Do You Know What Motivates You

Some days, I just can’t write at home. Yesterday was one of those days…or so I thought. I headed out to one of my newest writing spots, which usually takes less than twenty minutes to reach.

I got into my car and headed out the usual route. Construction forced me along a slightly diverted path.  I told myself I would join my usual path a few blocks up. Absentmindedly, I continued along the redirected course right into a traffic jam. Trying to go the next four blocks took about 15 minutes. At this point, I’d been in the car approaching half an hour.

This wouldn’t be so bad except for the fact that it was almost 100 degrees with a heat index of 106 degrees. Oh, did I forget to mention that my A/C system has a leak and the last of the cold air was long gone.

Nearing the highway, traffic unexpectedly cleared.  I was home free…

Not really. There was another jam waiting for me about half a mile ahead.  At this point, I felt like I wanted to turn back. An exit was coming up, but something said, “Stick with it.” Immediately after the exit, traffic was free-flowing again.

I arrived at my destination shortly after that. My twenty minute drive had turned into nearly an hour in sauna like conditions. I entered the building and headed over to the café area where other social loners like me set up shop.

There was NOWHERE to sit.

Apparently, the hot weather had driven everybody inside to enjoy the chilled atmosphere.  I hung out in another section for about a half hour but I had nowhere to place my laptop and get to work.  I halfheartedly took another look to see if any space had cleared up. It hadn’t. I already knew I would be heading home shortly.

Wasted time? Not really. I have the talent of being able to make a lesson out of anything, so here’s what I noted:

1. Follow your intuition. I should have followed my instinct and taken my usual route. It may or may not have avoided the traffic jams but, in truth, I’ll never know.

2. Occasionally, the journey will be uncomfortable.  The sweltering heat, lack of A/C, and unending traffic jams made it more than challenging to follow through.

3. Your big break will probably come just after the point you want to give up.  The second traffic jam let up as soon as I passed the exit which would have returned me home.

4. Once you reach your destination, you may still have to carve out a space for yourself….which brings me to the most important lesson.

5. Make sure your motivation is deep or you will not have the ability to sustain the necessary effort to make it all the way.  I wasn’t motivated deeply enough to stick around and find a writing space.  It just wasn’t in me for the day and had I paid attention to that, I wouldn’t have left my home in the first place.

I’m a writer. I’m not saying I’m giving that up. I couldn’t. I just wasn’t interested in writing, yesterday. I have an habitual practice of free writing every morning, but beyond that, I just wasn’t into it…and that’s ok.

It just made me realize how often we say we want something without really evaluating whether or not we’re passionate enough to really go after it.  If your motivation is superficial, even if you get where you’re going, you’ll never be able to hang.

Instead of expending your energy on a half-hearted goal, make sure it really means something to you.  Besides belief, motivation is the next most important thing. It has to be an integral part of you or it won’t hold and your goals won’t be realized.

So, do you know what motivates you?

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2 thoughts on “Do You Know What Motivates You

    • It’s great that you have the perseverance to push through. That’s where most people will turn back. It’s definitely the step at which I have most difficulty…but like I say, I’m a work in progress. 🙂

      Thanks for your comment, Josh.

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