How do you find inspiration and motivation in a Covid-19 pandemic? Is it even possible? How about those stories that are in the media all the time telling us of the thoughtful, generous and downright heroic efforts of others in this world. We should be able to find motivation there right. These should be sources of inspiration right? While we may, and should, be extremely thankful for these stories, bottom line is, to us they are just that, stories. Someone else’s stories. So where, for us personally, can we find the motivation and inspiration we sometimes desperately need?
First off let’s get an idea of what motivation is.
What Is Motivation?
Credit: Steve Moore via CartoonStock
Motivation is the desire to act in service of a goal. It’s the crucial element in setting and attaining one’s objectives—and research shows that people can influence their own levels of motivation and self control. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/motivation
Did you catch were the excerpt stated, “research shows that people can influence their own levels of motivation and self control”? This is an empowering statement. This article in Psychology today goes on to explain that motivation can be either extrinsic, ie…the media references we touched on earlier, wonderful websites…hint, hint, that offer motivational content, Tony Robbins and his conquer the world before you get out of bed series (Just made that up. I’m sure he has some good stuff out there), or the motivation can be intrinsic, ie…from inside you. This internal motivation is a drive to better yourself or your situation, or transcendentally, according to Maslow, to help better someone else and their situation. Either way the intrinsic motivation tends to, according to Psychology today and personal experience, push us more forcefully and the rewards are more fulfilling. So now that we have an idea what motivation is and, more importantly, where it lives, let’s take a look at how we might go about being motivated?
So: how can I influence my own levels of motivation? Truth is we do it all the time. If we are not very motivated right now it is because we have chosen to not be motivated. Now this doesn’t mean that we woke up this morning as said, ” (insert name here) you are not going to be motivated today no matter what”, or “(insert name here) your are going to be the most motivated you have ever been today”. If only it were that simple but it’s not quite so conscious. You see we influence our motivation by what we allow into our lives. It is your choice. What you read, what you watch , what you listen to or the relationships you allow to take root and grow are all things that we allow to influence our motivation. So if your feeling a bit unmotivated and lacking inspiration let me offer this exercise.
Step one: Turn off the voices that you have allowed to fill your being. All of them if possible. Even the ones you think are positive. In this way you will be able to silence the negativity. Don’t justify the voices at this point, why you listen to them, just silence them, not for ever, although it may come to that, but at least for a period.
Step two: Now with all the voices turned off ask yourself: Why not? Why not (insert dream, goal or impossibility here): and then listen to the answers. Now remember all the other voices are supposed to be turned off so the answering voice shouldn’t sound like a family member, a teacher, a boss or friends. If they do turn them off. What’s left? Is the answer negative? Do the answers all focus on why not? Is that inner voice so influenced by all those external voices that you can’t hear the dream, goal or impossibility whispering to you from the depths of your desire. You see the truth is, all those answers are not your voice because “Why not” is not a question. You see the reality is those dreams, that’s your true voice calling out to you. Why not! Those goals, that’s you. Why not! Those impossibilities, they are only impossibilities because you have let those external voices make you believe they are impossibilities. Why not (insert dream, goal or impossibility here)! Listen to your voice! At the end of the exercise you will see that “Why not” is a statement, your true voice, and not a question. Why not Wednesday? Why not Wednesday!
Be Well In All Ways!