And that’s another freakin’ self-help book. No more work sheets, no more vision exercises. Those items have their place for sure, but at this point, I’ve read so many they’re all starting to blend together in my mind. If you’ve done one “close your eyes and envision your best life”, you’ve done them all. My biggest question is, has any of that worked for you? Have things changed? If your life has been anything like mine, then there have been some little victories here and there, but overall, you’re doing things pretty much the same as before with little to no miraculous differences.
That’s not to say that you aren’t happy, grateful, or living a good life. But you’re certainly not living the rainbows and butterflies life you envisioned back in that visioning exercise of 2011. How many of those amazing goals did you reach? Again, I’m not knocking the process, in fact goal setting, dreaming, all of that, I think, is vital to living. It keeps you waking up with hope that today will be a better day.
The flip side to that is that slow build up of disappointment that comes from year after year, day after day, living to make ends meet and noticing how the clock keeps ticking, leaving some of those big dreams and goals to fall into the land of regret. Oh sure, there are plenty of people for whom all it took was that one book, that one bit of advice, or that one exercise to turn their dreams into reality but for the majority of us, that just hasn’t been the case.
So, why am I writing this post? Mostly I’m channeling my Divinity. She and I have been hot on this topic since I finished reading that Steve Harvey book. She told me that I didn’t need another self-help book, what I needed was to DO all the things I’d been so busy envisioning. Last year was all about the Desire Mapping process by Danielle LaPorte, the year before that I was a Marie Forleo accolade trying my damnedest to take every bit of advice from her videos to design “a business and life that I loved.” I wanted to go to her B-School too, but um, yeah. My “best life” didn’t include the almost three thousand dollar tuition. Either way, I’d spent a good majority of the past two years dreaming about being healthier, thinner, richer; being able to get rid of the nine to five in favor of working my deal where I made a living from my writing. I had detailed journal entries, plans, and such. What I didn’t have was anything to show for it all when the year came to a close.
I was waiting for that mystical thing called motivation to kick in. I’m coming to realize that for me, and maybe for others, motivation is much like inspiration – both are these quick little bursts that get you all fired up but aren’t the actual fuel that keeps you going. I get hit with story inspiration upwards of three to four times a week – as the growing number of story project folders on my hard drive can attest. I’m motivated to do the self-help exercise in the book, but not the actual work that comes after. Each new year, millions are inspired to change a bad habit, they’re motivated to finally getting rid of the clutter. That’s great, but neither of those bursts is going to carry them through the cravings, the sticking to the schedule, the reluctance to drag one more box of crap out of the garage so they can go through the process of deciding what to keep, toss, or donate. In my world, motivation is a quick spark. What’s most often missing from my world is that inner kindling on which the spark of motivation can catch and turn into an inferno of goal reaching activity. Oh, that was a somewhat ugly metaphor, eh? If I were to clean up that idea, I’d write this – Motivation doesn’t operate as a continuously driving force for me. I’m motivated at the very beginning of something but have little to carry me through to the end. And it’s at the end when the goal is accomplished.
Most professional writers will tell you that they have a daily writing schedule. Whether they’re “inspired”, “motivated” or not, they get up, sit down, and write. I’m going to adopt that rule this year. Motivated or not, there are certain things I just have to do in order to get the things I want.
Hmph. That was easy.