NINETEEN: Motivation

If you can dream it, you conduit

Motivational quote for all of you electricians out there. You’re welcome

It’s a word we so often throw out there – motivation. We all want to know the industry secrets. What does it mean to be motivated? How does one master the art of maintaining consistent levels of being PSYCHED enough to stay the current course. Whether it’s fitness, academic pursuits or, I don’t know, eating a whole cake in one sitting, these things take a steady level of uplifting, blood pumping motivation, right?

Wrong.

Here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to take that nasty-ass word, and toss it outside. Motivation is far too unreliable a term and concept for the Timmunity. It doesn’t meet the entry requirements to join out mental healthternity, and thus has been politely asked to leave.

But Tim, why the hostility?

I’ll tell you why, because motivation relies far too heavily on our mood. Think about it, we’re only ever motivated during those high energy moods, namely when we’re angry or when we’re in a realllllly good mood. Don’t get me wrong, capitalise on those opportunities to smash out a great gym session or a huge section of your essay, but don’t rely on it. For me, consistency comes from two places; discipline and remembering the “why” to what I’m doing.

Discipline, hey? Yep, discipline. The process of getting shit done even when we don’t wanna get shit done (quoted directly from Oxford dictionary, obviously). I apply these to things that I need to do for whatever reason. We’ve all got those dreadful tasks we would rather put of to assume our best couch potato look, but unfortunately this stupid adulting thing gets in the way.  So, when it comes to going to work when we really don’t feel like it, or cleaning the kitchen, or doing some exercise because we’ve done nothing but eat pizza and watch Netflix, it’s about being disciplined. Get it done, get it checked off your list then do something else afterwards.

There’s discipline, then there’s remembering why you made this commitment in the first place. Personally, I could apply this to a number of my whacky schemes, but the biggest one was the slight lifestyle adjustment of packing everything into a couple of items of luggage and going for a short, 16,000km stroll to the other side of the world. In a year that has thrown many a spanner in the works, it had crossed my mind a few times, “what on earth am I doing here?” On the few occasions that I have fantasised about returning home, I remember why I ventured out this way in the first place;

  1. To put myself out of my comfort zone, and discover places and cultures I had not yet experienced.
  2. To give myself an opportunity to shrug the emotional baggage of the last few years off my shoulders and start fresh in a new town (…or country…whoops).
  3. To give myself the time to learn more about myself, and set some goals for my future. I wanted to go home with a plan.

I could probably rattle on a dozen reasons why I came to do this. To me, these became a mental contract, an agreement I made with myself. Right, you’ve read the contract, if you didn’t read the Terms and Conditions, that’s on you. But you’ve made this commitment, you know why you’re doing this, so fulfil your end of the bargain before you even THINK about pulling the pin on this whole operation. When I’ve seen the places I wanted to see and done the things I set out to do, then I’ll consider when it’s time to roll on back home.

So consider discipline, my lovely Timmunity, and remember your why. No matter what it is, if the thing you have been pursuing means that much to you, then you’ll keep at it whether you’re fired up to do it or not. Whether it’s dropping a few kg, getting that degree/qualification or even reading for 30 minutes before you go to bed, it’s when you don’t feel like doing something that you find out just how much it means to you. Even if you don’t give it the same output as yesterday, even if you only do 1% of the job, you’re still 1% closer to your goal than you were yesterday. The only time you can do a disservice to yourself is if you do nothing. And we ain’t about doing any disservices to ourselves now are we?

Capitalise on those moments when you’re PUMPED UP and MOTIVATED to smash all of your goals in one day, but don’t be reliant on that feeling to do that. As the self-aware community that we are, we all know that emotions come and go in waves, but discipline is 4eva (if you work at it).

That is what I impart unto you this week Timmunity, consider your why. Reflect on what it is you’ve set out to achieve, review the contract you made with yourself and remember who or what or why or how or when you’re doing what you’re doing. You take that contract and you be annoyingly stubborn about it.

And hey, I’ve been monologuing for 19 weeks. I would LOVE to hear your thoughts. Not even necessarily about this, but you’re welcome to leave a comment below. Although if you have any thoughts about any topic that you wish to share, feel free to drop me a line at my Contact page! You can stay anonymous, but if you want my unprofessional opinion on something, I’ve give you my two cents (and most likely a terrible pun).

Have a great week Timmunity. Go outside at least once this week for the love of God (that’s more at me, but applies to you too), eat your veggies and call ya Ma. See you all next week, Happy Mental Health Monday!

In order to carry a positive action, we must develop a positive vision

Dalai Lama

Mental Health

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