I’ve been going through a lot of ups and downs lately. In fact, last three months was a race against myself – how much am I capable of doing – both for myself and others? What do I have to do to keep myself, and my closest people satisfied? Where do I draw the line that enables you to confidently say: “You did your best, time to get some rest now”? There are always new things to do, learn, improve, perfect and enjoy. To maximize my time, I even started to wake up at 4/5 am. However, there’s never enough time, and I guess there will never be.
Becoming your best you is not an easy task. I guess its only natural to see your motivation take a battering when things get wrapped into a routine. At some point, everything starts to feel like a neverending marathon and your energy and enthusiasm begins to ebb. Most of the millennial minds are just used to instant gratification and mine is no different. “Give me something new and exciting!” – it screams.
And what do you do then? Lose everything you hustled for and move on to something new? Slip back into your old ways? Or stick to the same thing and see your results and satisfaction plummeting? Neither choice appears to be reasonable. Especially when deep inside you know that it’s discipline and consistency that will drive you to your goals. Moreover, you’ll have to overcome every stepback you mistook to move forward.
As Mary Schmich one said: “Life is a race and in the end, its only against yourself.” If you quit every time things start to go rough, whether its due to your internal conflict or external circumstances, you’ll never grow and life will only build up on that. Therefore, here are five things that help me to build resilience and overpower even the most stringent times of disbelief and self-doubt.
1. Remember your mission
Reaffirm your commitment to the cause. Why do you what you’re doing? What have you achieved? Who would you let down if you quit?
Keeping your goal in sight and having a tunnel vision augments countless things: motivation, commitment, ability to enjoy the journey and maintaining a positive attitude and many more, you name it. It’s just too easy to get lost in the midst of daily tasks, forgetting what got you going in the first place. Write down your mission, make it visible and revise it periodically. There’s no better feeling than knowing you’re doing the right things for all the right reasons.
2. Look back and reflect
Look at your starting place and where you are today: how many people are grateful for your effort? Did you make anyone feel better, happy or appreciated? Gratitude is a mighty force. Therefore, don’t only wait for it to get back at you, be grateful: even if you achieved most things, remember that it wouldn’t be possible without the incredible people you met on your way.
3. Step back and recharge
If you’re running out of battery, a bit of space and rest will get you to do your best. No one wants to burn out, but it does happen. The cure is to change your state and relax: go on a spontaneous date, grab a meal, play a sport or a game or just sleep it off and you’ll be ready to perform. I wouldn’t advocate going on vacation, as all it just gets me out of the rhythm and getting my groove back becomes even more difficult. However, when you’re genuinely overworked, it’s also a decent way to relax and reward yourself.
4. Get the fire burning
Sometimes, the most terrible period to get back to action is when you come back from the break. It can be tough to get things going again and not doing enough or at least being unable to keep up with your plans can lead to some severe self-sabotage. At this point, it’s essential to create a sense of urgency and start with something small. For me, it’s the urgency that gets me going. Knowing that you have to deliver no matter what and pressure works and helps to break the ice and it only gets easier from there. Interestingly, even the first law of physics states that objects in motion tend to stay in motion, while objects at rest tend to remain at rest. That that is entirely true in this case as well: you don’t feel like doing things when you’re not doing anything, and its rather difficult to stop when you bring yourself into a solid rhythm. So, start with something small and pleasant and get your fire burning.
5. Consume inspiring media
Whether it’s your favorite movie, song, book, video or article that gets you going, just do it. However, don’t just take this tip front granted and merely watch whatever comes your way – it has to be genuinely inspiring and to reach that, it has to communicate the struggle for greatness. Anything else will only serve to justify your procrastination and further gratification. For me, the best nudge is the movies. Several titles that come to mind are Whiplash (2014), The Pursuit of Happiness (2006), The Shawshank Redemption (1994), Coach Carter (2005), 8 Mile (2002), Fight Club (1999) or even anime such as Whisper of the Heart (1995) or Your Name (2016, will leave you in tears 100%). You might prefer watching something different, so just choose whatever floats your boat. However, in my experience, inspirational media is still a short-term solution. Once the stimulus fades, you might need to try other tactics.
Overcoming the lack of motivation is never easy, but the good news is that to become unmotivated, you had to be motivated first. Reignite your motivation with your mission, results, inspiring media, relaxation and get started with pleasant and enjoyable things again. It’s just too easy to become disappointed in yourself, so don’t waste your time comparing your life to others. Everyone’s path follows a unique storyline, thus believe in it, enjoy the journey, tackle the universe with your giant andromeda size balls (even if you’re a girl) and you’ll see good things coming your way again!