Some Thoughts on Motivation

Blog No. 37

There is no limit to what we can do when we are properly motivated.  With that in mind, I was not very motivated to write this week’s post.  This was the first week all year where I actually though that it would be no big deal if I didn’t write a blog.  After a moment’s thought I was really worried that after such a solid run I would consider skipping a week because I am lazy.  Thankfully I was able to conjure up enough motivation to sit down and write.

There are always trials and obstacles in the way of our goals (at the moment my goal is to keep the blog going and eventually to be able to write every day).   Over all the blog itself is part of a larger drive to write and become a writer but for this week my motivation is simply to continue the streak.  I don’t think there is anything wrong with that though.  I have a desire to be a writer and that takes a lot of work, I’ll take whatever motivation I can get.

I would never do anything as cliché as to define a word in my blog (and I’m counting on you to hold me to that) but I find that I’m struck by the fact that motivation is a fairly indistinct idea.  I could be talking about inspiration or drive towards a goal or even an unconscious force.  For my purposes I think motivation as anything that impels someone to act (most likely towards a goal) makes sense.  I want to write and eventually publish my writing.  That motivates me to write (ideally).

It’s not that easy though, which is why I need motivation to sit and write.  But I already mentioned that.  It does lead me to the idea of using things to motivate yourself though.  Personally I am a big fan of music.  I find any job from writing this blog to cleaning toilets is ten times better with some good music.  At least as far as writing goes, music is a disputed tool.  Some people need absolute silence (or white noise) to get any work done.  But in the same respect, some people respond to being told they can’t do something, I tend to just agree and go home.

Music is my go to motivation, but it usually only works once I have worked up enough impetus to do whatever it is that music is helping me do.  Sometimes the motivation is simply that whatever has to be done has to be done.  I have to go to work.  I have to pick up my prescription at the pharmacy.  I have to write my blog post.  Sure I could not do those things, but I don’t want to face the consequences of not.  For the things that I want to do (but don’t necessarily want to do the work involved) I often set goals and rewards.  I set writing goals (that I don’t always hit) that helps keep me motivated to write.  They help take the pressure off and usually result in surprising and encouraging progress.  I also set rewards (not only for writing) that help me do everything from not getting fast food every day to saving money.

As a society we have accomplished incredible things when we were properly motivated.  Sometimes the motivation was terrible, like being given to option to build the pyramid or to die, but then there is the motivation that drives people to ride a balloon to the edge of space and jump.  That’s amazing.  When we have had a common goal and resources to back it up we have broken through barriers that have been thought of as fixed time and time again.  My entire hope for the future is based on that fact and without motivation we have show to be stagnant and lazy people.  We are still using (basically) the same technology to get to space as we did when we went to the moon.  There are some people who are motivated enough to try and change this, but they are individuals or small companies and they don’t have the resources we had when we did go to the moon.

But I am not going to the moon (any time soon) I am writing.  I many not have a nation behind me, but I do have some very good friends and they have been a huge source of motivation.  Lately the most writing I have done is when we get together Wednesday night for our meetings.  Also, the thing that has kept me writing my short stories better than anything is the fact that Christian is doing so well.  As a group we have done our best to keep bugging each other to write and to provide feedback and criticism which both keeps writing on our minds and helps make writing a dynamic activity.  Heck, when properly motivated I am able to write this blog, which is now almost 28,000 words long (and counting).

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