Underneath it all, sustained motivation is the key to long term success. Being highly personal, I will leave the definition of success to your own devices.
I usually wake up at 5 am, do my practice, yoga, meditation, reading, this is my personal self-care ritual, when followed, it helps my day unfold evenly, grounded and, with clarity.
About a couple of months ago I lost my mojo (I put it down to the weather, my body was trapped in winter, while the rest of my being was already in spring) I couldn’t bring Me, my Self & I to get out of bed at 5 am, so I woke up at 6.30 am instead. Sure, but the difference is, my son and the rest of the household wake up at 6.30, hence no time to reset.
Even having all the tools, for the life of me, something was numb inside, I kept doing what was needed, trust me, I am efficient, work is done, child is alive, dogs are fed, plants are watered (not necessarily alive) but, the fuel was not there and, girl don’t I know what that means; low fuel = no long-term sustainability = something/somehow will break down.
Aside from our natural rhythms, sometimes motivation comes easily, and sometimes doesn’t, so digging on the subject, as I tend to overdo, I have come to one realization: there is a clear link between sustained motivation and tending to our desires.
Culturally and historically, tending to what you wish for (unless is your birthday) has been considered at the very least, inappropriate, ergo we either ignore or justify our desires.
So back to the topic of motivation, I have realized that it begins to erode if we continue to neglect our request. While my whole body and soul were yearning for sunlight and warmth, reality was delivering snow and cold. Logically my mind, my darling companion, would talk me out of my thirst by saying: how can you long for something that is not? And I did, till I lost my thrill.
Sure, I have no power over the weather, but the request was about warmth and sunlight, what could have I done differently to honor such? Plenty.
So, ignore your desire, and your motivation will go down, down, down the pipe.
True desire comes out of a deep connection to Self, it is not about the petty requests from the ego, very different, so how can we distinguish one from another?
Stillness. Silence. When you create space to listen, you can discern truth from bullshit. We all know how truth feels like, yes, and it might feel scary, but truth is truth.
Lack of motivation comes from ignoring our essential self, the deepest part of our being that goes beyond the flesh, what I call “authentic desire”.
Authentic desire doesn’t cause harm, much to the contrary, it only creates growth, and joy. Yes, on the way to desire land, we might have to set boundaries, confront self-deception and so on, we might look like impossible narcissists, certainly to the ones who oppose such change… but not to the ones who celebrate it, they will elevate you in a profound way, because your courage will inspire them to reconnect with their true nature.
Authentic desire is tamed (if not killed) by the beliefs we hold about our intrinsic concept of desire, but it may also be enhanced, if we dare look inside.
My recovery tips:
- Accept the facts. It is senseless to think that we will always be motivated to do something (even if we love it), in this instance it was about the weather, in a different situation it could be a tragedy, an injury or simply lack of sleep.
- Mind management. Don’t invite the non-motivational thoughts for tea, they will come, but you don’t have to open the door and give them scones too. This requires some form of effort.
- Reconnect with one desire. Don’t think whether it is possible to get it in this moment, forget about the how, just hold that longing in your mind, feel the feelings, stay with it for as long as you can, at least 30 seconds, do this as you wake up and as you go to bed.
- The 5 minute rule. Choose a ball from the set you’re juggling, don’t give the mind a chance to have a say, start doing it for 5 minutes. Chances are you’re already in it.
- Keep the Focus. Don’t drop the one ball you have chosen to focus on. Hold it as if your life depended on it, if you can’t go up the level yet, stay still and, persist.
- Bribe Your Self. If I finish…. I will get a massage or a new car (maybe:).
- Repeat steps 1-6 over and over.
Don’t suppose for a second that to recover motivation you must be motivated. Very much the opposite, you need to consciously exert any power you have left to get back on track. Use any tricks in your hat for such purpose. Your determination shall give you the initial self respect necessary to come up and out of the mud, and when the Self recognizes such effort, despite the disconnect, bam! you are back!
Much love and hope! MR