The Motivational Tool: Dealing With Low Points In Life
I have experienced some pretty drastic mood swings and levels of motivation in the last year. In the last few months, I’ve been in a productive flow that makes me wonder if it can last. After getting past a weak point, I ask myself some questions about how to avoid or prepare for the next tight spot.
How can I prepare in this time of high vibrations for the next lull?
What is the secret for maintaining motivation?
I feel that there must be a way to stay motivated and feel more fulfilled in life on a consistent basis. After thinking on the subject and asking a few other folks I’ve come up with an explanation that makes sense to me.
The core reasons for loss of motivation are a lack of meaning and lack of preparation.
I have also experienced a low in motivational energy due to a sad event or feeling like a failure. I plan to write a future article to deal with depression and anxiety.
Sad times and weak points are part of the natural flow of life. Often, the moments when I feel down are the times that inspire me to get things done to get out of the bad feeling.
Recently, I was on a trip with my family coming back from visiting my mother-in-law. It was a good trip, but I was dealing with anxiety the whole drive back because of money troubles. I came to the realization that I had not worked enough in recent weeks. I was going to have a hard time paying all the bills that were due in the next two weeks. All I could feel at the time was stress.
My mind kept looping back to the same depressing thoughts. “Where am I going to get the money?” “How did I let things get like this?” I was stuck in a circuit, thinking about what I did not have and how would I solve this problem.
The mind is an incredible problem-solving machine that does not give up. The brain will just keep working and pondering on a problem. It will keep looking for solutions. This process can be good, but it can also be quite damaging. On the long car ride where there was little that I could do to solve the money troubles. It did not help to think about finding work because thinking would not produce results in that arena.
When I’m feeling stressed out, my mind does not operate as well at problem-solving. My brain just tends to cut tighter corners running around the same thought loop faster and faster.
What to do about it?
Here is a short list of some of the best tools I have found for dealing with the lack of motivation. These actions all help to relieve the pressure of being stuck in a rut of feeling down or out of fuel. These activities can also contribute to getting out of a rut.
- Dealing with fear
- Confronting guilt
- Instilling positive habits
- Small wins leading to large victories
- The power of the present mind
Motivation is not a goal it is a reward.
Motivation is not like a destination. In my personal experience, it has not been something I plan for. I could shout out loud, “I’m going to be motivated next week!” It’s unlikely that I could convince or force that outcome to come to fruition.
Motivation is more like a fire.
You spend time collecting kindling and firewood. The wood needs to be dried out. The sticks have to be piled intentionally to leave air space. You need an ignition source and a spot out of the wind to keep the flame going long enough to get the kindling going. Motivation starts almost by magic when all the ingredients are in place. When the time is right, and the environment is conducive for it to flourish, the fire flares up in the blink of an eye. We can take actions to create the correct environment for motivation to take hold.
Taking positive forward action is the best way to get the ball rolling.
I got back from the driving trip feeling disgusted. I was so frustrated with the anxious feeling that I jumped right into action. I couldn’t wait to start working on dealing with the problem. I went out and did some Uber driving that night. Just making some money right away got my week off on the right foot.
I was still in the hole, but not quite as bad as before. I woke up the next day, and things started happening. I made some phone calls and lined up some work for later in the week with clients from previous handyman jobs. I got a call out of the blue the next day from a new client who needed my help with some random odds and ends. The new customer had a pretty decent job for me where I worked for a couple of days.
Things fell into place, and I made more money in one week than I had for months. I worked seven days in a row and managed to pay all the bills I was stressing over. Once I got into the process of working, all the weight on my shoulders drained away. I just put one foot in front of the other and dealt with the task at hand. I got into a flow and started feeling like my happy self again.
A champion needs motivation above and beyond winning. -Pat Riley
Life is not always going to be easy. No matter what success a person reaches, there will be new troubles and challenges. Every day is a new journey and every moment is a new opportunity. It makes sense to stop and think about the big goals from time to time, but the day-to-day work is right in front of us. I’ve learned it’s best to look at the road directly in front of me. I must deal with the obstacles that are in that direct path and forget the rest. In times of high stress and anxiety, some of the pressure has to do with the way I am thinking about the problem.
When I tried to take on the whole problem of money on a drive, it was completely unproductive. There was no action immediately available to fix the problem. I was just setting my mind up for a short circuit. I can’t say I’ll never make that mistake again, but I will be more aware of how to deal with it after working on this article.
Like building a fire, you cannot always prepare for every rainstorm or gust of wind. You can choose a dry area that has a natural wind block. You can store a pile of dry twigs under a waterproof tarp and prepare for storms with a healthy sized pile of dry logs.
So, next time I’m feeling on top of the world, I am going to make a few preparations for the future. I can set aside some money for a rainy day. I am setting aside some good motivational quotes. I created a section in my notes called “Inspiration” so that I can look at it when I need some help.
Another good idea is to pick out inspirational music and make a rainy day playlist.
Another strategy I’ve been working on is to take care of loose ends. The more things I can stay on top of the better. It’s good to deal with issues now, so they won’t compound the problems that are sure to come along later.
My hope is that this story will help to encourage you to take action in your life today. Start preparing the ingredients for your bonfire. Create the right environment for motivation to flourish.
Let the fire burn inside of you to achieve your goals!