like that! What would I like? What do I need? In life, in love, in business, in friends, in food, in exercise? What is good for me? Not because you see it’s good for someone else, but what is good for you specifically? You are the expert on yourself. Start asking yourself all the expert questions.
- Trust yourself. Turn on the inner GPS more often/all the time; if you give yourself a little more wiggle room, you’ll learn to wiggle in the right direction***. We have the tendency to think of ourselves as unmotivated while in fact, everything we do when we are motivated is just as much who we are as the lazier parts. If you stop forcing yourself into things you ‘have to do’, you might find yourself naturally levitating towards the things you ‘want to do’.
Honestly, a little more faith in your inner workings and yourself as a person might very well be the way to find lasting and honest intrinsic motivation. Especially if you add a little silence and respect to the soul to the mix.
You might be clicking or burning away on all the right things, just because of those.
Thumbs up & Namaste, babies. Have a lovely week.
*YAY for being left-handed.
**Not in the dirty way. On the other hand…if you think it will help I am not going to stop you. Go nuts.
***I LOVE the word ‘wiggle’.