Creating anything is harder than we believe it is. No matter how simple an act is, it took a lot more work than we think to create it. Even if we’re churning out tax forms, or dealing with customers, we’re creating a series of moments in time. What we do with those moments matters. Still, when you’re tired, depressed, addicted, spiritually exhausted, and physically weakened from life with the kids, and the dog, and the house, and the nagging, and the erosion of your dreams, it’s hard. It’s hard to keep moving forward. And motivation isn’t what we think it is.
In the academic realm, motivation is defined as the incentivization to action. How well we, as people, are able to move ourselves to do something with our time and energy. But most of us are so exhausted fulfilling our basic responsibilities that we can’t imagine motivating to do ever more. This malaise can quickly lead us to depression. It’s all about how we see the world. Motivation begins by working with our perspective.
Size Doesn’t Matter
It’s very easy to get beaten down when you look at the big picture. Life’s daunting if you think about all the worries, woes, and troubles we all face. First and foremost, it’s important to keep these things in perspective. Yoda had it right: Big or small, the energy we’re expending is the same. Size matters not. We don’t need to change the whole world. We only need to move a tiny block every day. It’s all the energy of a single step.
Though it might not seem like it to our worried, over-tired minds, but a second is the exact same length whether you draw it out or rush through it. Notice what you’re doing and do it considerately. Living in the second as it happens.
Spend a few moments paying attention to every second, and it gets really overwhelming really fast. Time is both too fast and too slow. So how much can you really expect from yourself from moment to moment? Life will become ever longer, dragging out each second of misery. So you can’t live like that 100% of the time. But look at what you do with your moments sometimes.
Focus on changing one moment at a time, since they’re all the same length. Let that one run its course. All you need to do is change that single moment, make one good decision and let others follow, rationally.
Pick up a dish. Try to get some work done. Take a full 60 seconds for yourself. Do nothing but meditate for a full minute. Then think about what you should be doing next. Do this as many times as you need.
Everything in good time. One moment leads into another and another. Try to be doing something that gets you somewhere better. If you can live a life where each moment is satisfying, each second is fun, and you accept them all as being good enough, because you start to see they all are as they are. The slower you move the more aware you have to be of each movement. This is due to activation of the parasympathetic relaxation response.
When you slow down, you have to be more focused, but also more relaxed. Your body is moving in a relaxed way, therefore it calms your mind into relaxing along with it. The mind has to slow down to monitor the slower movements of the body.
It Takes Practice
If you managed to both change one moment, and slow down for a few moments, then you’re doing better than you did yesterday. That’s cause for celebration.
Ease Off The Stick
Did you change one moment today into one more positive than yesterday? Then celebrate that. Typically, when we spend time living in each moment, we take better care of everything, because we’re thinking about it full-force. That means being nicer to yourself. You’re going to be living with yourself a long time.
Listen To Yourself
If you want to motivate, it only works if you’re wholly on board. You can’t be fighting with yourself. Everyone has several voices inside them that argue. One voice says “I don’t want to do anything!” and the other that yells “You’re terrible for not doing anything and not loving it! Get back to work!” That’s a house divided. If you live in harmony with all your voices, it’s much easier to motivate.
All Your Voices Are Important
All of the noise inside your head means something. When you slow down and look at each moment, you start to hear more of those signals from your body and mind. Some say “I ache.” Some say “I’m tired.” Some say “We’re going to die soon. Maybe. But, someday.” And the problem is that it’s important to listen to all of them. Then decide which voices to trust. Which are helping you live in better moments, and which are making you abuse yourself.
Compromise With Yourself
Try to find a fair and balanced medium at all times that all of you can live with. If something makes you feel too lazy, you don’t need to eliminate it. You can maybe trim it back. Or, find a way to do something to balance it out for your own emotional stability.
Always Be Checking with yourself. You can call it ABCWY if you want, but good luck making that stick. If one voice is screaming that something is wrong, maybe it is. Or, maybe it’s yelling fire in a crowded theater to get your attention. You can’t ignore how you feel from one moment to the next. Body and brain all need to be pointed in the same direction.
You’ll Get Hooked
Moving really gradually through life will make you much more aware of what’s happening, and how you’re dealing with it. The more you can be engaged in what you are doing, by doing it slower, the more you’ll be able to make every single moment better, leading you to joy at most times. Make each day better with attention, energy, and compromise, and do the next the same way.
Try It Totally
Commit to doing something different tomorrow. See how it goes. Wear a ring, eat a salad, get a nipple piercing. Find out what it’s like to commit to doing something different, however small. It makes every day a little bit new.
One At A Time
When we realize we have the control to change every moment by itself, and can open up broad new worlds that way, it becomes a habit. We motivate by thinking of one new thing we get to start doing. Hanging up towels before they mildew on the floor (Maggie!!!!) or parting our hair the opposite way. Small control leads to larger control.
We’re Driven By Victory
To motivate ourselves to make big changes, it’s important that we see we can make single, momentary decision changes. This makes each moment a novelty, wholly in our power to affect. By controlling single, individual moments, and seeing that cascade into greater productivity, greater enjoyment, and greater satisfaction with each second, we can reach a state of motivation at any time.
It can’t be stressed enough how difficult it is to live in the moment. We all know it. Remember, all it takes is to slow down, and make each…second… count… for… something. Watch your heart rate, take a cleansing breath, stretch, and let each moment slide along you like buttersilk chocolate. That’d be a good DJ name. “ButterSilk Chocolate, comin’ at you live from the Foghat Flapjack Stack Attack and we about to get nutty as an October oak!”