Good evening all…
Dear motivation, where hast thou gone?
Why didst thou desert me, with only 500 words done?
…And I still need 2000 more!!
Yes, I am at that stage, people – I’m extraordinarily stuck on a University essay and have resorted to writing extraordinarily bad poetry in its place. Anyway…
I’m hoping that by blogging, I might just be able to trick my brain into thinking of something relevant to say on the topic I’m supposed to be writing the aforementioned essay on. I’m working on the principle that I always think of things for one thing when I’m trying to do something else so we’ll see if this cunning tactic pays off. Hmmm.
So, motivation – or lack thereof. I have a lot of motivation, actually – just not to do the thing which needs doing right now. Drat. The problem isn’t that I don’t find it interesting, it’s that I simply don’t want to do it and, as the legendary Amanda Palmer sang: “I’ve already spent enough time, doing things that I didn’t want to” – and I’m over it.
Aren’t we all?
I think this is the party trick that we’re all trying to perfect – juggling the things that you want to do and the things that you have to do, which usually aren’t one and the same, or even remotely resembling each other in the slightest.
So here I sit, on a Sunday night, wasting precious hours that I could be spending doing much more interesting things, starting at a screen and getting absolutely nowhere. Worse still, I know that three hours from now nothing will have changed and my essay will still look like this:
My brain, meanwhile, is trying to trick me into abandoning it altogether using some very dodgy logic that isn’t particularly helpful, and goes a little something like this:
Hey JT, you’re not getting anywhere, right?
And three hours from now you still won’t have gotten anywhere, right?
Right. Shit. Thanks for pointing that out.
So…if you know you won’t get anything done, why don’t you just go and do one of those more fun things instead? Nothing will have changed as far as your essay goes, but you will have done something else…something fun!
F*** off, brain!
You know you’re stuck when you start blogging imaginary conversations you’re having inside your own head…with your own head! o_O
So. Motivation. The juggling act. I feel like I spend too much of my life doing this, and whilst the recent changes I have made have made a massive difference to my overall level of happiness, they haven’t negated the juggling act, just given me a different set of balls to keep in the air. I realised that the juggling act is always there. It’s called life.
There’s always more than one thing to think about and there’s always times when what you want to do and what you have to do won’t match. We’re all jugglers, and we’re all just trying to keep up. Sometimes it’s the number of balls that’s the problem and sometimes it’s not the number, it’s their weight. You just have to do the best that you can, and we all need to give each other a break.
As far as my personal juggling act goes, I hate to ruin the fairytale for anyone else contemplating giving up the 9-5 to become a full-time arty type, but it’s just as much as job as anything else is, and it comes with its own set of worries and responsibilities. This is not to say that you shouldn’t do it, or that I regret it – not a chance, not even for a single split-second – just a gentle reminder that you shouldn’t expect everything to suddenly be all roses.
Quitting your job to become a full-time arty type won’t suddenly make you into a best-selling author, a chart-topping musician, an acclaimed artist, or anything else. It will probably make you a lot poorer so if you’re wanting to do any of those things for the money, you’ll probably end up horribly disillusioned. But if you’re thinking of doing them just for the sheer hell of them, regardless of whether you ever make a single cent, and you can work out the practicalities in a way that works for you, then by all means, go for it.
For me, it’s the single best thing I’ve ever done.
Compared to what I used to earn, I’m poor. But I am happy. Ridiculously happy – and there’s a hell of a lot of people a hell of a lot worse off than me. Happiness is worth more to me than money but that’s just me. Each to their own. I’m stuck on an essay at the minute, but I’ll get past it and then I’ll never have to see it again. I think it’s safe to say that after a couple of months of this my rose-tinted glasses are well and truly off but that’s a good thing. I thought I had a pretty good idea of what I was getting into and, for the most part, I think my vision of what it would be like has been right.
There are things that I miss that I didn’t expect to miss, and likewise, things I thought I would struggle without that I don’t even think about. Not everything has worked out the way the way that I had thought it would but that’s ok. As anyone who knows me knows by now, I’m used to living in the whirlwind. It’s my comfort zone.
That said, I have a couple of other comfort zones that I need to break out of. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking this past week and making some more decisions which could change my life quite drastically again. Some of them are practical ones, and some of them are personal ones. But they all relate back, ultimately, to the issue of motivation.
What the hell am I doing this for?
Not the essay. Everything.
For me. So I can be happy, and I can feel free.
I’ve made some of the big external changes already – leaving a steady job, and a reliable roof over my head behind, for a start – but if I am really going to make a real go of this then the big changes which need to happen are internal. No more falling back into the same old bad habits. No more worrying about what the world will think, or if something’s not good enough.
Not taking the chance, that’s what’s not good enough. Not pushing myself to give it my all, that’s what’s not good enough. I’ve been given a literally life-changing opportunity, and if I don’t make the most of it then I will be kicking myself for the rest of my life. Forget the fear of failure. The only failure is not trying.
Which means that I need to stop procrastinating and go finish that essay. It’ll be one less ball in the air and come tomorrow, I’ll still be juggling, but I’ll have a much bigger smile on my face.