(Here’s an excerpt from my book, Your Most Courageous Self: the definitive guide to unparalleled bad-assery. Your Courageous Life email subscribers will get access to the audio of the introduction. Sign up, here: YourCourageousLife.com/begin).
Good gravy, the number of times someone has told me that don’t follow through with things, because they get excited but…then they lose their motivation or inspiration.
It stops feeling pleasurable and fun, so they stop moving forward.
Where are people learning the idea that the things you want in life, the things that are most important to you, are always going to be endless journeys of inspiration? Where are people picking up the line that motivation is easy, or that people who succeed in doing things always feel motivated?
Hard truth: You won’t always feel inspired. You won’t always feel motivated.
You’ve got to get out of the delusional thinking that motivation and inspiration will always be present on the way to the life that you really want. (I pose these thoughts not to put anyone down, but rather to really get people to look and see that the start-stop-start-stop stuff perpetuates more suffering, and keeps them from the life they really want).
No one who is improving her marriage feels “inspired” by tough conversations that so easily turn into arguments. But what’s the alternative? Not having the conversations, which equals nothing changing.
No one who builds her own business always feels “motivated” to finish what she starts. But she sits her arse down in the chair and gets the work done, because the bigger picture of what she’s trying to create is more important to her than the smaller picture of a day, week, or month where she feels less motivated.
No one who decides that they want to start expressing a creative desire—painting, dance, or something else—always feels “motivated” to do it. In fact, you’ll often feel inadequate, wonder why you’re doing what you’re doing, or commit something to paper and later think, “I wasted time.” But those moments aren’t the whole picture. Something within you has to know that all of these efforts, even if they were shitty first drafts or rough sketches or flailing in dance class, are all going into the whole: the whole that is you, living more joyfully and fully alive.
Fear and Fun
Usually, we lose motivation and inspiration when we’re either afraid (fear throws down “I will zap you of inspiration!” to get you to stop) or when you haven’t had any fun and you’ve made the thing you’re trying to create into a (ugh) chore.
I’ve seen so many people do this with their businesses. They stop having fun because they’ve convinced themselves that they have to spend all day sitting in front of a computer watching Facebook ads results, if they want to succeed in business. They stop tapping into the craft of coaching and get hung up in the business of coaching, and then even the business of coaching is something they can turn into drudgery.
Yes, you’re going to have to spend some time doing the boring stuff. The grunt work. It’s not always fun (though you can make it more fun, the less you complain), but it’s necessary.
Sometimes, the stuff you “gotta do” even downright sucks. You’ll ask yourself, “Is this worth it?”
Well, it also sucks to live a life where you keep ending up right back at the same place, over and over. That’s what happens when people continually buy into fear and don’t step forward into their Most Courageous Self.
If you stop thinking that motivation and inspiration must be a prerequisite at all times for you to be happy, you’ll unhook yourself from the start-stop-start-stop cycle.
When people never find their way through, and their answer to discomfort is to quit, or to change locations, or to leave that relationship for someone else, or to otherwise move around the external variables in search of happiness and endless fun, they always end up right back at the same place–at some point, the job or the relationship or the whatever? It stops being fun, inspiring, motivating.
Instead of seeing the loss of inspiration or motivation as an automatic sign that something is wrong, see it as a sign that there’s a skill-set that you might need to learn–a skill-set for finding the magic in the mundane, recognizing your triggers for losing motivation and where you set yourself up for that, tapping into the bigger picture of what you’re creating so that a few rough weeks or months don’t sway you.
There is magic to be found everywhere, even in the mundane (if that’s what you choose, and it absolutely has to be a mindset and a choice).
There are more easeful ways to find your way through that don’t involve that exhausting hustle-push-pull-gritted-teeth stuff. Learn how to find and create those ways, before you quit anything else.