Last Updated on October 1, 2021
Have you been searching for inspiration, trying to find the motivation to start something? To make a dent in that project, to exercise, to eat healthily, to do that one thing you’ve dreamed about for a while?
I think we’re used to ‘searching’ for motivation. Pinterest, blog posts, videos, speeches, books – we use these resources to ‘find’ inspiration, but are we really just creating a distraction for ourselves? (I sound like Carrie Bradshaw, don’t I?)
Sure, you can be inspired by someone. You can be inspired by an idea or a concept, absolutely.
But what gets you to start doing is YOU.
Let’s say you get dinner with a friend and you’re talking about your lack of motivation lately. You’re having a hard time getting out of bed in the morning to do the same old routine tasks every day.
Your friend might give you some great advice. She might tell you about how she wakes up each day and asks herself,
How can I be better than I was yesterday?
That’s pretty motivational. If you’ve been having a good day so far, you might feel that you can use that to your advantage.
But you might also not want to hear that. You might have had a shitty day, and all you want to do is complain. You’re not in the mood for taking advice.
That’s because you feel motivated depending on your current mindset and situation. But you know who controls your mindset?
It’s your responsibility to control your mindset (or at least pay attention to it), and that’s why external situations/people/ideas aren’t reliable sources of motivation.
Maybe you’re struggling to start a project, so you think, ‘I’ll just read this blog post about motivation and that’ll help me.’
While you think you’re helping yourself, you’re actually still in that mindset where you don’t realllllly want to get started…because if you did, you would have just started already. You kind of want to be distracted.
Because starting means commitment, and commitment is scary. That’s totally understandable. Just accept it, and realize that the distractions aren’t going to help you get stuff done.
Weirdly enough, I wrote an essay in college about my ‘addiction’ to finding inspiration on Pinterest (heavy stuff, people). Here’s an excerpt:
Pinterest divests me of creativity and shatters any fragment of innovation I have. To actually be inspired, I must be willing to inspire myself. Instead of sitting at my desk looking at photographs of a perfectly green forest, I must remove myself from the virtual world and wade through the deep, blissful reality of my own nature to receive the inspiration I crave.
The point I’m trying to make here is that you alone have the power to motivate yourself.
You don’t need to search endlessly looking for inspiration that will only lead you down a black hole of distractions. You are in charge of motivating yourself. Don’t rely on other people. Don’t rely on tools or books or quotes. Definitely don’t rely on Pinterest.
(I’m not saying avoid these things altogether, I’m just saying use them for enjoyment and education rather than depending on them for motivation.)
All it takes is a decision to start working. To tell yourself, I’m going to start this right now.
It’s your choice.
Once you understand that, you won’t have to waste time ‘searching’ for motivation. You’ll realize that it’s all about your mindset and understanding the reasons why you haven’t started yet.
It’s about recognizing that you’re distracting yourself, but then making the choice to either continue with the distractions or to get to work.
Being in control of your own motivation is a pretty powerful thing, so take advantage of it whenever you can. Remember that it’s up to you to get started and keep going. You go, Glen Coco!
Photo: Geneva Vanderzeil