Sunday 19 February 2012

Finding Motivation

There are the things that we want to do but we procrastinate nevertheless, the things we have to do but don’t like doing, and the things we think we should do but somehow never get round to.

I find myself blaming the lack of motivation in one category on the existence of the others: 'I cannot follow my dream because there is too much house work.', 'I really should go to the gym but if I don’t follow my dream today I will never make it.' Problem is: Shifting things round and round doesn’t get anything done and all that is left is feeling miserable... That is not a good starting point.

The Duties!
The easiest ones to tackle are the duties; the stuff we have to do but which we don’t particularly like doing. Like my fish tank. I like it to look nice, but cleaning it is a bit of a nuisance. To be honest? It’s half an hours work... ½ an hour... girl: Get your rear up and have it done and dusted!

See, the trick lies in ranking the tasks by duration. Get a quick one done and feel good about it. Or choose one that fits into a particular time slot, like: 'between lunch and having to leave the house for a meeting'. Knowing the length of a task and then imagining how it feels when it’s over, gives that little kick to get it done.

Should Do Stuff!
What about the ‘should do stuff'...? Maybe we just shouldn’t! I ditched the sewing course and the Taekwon-Do class. The sewing course was held by a brilliant teacher and I thought the skill could be beneficial at one point in my life. And then it turned out that in order to have the full benefit I would have to do homework... which I never did... I shouldh’ve... but... The Taekwon-Do was a similar story. The effort to actually doing it well was too high for the benefits. Maybe in a few years time I regret, however, when I took the decision I had a big sigh of relief and big rock fell off my shoulders. The one thing that kept me from skipping out earlier was the feeling of having to explain myself to... everybody, basically... ‘you were so excited at the beginning, what happened?’, ‘you were so good at it, why would you want to stop?’, ‘you bought all this equipment, what a waste!’.

No ones business, that is! I try out stuff; some I like, some I don’t, some turn out to be too time consuming, so what? Turns out: There should only be two categories: The stuff we have to do, and the stuff we want to do. If something doesn’t properly fit either – ditch it!

Want to Do Stuff!
Oh, those are tricky little bastards. They are thoughts and desires we use for all sorts of things... and sometimes they should go on the couch of a psychiatrist.

They are wonderful tools for blame... 'You never help in the household, so I don’t get to do stuff'. One could just DO stuff, and letting the work pile up; developing a thick skin, socks wouldn’t be folded, shirts not be ironed, kids favourite meal not be cooked, car not washed... they would find out eventually, that taking some duties off your shoulders would give you the time to be at their service. It however seems that having this blame tool available is more valuable than to actually educate the family. Why else would we stick to NOT doing the things we would like doing?

Maybe we have a rose tinted imagination of how it would be if we were to give it a go, and we somehow know, or fear, that it might not be like that? If there is only one big dream, then sometimes it is nicer to dream the dream than to destroy it with a harsh reality, and then nothing would be left... not even a dream.

Truth is: Every dream requires a lot of work and dedication to become reality, and the reality might look different from what we expected. It is ok to just like the dream and to keep dreaming, but if this little sneaky thought keeps coming back over and over again, and if it doesn’t look rose tinted anymore but takes the colour of a nag, then it might be time to do something about it. Sometimes it needs a good friend who is able to listen and to step into your shoes to get started, sometimes the foundations have to be laid in secret until the confidence has risen to respectable levels to come out, and sometimes we have to listen to some people to find the right kick:

However, whatever it is that is needed: Use it and then DO it!