Originally, I had a grand plan to write a book called The Ideos: 7 Things You Need to Do For Yourself Before Anyone Else. I outlined the 7 ideos in an article back in October of 2014. I hit on 4 of the 7, but I had three to go: self-motivation, self-reflection, and self-reliance. So what derailed me? I got extremely sick. Obviously, I survived, but that's another story. Today, I'm going to talk about self-motivation.
Why the long intro? I want to let people know that my major failing in remaining focused and motivated to write this series is my bad habit of making grand plans for each and every thing that I do. I've always had a bad habit of creating unrealistically high expectations for everything that I set my mind to.
This is what I had in mind when writing about self-motivation:
I find that self-motivation is often the hardest thing for a lot of people when they go about working to improve themselves. Some people decide that habits are a great way to spur self-motivation. I would agree completely as long as those habits are good. But self-motivation is also about finding the reasons that you want to do things. Having habits can only be part of your self-motivation – you have to actually put reasoning and logic into it, as well.
I then made a note to myself that I should talk about how good habits can be great, but that bad habits are often what torpedo self-motivation. And, oh boy, do I have plenty of those!
Even the best of habits can lose purpose if you lose your reasoning for participating in them. I thought that trying to make a habit of writing every day was going to be one of my keys to success. All it did was lead to a bad habit of having grand plans for every random writing idea that I had. It got to the point where I always had something to write about, but I ended up with so many ideas that I simply could not flesh out that I ended up writing nothing at all.
While the advice I have to avoid being overwhelmed like this is far from novel, I feel it needs to be said regardless. You have to break everything down into manageable chunks. If you find yourself stuck on something, just leave it alone and move onto something else. This is something I have lots of trouble doing. I end up having lots of little chunks that are completely unrelated to each other. I end up with all of these notes and half-written pieces, beginnings of stories that I'll never return to, or a few stray lines of poetry.
So where does it all fit in? This is what kills my motivation. If I can't ever finish anything, what good is starting? That's just it. You have to start. You just have to do it, and keep doing it, no matter how often you get stuck. If it's really what you want to do and you're good at it, the motivation should be deeply rooted in something you believe in. In my case, it's all about helping others learn from my mistakes.
I feel like in writing this, I'm not really accomplishing what I am meaning to with this ideos series. That's why I lost my motivation to write it. But in writing this, I realize now that this struggle is part of life, and admitting it is probably the best thing I can do right now.
The last two I still need to write about, self-reflection and self-reliance, are perhaps the two that I am least qualified to write about. But as has been said by numerous writing experts, the best way to learn something and become better qualified in a subject is to write about it. Admitting what you don't know is just as important as saying what you really do know.
So my motivation for writing going forward is to admit my failures just as often as my successes. I know that I'm not alone in dealing with these personal shortcomings, because then what use would there be in writing on these subjects to begin with?
If you find that your self-motivation is waning, just think about the thing that's most important to you in the whole universe. Focus on that. Do everything you do for that reason. That's the best advice I can ever give.