From time to time even the ‘best of us’ lose our motivation. It is a natural part of being human. We like to get comfortable and be sedentary from time to time. We also like to do what our friends/family do, and some us have very lazy friends and family.
The key is not to get caught up in inaction.
MAKING A LEAP
When I was in my early 20’s, a single parent and in dire need of employment with childcare, I found myself inspired to open my own business. It was a former high school teacher that encouraged me to take up my idea, and make it real.
I found myself a crappy space, and had inventory that I would be taking from my own collection of stuff. I got my business licence and decided upon a name. As the opening date grew closer I became more and more frightened. I had terrible anxiety attacks, I couldn’t sleep or eat and I cried and angered at the drop of a hat. I was falling apart – entirely encompassed with fear;
“What have I gotten myself into? I can’t do this! I am in college, and I have a toddler – how will I run a business?”
Noticing my despair, my former teacher asked me what I was so afraid of.
PUTTING IT IN PERSPECTIVE
I told her I was afraid of everything – the whole idea. With her help (and hours of crying) we narrowed it down to two real fears. I was afraid to fail, and I was afraid I wouldn’t have enough motivation to follow through – I anticipated a LOT of work.
She told me something about perspective that I have never forgotten;
“Many people come to this country, unable to speak English, without support, and with no money – and THEY successfully open and run businesses. Do you think they were unafraid? Was it any less work for them?”
I realized at that moment that I was afraid of something people had been doing for centuries – working hard and starting new endeavours. It was silly to be afraid. All I had to do was work hard enough. And in the end, I did. I even found the time to take on a part time job, on top of everything else.
Was I tired? Yes, of course. Did I experience stress at tax time, or when I had to re-stock inventory? Yes, of course. I even had a few thefts that caused me some personal trauma – but was it as difficult as I imagined? No. Was it difficult enough to warrant the sleepless nights and hours of crying? No, not at all. I even made some money.
I would do it again, and have. I have also helped others open their own small businesses. After doing it once, I realized it was really quite simple – it just required some perspective and a lot of motivation.
NEGATIVITY CANCELS MOTIVATION
Recently, a 40 year old woman came to me with familiar (unfounded) fears around opening her own business. She – even at 40 – was afraid of the same things I feared at 22 – only she was not a single parent, she had a good income, an unused personal line of credit and help with her plan.
Over and over she would tell me she ‘couldn’t do it’ because she had no support (not true), not enough money (not true), no time (not true) – and it was too hard (also not true) – all before the actual work had started. Her perspective, from the beginning, was WAY OFF – and very negative.
I told her my own story, and the stories of the others I have helped reach out from ‘real poverty’ (under $12,000 CAD income per year) to sustain themselves with their own venture, but her own inability to see past the perceived negative, kept her from taking in many of the lessons.
It remains to be seen if she will be able to change her perspective and grab on to her personal motivation. Sometimes we can only learn on our own, through our own mistakes, lost dreams and short comings. Often it is only our self that keeps us from attaining our dreams.
Truly much of this life comes down to one thing – PERSPECTIVE. It is only with the right perspective that we can find happiness, and it is only in combining perspective with motivation that we can attain our dreams.
FIND YOUR MOTIVATION
What is the best way to re-motivate yourself – something you should be doing regularly? Get inspired with the works of those who held onto their motivation long enough to create their desired outcome.
That could be anything. Putting off a knitting project? Go to your Grannies (Moms, sisters etc.,) and admire her knit goods. Your autobiography? Get reading and appreciating the memoirs of others.
Envy your friends who travel? Ask them questions while you listen to their stories. How did they get where they got? How long did they save? Is there anything they would change if they could go back again?
Are you an artsy type? Head to your local gallery – and I do mean local. See what other artists are doing in your community.
Got a car sitting in your garage you have been meaning to overhaul? Check out a few ‘show and shine’ car shows, enjoy the work of those who put their lives into it – inspire yourself to do the same.
Instead of wondering how someone else managed to attain their dreams, find out how they did it. Make the effort for your own life.
And of course there is the internet – an endless source of inspiration – if you use it right. Recently, while researching, I came across a very inspirational video – not because of its specific content, but because of its back story.
‘Sita Sings the Blues’ was put together entirely by one woman. It took her 5 years at her home computer to create the masterpiece linked above. She was inspired by an Indian tale, after the difficult breakup of her marriage.
Nina Paley, a New Yorker, put the full length animated film together because she wanted to – not knowing if it would be picked up and shown – not knowing what the outcome of her labours would be. She says it was cathartic for her, and at the end of it all, she created something beautiful – something incredible – something for her to be proud of.
Nothing is more inspiring than that.
So find your inspiration, work on your perspective and start heading toward your happiness – you might even fulfil a few dreams along the way.
- Sita Sings the Blues (sitasingstheblues.com)
- The World Owes You Nothing (spiritualanalog.com)
- Change The Way You Think (spiritualanalog.com)
- Perspective = Happiness (spiritualanalog.com)