Self-Improvement

Read This When You Don’t Feel Motivated

There’s nothing worse than having your mind full of conflicting thoughts while facing obligations that need your immediate attention. You know the moment when you’re finally ready to take that step, and then a situation arises that forces you to put your plans on hold?

Sometimes it’s a breakup, and the pain is so intense that you’re numb to everything in life. You feel worthless because no matter what kind of closure they gave you, they were a massive source of motivation. Now you’re lost, and you’re questioning if what you wanted is even worth pursuing anymore. Memories of loving this person violently plague your thoughts, so much that your body aches and you feel as though you could die from a sudden cardiac arrest.

It’s finally payday, but as soon as the direct deposit hits, your bank pulls out more money than you expected. You receive a bill in the mail that was bigger than you expected, but rent has to be paid, and now you don’t know how you’re going to make it through to the next pay day. Your boss gives you less hours this week, instead of the hours you asked for, and now you feel victimized at work because it’s been an ongoing issue.

Most of the stress we deal with in life is well-founded, and if you’re anything like me, most of what takes up space in your head is your own anxiety working against you. You play out the worst possible scenarios in your head, and funny enough, they almost never happen, yet you still shaved minutes off of your life by worrying for nothing.

Motivation is something that comes and goes. It’s fickle like the person who is into you one moment and then leaves your messages on read because the person they’re actually interested in decided to message them back. That’s why I don’t rely on it. Motivation has its own agenda. Luckily for me, I have my own.

You get up and go to work every day. You take sick days off here and there. Maybe you’ve even convinced your doctor to write you a sick notice so you could be excused from work to have a mental health day. As for the “lucky” ones that joined the military , we can only dream of being able to take a day off.

Regardless of whether you hate or love your job, if you don’t show up, you’ll be fired. Oh, and I’m sure the interviewer will be perfectly understanding after your previous employer explains why they fired you from that job.

I think you should abandon the need to feel “motivated” to do something. You don’t need it to punch a clock at a job you don’t even like, so why do you rely on it when it comes to doing what you love? We do things we don’t even like even though we don’t feel like doing them, yet we put off what we love until “tomorrow,” which turns into “one of these days.”

Let me tell you something about the future that almost no one knows — it doesn’t exist. By the time the future arrives, it will be “right now.” The future isn’t some far off place where things get better once it arrives, and you can’t rely on “I’ll do it tomorrow” if you can’t even do it now.

We’re frugal with our money and careful with what we put into our bodies, but we throw away the one thing that we can never get back. We throw away every second that fills each present moment as if we can get a refund on the time we didn’t use wisely.

Time exists for us, yet we don’t even realize it because our pain has us living in the past. We overlook the present moment because our anxiety convinced us buy the lie that our future is more promising, when there’s no proof that it even exists.

When you rely on motivation to get you going, you’re placing your faith in something that evaporates quickly. Motivation is the willingness to do something, but that willingness goes out the door in those moments where the noise in your mind is deafening and the pain has you feeling helpless. When the belief you had in yourself is shaken and you can’t think clearly, how does one get motivated?

Trying to rekindle motivation is pointless. It’s a thankless hobby that almost never works, and if it does work, it lasts temporarily or until the next trigger sends you over the edge again.

Drive, on the other hand, is the mother of motivation. Drive is that still, small voice that reminds you of why you got started in the first place. It makes you focus on the rise and fall of your chest as you breathe inward and outward. It reminds you of that thing beating in your chest called “purpose.”

When you’re driven to do something, you’ll keep going no matter how crazy life gets or how much pain you’re in. Drive is the reason why you keep running when you have cramps. The cramps go away, I promise. You just have to keep running.

Some people focus on the finish line , while others look down at their feet and concentrate on the rhythm of placing one foot in front of the other.

Whatever you do, don’t break the rhythm. The sound of the rhythm WILL replace the noise of the conflicting thoughts, and the joy you get from doing the thing that you love WILL replace the pain and anxiety.

Please, keep going. TC mark

Related

About the author
Plans are useless. Just take the risk. Follow Paul on Instagram or read more articles from Paul on Thought Catalog.

Learn more about Thought Catalog and our writers on our about page.